The Underground: Getting around London

The fastest and cheapest way to get around London is by Underground. Londoners refer to the Underground as "the Tube," and they love to complain about it. While it's true that track work, delays and slow trains are chronic issues, most visitors fall in love with the energy of the Tube and the sheer volume of people it transfers from place to place.

Additionally, platforms have handy electronic signs indicating the arrival time of the next train. There are the oh-so-delightfully cushioned seats. And lastly, who can fail to be moved by that booming voice famously urging you to "mind the gap?"

Crowded London Tube

The way Londoners pack into the Tube, it's almost too popular! Photo: oxfordian.world.

Service schedule

Trains operate Monday through Saturday from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and on Sunday from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. Trains run every 3-10 minutes.

Note station closing times! Running to catch the last train is something of a tradition, especially on weekends. The alternative is to board a night-bus filled with drunks or take an expensive and hard-to-find taxi.

Fares

Tickets or Oyster Cards must be bought in advance from the booth or machines around the station. Hold on to your ticket, as you can be charged up to £80 penalty for failure to produce a valid ticket (or failure to touch your Oyster card).

A one-way trip costs £4.50 for an adult and £2.20 for a child (under 15). Children ten and under travel free when accompanied by an adult.

The Tube is divided into zones that radiate out from central London, with fares increasing the further you travel. Most tourists will only very rarely need to venture beyond the borders of Zone Two.

Important: Remember that these fares are much cheaper if you use an Oyster Card!

Additional information

For more on the Tube, check out the official Transport for London website or browse through the following articles on getting around London.

Related articles:

The Oyster card
London city buses
London taxis
Walking and biking in London

From our London blog

Welcome to EuroCheapo, a guide to cheap hotels and budget travel in London and throughout Europe.

Our editors have inspected, photographed and reviewed inexpensive accommodation in London’s central neighborhoods in search of the very best values. Although the city isn’t the easiest for travelers on a budget, London does offer some small and inexpensive hotel options, along with lovely family-run B&Bs and some hostels that could also be a good fit.

Ready to find a hotel for your travel dates? Search in the box above to see what’s available.

Or browse through a list of our recommended hotels. All of these are located in central London, and are clean and affordable.

Keep your travel costs down

Hotels are just the beginning, of course. Click through to see a list of articles covering budget tips, including ways to save on the Tube, sightseeing, and restaurants.

And be sure to check out our London blog, which is regularly updated by Nina and Frances, our London correspondents, with ways to save and cheap and free things to do.

Thanks for visiting EuroCheapo. Together we can afford to go anywhere!

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