The Oyster Card is a magnetic rechargeable plastic card valid for all of London’s public transport. It not only simplifies the payment system, but it is also cheaper than paying for a single journey ticket every time you ride the Underground, bus, DLR or Overground.
The Oyster Card can be used as pay-as-you-go or as a weekly or monthly pass (Travelcard). Both payment methods can be used at the same time. For example, you can have a Travelcard for zone 1-4 and then get a one-way ticket for zone 1-6 to get to the Heathrow Airport.
If you’re visiting London for 3 days or less, the best option is to get the Oyster Card, as it is the most cost-effective system.
For stays of over 4 days, we recommend getting the 7-day Travelcard, since it is cheaper than getting 7 x 24 hour travelcards.
It is important to keep in mind that if you want to have access to the 2FOR1 offers to visit London’s top attractions, you’ll have to get the Travelcard in the National Rail (different railway stations in the city).
The Peak fares apply during the week between 6:30 am and 9:30 am and between 4 pm and 7 pm. The Off Peak fares apply for the rest of the hours, bank holidays and weekends.
Capping means that there is a daily limit of how much you pay when using London’s public transport system, never exceeding the fare of a 24-hour Travelcard.
|Valid||Peak||Off Peak||Daily cap|
|Single journey||Paying with an Oyster Card||Daily Cap||7 Day Bus Pass|
Children aged under 11 ride for free accompanied by a paying adult and each adult can go with a maximum of four children. They don’t need an Oyster Card or any other traveling card.
Children aged 11 to 15 must get a specific Oyster Card and will travel free on buses and trams and pay £0.70 (Peak) or £0.65 (Off Peak) when traveling on the Tube in zones 1-6.
The tariff for this type of Oyster Card is similar to the Travelcard, but adding an extra £5 to buy the Oyster Card. When your trip is over, you can give your travel pass back and recover the money you have left over.
The Oyster Card can be purchased at any of London's Tube stations and London Overground in any ticket machine. Travelers can also buy the card in any railway station. Once you’ve bought the card, you can also top it up at most newsagents.
When leaving London, the card can be handed into any tube station, London Overground or train station. When you give it back, you’ll get the £5 deposit back and the money you didn’t use when you last topped it up.