Traveling by public bus in London is one of the transport options available to move around the city.
In general, it is true that depending on the time and day it can take longer than by metro, but the good thing is that you are seeing London and it is cheaper than traveling by metro if you use a transport card.
What will you find in this article?
- London Public Bus: How to Orient Yourself
- How much does the London public bus cost?
- Are there night buses in London?
London Public Bus: How to Orient Yourself
You will see that there are so many public bus routes in London that getting your bearings can be a bit difficult at first, as there are some streets where you will see several bus stops in a row, and not all routes stop at all the stops on the same one. street. Each bus stop is usually identified by two letters that you can see in a red circle just above the stop or on the sign showing the routes of the buses that stop at that stop. At each bus stop there is a map showing the routes of the buses that pass through that street, with all the stops identified with their two letters on the map, thus being able to easily identify which bus stop you should choose. I know this sounds very confusing, but you’ll see how it makes sense as soon as you get used to it!
The map below is a map of the most useful bus routes used by tourists to get around central London.
How much does the London public bus cost?
One detail that we must take into account is that it is not possible to pay for the ticket on the bus itself, it is necessary to have the ticket before boarding. At some bus stops (especially in central London) there is a machine to buy tickets if you need a single ticket, but it is also possible to use transport cards.
The price is always the same and is independent of the route you take, I mean that unlike the metro it doesn’t matter where you get on and where you get off, or the number of zones you travel.
The price depends on the payment method:
- The single ticket costs £ 2.60 (year 2016).
- When using an oyster card (or contactless card) a single journey on the public bus costs £1.50.
- There is a daily pass called the Bus and Tram Day Pass with which you can ride an unlimited number of times on the bus and tram during one day. I really do not recommend this option, since when using the oyster card there is a daily cap of £4.50, that is, from 3 bus trips in a day if you ride the bus more times the trips are free, and the One day Bus and Tram pass costs £5.00 so it is more expensive.
- There are also weekly (£21.20), monthly (£81.50) and yearly (£848) passes that can be added to an oyster card.
- If you are traveling with children, do not forget that children under 11 travel for free on public transport in London as long as they are accompanied by an adult. More information: Transportation for children.
More information on the official London transport website: TFL
Are there night buses in London?
Yes, night buses have an N in front of the bus number, for example N13.
More information on transport in London: Transport in London.