The London bus network has seen many improvements in recent years with new buses, more frequent services and improved accessibility.
A single Oyster bus fare costs £1.45, or £2.40 if you are paying by cash
London Bus Information
The Central London Bus Guide will be sufficient for most travellers. This map is available from travel information centres at larger Tube stations or to download from our Free London Travel Maps page.
Night Buses in London
London's buses run throughout the night. Night bus services cover the period between the close of the Tube and the start of daytime bus services. In addition, many London bus routes run for 24 hours.
If you're not familiar with the routes, head to Trafalgar Square (the hub for night buses) or check any bus-stop information board. As you'd expect, services are less frequent during the night. Night buses stop on request only: so you'll need to indicate your stop clearly to the driver when boarding or alighting.
London Bus Fares
There is a flat fare throughout the bus network, £1.45 with a pre-pay Oyster card and £2.40 if you are paying by cash. Travelcards are valid on buses.
Most routes in Central London require you to buy tickets before you board. Ticket machines selling single fares are located next to the main bus stops on these routes.
London Bus Passes
Bus passes are valid for the whole bus and tram network in London (unlike the Tube there are no fare zones). And with Oyster's daily price cap system, the most you will be charged per day when you use Oyster to pay as you go on bus and tram services is £4.40 (adult fare).
London Bus & Tram Pass Prices: 2014
Standard adult fares:
- 7 Day: £20.20
- 1 month: £77.60
- 1 year: £808
Since January 2010, 1 and 3 day bus passes are no longer available.
London Bus Fare Concessions
All children under 16, plus 16-17 year olds living in London and in full-time education, can travel free on buses. You will need a photocard (not required for children under 5).
Freedom Passes provide free travel for wheelchair users, as well as for older and disabled persons. Apply via the Transport for London website
Buy Before You Board/Ticket Machines
Most routes in Central London require you to buy tickets before you board. Ticket machines selling single fares are located next to the main bus stops on these routes. You'll need the exact money as the machines do not give change. Many newsagents sell bus passes and also have Oyster top-up facilities.
Contactless Payment on London Buses
You can now pay for your bus travel using contactless credit, debit or charge cards. If you have a credit, debit or charge card that has been issued in the UK and displays the contactless payment symbol, you should be able to use it on buses to pay for single journeys.
You just need to touch your card flat on the yellow card reader as you board a bus - exactly the same as when you use an Oyster card. (Note: if you keep your card and Oyster together in a wallet, it might not work as the reader will not know which card to charge).
London Bus Tours
London bus tours provide a unique opportunity to appreciate the full architectural splendour of London's famous streets and monuments. Tour guides offer historical background and interesting facts, with commentaries available in several languages.
Buses are an accessible way to travel around London. All of London's 8,000 buses are now low-floor vehicles (excluding Heritage buses on routes 9 and 15).
Low-floor buses enable all customers, including people using wheelchairs, people with baby buggies (prams/strollers), people with assistance dogs, and people with other mobility impairments to get on and off easily. Every bus also has a retractable ramp, which must be in full working order at all times.
On all buses, there is room for one person using a wheelchair. Wheelchairs can be accommodated up to a size of 70cm wide by 120cm long. Wheelchair users have priority over everyone else for use of the wheelchair space. There is no limit on the number of assistance dogs allowed on the bus, as long as there is space.
Bus or Coach To and From London
Coaches are a great option for cheap travel to London from almost anywhere in the UK or Europe. Read about Coaches to London.
2014: Year of the Bus
Following the 150th anniversary of the Tube in 2013, 2014 will celebrate The Year of the Bus. This year marks the 60th birthday of the Routemaster bus and 100 years since London buses were sent to the Western Front to play a crucial role during the First World War.
Look out for special events and exhibitions at venues such as the London Transport Museum commemorating the occasion throughout the year.