How to navigate London

by Paige Morgan, Recruitment Manager, MFA, MiM and Global MiM

Moving to a new city and for some a new country, can bring lots of questions when it comes to cost of living and settling in. These are questions we get asked regularly, and questions I wish I knew the answers to back when I moved to London.

There are many different options when it comes to travelling around London: bus, underground, overground, Santander bikes. With all modes of transport in London you are able to use your contactless bank card, oyster card or buy weekly, monthly or annual passes.

Bus: the maximum price a single journey can cost is £1.50, capped at a maximum price of £4.50 – no matter how many journeys you make over one day, and the maximum you will pay for bus journeys in one week is £21.20. A “hopper fare” allows you to make unlimited bus journeys within one hour for £1.50.

Santander bikes: these are similar to cycle hire schemes in other cities. Docking stations are located across London, allowing you to pick up a bike and drop off a bike at any docking station. To access the bikes for 24 hours, it costs £2 and you can make as many journeys as you like within 24 hours. There is a docking station outside LBS!

Underground: there are 9 zones that make up the tube map and each zone entails a different daily, weekly and monthly charge; again paying different fees for peak and off-peak travel (off-peak being cheaper).

LBS is located in Zone 1 – the nearest stations being Baker Street or Marylebone. Realistically, we wouldn’t suggest living any further out than zone 2 – therefore we will just take a look at zone 1 and 2 prices. The maximum price you would pay for a day of journeys within zone 1 is £8.40, with a monthly travel card costing £120.60. The cost of journeys within, to and from zone 2 also cost this same price. You may presume it would be cheaper to buy a monthly travel card although this is not always the case. If you are travelling every day in peak times – as well as weekends – it would probably be best to purchase a monthly pass, although if you are travelling less than this it may be cheaper to do pay as you go journeys daily. The best thing to do would be to complete your first week or two using pay as you go contactless journeys and then work out for the month how much you will be spending on tube travel and whether a monthly travel card would be better value or not. You can also estimate your travel costs on the Transport for London website.

When travelling late at night on the weekends, on Fridays and Saturdays, tubes run throughout the night on the Victoria, Jubilee and most of the Central, Northern and Piccadilly Lines. Unfortunately, on week nights, the night tube is not available so other options such as Uber and buses would be your best way to get home.

Once you get to grips with the tube it is not as confusing as the map looks!


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