How to Navigate London’s Underground (Subway System)

London’s Underground, is easy to navigate once you know how it works. Understanding how it works will help you better discover London’s treasures without the need to ask for help.

Tools Needed:
• (Recommended) An Oyster Card.
• British Pounds (for tickets)
• A Government ID (For the Oyster card)
An Underground Map

Steps to Take (7 Steps):

1. Get an Oyster Card
An Oyster card will help you get in and out of the Underground system without having to buy individual tickets.  Issued after a £5 deposit and showing a Government ID, you can load & reload it with almost any amount of money. A full refund is given when the card is returned.

2. Get an Underground Map
Found at most hotels and every station, having this on you will help you plan your next route without having to access the map on your cell phone or having to wait until the busy station to figure out where you are going.

3. Note the Color of the Line
Each line is a different color making it easy to spot.

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4. Note the Color of the Train’s Handrails & Destination
Many trains share the same tracks so check the front of the train for the final destination as well as the hand rails inside the car.  Green handrails means you have a train on the green circle line.  Maps of the train’s route will be above the windows in all Underground rail cars.

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5. Note the General Direction of the Line
All lines are labeled as East, West, North, or South.  You will have to choose the line and the direction.  Before heading to the platform, check the map on the wall since some lines double back between directions (e.g. Circle Line).

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6. Note the General Direction of the Line
They are marked as large circles on the map; however you can transfer lines when they share a common station (e.g. Gloucester Road [sometimes not depicted as a large circle]).

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7. Ride with Joy
Londoners may seem quiet and reserved but they will be happy to help you if you ever get lost.  Just make sure to start the conversation with “Excuse me” and end it with “Thank you very much!”

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