The London Underground is a blessing for tourists in the UK capital.

It's fast, easy to navigate, and boasts 270 stations across 11 lines, which means there's hardly anywhere in Greater London a visitor can't reach by the Tube.

But some tourists are a little too Tube-happy – and it's costing them close to $200,000 a year.

A report by the UK's The Telegraph has found tourists in central London are wasting that amount of money catching the London Underground between the two closest stations on the network — Leicester Square and Covent Garden.


The stations, in London's West End, are about 275m apart and take about four minutes to walk between.

It takes four to six minutes to walk between Leicester Square and Covent Garden. Photo / Google Maps
It takes four to six minutes to walk between Leicester Square and Covent Garden. Photo / Google Maps

The Tube ride between Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line takes just 37 seconds and costs £2.40, or NZ$5, for a single pay-as-you-go fare, according to Transport for London.

A freedom of information request by The Telegraph found an average of 862 people made the journey between the two stations each week.

This means close to 45,000 people are making the short journey each year, and spending an unnecessary £105,000, or NZ$212,000, each year to do so.

The report pointed out walking between the two stations was likely quicker than catching the Tube anyway, after factoring in time spent getting down to the platform, waiting for a train, and returning to street level.

The stations are often used by tourists to access Leicester Square, the West End theatre district, Soho, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, and the shops, bars and restaurants around Covent Garden.

While tourists are unnecessarily catching the Tube to travel between the two easily walkable stations, they're hardly the most busy Tube stations in London.

The most recent figures from Transport for London, from 2017, reveal King's Cross St Pancras is the busiest station on the London Underground, attracting 97.92 million people in 2017.


The mammoth station is an interchange between six Tube lines — the Circle, Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria line services.

It also serves the King's Cross and St Pancras International railway stations, the latter of which is a terminus for the Eurostar train.

The next busiest station is Waterloo (97.27 million people), followed by Oxford Circus (84.09 million), Victoria (79.36 million) and London Bridge (69.05 million).

Liverpool Street, Stratford, Bank and Monument, Canary Wharf and Paddington stations rounded out the top 10 busiest in the Underground network.