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Get around London like a Londoner – Tips for the Tube

February 20, 2020 by St Giles

Travelling via The London Underground or as it is also known ‘The Tube’ is a fun, immersive way to explore the city and will help you to learn English in the UK. As a passenger on the London Underground you’ll be talking to London Underground staff, interacting with other passengers and reading information. Before you board the train, read below for our top tips on the Tube!

Westminster Abbey
Photo by Giuseppe Milo, via Flickr Creative Commons

Get yourself an Oyster card:

  1. For just £5 you can get an Oyster card and benefit from discounted travel!
  2. You can get an Oyster card in any of the big London stations (Victoria, Waterloo, Kings Cross, London Bridge.)
  3. When you use your card at the ticket gate you can see how much money you have left by looking at the screen on the gate.
  4. You can put more money on your Oyster card using a ticket machine at any London Underground station or downloading the Oyster App.

Make it more comfortable for yourself:

  1. There is no signal or internet on the tube, so make sure that you have your information (Copy of the London Underground map), music, films or articles pre-downloaded on your phone or tablet.
  2. In the Winter, when it’s very cold outside but very hot on the Tube don’t wear lots of layers that are hard to remove, take one very warm jacket that zips open instead – much easier!
  3. Avoid travelling in rush hour (AM: 06:30-09:30 PM:16:00-19:00) but if you have to, leave earlier to allow plenty of extra time for yourself.
  4. Beware of thieves – keep your phone and money somewhere you can see or hold it close when you are in a crowd.
  5. If you go wrong, don’t worry or panic, just go back! If you need any help at all there are lots of London Underground Staff that you can talk to.

Learn London Underground Etiquette:

  1. Have your Oyster card or ticket ready for the ticket gate, so you don’t slow everyone else down.
  2. If you want to stand still on the escalator, keep right, if you want to walk, keep left.
  3. Wait until everyone has left the train before trying to get on – even if it is very busy!
  4. If there are few seats or you are sitting down already and you see someone who needs it more, (the elderly, disabled people, pregnant women and children) offer them the seat. You can ask your English Language Course Teacher to practise this with you so you are confident to talk to other passengers politely.


When you learn English abroad, you benefit from immersive experiences like the London Underground. St Giles International has award winning English Schools in the UK, USA and Canada, if you want to improve your English in a fun and immersive way, contact us for more information.

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