It’s hard to go to London without spending at least a little time on the Underground. The Tube is one of the most popular solutions for travel in the city. It’s cheap, easy to use, and it’s fast too. You can shoot across the city with some incredible speed on the underground.
All you need to do is learn how to use the Underground service effectively. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a local Londoner to get the hang of the tube.
We’ve put together some quick and simple tips on how you can make tube travel as simple as possible, even if it’s your first time!
1. Have an Oyster Card
Although you can purchase tickets individually wherever you go in London, it’s so much easier to have an Oyster card. Most of the locals have one, and you can save a fortune by getting one set up in advance. Basically, the Oyster card is a smart card that you can add money to for travelling around on the underground. You can add as much or as little as you like.
Although it costs to buy an oyster card originally, it’s generally much cheaper to use this method than it is to buy single tickets to your destination. Plus, you get through the barriers much faster when you’ve got your Oyster card handy.
2. Not All Cards will Work at the Ticket Machine
If you have a card with a smart chip, then you should be safe to go through the ticket machines and get around the underground with that. On the other hand, if you’re using a more old-fashioned credit card, then you won’t be able to do much. Make sure you flag down an assistant if you’re not sure why your card won’t work. They can help you get a smart card sorted out if you need one.
It’s also helpful to keep an eye out for an attendant any time you visit the underground as a first-timer, as they can quickly give you advice on things like what lines you need, and when certain lines are likely to close for the evening.
3. Check the Maps
The good thing about the underground is that even if you can’t find a professional to help you, you’ll always be able to find a map. There are tons of maps located around the stations where you can check which line you need to be on. These maps are quite easy to read because everything is colour-coded. You just find the location you want to visit and connect it to the colour line you’re on.
You’ll also see maps on the tube when you’re riding, so you can see when your station is coming up. Listen out for the name called for each station and be ready to jump off the train as quickly as possible when you arrive wherever you need to be.
4. Stay Calm
Finally, if you do end up getting lost on the underground for any reason, or you have a problem with your ticket not letting you through the barrier, just relax. You’ll be able to find a professional who can help you with these issues most of the time, and the solution is often a lot simpler than you’d think
For instance, if you do arrive in the wrong location, you can simply hop back on the subway in the other direction and start again. Or you can find out how to get to your destination from your new stop. The subway is pretty well connected, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting back on track.