Taxi Leader

London transports

Discover the best ways to get around London and enjoy a fantastic holiday

London's transportation system is as diverse and dynamic as the city itself, offering a multitude of options for travelers to explore its magical streets and historic landmarks. From the iconic red double-decker buses to the labyrinthine tunnels of the Underground, London's public transportation network is both extensive and efficient, serving as the lifeline of the city.

At the heart of London's transportation network lies the Underground, affectionately known as the Tube, which provides rapid and reliable access to every corner of the city. Other available options are, for example, buses, trains, trams, and riverboats, providing even more options for travelers to get around. Whether you're venturing to the suburbs for a day trip or cruising down the Thames to take in the city skyline, London's diverse transportation options ensure that no destination is out of reach. With practical advice and insider tips, navigating London's bustling streets and historic landmarks has never been easier.

But navigating London isn't just about choosing the right mode of transportation, it's also about understanding the intricacies of the city's transport system, from peak travel times to fare structures and ticketing options. In the following sections, we'll delve into these details, offering practical advice and insider tips to help you make the most of your journey through London's vibrant streets and historic landmarks. So sit back, relax, and let us be your guide as we embark on a journey through the heart of one of the world's most dynamic cities.

When moving around the city, it is important to remember that London is divided into zones for fare purposes, with Zone 1 covering the central area and subsequent zones radiating outwards. The Tube network predominantly serves Zones 1 and 2, which encompass the heart of the city and its immediate surroundings. However, many lines extend into outer zones, providing connectivity to suburban areas and neighboring towns.

Day-time and night-time city transport systems

London Underground

The London Underground, colloquially known as the Tube, is the iconic subway system that crisscrosses the city, providing rapid transit to various destinations via its extensive network of tunnels and stations. It is the oldest and one of the most extensive subway systems in the world. It forms the backbone of London's public transportation network, providing essential connections throughout the city and beyond. With its iconic roundel logo and distinctive map, the Tube is a symbol of London's identity and a vital part of daily life for millions of residents and visitors. The Underground consists of eleven lines, each designated by a unique color on the Tube map. These lines span across London, intersecting at various points to provide convenient transfer opportunities.

London Buses

London buses, distinguished by their iconic red livery, form an essential component of the city's public transport network, boasting over 700 routes and approximately 8,600 buses. Divided into day and night services, the extensive bus network caters to millions of passengers daily, offering vital connections across various neighborhoods and attractions, with night buses providing essential transportation during the Underground's closure hours, catering to late-night commuters and revelers.

While London buses generally exhibit efficiency and punctuality, occasional delays may occur, especially during peak travel times or due to unforeseen circumstances such as roadworks or adverse weather conditions. Nonetheless, the bus network's extensive coverage ensures accessibility to virtually any part of London, whether it's central tourist destinations, residential areas, or outer boroughs, making it a reliable mode of transportation for residents and visitors alike. Efforts to modernize the fleet with environmentally friendly vehicles and improved accessibility features contribute to maintaining the buses' iconic status while enhancing the city's transport infrastructure.


London's cycling infrastructure is rapidly expanding, with dedicated cycle lanes and bike-sharing schemes like Santander Cycles, commonly known as "Boris Bikes," offering an eco-friendly and efficient means of navigating the city. These initiatives have driven the surge in cycling's popularity in London, providing safe and convenient routes along main roads, through parks, and across pedestrian areas, thereby reducing traffic congestion and combating air pollution to enhance the city's sustainability.

The Santander Cycles system allows users to rent bicycles across London, with stations conveniently located throughout the city for easy pick-up and return, promoting mobility for residents and visitors alike and encouraging exploration without the need for bike ownership. Furthermore, London offers ample secure bike parking at tube stations, tourist attractions, parks, and residential areas, further encouraging cycling as a viable transportation option while contributing to a healthier urban environment.


Thames Clippers operate riverboat services along the River Thames, providing passengers with a unique and scenic mode of transportation to explore London's iconic landmarks. These vessels serve both commuters and tourists, offering frequent departures and various ticketing options for convenient travel between key locations along the river.

Passengers can enjoy breathtaking views of landmarks such as Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye from the tranquil waters, with guided sightseeing tours also available, providing informative commentary in multiple languages. With connections to attractions further afield, riverboats offer a convenient and immersive way for visitors and locals to explore the diverse neighborhoods and landmarks along the riverbanks, promising an unforgettable journey through the heart of London.

National Rail Services

London's National Rail Services form a vital part of the city's transportation network, connecting it to surrounding areas and beyond. With a comprehensive network of train lines and stations, commuters and travelers have access to convenient transportation options. These services offer reliable and efficient travel, with frequent trains running to various destinations throughout the day. Additionally, many National Rail stations in London serve as interchange hubs, providing seamless connections to other modes of transportation, including the Underground and buses.

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is a unique automated light metro system serving areas in East and South East London. With its futuristic design and elevated tracks, the DLR provides passengers with panoramic views of the city's skyline as they travel. This modern transportation option offers convenient connections to key destinations such as Canary Wharf and London City Airport, contributing to the accessibility and mobility of London's eastern districts. The DLR is known for its punctuality and efficiency, making it a popular choice for commuters and visitors alike.


Trams in London provide another mode of transportation, particularly in South London, offering convenient links to areas such as Croydon and Wimbledon. These light rail vehicles run on dedicated tracks, providing passengers with a smooth and efficient journey through the city. Trams offer a reliable and environmentally friendly option for commuters and travelers, with frequent services operating throughout the day.

Taxis (Black Cabs)

London's iconic black taxis, also known as "Black Cabs," are a familiar sight on the city's streets, offering a convenient and reliable mode of transportation. Operated by licensed drivers who have undergone rigorous training and testing, Black Cabs provide a safe and regulated means of travel. With their distinctive design and signature "For Hire" light, these taxis are readily available for hire throughout the city, providing passengers with door-to-door service and accepting both cash and card payments.

Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs)

Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs), such as those operated by companies like Uber and Lyft, offer an alternative to traditional taxis in London. These vehicles can be booked through smartphone apps, providing passengers with a convenient and flexible transportation option. While PHVs do not have the same regulatory requirements as Black Cabs, they still offer a safe and reliable means of travel, with drivers vetted by their respective companies.

Cable Car (Emirates Air Line)

The Emirates Air Line cable car provides a unique mode of transportation, connecting the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. Offering panoramic views of the city's skyline and the River Thames below, the cable car offers passengers a memorable and scenic journey across the river. While primarily used by tourists, the Emirates Air Line also serves as a practical transportation option for those commuting between the two banks of the Thames.

Public transport schedules in London

Here's a more concise summary of the working schedules for various transportation options in London:

  • Underground: Runs from around 5:00 AM to midnight, with Night Tube services on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Buses: Operate from early morning until around midnight, with night buses filling the gap when the Underground is closed.
  • Cycling: Available at all times, offering flexibility for riders.
  • Riverboats: Typically run from early morning to late evening, with extended services during peak seasons.
  • National Rail Services: Operate throughout the day and night, connecting London to surrounding areas.
  • Docklands Light Railway: Runs from early morning to late at night, serving East and Southeast London.
  • Trams: Operate from early morning to late evening, providing service across designated routes.
  • Taxis (Black Cabs): Available 24/7, offering on-demand transportation.
  • Private Hire Vehicles: Offer 24-hour service, booked through smartphone apps.
  • Cable Car: Operates from early morning to late evening, weather permitting, providing scenic views of the city.

Public transport prices in London

Here's a concise overview of the single journey ticket prices for various transportation options in London:

  1. Underground: Prices vary based on zones and time of day, starting from £2.40 for Zone 1 during peak times.
  2. Buses: A single bus fare is £1.55 with contactless or Oyster cards.
  3. Cycling: Santander Cycles offer single rides for £2, with additional charges for longer journeys.
  4. Riverboats: Prices start at around £4, depending on the route.
  5. National Rail Services: Fares vary by distance and route.
  6. Docklands Light Railway: Costs range from £1.60 to £4.90 for adult fares.
  7. Trams: Single fares are £1.55 with contactless or Oyster cards.
  8. Taxis: Starting fare is £3, with additional charges for distance and time.
  9. Private Hire Vehicles: Prices depend on distance, time, and demand.
  10. Cable Car: Adult fares are £4.50 with Oyster cards, £5 in cash.

Some public transports also offer the possibility to purchase long-duration tickets that can last from 3 days to 1 week. Depending on the option chosen by the tourist, below there are the prices:

  • Underground: For visitors, Transport for London offers the Visitor Oyster Card, which allows unlimited travel within zones 1-2 for £23.80 for 3 days and £42.40 for 7 days. Prices for zones 1-6 are £47.00 for 3 days and £66.80 for 7 days.
  • Buses: Visitor Oyster Cards or contactless payment cards can also be used on buses. The daily fare cap for unlimited bus travel in zones 1-2 is £5.20, while in zones 1-6, it's £10.50.
  • Cycling: Santander Cycles offers a 3-day access period for £10, allowing unlimited rides of up to 30 minutes each. There's no weekly option available.
  • Riverboats: Thames Clippers offers River Roamer tickets for unlimited hop-on-hop-off travel on their services for a single day. Prices start from £18.00 for adults and £9.00 for children in zones 1-2, with higher rates for extended zones and peak times.
  • National Rail Services: Travelcards for zones 1-2 cost £41.20 for 3 days and £50.50 for 7 days. Prices for zones 1-6 are £65.20 for 3 days and £88.80 for 7 days.
  • Docklands Light Railway (DLR): Oyster cards or contactless payment cards are accepted on the DLR. The cost for unlimited travel in zones 1-2 is £23.80 for 3 days and £42.40 for 7 days. Prices for zones 1-6 are £47.00 for 3 days and £66.80 for 7 days.
  • Trams: Tram fares are integrated with the Oyster card system. The daily cap for unlimited travel in zones 1-6 is £10.50.

It is important to remember that London is divided in zones, and the price will increase according to the distance from the center (zones 1 and 2).