Under 11s travel free, 11+ need their own travel ticket. There is no child version of the Visitor Oyster Card, but there is a child Travelcard, which is available from our shop.
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This is a selection of the most common FAQs. For further information, please click 'London Transport Information' in the menu on the right hand side.
Should I get a London Travelcard or Oyster Card?
- The Visitor Oyster Card is a contactless smartcard that carries credit which you can use to pay for journeys on all public transport on the Transport for London (TfL) network. It is valid in all travel zones and automatically calculates the cheapest total fare for all the journeys you make in a single day.
- The Travelcard is a paper London travel pass which is valid for either a single day or seven days, and is available for certain combinations of travel zones. It is also valid on all public transport on the TfL network.
- Whether you should get the Travelcard or Oyster Card depends on how long you’re staying in London and how frequently you’ll be using public transport.
- If you are in London for a week and plan to use only the central London Travelcard zones on a daily basis then a 7 day Travelcard might be the most cost-effective option. If you plan to stay in London for a shorter time or want to travel to the outskirts of the city, the pay-as-you-go Oyster Card cost might be cheaper.
Are there any time restrictions when using the Visitor Oyster Card?
- Your Oyster Card can be used at any time but journey prices are more expensive during peak times.
- Peak times are weekdays 6.30am - 9.30am and 4pm - 7pm.
- Your Oyster Card will always automatically calculate the cheapest total daily fare.
Can families or groups all use the same Oyster Card?
- No, each person must have their own Oyster Card, except under 11s who travel free with a paying adult.
What are the different Oyster Card prices?
- Visitor Oyster cards from us cost from £23 to £53
- This price includes a £3 activation fee, and the rest is credit that is pre-loaded onto your card. So if you buy a card for £53, for example, your card will have £50 credit on it
How do I get an Oyster Card? Can I buy an Oyster Card online?
- Buy your Oyster Card from the VisitBritain Shop and it will be mailed to you at your home address, fully activated and ready to use for when you arrive in London.
Can I use my Oyster Card to get the Tube from Heathrow to London or from London to Heathrow?
- Yes – Heathrow Airport is on the Piccadilly Line in London travel zone 6.
How long does the Tube from Heathrow to London take, or from London to Heathrow?
- The journey time between Heathrow Airport and central London is around 45 – 50 minutes.
Can I travel with an Oyster Card to Gatwick Airport?
- No, as Gatwick Airport is not connected to the Transport for London network.
- The fastest way to travel from Gatwick to London or from London to Gatwick is the Gatwick Express train. Gatwick Express tickets are available from the VisitBritain Shop.
Can I use it for travel to Stansted Airport?
- No, as Stansted Airport is not connected to the Transport for London network.
- The fastest way to travel from Stansted to London or from London to Stansted is the Stansted Express train. Stansted Express tickets are available from the VisitBritain Shop.
Is it valid for trains to Luton Airport?
- No, as Luton Airport is not connected to the Transport for London network.
- The fastest way to travel from Luton to London or from London to Luton is by train. Luton to London train tickets are available from the VisitBritain Shop.
What if I run out of credit on my Visitor Oyster card?
- If you run out of credit, you can top up your card at any station or at thousands of shops throughout London. You can also make one bus journey without any credit. The cost of the journey will be deducted when you next top up your Oyster card.