Getting around London Subway, bus, cab, car?

Visiting London in a way other than on a tour bus can be both more fun and less costly for discovering the capital's main districts. Sit upstairs in a double decker and admire the city! Or take the tube, the world's oldest subway railway...


The Undeground, or tube, inaugurated in 1863, is the oldest metro in the world. Overcrowded at rush hour (8-9 a.m. and 5-6.30 p.m.) and slower than its Parisian counterpart, the tube is in the process of being modernized and remains practical for direct journeys.

Timetable: The metro runs from 5 a.m. to midnight (11 p.m. on Sundays). Each station displays the time of the last departure. Some stations are closed at weekends or during off-peak hours. Call (020) 7222 1234 for details.

Take the Underground: London has 12 subway lines (13 with the Dockland Light Railway), each with its own name. When connecting on the same platform, a sign indicates the destination.

Tickets or packages sold at ticket offices or station ticket machines. - 1.60 per zone. Penalties for fraud: £10 if you travel without a ticket, £1,000 if you smoke.

Visitor Travelcard: Card for unlimited use of commuter trains, subway and buses (including journeys between Heathrowairport and London). This card can only be purchased in France. Brit Rail - Maison de la Grande-Bretagne, 22 avenue Franklin-Roosevelt BP 75008 PARIS.

Travelcard: A travelcard for a day, a weekend, a week or more, valid for bus, subway and intercity train travel, or for the whole family. It can only be purchased on arrival in London at subway and railway stations (please bring a passport photo), except for the day pass and weekend pass, which are sold at the Maison de la Grande-Bretagne in Paris.


More picturesque and less expensive than the Underground, London's double-decker buses are also slower and less punctual.

Taking the bus: Please note that some buses don't run the whole route. Check their final destination on the pediment. To get off, ring the bell before the desired station. Full route map available at metro ticket offices. Tip: avoid rush hour travel Mon-Fri 8-9:30 a.m.

Opening hours: 5.00am-11.30pm

Night buses: After 11:30 pm, certain routes are served by "night buses", recognizable by the letter N on their pediment. They serve London and its suburbs until 6 a.m., stopping at optional stops. Daily travelcards are accepted on these night buses.

Bus stops : Mandatory stops are indicated by a sign with a white background, while optional stops are indicated by a sign with a red background (wave to the driver).

Tickets: Use a travelcard or pay by the unit on the bus (prices depend on the number of zones crossed). On new buses, buy a ticket from the driver; on older buses, a ticket collector comes to check or sell you a ticket.


In London, the traditional black cab is a reliable, fast, comfortable and fairly inexpensive means of transport.

Black cab : Stations in railway stations, but black cabs can also be hailed on the street. Free when the cab's "For Hire" light is on. Tell the driver your destination before getting into the back of the vehicle. Cash payment of the fare indicated on the meter, plus a tip of around 10%.

Mini cab: No station. Service provided by independent drivers available 24 hours a day. Rather cheaper than black cabs, but it's best to set the fare in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises.


Getting around and parking in London is a real headache.

Car rental: Car rental at all airports and aurout from Victoria Station.

Parking: Difficult parking and cheap parking lots. No-parking zones are indicated by 2 yellow lines.

Traffic: Left-hand traffic, right-hand drive and compulsory seatbelt. Speed limits: 30 mph (48 km/h) in town, 60 mph (97 km/h) on single-lane roads and 70 mph (113 km/h) on freeways.

Fuel: Often cheaper than in France

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Practical tips and information in London
Good to know in London: tips & practical information