So now you have your Card, ready to get on board? Yes. Ok, how do I navigate the London Underground?! No worries, it’s a lot easier than you might think.
First of all, forget the word “underground”, you are a Londoner now, so call it “the tube”!
Also keep on reading and find out how to fit in with the locals without having Londoners push you off the stairs!
My best tips on “the tube” !
- Get a tube map. Either on you mobile or a paper one. You can find them everywhere, there a public one in any station, but you’d better have your own to plan your journey in advance.
- Please note that not all Tube Station Entrance look the same. The thing you must look for is the famous circle sign !
- There are 11 lines in the London underground system, and a part from the yellow line which is actually “circular” (in fact its name is “the Circle Line) all the other go from east to west and from north to south London.
This is what makes it very easy to use the tube in London!
Pin point yourself on the map, enter the nearest station and check if your final destination is north, south, east or west compared to your present location.
For example: final destination is North? Ok then, wait for your train on the Northbound Platform. Any trains stopping on that platform will go North.
Final destination in not on the same line that stops at the station you currently are? No problem, check connections on the map. Maybe the line you need is at a station 3 stop away from you. Board the first tube train which goes towards that direction, get off the train when you reach the station , now go to the assigned platform for that train line, and wait for your train.
In any station, all the lines are clearly shown, each has a different colour and there are several signs showing all the stops for each bound.
Stand on the RIGHT.
As I mentioned before, there is one important thing you must do to avoid being pushed off the escalator! Well not really, nobody will ever do that, but someone might not like it that much if you…stand on the left side on the escalator! Yes, it’s a very London-thing, stand on the right side if you are not in a rush, leave the left side of the escalator to those who are running late and need to actually go up and down rather quickly! Do not annoy a Londoner who is running late, please stand on the right !
Be polite, you are in the UK! Let people out before you try to get into the train! Yes, again this can be quite annoying really. Stand slighty on the side when doors open and wait for passengers to actually get off the carriage. If you don’t get to catch that train, you still have the chance to get the next one, but if you won’t let people get off the train, it could be a major problem for them to get off at the next station!
Let’s go on with some useful and interesting tips!
Do not approach the barrier gates without your card ready. Gate barriers are usually crowded and if you get there and start searching for your card, everybody will get very annoyed because they will not be able to go through. Please remember that you are in London to relax and have fun, but the majority use the Tube to go to work and can not be late!
Remember what I was trying to explain to you before regarding bounds? Yes, ok then: check the map on the wall before going on to a platform, this is to avoid waiting for the train on the wrong platform.
Check the sign on the platform!
They will let you know in how many minutes the train arrives and its final destination, some train do not go through to the end of the line, so please make sure the tube station you are travelling to is within the stops that the approaching train will call at.
Do you have any tips on how to navigate the London Underground? Ehm sorry, The Tube!
Please share your tips in the comment section below.