How to Use London Underground Transportation System
London Undergrounds also known by the name of tube, or an underground is basically one of the fastest facilities of transport available in London. Though it is the oldest mean of transport in London, still its success cannot be ignored. Many Londoners rely on this service and select it for traveling purpose. Using London underground is tricky and confusing for the people who are not aware of the exact routes, but by using some guidance you can easily get yourself familiarized with it. Following steps will help you to use London undergrounds or tubes more efficiently.
Use Journey planner
It is better to know the route before moving ahead. TFL provides with a journey planner which allows you to plan the journey ahead of your travel. It also provides the information about the alternative routes, delays and status of lines. To use journey planner go to, Journey planner website.
Here you can select your departure and arrival stations and desired times of travel. Based on information you provide journey planner will tell you all the possible routes to destination along with the delays and closures.
Buy Correct Tickets
London underground is divided into six seperate travel zones. Prices of the tickets depend on travel zones and the times of travel. So make sure you buy the correct ticket that covers your desired travel zones and times. To check the travel zones go to, this link to check the zones and station.
Check Live Travel Information on each station
London underground provides up-to-date information of delays, times and status of the lines. These travel boards are situated near the ticket machines. Make sure you use these boards to check the travel information on each station.
Check the Platform You are Headed to
All London underground stations have different number of platforms. Knowing the correct platform is vital. In case there are too many platforms on a station, the possibility of getting lost increases. For example there are 6 Platforms for only 2 lines at Euston station, so it is confusing why it has too many platforms. Platform you are heading to depends on the direction of travel e.g southbound, eastbound, westbound and northbound. So you should know the direction of your travel and also the platform number.The directions of travel and platform numbers are mentioned on all stations using different sign. Give yourself some time to memorize and familiarize with all the directions and signs.
London underground also provide tube maps on all stations. you can find big tube maps inclined on walls in every tube station. You can also find a paper copy of map. It is handy to get a paper copy with you.
Tube map has several lines shown and they are colour coded, each colour indicates different tube. for example red colour indicates route of Central Line and it also shows the stations connected to central line. Map helps you a lot to find your route, for example you want to go to Holborn station from Stratford., if you take a look at mao then both of the stations are connected to red line means that central line serves both of the stations. so you can take central line from Stratford station for Holborn station and vice versa.
similarly if your route is not direct. Say you need to go Canary Wharf station from Leyton Station. There is no direct direct service from Leyton to canary wharf as cleared from the map, so you can see that Canary Wharf is served by Jubilee line indicated by Grey colour in Map and it is also connected to Stratford station. Central line is connected to Leyton and Stratford station so you can take Central line from Leyton to Stratford and then you can change at Stratford station. Take Jubilee line from there for Canary Wharf.
Bigger version of Tube maps can be found here.
London transport provides two options for tickets, either you can use single fare tickets or can buy oyster card or travel cards. Single fare tickets are expensive and they are not suggested. First of all you should buy oyster pay as you go card. oyster fares are much cheaper then single fares. If you are student you can also apply for 18+ student oyster which will help you to get 1/3 off on all travel cards. To apply for student oyster, please visit this Website.
For more frequent users of London transport, the best option is to buy weekly, monthly or yearly travel card. Prices of travel cards depend on zones you are going to travel. To check Travel card prices please go to this Website.