- WHERE TO STAY
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
With the Victoria Underground Station just outside, Victoria Station London is the capital’s second busiest railway station after Waterloo Station, handling around 1.5 million people each week. The majority of whom are commuters from London's suburbs and the South East of England.
Victoria is a major transport hub for the visitor to London flying into Gatwick, as it is the central London terminus of the Gatwick Express and Gatwick Southern train services.
Visitors who have a cruise scheduled before or after their visit to London will find Victoria's routes to Dover and Southampton cruise and ferry ports useful.
Gatwick Express and Southern trains offer the most comfortable and quickest transfer into London from Gatwick - much faster than any vehicle-based transport.
Other destinations you can travel from Victoria include Brighton and Canterbury and most of the coastal resorts in the South East corner of England, like Eastbourne. Many trains out of Victoria are local commuter trains, the rail network in South London is far denser than the London Underground south of the river.
Charing Cross, Blackfriars and London Bridge are other London stations that service the same South East corner of England.
Victoria is the end of the line - the terminus - with all mainline trains to Victoria terminating here. There are 19 platforms, each with ticket barriers. You'll need a valid ticket when accessing and departing the trains. The Gatwick Express platforms are clearly marked on the departure screens.
The Underground station, lying just beneath the Victoria railway station, is the best way to get around in London for almost everyone. The entrance is within easy acces, located just outside the train station. Three London Underground lines run through Victoria: Victoria Line (blue), District Line (green) and Circle Line (yellow) that connects Victoria with other London mainline train stations, Euston, King's Cross, St Pancras, Liverpool Street, Marylebone and Paddington. All three lines run from 5am til midnight, plus Victoria line also runs for 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
There are no manned ticket desks any more in the London Underground system, you will need to use a ticket machine unless you use an Oyster card or contactless technology options, such as a contactless card, Apple Pay and Google Pay - this is what virtually everyone uses. It is very expensive and time consuming to buy individual fares on London’s public transport. We recommend reading our dedicated page to find out more.
Victoria Underground is a very busy station at all times of the day. It has been known for the station to be temporarily closed because of excessive crowding on the platforms at peak times.
Out at the front of the railway station is a very busy London red bus terminus. Only buses whose routes terminate at Victoria stop in here. Many other bus routes pass through Victoria and stop in streets around the station but not here. You cannot buy tickets on the bus and there are no single tickets. You need to have a Travelcard, Oyster or contactless payment card.
Victoria Coach Station is a few hundred metres down the side of Victoria Station along Buckingham Palace Road. Opposite it is the Green Line Bus Station. If you are not getting a London red bus, your bus will be from one of these bus stations. For those who have booked a guided tour in or outside London, Victoria Coach Station is the departure point for most of these tours.
With such tremendous volumes of people passing through Victoria Station every day, the demand has resulted in many retail outlets setting up. There is even a small shopping centre inside the station called Victoria Place.
Retail outlets are dominated by the grab and go food outlets, Burger King, Upper Crust, Krispy Kreme, KFC and McDonald's amongst them. All the main coffee shop chains are here too, as are several pubs and bars including Weatherspoon pub.
Convenience supermarkets available include an Marks and Spencers Simply Food and Sainsbury's. Boots and Superdrug pharmacies are useful shops for commuters and travellers, the betting shop perhaps less so.
There are of course restaurants offering more substantial fayre, including the restaurants and bars in Grosvenor Hotel which has an entrance inside the station.
Open 24 hours for tickets for same day travel. Advance tickets available to purchase between 7am and 9pm.
There are public toilets with baby changing facilities, free of charge. There are no showers.
Many ATMs can be found dotted around the station. There is also a foreign exchange kiosk (not open for 24 hours).
There are also luggage trolleys which you will need a refundable £1 coin to unlock.
There are photo booth machines if you require a passport size photo.
There is a very small visitor centre by the main entrance down to the Underground.
Phone booths are available within station althout most passengers have a mobile phone. You can access Wi-Fi which is provided by private operators that charge for the service per hour or per day, depending on your needs.
There is a manned left luggage office run by the Excess Baggage Company that runs all left luggage facilities in London stations as well as Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. You can search for their website for current charges and opening hours.
The taxi rank is out the front of the station where you will also find the London red bus station. Buses that stop here are only the routes that terminate at Victoria Station. The London Underground station is just outside, very easily accesible.
Map courtesy of National Rail Enquiries - click here to see the whole PDF map.
The full train timetable and fares available are publicised from 3 months in advance. As a general rule of thumb, for journeys of around an hour or so there is no financial advantage in pre-purchasing, you may as well buy at the station on the day of travel.
For longer journeys, advance purchase fares offer great savings and it really is worth making the effort. Buying a ticket on the day for a long inter-city train journey often results in ticket prices that are eye-wateringly expensive.
Please note that there are no seat reservations on trains out of Victoria and you need to be able to carry your luggage independently to/from the train. There is no waiting room and no seats on the station concourse.
Buy any time, travel any time
Anytime fares are fully flexible, with no time restrictions on when you can travel. With an Anytime ticket you can also break your journey at stations along the route of travel. For short journeys in the London area you normally get the same fare as if you booked in advance. For long inter-city fares, buying tickets like this can be very, very expensive. We recommend you decide on a time to travel and stick to it.
Buy any time, travel off-peak
These tickets may require you to travel at specific times of day, days of the week or on a specific route. Where there is more than one Off-Peak fare for a journey, the cheaper fare with more restrictions will be called Super Off-Peak. The times that constitute off-peak are very variable, there can even be different times for off-peak between the same stations in different directions.
Buy in advance
For longer distances, travelling by rail can be very expensive when purchasing standard fares, often more expensive than flying. Advance purchase tickets on these longer distances therefore can offer great savings. These are subject to availability hence limited numbers and can be purchased online to collect from a ticket machine in key railway stations like Victoria or booked at a ticket office.
A good proportion of visitors using Victoria Station will be those flying into London's Gatwick Airport. Travelling by train is in our opinion the smart choice for transfer between Gatwick Airport and Central London.
Gatwick Express is the fastest, most comfortable and reliable way to get between Gatwick Airport and central London. The only good reason for many people not to use it is the high price of tickets.
Southern Trains operate commuter trains along the same tracks, making stops along the way. Seats are closer together, carriages tend to be more crowded and of course journey times are slower, but tickets are significantly cheaper than Gatwick Express.