Whether you’re catching a musical on Shaftesbury Avenue, tucking into Asian food in Chinatown, visiting shopping hubs Regent Street and Oxford Street, spotting celebs at Leicester Square’s red carpet events, or browsing independent shops in Carnaby, you’ll find the West End’s most popular hotspots within easy walking distance of each other.
Take the London Underground to the West End, which connects to the rest of the city through an efficient network of lines and stations:
- Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Victoria and Central lines): Alight here for high street shopping on Oxford Street or Carnaby’s independent shops and restaurants.
- Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines): Stop a moment to admire London’s most iconic junction, then head north for Soho’s bars and restaurants, or west to the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly.
- Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly lines): Get off here and you’ll find yourself in the centre of London’s Theatreland, with Chinatown a five-minute walk away.
- Covent Garden (Piccadilly line): Visit beautiful Covent Garden Market and the Royal Opera House, before indulging in some shopping and delicious food in Seven Dials.
- Bond Street (Central and Jubilee lines): Discover the area’s designer boutiques and contemporary art galleries, and visit St Christopher’s Place shopping district.
- Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines): Take this stop if you plan to visit Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery or National Portrait Gallery.
- Green Park (Victoria, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines): Discover peaceful Green Park or stroll around St James’s antiques shops and luxury boutiques from this station.
The London Underground now operates a 24-hour service on the Jubilee, Piccadilly, Northern, Central and Victoria lines on Fridays and Saturdays.
Here’s a summary of the West End’s most popular bus routes:
- Routes 139, 23 and 159 pass through Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.
- Routes 14 and 38 connect Tottenham Court Road with Green Park, passing through Shaftesbury Avenue and Piccadilly Circus.
- The RV1 starts in Covent Garden before heading to the South Bank.
- Route 24 passes near Soho and Leicester Square.
Arrive at London’s West End by train: the closest station is Charing Cross Railway Station, next to Trafalgar Square, with trains operated by Southern and Southeastern.
Alternatively, Waterloo Railway Station is only a 10-minute Tube ride from Covent Garden. City Thameslink Station and Blackfriars Railway Station are about a 30-minute walk or 15-minute bus ride from Covent Garden.
Venture around the West End’s cobbled streets on two wheels with the London Cycle Hire Scheme – the first half an hour is free!
You’ll find plenty of docking stations around Trafalgar Square, next to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, and along Oxford Street. Visit TfL’s website for the full list, and find out more about cycling in London.
Wandering around the West End on foot can save you precious time, as many landmarks and attractions are closer to each other than you might think. For instance, Leicester Square is only a five-minute walk to Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus Tube stations, with plenty of sights to take in on the way.
Visit TfL’s website for maps of station-to-station walking times and routes in Central London.