London Underground Tips
Follow our Top Tips for using the London Underground and get from A to Z without the stress. From escalator etiquette, to practical information; read up on how to make travelling the London Tube easy.
Top 10 Tips for using the London Underground
The London Underground is one of the best and most comprehensive transport networks in the world with around 24 million journeys made each day, so it’s important that everything runs smoothly to avoid delays.
Check out these top tips to travel the Tube like a Londoner and learn what to expect when you arrive.
1. Keep right on escalator
London Underground asks that you stand on the right when using the escalators and leave the left free for others to walk down. If you’re travelling in a big group, or with lots of shopping bags, stand and stay right and let others pass you – it will speed up the process and be a more pleasant journey for everyone!
2. Remember the ‘rush hour’
The tube network is very busy during ‘rush hour’ with commuters moving around the city. You can expect the trains and stations to be overcrowded between 07:30 and 09:30 in the morning and between 17:00 and 19:00 in the evening.
3. Have your ticket ready at the barrier
Sometimes there can be a bit of a bottle neck at ticket barriers, especially before 9.30am and around 6pm during the rush hours. Make sure you have your ticket ready at the barrier so you can move in and out of the station smoothly.
4. Don't panic - you can always go back again
If you’ve caught the wrong tube or missed your stop – don’t panic! London Underground trains run every 2-7 minutes depending on the line so just get off at the next stop and locate a printed tube map on the platform to work out your next steps.
5. Move down the platform to find more space
As you enter the station platform you will often find more room if you walk down to the ends of the platform. Here, the train carriages are usually the emptiest as well, perfect if you’re looking for a place to sit.
6. Let people off the train first
It helps everyone using the busy underground to let people off the tube before you board it; allowing more room for you to get on and passengers to alight the train.
7. Check line closures before you travel
If possible, check ahead and plan your journey to make sure there are no delays or closures on the lines you need to travel – especially at the weekends when maintenance work is common. TFL’s website provides live network updates and will alert you to any disruptions and suggest alternative routes in advance.
8. Carry a bottle of water in the warmer months
The London Underground is over 150 years old and although the trains have been modernised, many still lack air conditioning and cooling units. Make sure you take a bottle of water with you, especially in the summer, as the long tube journeys can get very hot at peak times.
9. Keep your personal belongings safe
Like any large city be wary of pickpockets operating in the busy stations and tubes. Carry a bag with zips and keep your personal belongings and valuable items on you and safely stored away to avoid any incidents.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
London Undergrounds are well staffed with helpful Transport for London officers who can guide you to the nearest exit, or help you plan your onward journey. Usually there is one at every main station platform – if not, go up the escalators into the entrance foyer where there will be ticket desks, free maps and information leaflets.
Plan your journey on the London Underground in advance with a free tube map. Click here to download.