About London

Some information to help you explore and enjoy your visit to London, one of the worlds' great cities.


A few links to get you started:

London Tourist Information: www.visitlondon.com

Some of the top museums and galleries to visit:
The British Museum: www.britishmuseum.org

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A): www.vam.ac.uk

Science Museum: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

Tate Modern: www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern

Tate Britain: www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain

To find out more about the top 50 Museums and galleries in London go here

The planetware website suggests their TOP 17 London attractions here

Time Out (free London weekly event & listings magazine) present their choice of the TOP 50 attractions at www.timeout.com


London has an extensive public transport system. Transport for London (TfL) is an umbrella organisation for: Bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, River Bus services and most National Rail services.

Transport for London homepage: www.tfl.gov.uk

Maps: www.tfl.gov.uk/maps

Classic Tube map (PDF): Standard Tube Map

TfL online Journey Planner: Plan a Journey



Paper tickets can be bought at ticket machines in the stations. Cash single fares bought at ticket machines are more expensive.

A cheaper option is to use pay as you go fares with your contactless (credit or debit) card or Oyster card (see below), where you could also benefit from daily and weekly (Monday to Sunday) capping, i.e. once a certain amount is spent, subsequent journeys will not be charged.


Pay as you go

You can pay as you go on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, River Bus and most National Rail services within London.

In Zones 1-9, pay as you go fares are cheaper than buying paper single tickets. And if you make a lot of journeys in one day the total cost of your daily travel will be capped, so you’ll pay less than the equivalent Day Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass.


How to use ‘pay as you go’

Touch your contactless (debit or credit) card or Oyster card on a yellow card reader to start a journey. A fare will be deducted

At the end of your journey, touch out with the same card on a yellow card reader – doing this means you’ll be charged the correct fare


On bus and tram services

Just touch your contactless or Oyster card on a yellow card reader at the start of your journey. You don’t need to touch out when you get off. If you make another bus or tram journey within an hour of touching in on a bus or tram, your second journey will be free.


Peak and off-peak

TfL charges higher fares at the busiest times of the day.

Fare sample: A single journey from Central London (Zone 1) to Goldsmiths, e.g. New Cross Gate Station (Zone 2) will cost:

Contactless or Oyster card:

Peak: £2.90 Monday to Friday from 06h30 to 09h30 and from 16h00 to 19h00.

Off Peak: £2.40 at all other times including public holidays.

Cash (Ticket Machine):

£4.90 at any time.

Information about transport fares at the TfL website: Fares and Payments/fares

To calculate exact cost for single fares use the Single Fare Finder at the TfL website.

More information about Tube and Rail fares


What is Oyster?

Oyster is a plastic smartcard which can hold pay as you go credit, 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.

You can top up with pay as you go credit or renew your Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass on the same Oyster card when you need to.

Unused pay as you go credit stays on your Oyster card until you want to use it.

If you keep both pay as you go credit and a Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass on your Oyster card at the same time, it works out which one to use to make sure you never pay more than you need.

When you get a new Oyster card, you’ll need to pay a £5 deposit. If you decide you don’t need it anymore, return your Oyster card to TfL, who will refund your deposit. Refunds can be obtained at TfL ticket machines or ticket offices in any underground station. (At Heathrow Airport: ticket machines in Terminal 1,2,3 or TfL ticket office in Terminal 5).

If you don’t need your Oyster card anymore, you can get also a refund of any remaining pay as you go credit.

For more information see the TfL website: What is Oyster

For multi-language information at the TfL website please choose your language in the bottom left corner of any page.



Legal tender in the UK is British Pound Sterling with the currency symbol £

The minor unit (1/100) is one penny (plural: pence)

Current exchange rates can be found here: www.xe.com



00 is the international prefix used to dial somewhere outside of the UK.
44 is the international code used to dial to the United Kingdom.
20 is the local area or city code used to dial to London.



Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

12h00 noon London = 21h00 Tokyo (GMT +9h)
More about Timezones: www.timeanddate.com

British Summer Time (BST) i.e. Daylight Saving Time starts 25 March and ends 28 October 2018

12h00 noon London = 20h00 Tokyo (BST +8h)
More about Daylight Saving Time: www.timeanddate.com


Electricity (240V AC at 50 Hz)

Plug format: The UK uses a 13 amp plug with three rectangular prongs. (type G, see worldstandards website)

Most hotels and B&Bs have power outlets of type C in bathrooms which can be used for devices with low power consumption like shavers.
(type C,
see worldstandards website)


Police, fire and ambulance services

Call 112 or 999 for the emergency services in London.

Contact the Police by calling 101 for non-emergencies.



The National Health Service (NHS) is the main healthcare provider in the UK. www.nhs.uk

EU nationals may apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in advance of their visit.

For more information about the EHIC eligibility please see the NHS website.

Overseas nationals are not eligible for free NHS treatment unless they need emergency treatment while in the UK. You are strongly advised to take out travel insurance to cover any medical expenses.

Read more about emergency services and healthcare at www.visitlondon.com

Please also see Information for Overseas Visitors at the NHS London website.