London bus

Getting around and travelling both to and from the city is made simple by the vast number of travel links available.

Imperial's main campus is situated in South Kensington, a prime London location easily reached by tube, bus and cycle routes. The other Imperial campuses in central London are also well served by transport links.

Check out this blog post by Mala, one of our student bloggers, for her top London travel tips!

The Tube

The Tube
The London Underground (commonly called the Tube) is the most popular method of transport for students, commuters, locals and tourists alike. It is a fast and safe way to travel, and the College is conveniently located near South Kensington tube station, on the Piccadilly, Circle and District lines.

Routes and ticket prices can be found on Transport for London.


The iconic red buses of London are becoming increasingly popular, with many routes running 24 hours a day. It's cheaper than the tube, and lots of buses travel past our campus daily, easily connecting Imperial with the rest of the city.

Routes and ticket prices can be found on Transport for London.



London encourages bike riding, and as well as it being a cheap and healthy option, you'll sometimes reach your destination quicker! You can hire bikes all over the city or even get foldable ones that you can hop on the tube with. Not only that, but Imperial supplies secure bicycle storage facilities on campus and reduced rate bike locks. 

Read our student blogger Paula's top tips for cycling in London.


Don't underestimate walking! Most places are accessible by foot, and this is by far your cheapest mode of transport. Many famous sites, landmarks and parks are within walking distance of each other, and you can always join free guided walking tours. 

Back on campus, Imperial is a short walk from some great London sites including the museums along Exhibition Road, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park.


River bus

River Bus
A little known fact is that you can get around London via the River ThamesWhile a slower and more leisurely route, there are often refreshments and WiFi available (so you can sit back and catch up on some reading!).

It's cheaper, you can use your Oyster card on board, and it gives a different perspective on this great city. 


Imperial is so centrally located you are unlikely to need a taxi, however if you find yourself out without a handy tube or bus ride home, you can book one of London's classic black cabs.

If you ever get stuck, Transport for London offers a service to help you get home. Text Home to 60835 (60tfl) and the phone numbers for two local licensed minicab operators will be sent direct to your mobile phone. The service can be used in any part of London, 24 hours a day. 

Tips and tricks

Students on phones

Apps to rely on

With WiFi all over campus, and many free spots throughout the city, the easiest way to figure out how to get from point A to B is with an app. 

Some of our favourites include:

  • Google Maps
  • City Mapper (with fun alternative methods of transport such as jetpack!) 
  • The official Tube Map

Also, don't forget Imperial Mobile, the College's handy app giving you access to campus maps, your course timetable and more.

Oyster card

Oyster cards and fares

The most convenient way of moving around London is to get yourself an Oyster card.

You pay a £5 refundable deposit for the card, and then simply top it up with credit or add a travelcard. When you leave London, the deposit is returned as well as any money left on the card.

Most London transport now operates a cashless system, so paired with your student discount, you can hop on most train lines, the bus and the tube with ease.

Find out about your options (and student discounts).

London bus

Getting out of London

We know you just got into London, but one of the great things about this city is that you can get out of it cheaply and easily! National Express runs a regular and affordable bus service across the country, and National Rail also have a good service which can be made cheaper with a Student Rail Card.

Central London is also well linked to the three main airports: Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. All can be reached by a short journey on the airport express trains (which can be quite expensive) or on the airport buses, which both run a fast and regular service.