Edgeware Road Sign - London Tube


Avoid a panic at Paddington or a nightmare at Notting Hill when you follow Cover-More's guide to using the London Tube. Navigate the Underground like a natural and get the most out of your London holiday.

Use your Oyster

Take advantage of all that London's public transportation system has to offer with an Oyster card. This plastic smartcard holds pay-as-you-go credit and can be purchased at any Tube station or ordered online. Use cards on the Tube or on the bus – your money is good everywhere with an Oyster card. The cost per trip varies depending on which "Zone" you are travelling to. Central London is located in Zones 1 and 2, so pick that pass and simply top up as you go.

Download the map (app)

Trust us, you'll want zooming capabilities for this extensive system. Download the official tube map from the London Underground and keep this folded up in your passport or in your pocket so you're sure to never get lost. Or, for the high-tech travellers in our midst, download the Tube Map app from the London Underground. It is available in the Apple App Store, in Google Play, or in the Windows Phone Store.

Play it safe

If you're out on the town, remember that the Tube closes around midnight and doesn't usually open until the morning rush. Make sure to schedule time and keep a backup mode of transportation in mind.

Be on time

The Tube is an old system (the rail work dates back 150 years), so don't get your hopes up when it comes to punctuality. If you really need to get somewhere on time, don't leave it to chance on the Tube. Plan to get to the station far earlier than you think, or plan an alternate mode of transportation. The good news? The Tube is often the favourite scapegoat for many Londoners — whenever you're late, just blame it on the Tube and avoid the explanation.

Mind the gap

If you're travelling on the London Underground, get used to this friendly phrase. "Mind the gap" is the British way of telling you not to trip when entering the vehicle. Unless you want deadly consequences, steer clear of falling into the gap.

Show your manners

Proper manners are expected on the Tube. Follow the rules of civilized society: relinquish your seat for the pregnant and elderly; talk quietly; don't board the train until others have exited; move down the carriage to make way for new people; when riding the escalators, stand to the right or walk to the left.

Avoid the weekends

Regular track work takes place on Saturdays and Sundays in London. If you must travel via Tube on the weekends, expect massive delays.

Now that you can navigate the London Underground like a pro, you're all set for your British holiday. But don't let your trip get derailed before it even begins. Purchase cancellation cover from Cover-More Travel Insurance to get where you're going with ease.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Anne Thorniley; cropped from original