The London Underground is the most recommended form of transport to get around the city thanks to its 11 lines. It is the largest subway network in the world and was opened in 1863. It is also known as the “Tube” or “Underground”.
The London Underground map has more than 270 stations and is divided into 9 zones that serve to establish the different rates and make it easier to use the map. Below you can find all the information to move around the city using this means of transport.
Don’t worry if it seems complicated at first. Below we have shared the information about the London Underground Timetables, Maps and Prices. Also some advice compiled during our more than 10 years of experience using the tube every day to move around London almost every day.
What will you find in this article?
- London Underground Map
- London Underground zones
- How to use the London Underground map
- The Overground on the London Underground map
- Schedules and Frequency of the London Underground
- London Underground Night Timetable
- London Underground prices How much does it cost
- Tips for using the London Underground
- How to find your way around the London Underground
- Best London Underground Mobile Apps
London Underground Map
As you have surely seen, the London Underground map has a somewhat peculiar design. With all those colored lines crossing over each other in all directions and seemingly without much sense.
The map says much more than you think since it represents more than 400 kilometers of London Underground lines, with its 270 stations and 9 zones, as well as the Overground lines and other transport networks in the city. The London Underground map was designed by Harry Beck, an English draughtsman, in 1933. It would later be adopted by subways in other cities around the world.
London Underground areas
As we have mentioned above, the London Underground has 9 zones, each of them identified by a number. The most central zone of the London Underground is number 1, while zone number 9 is on the outskirts of London.
The different zones of the London Underground are used to determine the rate for journeys between stations in each of those zones. In other words, the price of the ticket increases as the number of zones you cover on your journey increases.
In which area are the main attractions and airports of London:
The main attractions and monuments of London are within Zones 1 and 2. In other words, if you want to visit places like Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park or Notting Hill, you can do so without leaving Zone 1 of the metro. London.
As for Zone 2 of the Metro, the point of interest that most people visit is the Camden Town Flea Market. There are also other places of interest such as Highgate Cemetery.
London Airports are located in different areas of London so you are also interested in knowing where your airport is so that you can choose a hotel in a nearby area and not in the opposite corner of the city.
The airports that are within the 9 zones of the London Underground are Heathrow and London City Airport. Therefore, to get to these airports it is worth with a London transport card ( oyster card or travelcard ).
Stansted and Luton airports are two that are outside the London Underground areas. Therefore, you must buy a specific train or bus ticket to go and return from these airports. Gatwick airport is located outside the London areas, but nowadays it is possible to use the Oyster card to travel from this airport to the center and vice versa.
How to use the London Underground map
You enter the station thinking “well, let’s go to the platform and we’ll look at the map” and as soon as you enter there are signs for 3 different lines and with different colors. And what is worse, each line is divided into “Northbound” and “Southbound” or in some cases “Westbound” or “Eastbound”.
Don’t worry, we’ve all thought at some point that “I won’t leave here until next year” or “I’m going to call to be taken out to the street” but you’ll see how it’s not that big a deal.
To use the London underground map and not get lost on the way, the first step is to be clear about which line you are going to use and the name of the station where you are going to get off. If you know this before entering the station, the signs that you will find along the way from the station entrance to the platform will be very easy to follow and you will not get lost.
I know it sounds obvious, but when you don’t know the names, it’s easy to confuse “Green Park” with “Hyde Park” or “Queen’s Park” and end up wandering around the tube network.
The Overground on the London Underground map
The map also shows the route taken by the Overground and the DLR. Both are part of the London public transport system and work exactly the same as the underground, the only difference being that the Overground is an overland train and the DLR is the Docklands Light Rail, which also runs outside most of the time. The overground is the orange line and the DLR is the blue line.
Very importantly, the London Underground map is a schematic. It does not represent the distance between stations as does a street map like the one in the London guides. It may seem to you that two stations are very close to each other, but you may need more than 1 hour to get from one to the other.
Sometimes, there are also cases in which it will take less time to walk on the surface than by metro. To do this, you can consult the following map of TFL (Transport For London) where they indicate the walking distance between stations: Walking distance map between London underground stations.
Schedules and Frequency of the London Underground
The London Underground timetable can vary depending on the station and the day of the week. In general, the London Underground schedule is from 05:10 a.m. to 00:15 a.m., after midnight.- These are the times at which the last train leaves from the first station on the line, so that can pass by your station later.
Regarding the frequency of the London Underground, the trains of most of the lines pass through each station with an average frequency of between 3 to 6 minutes. In central London stations such as Victoria, if all goes well that day, the frequency is sometimes 1 or 2 minutes.
London Underground night timetable
On Fridays and Saturdays there is also 24-hour night tube service on the Victoria line (light blue), Jubilee line (grey) and most of the Central line (red), Northern line (black) and Piccadilly line (dark blue ). ).
What changes in the night trains with respect to the day schedule is the frequency and the price.
- Victoria line : Trains run every 10 minutes.
- Central line : Trains run approximately every 10 minutes between White City and Leytonstone and approximately every 20 minutes on the rest of the line. There is no service between North Acton and West Ruislip, Loughton and Epping and from Woodford to Hainault.
- Jubilee line : Trains run approximately every 10 minutes on the entire line.
- Northern line : Trains run every 8 to 15 minutes.
- Piccadilly line : Trains run approximately every 10 minutes between Cockfosters stations and Heathrow Terminal 5. There is no service between Terminal 4 and Acton Town and Uxbridge.
London Underground prices How much does it cost?
Metro prices vary depending on the time, age and length of the journey, since the number of zones you pass through will make your journey more expensive or cheaper. Below we leave you a table with the prices of the London Underground comparing the following aspects:
- «Single Ticket» or with «Oyster Card» : When using the London Underground you can do so by buying a single ticket for each journey (something that we do not recommend at all since it is very expensive). Or use a transport voucher such as the Oyster Card. In our article on the Oyster and Travel Card we explain what they are and how they work: Oyster Card and London Travel Card
- Adults and Children : The London Underground “Children” fare applies from 5 to 15 years old. From 16 years old they already pay adult rate but children under 5 years old do not pay to use the London Underground.
- “Peak” or “Off-peak” hours : Basically it refers to “rush hour” (Peak) and off-peak hours (Off-peak).- The schedule in which the “Peak” rates are applied is from Monday to Friday from 06:30 to 09:30 and from 16:00 to 19:00. Weekends and holidays are always Off-peak.
London Underground Prices
|Zones > > >||With Single Ticket||With OysterCard|
|Zone 1 and 2||£4.90||£2.40||£2.90||£2.4|
|Zone 1 to 3||£4.90||£2.40||£3.30||£2.80|
|Zone 1 to 4||£5.90||£2.90||£3.90||£2.80|
|Zone 1 to 5||£5.90||£2.90||£4.70||£3.10|
|Zone 1 to 6||£6.00||£3.00||£5.10||£3.10|
Pay by Credit Card : If you have a contactless credit or debit card, you can use it as if it were your own Oyster and you will be charged the same prices as with the Oyster. Of course, you must make sure that your bank does not charge you a commission for each transaction or you will be spending more than you should for each trip.
Tips for using the London Underground
The first recommendation. Find the nearest metro stop to your hotel. The best way to find this out is to simply go to Google Maps. If you have read our articles on where to stay in London, you will have seen that we usually recommend hotels in central areas of the city. Preferably in zones 1 or 2.- You don’t want to spend your entire trip making a 1-hour drive to get to the center every morning.
Always to the right. When you use the corridors or escalators of the London Underground you will find signs that will continually remind you of this. Stand on the right». If you don’t, some Londoner who’s late for work might give you a scowling look. The left side is always like a kind of “fast track“.
accessible stations. If you are traveling with a baby stroller or a wheelchair, check which stations have exits and entrances with a lift. Many stations are not adapted and have very long stairs. Check out our articles: Transport in London with children and Visiting London with a disability.
How to find your way around the London Underground
The first thing is to identify our desired route on the map, for this the first thing we must do is look for the entry station and the exit station. To do this, you can find where the stop you are interested in is using the following map:
Example: Let’s say we want to go from King’s Cross station to Westminster station. The first thing we do is look for these two stops on the map. As you will see, they are not located on the same line, so to get from one to another we will have to transfer at some point and change from one metro line to another. Many times you will see that there are several different possibilities, so simply choose the one that involves fewer changes for example.
Thus, in our example, what we are going to do is take the light blue line (Victoria Line) at King’s Cross and travel King’s Cross > Victoria, changing at Victoria station to the green line (District Line ) or the yellow (Circle Line) to make the journey from Victoria to Westminster:
- At King’s Cross we will follow the signs that indicate where the Victoria Line is, and as you can see on the map, we are interested in going south. So we’ll have to take the Piccadilly Southbound line. The last stop on that journey is Brixton, so we want to go on the Victoria Line to Brixton, and this is what you put on the train.
- Upon arrival in Victoria, we will exit the carriage and follow signs for the District Line or Circle Line. And in this case, we will need to go Westbound, therefore, we will have to go Westbound. In this case, the green line train (District line) will go towards Upminster, but we will get off at the Westminster stop.
Best London Underground Mobile Apps
Although in all the stations you will find paper maps everywhere, the easiest thing is to use our mobile phone. This way you will know if there is a problem with any of the lines, the duration and price of your journey.
Some of the best mobile apps for using public transport in London are:
- London Underground Application – Oyster TFL : The easiest option if you are only interested in the underground map and little else. Works with iOS and Android. – If you are only going to be in London for a few days, I do not recommend it.
- Citymapper (Our favourite): Works on both iOS and Android and combines almost all transport options in London, including UBER. It tells you how long it is until the next metro or if there are any problems or delays on the lines.
- Google Maps : Almost all of us use it daily both in the car and on foot. It works in real time but you can also download a route in case at any time you don’t have 3G or Wi-Fi coverage.