One look at a Underground or London Tube map might send you running for the hills after arriving in London, but never fear, it’s really quite simple once you know the basics. Firstly, the tube network is separated into 6 zones, with zone 1 being central London, and zone 6 being the outer suburbs. For example, Piccadilly Circus is found within zone 1 whereas Heathrow airport is in zone 6.
There are 270 tube stations accross 11 lines in the London tube network, and it also stretches into parts of Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire which are English counties bordering London. The map below shows zones 1 and 2 of the network, but for more detailed maps you can check out the Transport for London website, or pick up a map at your nearest tube station.
Getting around on the London tube is a breeze and it really is one of the city’s greatest achievements when you think that the first underground line was opened in 1863, making it the worlds oldest underground public transport system. It now serves over 1 billion people annually and thanks to ongoing upgrades it’s becoming faster, easier and less crowded to use the tube. The system is open from around 5am to 1am weekdays, and 6am to 12:30am on weekends. It can be annoying sometimes finding that the tube is closed during the weekend on a certain line, but this is to ensure the required maintenance is conducted.
As with other public transport in London such as buses and trains, the tube is mostly used by people with Oyster cards which are topped up with weekly, monthly or yearly London travel cards, or on a pay as you go basis. For more information on fares please check out my London Travel Costs page.