Travelling Like a Local

An Insider’s Guide to Living in London

This London relocation guide is to help new Londoners and expats get settled in the capital. This e-book explores all of the practical issues you may face when moving to a new country and it answers the questions that many others have asked before you. Read on and learn about the London rental market, how to set up all basics and utilities, how to find a school for your child, leisure centres, groceries, taxes – and a lot more. The guide includes actionable insights and direct links to official websites that can help you along the way.

London travel like a local

This issue aims to make travelling and commuting around London less intimidating  for new Londoners! Breathe a sigh of relief as we explain the wonders of the underground, cash-less bus-rides, how to read a Tube Map and where the best places are to ride your ‘Boris Bike’.

Always remember - when enquiring about how to travel in and around London - no question is a silly one.

The guide includes actionable insights and direct links to official websites that can help you along the way.

Being one of the world’s most visited cities, London has built a reputation of not only offering something for everyone; but also for being one of the most practical places to visit. So you’ve arrived, unpacked and need to get out and about - but how?

Getting around London may seem like a daunting task at first glance, whether it is for business or getting some shopping done - The labyrinth of roads and frantic bus routes can be a puzzle - and that’s before you’ve even looked at the Underground train system! Continue to read this guide as we untangle the tube map, explain travel-zones, and advise you on how to navigate streets on a famous “Boris Bike”!

Where do we begin our journey? Well grab your map and hop on board as we show you a snapshot of travelling in London.

5.1 Oyster Card

  • Where to get one

5.2 London Underground “The Tube”

  • Tube Map
  • Night Tube
  • Travel zones

5.3 London Buses

  • Routes

5.4 Taxis “Black Cabs”

  • Minicabs

5.5 Cycle London - Santander Bikes or “Boris Bikes”

5.6 UK Driving Licence

  • Insurance
  • Renting a Car

5.1 Oyster Card

An Oyster Card is a plastic smartcard on which you can store fare money, Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes. You can use an Oyster card to travel on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, River Bus services and most National Rail services in London. It is incredibly popular with commuters and travellers due to its convenience of being a “contactless” way of paying for your journey, as well as being cheaper too.

London Oyster Card

An Oyster card is incredibly handy if you are purchasing a yearly, monthly or weekly  travel card. Your travel card will allow unlimited travel within the period of time you have purchased it for, perhaps more cost-effective for you if you now you will be using public transport a lot during your stay in London.

Alternatively, you are able to use your contactless payment card (typically Visa, MasterCard or American Express cards that are used for everyday expenditure), however due to ever changing currency exchange charges, your fares will be converted from Pounds Sterling to your local currency and may prove to be more expensive in the long-run. If you possess a UK contactless bank card, you can use it to in the same manner as an Oyster Card and the charge is exactly the same - so tap away!

Where to get one

You can pick up an Oyster card from Visitor Centres (offering advice on tickets and a range of services), and hundreds of designated Ticket Stops in the form on newsagents and shops that are located all over London. Most main station hubs will have an Oyster machine from which you can purchase an Oyster card too. Find which one is nearest to you by clicking here.