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London Underground Tips

  • Things To Do In London -16-Apr-2019

1 - Be aware of London rush hour times

The busiest times on the tube happen during rush hour, which typically falls between Mon-Fri 7:30am to 9:30am and 5:00pm and 7:00pm in the evening. During these times the tubes and platforms will be particularly crowded and difficult to navigate if you aren’t sure where you’re going.

Therefore, it’s best to avoid the tubes during this time of the day unless absolutely necessary. Often, your tube journeys can be walked or cycled to and are a lot shorter than you think. You especially want to avoid getting on the tubes during rush hour on warmer days unless it’s a very long journey.

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A post shared by Eleanor Cooper (@eleanorannecooper) on Nov 27, 2018 at 9:53am PST

2 - Plan your route before you travel

Making sure you know where you’re going before you travel will help you immensely. Not only will it save you time fighting to read the map in the station, you’ll be able to effortlessly go from tube to tube without hesitation.

Planning ahead also helps bring awareness of any line closures or severe delays. This allows you to organise and plan alternate arrangements. Remember to keep a tube map with you or download an app to your phone for any last-minute cancellations/line closures.

You can download a TFL London Underground app here.

3 - Stand on the right of the escalator

Standing on the left-hand side of the escalator is a dead giveaway you’re not a London local. This is probably the number one pet peeve of Londoners, so make sure you remember your escalator etiquette!

By standing on the right-hand side of the escalator, you allow others who are in a hurry to walk down or up, making the process much more pleasant for everyone.

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A post shared by Jeff Archibald (@jeffarch12) on Sep 21, 2016 at 2:21pm PDT

4 - Take one step back … two steps forward

If you find yourself on a busier-than-expected tube platform, it can seem almost impossible to get yourself physically on the train. Not only is this stressful, it’s also incredibly uncomfortable and can waste precious time during your day.

If this situation arises, one tip is to take the tube one stop in the opposite direction and switch sides at the previous station. You may think it will increase you’re journey time, but you may be surprised… 

5 - Don’t bother climbing the stairs in…

…Russell Square or Covent Garden Underground stations. It won’t be quicker and you will be very out of breath. Once you start, the regret will set in – don’t say we didn’t warn you…

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A post shared by Nick (@sampson_yfpt) on Nov 24, 2017 at 8:51am PST

6 - Need to cross Central London? Pick the Victoria Line

If you need to get to go north or south across Central London, don’t pick the Northern Line. Though it may look quicker, the Victoria Line covers the same distance, but much faster. If you need to then go further north or south, you can then switch back to the Northern line at the end. Time saved!

7 - Know what signs to ignore

If you’re planning on heading to King’s Cross via the Victoria Line to get to a National Rail connection, don’t follow the ‘Trains’ sign – no matter how logical it may seem. In this instance it’s much quicker to follow the ‘Way out’ exit towards Euston Road. It’ll save you a lot of time navigating endless tunnels – you’re welcome.

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A post shared by Al (@alliapplesauce) on Apr 24, 2017 at 7:36am PDT

8 - Use contactless

You don’t need an Oyster card to tap in through the barriers. To save time queuing at the ticket machines, you can use your contactless card to pay as you travel. As an example, if you used your contactless card over 7 days, this would amount to the same as a weekly London travelcard. Easy.

9 - Know when the tubes close

On Fridays and Saturdays, 5 tube lines offer 24-hour service; these are the Central line, Victoria Line, Jubilee Line, Northern Line and Piccadilly Line. However, for all other days of the week, make sure you know when the tubes you’re planning to use close each day. This will save you being stuck late at night without a way to get back to your destination.

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A post shared by Londra Life (@londralife) on Apr 14, 2019 at 1:35pm PDT

10 - Download the Tube Exits App

If you really want to save time, this handy app will help show you the quickest ways to exit the tube, including which carriages to stand in for optimal exit point vantage.

Visiting London Soon?

If you’re planning a trip to London in the near future, why not book a stay in one of our boutique hotels? Located across central London, you’re sure to find a location suited to your needs. Book your stay today.

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