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Transport in and out of London


There are many ways to get around in London. For those new to the city, we have offered some tips on various forms of transportation below. Please note that LSE cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites.

For helpful directions on how to travel to halls of residence, please visit the Accommodation website. 


In London

Underground, Bus, Train, Taxi, Cycling, On Foot, Driving

The Transport for London (TfL) website is an essential tool in planning tube, bus, DLR, river, walking, and taxi journeys, or for learning more about transport accessibility.  Use the online Journeyplanner to find the best routes, check for delays or find a taxi.  Students are often eligible for discounts on travel.  See Student travel cards to learn more.  

  • Underground:  'The Tube' is the term that locals use for the London Underground.  TfL has divided London into six zones and fares vary based on which zones you cross.  You may want to avoid using the tube during crowded peak times between 7:30am and 9:30am and again between 4:30pm and 6:30pm. The tube does not run 24 hours a day, so be sure to know the timetable for the first and last tube on your route.  If you miss the last one, you may need to take a night bus home or take a taxi instead.

Underground tickets may be purchased from ticket machines or ticket counters at Underground stations, and sometimes from local shops or newsagents. There are a number of different kinds of tickets available for purchase based on what you need. However, Oyster cards are the cheapest way to travel via tube and students may be entitled to a discounted card. To use an Oyster Card, touch the card on the yellow reader on the top of the barrier in the tube station at the start and end of your journey to receive the best fare. If you instead choose to purchase a paper ticket, slide it into the machine at the front with the black strip down. It will read the ticket and pop it back out for you at the top of the machine. Take the ticket with you. DO NOT LOSE IT. You will need to do this again when you have reached your destination. 

The London Underground is one of the oldest systems in the world which means that it can get very hot in the summer and does experience delays from time to time. It is always worth checking that trains are running on time before leaving for the station or by checking the signs as you enter the station. Even when you are on the correct underground line, keep in mind that in some cases, especially when travelling outside of Zone 1, the line may branch out into two or more directions. Additionally, some trains will not travel all the way to the end of the line. This means that you should always be sure that you are boarding on the correct train by checking the electronic boards on the platform, or the destination listed on the front of the train. 

Visit Travelling to LSE for further information on the closest tube stations to campus.

  • Bus Buses are cheaper than travelling by tube, but often can take longer. Traffic can be heavy in London, particularly between 7:30-9:30am, 12-2pm and 4:30-6:30pm on weekdays. If the bus is full, you will not be allowed to get on and will need to wait for the next bus, so be sure to always allow plenty of time. While some buses are available 24 hour a day, your bus route may not offer a night run. You can recognise a night bus by the "N" in its prefix. Visit the list of night bus routes or the Journeyplanner to find the best way home after hours. 

Tickets for buses can be bought from the ticket machines located at some bus stops and underground stations, underground ticket counters, and sometimes from local shops or newsagents. (You can only purchase a single fare trip from a driver.) Tickets may be purchased as a single fare, Oyster pay as you go, one-day, 7 day, 1 month or 1 year bus pass.  Oyster cards are the cheapest option, and students may be eligible for a discounted card. If you use an Oyster card, touch it on the yellow reader at the start and end of your journey to receive the best fare. If you instead choose to purchase a paper ticket, show the ticket to the driver when you board the bus.

Visit Travelling to LSE for a list of buses that stop close to campus.

  • Train London offers various over ground rail lines, including the London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).  Travelling on these lines is very similar to the London Underground.  You may use the Journeyplanner to plan your route and you can purchase a paper ticket or an Oyster card to get around.  Unlike the Underground, these trains run on timetables
  • Taxi London black cabs are a reliable (though more expensive) way to travel 24 hours a day in London. Taxis that are not black cabs are called mini-cabs and may be less expensive. It is extremely important for your safety that you never accept a ride on the street from a mini-cab. They are unlicensed and illegal and you may be in danger. Mini-cabs should only be booked in advance through a licensed cab company. Details on how to find a licensed mini-cab can be found by visiting TfL's Cabwise

To take (also called 'hail') a black cab, look for cabs that have the light on top that says TAXI turned on. Stick out your arm as it approaches. Tell the driver through the front window where you are going and to ask any questions about the fare and then get in the back. The driver will turn on a meter to measure the cost of the journey. Pay the driver at the end of the ride. Although it is purely at your discretion, some riders choose to tip the driver up to 10% when exiting the cab. 

  • Cycling TfL offers useful cycling information regarding safety and routes.  London offers a cycle hire scheme which allows for public bicycle sharing for short journeys in and around London.  Go to Transport and facilities for cyclists for more information regarding cycle hire stations on campus.    

    Please note that bicycle theft is very common in London, and so it is also recommend that you visit Travelling to LSE and LSE Security to learn about the best way to lock your bicycle, as well as the location of the racks on campus.
  • Driving:  Due to the expense and difficulty of parking in London, most students prefer to use public transportation. Please note that you must pay a congestion charge if you drive in central London.  You must have a license to drive and abide by laws. See Driving in the UK for further details on laws and licenses, Travelling to LSE for information on parking on campus, and UKCISA's guide for international students driving in the UK.


Out of London

For good deals on travel from the UK to other countries, you may consider STA Travel.  They specialise in student and young independent travel and have 40 branches in UK high streets and universities, and 250 branches worldwide.  We have also included some information below if you prefer to do your own travel planning.

  • Planes There are a number of airports to choose from in the UK including London City, Stansted, Luton, Heathrow, and Gatwick airports.  You may prefer to contact major carriers or travel websites directly for advice on budget fares.
  • Coaches Taking a coach can be a cheaper option for travelling in the UK and throughout Europe. Coaches depart from the Victoria Coach Station which is about a 5 minute walk from Victoria Underground station. See National Express for further information on booking tickets and Student travel cards for details about student travel discounts.