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Getting Around in London

When you first arrive in London, pick up a free tourist map at any transport ticket offices, tourist/cir/information centers and hotels. If you would like to have a comprehensive map showing all streets of the London area, buy an A-Z London Street Atlas, available from most news agents and bookshops.

Check out our airport transfer guide for transport from airports to central london. Many hotels have shuttles that take you to their hotels in central London. There are also bus services to major hotels and drop-off locations.

The quickest way of getting around in London is by London Underground (i.e., subway, also called the "Tube" in the UK). London has one of the most comprehensive underground systems in the world (and also the oldest in the world, built 120 years ago). The tube runs from 5:30am to midnight Mon-Sat, and from 7:00am to 11:30pm Sun. During the rush hours (8-9:30am, 5-6:30pm, Mon-Sat), the tube can be very crowded.

There are 11 tube lines, each has its own name and color on the tube map. On most platforms, there are information displays showing the destination and due time of the next train. Some of the tube line (e.g., northern line) has two branches, and the displays also show which branch the train is going to (e.g., Morden Via Bank means the train goes to Morden via the Bank station).

London also has an extensive bus network (over 17,000 bus stops all over London). However, it is often difficult to know when you should get off if you do not know the area well. After midnight, night buses are the only public transport in London. All night buses have the prefix N and most of them start from Trafalgar Square.