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Photograph: Thomas Riggs

Everything you need to know about public transport in London over the festive period

Looking forward to Christmas in London? Don’t panic about getting around, Transport for London’s network, with its off-peak fares, is very much up and running over the holiday season – this year more than ever, and with free New Year’s Eve travel

Written by Time Out. Paid for by Transport for London

Oxford Street is buzzing, Liberty is lit up and you’re slowly but surely ticking off your shopping list: ah yes, it’s Christmas in London! If you’re helping to make the capital a festive place this year, rest assured that Transport for London – with its more affordable off-peak fares – is open and ready for business. From Monday December 23 to Thursday January 2,  most of TfL’s services will be running (excluding Christmas Day). And, for the first time ever, parts of the London Overground network will be open on Boxing Day (December 26).

To make your travelling as easy as can be, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to festive travel arrangements in the city. So that’s less time worrying about how you’re going to get to the party and more time, umm, partying. 

For even more up-to-date information, search TfL Christmas Travel.

Oh, and one last thing: for a limited time, you can get 20 percent off an annual Santander Cycles membership. It’s part of Time Out and TfL’s 12 Offers of Christmas: read on to find out more about this, and all the other great offers available.

Remember: if you’re drinking, drink responsibly, and take care of yourself and others when travelling home.

Check before you travel this festive season.



The Bakerloo, Jubilee, Central, Victoria lines and the DLR are open!

Whether you’re rushing out to get a last-minute gift, meeting mates at an outdoor ice rink or simply looking to enjoy one of the major museum exhibitions open this winter, most of the tube lines will be open. For the first year ever, this includes parts of the London Overground network on Boxing Day 2019. Trains will be running from Highbury & Islington to West Croydon and Clapham Junction to Hackney Wick but we advise you to check before you travel for service times. The Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines and TfL Rail are open all days except Christmas Day and Sunday December 29.If you’re looking for some hand-picked suggestions for things to do, have a read of the Cultural TfL Map where you’ll find more than 800 Time Out-recommended experiences, all within a short walking distance of TfL stations.

Buses at ChristmasPhotograph: Sung Kuk Kim

There will be some travel changes

As always, don’t forget to check the TfL website before leaving the house. There are some scheduled closures and planned works happening over the festive period. You can find out more by visiting TfL Christmas Travel.

There will be no services running on Christmas Day

TfL’s network will be closed on Christmas Day, but rest assured Santander Cycles will be open throughout the day (in case you fancy a post-lunch bike ride, perhaps). Dial-a-Ride services (for registered members only) will also be operational, plus taxi, private hire and coaches from Victoria Coach Station.

Fireworks at New Year's EvePhotograph: Stewart Marsden

Public transport is free and open all night on New Year’s Eve

Save your pennies for January: NYE travel is free on TfL! From 11.45pm to 4.30am you can travel for free on bus, tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail services. Just be aware that because of the ticketed fireworks, bus routes in central London will be re-routed from 2pm onwards on December 31, and from 2pm some bridges will be closed to pedestrians. Underground stations near the event and in other busy areas of London will also run differently so please plan accordingly and have a great new year! Please remember that carrying and drinking from open containers of alcohol is not allowed on public transport services. Take care when travelling after drinking alcohol.

Get there for less!

Get there for less!

Get there for less!

When you’re getting out and about, it pays to remember that you’ll save big when you travel during the wonderful world of off-peak. Off-peak fares apply on all Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail services every weekday before 6.30am, between 9.30am and 3.59pm, and from 7pm onwards. Off-peak fares also apply all day on weekends and public holidays. Always touch in and out with the same card or device to pay the right fare. Touch in only on buses and trams. To check a fare, use the single fare finder.

Travel within Zones 2-6 for £1.50
Fare shown is for an adult off-peak pay as you go journey not going via Zone 1 on Tube, DLR and most London Overground services.

Travel into Zone 1 from £2.40
Fare shown is for an adult off-peak pay as you go journey from Zone 2 into Zone 1.

Travel by bus or tram for just £1.50
TfL’s Hopper fare lets you take unlimited pay as you go bus and tram journeys within one hour of first touching in for just £1.50.

Want more adventures?

The interactive Cultural TfL Map reveals more than 800 Time Out-recommended museums, galleries, street art works and more, all within a short walk or bus ride from each station. There are plenty of fantastic experiences to be found, which you can visit during the wonderful world of off-peak. Explore now at


We know that affordable, convenient public transport is the key to accessing the best that London has to offer – and thanks to TfL’s affordable off-peak fares and other discounts across the network, the possibilities for adventure are wider than ever. Here, you'll find plenty more unexpected and exciting off-peak outings.

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