How to get around London efficiently

I love London! It’s such a diverse and multicultural city where everyone can find something live either: history at the British museum, modern art at Tate Modern, the world’s most famous paintings at the National Gallery, street art in Shoreditch, sky bars at the top of City’s skyscrapers, wildlife spotting in Richmond Park, boat cruises on the canals of Camden, adrenaline rush at Thorpe Park and much more.

It is impossible to see all the main attractions of London in one trip and if you don’t plan very well you may end up spending a lot of time commuting from one place to another, as a study made by LogMeIn GoToMeeting revealed.


How to save time when visiting London

Did you know that an average commute in London lasts 45 minutes on average? You would be surprised on how much time of your holiday you can lose because of transport. Below you can find some advice on how to best maximise your time in London.


Which airport are you flying to?

When booking flights to London, keep in mind that some airports are further than others, and it takes longer to reach the city. For example, if you are on a budget and land on Stansted, remember that the bus into city takes at least 2 hours, if not more (the traffic in that part of London is horrendous). Luton is another far away airport. The best airports to fly into are Heathrow or Gatwick, both very well connected by trains to central London.


Choose to stay at a central hotel

When visiting London, many tourists prefer to choose a hotel outside of zones 1-2-3 because of a cheaper cost per night. London is known to be very expensive regarding accommodation and staying in zones 4-5-6 can seem like a cheaper solution but not if you take in consideration all the extra costs that occur.

Sure, staying at a central hotel will cost more but it will save you a lot of time in traffic and money on transport. However, not all central areas are as expensive as you may think. Every time I visit London I chose to stay in Victoria where the prices are very reasonable. Other affordable areas in central London can be: Whitechapel, King’s Cross, Paddington or Bayswater.


Plan your itinerary based on the proximity of the attractions you want to see

When visiting London it is very important to plan your itinerary very well because the city is huge and the distances between places of interest are very long. If you plan to see the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and enjoy a ride in the London Eye in the same day, you might find yourself losing a lot of time commuting from one place to another.

A more realistic itinerary would be to start your visit at the Tower of London, walking down towards Westminster, visiting in between the Tower Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern, St Paul’s Church, Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery and Westminster Abbey, finishing with experiencing the sunset with a bird’s eye views from the London Eye.


Avoid the rush hour

Did you know that the busiest tube lines are Central, District and Piccadilly lines? If you travel on one of these lines you should be prepared to expect delays, especially at rush hour. London is one of most visited cities in the world and in summer, the number of tourists is so high that you will rarely find yourself in an empty tube.

Avoid at all costs traveling at rush hour, where local commuters are moving around the city as well to go to work. You can expect the train to be overcrowded between 7:30 – 9:30 in the morning and 17:00 – 19:00 in the evening, when locals commute to and from their work places.

You can find out more about how much time you can lose just by commuting in this great infographic designed by LogMeIn GoToMeeting:


Citrix tube delays - Infographic

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Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.


  1. London is still on our list of places to visit since we had to tossed it when we planned our European trip due to not having enough time. These are great tips that I’ll remember when the time comes to visit!

  2. London is a great city to explore but as you said time spent commuting can be time consuming. It is important to map out your route and have a clear itinerary too.

  3. Excellent post. Thanks Joanna. We are planning a trip to London soon and am bookmarking your post for that. 🙂

  4. Great advice to get around London it can be such a nightmare to navigate through and in saying that as Londoner! Readers do take note x

  5. We were in London for a week and absolutely loved it, didn’t really have any issues with commute as we stayed in the city. But it so interesting learn about the stats you have shared, I had no idea.

  6. Great tips here on how to get the most out of your time on a London city break. Picking a central location where you don’t have to spend a lot of time travelling is crucial to properly seeing the sights.

  7. not a Londoner but you made it easy with the feel of being one for me right now, so easy i can think and feel to be one, so cool to know these tips from an expert as you are by the way. thanks theworldinmypocket… truly the world is in your pocket from this post.

  8. I always try to plan days out so the things I want to do are close together and there’s the least amount of tube hopping as possible. It doesn’t always work out like that though x

  9. I lived in central London for one year and I agree that it’s the best place to base yourself. All the tourist attractions were within walking distance and I hardly ever took the tube. Plus, it was much more relaxing to amble along the Thames and get lost in London above ground rather than underground.

  10. Love the infographic — such interesting data! When we were in London last spring, we learned very quickly that the Piccadilly line can get quite busy. We did stay in a centrally located hotel, but on our first day, we originally wanted to do the Tower of London and the London Eye… we quickly revised our plans once we realized how much time we would lose! I really love the Tube, though, and I find it easier to navigate than my own NYC subway system! 🙂

  11. I have been a tourist in London and also worked down there. I found that the easiest and quickest way to get around was the tube. Taxi’s are really expensive and take much longer than the tube. Good advice not to travel in rush hour, I could normally miss it when I was coming down to London for work, though when I stayed at my boyfriends and commuted in, I had never seen anything like it!!

  12. Though London is a huge city, the Tube is such a blessing. It so much efficient than other modes of transport, inspite of its delays. True, rush hour must be avoided, its also costlier than regular fare!

  13. Great advice for getting around London! I didn’t realise how much extra time working from home could give you. I bet everyone wishes they could do that! I have to say I do love the Tube though and it is pretty amazing. Imagine a London without it!

  14. That’s a good tip to stay in Victoria which is central but with reasonably priced hotels. Avoiding the rush hour sounds good too, especially for me not being from a city. Those stats on the underground are scary, I’m going to stay at Victoria and avoid it!

  15. I travel to London a lot and take the tube all the time. As mine is usually for blogging or leisure purposes, I thankfully don’t tend to get caught up in the commuter rush, but I honestly never knew any of these statistics! Makes you really think! x

  16. Whenever I go to London I am always amazed at just how well the public transport works. We’ve always got around pretty easily although some of these tips might make it even easier

  17. I stayed in Paddington the last time I went and loved it. Very easy to get around where I wanted to go. These are great tips the rush hour is so busy X

  18. These are all very good tips. London is such a big city and the Tube is so pricey. I think the best tip is to stay in one neighborhood per day so you’re not running all over the place. Each neighborhood has so many things to do, anyway!

  19. I have been to London but it’s not my place to travel to. I prefer wilder, off the beaten path places 🙂 But one thing, I must say – the public transport is great and so efficient (unfortunately expensive), I’d love other cities had this kind of transport quality! But London is so big, so you are right, during the rush hours, it can be so crowded…

  20. These tips are so helpful! I thought the public transportation in London was manageable but staying in a central location is crucial.

  21. Loads of fab tips here- I travel to London regularly for work and agree with loads of your points, especially on the central hotels. Sometimes you’ll pay less to stay out of the centre but end up paying more in travel! xxx

  22. I have always dreamed of touring London, but the huge number of things to see and do always left me confused how to plan it out. This post of yours gives a good direction to start and prepare and plan. Well presented.

  23. Some fabulous advise there. Super useful. Especially on the commuting. Thanks for sharing. Completely agree with centralised location of the hotel. It is a life saver really!

  24. The statistics based around the tube is interesting. I didn’t know that many people head to central london in the morning. That is ALOT of people. Great tips about accommodation. I was planning a visit to London last December and accommodation was one of the things that stalled my trip because it was so expensive since I was looking so close to major sites

  25. The best part of London is its public transportation and the ease to travel to different places for sure. We travelled and covered a lot of places during our trip with a Oyster Card 🙂 Great tips on accomodation , wish I had read your article before the trip. We shelled out a lot on stay 🙁

  26. I love London too! I’ve been there last year. And we had a hotel that was quite far away from the centre. So next time I’ll definitely make sure to stay ay a central hotel. It jut saves so much time. I’ll write down your suggestions. I’m sure I’ll visit London this or next year again to visit London Film and Comic Con (and way more of course). Next time I will follow your suggested itnerary, starting with the Tower of London. Thanks for the tips. I’ll enjoy the extra time we’ll have.

  27. I love the infographics btw I’m also an graphic designer so I know how much it takes to create such an quality infographic. Awesome post ✌ hope I could go to London someday

  28. I’ve never been to London but it’s on my travel bucket list! My fav TV show Sherlock was shot here and I’d love to visit the famous 221B Baker Street! Love your suggestions on how to best maximise time in London, especially avoiding rush hours! We all need to enjoy our vacation with less stress!

  29. It’s a great guide for some-one who has never been to London. I often guide foreigners to my city. It is always good to have a local’s perspective. I didn’t know average commute in London lasts 45 minutes. Being a frequent traveler, I understand the need to avoid wasting time and see more.

  30. Love your tips for London Travel. Specially avoiding the rush hour on the busiest tube lines – Central, District and Piccadilly lines. Although I didn’t stay in the central part but I did avoid the rush hour. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  31. this is truly such a helpful tips on how to amble around London efficiently. I haven’t been in London, but this place has long been penned on my bucket list and I couldn’t wait to go here. I think planning a good itinerary before traveling is always the best thing to prioritize, especially if visiting London. Thank you so much for providing and sharing your useful tips with us. I truly, appreciate it.

    LaiAriel R. Samangka

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