Which London travel pass is right for me?

Getting around London is easy, but which travel ticket is best for your visit? The Visitor Oyster card and Travelcard both have advantages, depending on the length of your stay, how much you'll be travelling around and whether there are any children in your group.

Visitor Oyster Card

Visitor Oyster Card

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Visitor Oyster cards are plastic smartcards you can use instead of paper tickets. Put on pay as you go credit which you use when you travel. It is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, Tfl Rail and most National Rail services in London.

From January 2016 you can also use your Visitor Oyster card to pay for travel on train services to/from Gatwick Airport, including Gatwick Express

Travelcard

Travelcard

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You can travel as often as you like on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services within the London travel zones with a Travelcard. They are valid for either one or 7 days and are issued as paper tickets from the Visitor shop.

Summary: which one should I buy?

Visitor Oyster Card

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Usually the best choice if:
  • You're making many journeys in a small area.
  • You're only making a few journeys or not travelling every day in London.
  • You're travelling to Zones 7, 8, or 9.

Travelcard

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Usually the best choice for:
  • Under-16s
  • Unlimited travel (within the zones your Travelcard covers) working out much cheaper than buying single tickets.
  • Easy: one ticket for one day or one week!

Where can I use it?

Visitor Oyster Card

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  • Tube, DLR Tfl Rail and London Overground
  • Bus
  • Trams
  • National Rail services in London
    Excluding Heathrow Connect services between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow. Heathrow Express, Stansted Express and Southeastern High speed services between St Pancras International and Stratford International.
  • River Bus service
    Get 10% off on Thames Clippers services.
    Use your pay as you go credit to pay for your journey or to buy a paper ticket.

Travelcard

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  • Tube, DLR Tfl Rail and London Overground
  • Bus
    Any service within Greater London regardless of the zone(s) the Travelcard covers.
  • Trams
    If your Travelcard includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6.
  • National Rail services in London
    Excluding Heathrow Connect services between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow. Heathrow Express, Gatwick Express, Stansted Express and Southeastern High speed services between St Pancras International and Stratford International.
  • River Bus services at 1/3 off
    Show your Travelcard at the time of travel.

When can I use it?

Visitor Oyster Card

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At any time - you are automatically charged a Peak or Off-Peak fare.

  • Peak pay as you go fares
    Applies from 06:30 to 09:29 and from 16:00 to 18:59 Monday to Friday.
  • Off-Peak pay as you go fares
    Apply at all other times.

Travelcard

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You have two options for Day Travelcards:

  • Anytime
    Can be used all day on the day of validity and for any journey that starts before 04:30 the following day.
  • Off-Peak
    Can be used from 09:30 Mondays to Fridays, all day Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, on the day of validity and for any journey that starts before 04:30 on the following day.
    (7 Day Travelcards are only available in Anytime option.)

How much does it cost?

Visitor Oyster Card

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Sample fares:
  • Zones 1 to 2
    £2.90 Peak
    £2.40 Off-Peak
    Cash fare £4.90
    Single bus journey - £1.50
    Unlimited journeys in one day in zones 1 and 2 - £6.50
  • Zones 1 to 6
    £5.10 Peak
    £3.10 Off-Peak
    Cash fare £6.00

Multiple journeys within the same zone(s) are capped at or below the equivalent Day Travelcard rate.
You can top up your Oyster card at Tube stations and over 4,000 Oyster Ticket Stops throughout London and at London Visitor Centres.

Travelcard

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Sample fares:
  • Zones 1 - 6
    Child Day Off-Peak Travelcard: £6.00

  • Zones 1 - 6
    Adult 7 Day Travelcard: £59.10
  • Zones 1 - 6
    Child 7 Day Travelcard: £29.60

Travelling with children

Visitor Oyster Card

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  • Adults (16+)
  • Children - Young Visitor discount
    Up to 4 children aged 5-10 years can travel for free anywhere at any time without a ticket if they are accompanying a full-paying adult. Ask a member of staff to let your child through the ticket barriers. If you're travelling with children aged 11-15, buy a Visitor Oyster card before you leave home and, when you arrive in London, you can ask a member of our staff to add a Young Visitor discount to the card, giving your child half adult rate pay as you go discount for up to 14 days

Travelcard

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  • Adults (16+)
  • Children
    Up to 4 children aged 5-10 years can travel for free anywhere at any time without a ticket if they are accompanying a full-paying adult. Ask a member of staff to let your child through the ticket barriers.  Child Travelcards are required for those between the ages of 11 and 15 years old.

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