Being located in The City of London is great for a whole host of reasons. Not only are you right in the thick of the action, but you couldn’t be better connected when it comes to public transport. After all, thousands of people commute in and out of the Square Mile every day, meaning there must be a pretty good travel infrastructure set up to allow this to happen.
For visitors, however, it can get a bit confusing. The many colours of the London Tube map and all its lines can resemble a tangled ball of wool to the uninitiated. Further to this, it can be difficult to work out which mode of transport to use or whether it is worth just setting off on foot.
Have no fear, help is at hand. This guide should help you to uncover the tips and tricks needed to negotiate travelling around The City and its surrounds. Before you know it, you’ll be setting off with confidence looking like a local.
Those travelling to The City by plane may find the Stansted Express a great option, as it delivers passengers to Liverpool Street station. This transport hub is right in the heart of the Square Mile and offers various opportunities for onward travel.
Stansted Airport to Liverpool Street by Stansted Express takes 47 minutes, with trains departing every 15 minutes. There are even early morning departures for flights that leave or arrive at such hours. The cheapest way to buy tickets is advance online and any railcards can help to keep the price down.
DLR from London City Airport
From London City Airport it is convenient to get the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Bank, which is just a short walk from Cannon Street. The journey should take 24 minutes and takes passengers through three fare zones, meaning they should buy this type of ticket or use an Oyster card.
While technically not the Underground, the DLR is marked on Tube maps and can be a useful way to travel, especially if your destination is in East London. Hop on at Bank station and use it in conjunction with the Tube to get to certain destinations.
No fewer than 11 London Underground lines go through The City, with the District and Circle lines even connecting to Cannon Street station itself. Bank, which is just a five-minute walk away, is a useful place to connect, as it joins a wide number of routes together and if setting out from Cannon Street it can often be better to head straight there, depending on the destination.
Transport for London (TfL) has produced a handy Tube map that shows how far in walking distance stations are from each other. It could be a helpful resource to weigh up the need for using public transport at all.
The main overland train stations within The City are London Blackfriars, City Thameslink, London Fenchurch Street, London Cannon Street, Moorgate and Liverpool Street. From these destinations it is easier to undertake long-distance travel to destinations outside of London, for example.
One of the most famous geographical features of London is the River Thames and this artery butts right up to the boundary of The City. Take full advantage of this by using a river bus, which can be caught from the pier in front of the Tower of London, to get to your destination. It’s a great way to get around and you’ll see some of London’s most famous sights along the way.
The public cycle hire service, which has affectionately been nicknamed Boris bikes after the London mayor, is another great way to get around. You don’t need to book, simply find a docking station and enter your card details into the touch screen. Prices start at £2, but go up depending on how long you have the bike for.
There are plenty of docking stations throughout The City, with those nearest to Cannon Street being at Queen Street, Monument Street and Cheapside. Click here to see where all the docking stations in the vicinity are and how many bikes are currently available.
One of the best things you can do before heading to The City is to purchase an Oyster Card. There are special visitor options, which can be ordered online and delivered to your home, so that you have it ready as soon as you arrive.
They start at £18, which includes a £3 activation fee and therefore offers £15-worth of travel credit. If you are going to be staying for a while or expecting to use public transport a lot, then you can purchase an Oyster Card with £20, £30, £40 or £50 credit on it, but topping up at stations is easy.
Oyster Cards are accepted on all public transport in London, giving discounts on everything from the Tube to riverboats. An Underground journey in central London costing £4.70 with cash comes out at £2.20 with an Oyster. Not only this, but it means you can avoid queuing to buy tickets for individual journeys – simply swiping in and out instead.