Transport for London (TfL) is the main public transit and transport operator in London that controls the Underground, London Buses, Tramlinks, Docklands Light Railway and London Overground rail services with Greater London.
Maps of the public transport in London can be found here.
The Routemaster double-decker bus with its classic hop-on hop-off platform is one of the most recognised symbols of the city of London. Recently the iconic bus has been replaced by the New Bus for London (often abbreviated NB4L) and there are only two heritage routes still using the old vehicles. The NB4L is inspired by the London’s bus icon but it’s more modern, fully accessible and uses the latest green technology.
Railway and trains
National Rail manages passenger railway services operated in Great Britain.
Network Rail consists of train operating companies and both are responsible for passenger and freight transport and services.
London’s local trains are rail services that crisscross the city and extend beyond the Subway network. Docklands Light Railway uses smaller and less heavy vehicles than other forms of rail and has been opened to serve Docklands area of London. London Overground is the suburban network of rail services TfL manage in London and it serves a large part of Greater London and parts of Hertfordshire.
Eurostar is the High speed train that links directly the UK to France and Belgium via the Channel Tunnel/Eurotunnel. This fast railway service greatly facilitates the travel between London and Continental Europe (Paris and Brussels and some other destinations depending on the season). St Pancras International in Central London has a constructed terminal area for Eurostar services.
There are two types of licensed vehicles with a driver for hire in London. Hackney Carriages (or the well-know London Black Cabs) are Taxis that can be hailed on the street or at designated taxi ranks or booked by telephone. Most of them are black but nowadays some of them come in a variety of colours. If the front yellow TAXI sign is illuminated, the cab is available for hire. Licensed Private Hire covers a wide range of services including minicabs, limousines and chauffeur driven vehicles. They must be booked in advance.
Taxi fares and other guides can be found here.
Transport from/to the airport to London
London has 5 airports, 2 of them being the most used ones.
* Heathrow Airport/LHR is the British biggest and busiest airport. It’s well linked to the city of London. The major connections to and from Heathrow are as follows:
The Underground (Tube): Principally, the Piccadilly Line is the most preferred one because it’s the cheapest and the most straightforward one to Central London from the airport.
National coach/bus services: National Express coaches are a relatively unpopular choice of transfer (compared to the Overground and Underground) to and from Heathrow.
* Gatwick/LGW is the second busiest British airport. There is no Underground (Tube) connection with London.
Railway links: The best and fastest choice is the Railway links at Gatwick. Gatwick railway station is adjacent to the South Terminal. First Capital Connect (Southern railway) operates the non-Express train passenger services from Gatwick to the city of London. Gatwick Express operates the high-frequency rail passenger service between the airport and London.
National coach/bus services: Road links are a relatively unpopular choice of transfer at Gatwick, too. National Express offer coach transfer directly to London from Gatwick Airport. EasyBus offers London road transfers from Gatwick Airport to the centre of London.
Parking in London is a real hurdle especially in the central parts of the city.
Many of London’s roads operate “Pay & Display” schemes (a ticket is purchased first and it’s displayed on the dashboard or windscreen of the vehicle afterwards). Somewhere in London “phone parking” is operated (drivers pay for parking on their mobile phone).