Visitor Oyster Card or London Travelcard?

There are two main ticket options for travelling around London: a Travelcard or a Visitor Oyster card.

Travelcard

London Travelcard

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What is it?
A paper ticket that lets you travel as much as you like for 1 or 7 days. 

How does it work? 
You decide which zones (travel areas) you want to travel in and then purchase the correct Travelcard. It can then be used on any public transport in London. 

Benefits
Simple: Once you have your ticket, you get unlimited travel for a full day or week. No need to use the ticket machines in the tube station or calculate how much credit you might need.

Visitor Oyster Card

Visitor Oyster Card

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What is it?
A plastic smartcard you buy once and reuse instead of paper single tickets. 

How does it work? 
You top up the card with credit and use it to travel on any public transport in London.

Benefits
Flexible: Pay only for the journeys you make. You have no restrictions on zones or times, so you don’t need to decide these in advance and can be spontaneous.

Summary: Which one should I buy?

London Travelcard

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Usually the best choice if:

  • You’re travelling around London every day for 4, 5, 6 or 7 days

  • You’re aged 11-15

Visitor Oyster Card

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Usually the best choice if:

  • You’re only making a few journeys, or won’t be travelling every day in London

  • You want to travel only, or mostly, by bus

  • You’re travelling to Zones 7, 8 or 9

How much do they cost?

London Travelcard

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Travelcards are priced according to which travel zones you need to travel in and what times of day you will be travelling.

  • 1-day Travelcard prices: 
    Zones 1-6
    (central and greater London, including Heathrow Airport)
    Child Off-peak: £6.30 
    Adult Off-peak: £12.70 
    Adult Anytime: £18.10

  • 7-day Travelcard prices: 
    Zones 1-2 

    Adult Anytime: £34.10
    Child Anytime: £17.10 

    Zones 1-6 

    Adult Anytime £62.30 

    Child Anytime £31.20

  • ‘Off-peak’ Travelcards cannot be used at certain times of day. See ‘When can I travel?’ for more information.


Visitor Oyster Card

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A Visitor Oyster card will deduct credit for each single journey up to a daily price limit. Once the limit is reached, you won’t be charged for any more journeys until the next day. The more zones you travel in, the higher the limit will be.

  • Daily price limits:
    Zones 1-2: £6.80 
    Zones 1-4: £9.80
    Zones 1-6:
    £12.50

  • Single Tube journey prices: 

    Zones 1-2
    For example, Leicester Square to Camden Town
    Peak: £2.90; off-peak £2.40 

    Zones 1-6
    For example, Leicester Square to Heathrow Airport
    Peak: £5.10; off-peak £3.10

  • Your journey will cost a different amount depending on the time of day you travel
    See ‘When can I travel?’ for more information.

Where can I travel?

London Travelcard

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  • Tube
  • Any bus in London
  • Trams
    (If your Travelcard includes zones 3, 4, 5 or 6)
  • Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
  • London Overground
  • National Rail Services in London
    (exclusions apply)
  • Thames Clipper riverboat services at 1/3 off

Visitor Oyster Card

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  • Tube
  • Any bus in London
  • Trams

  • Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
  • London Overground
  • National Rail Services in London
    (exclusions apply)
  • Thames Clipper riverboat services at 10% off
  • Emirates Air Line services at 25% off

When can I travel?

London Travelcard

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There are two types of Travelcard:




  • Anytime Travelcard
    Can be used all day



  • Off-Peak Travelcard
    Can be used Monday to Friday after 9.30am, and Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays at any time

Visitor Oyster Card

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When you travel with a Visitor Oyster card, you will automatically be charged either a  peak or off-peak price depending on what time of day you travel. Peak prices are more expensive than off-peak.

  • Peak prices apply
    Monday to Friday 6.30am to 9.30am
    Monday to Friday 4pm to 7pm

  • Off-peak prices apply
    All other times

Travelling with children?

London Travelcard

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  • Children aged 11-15: Child Travelcards are available at discounted rates.

  • Children aged 5-10: Up to 4 children aged 5-10 can travel for free with a full paying adult who has a Visitor Oyster card or a Travelcard. Ask a member of staff to let your child through the ticket barriers.

  • Under 5s: Travel free with any paying adult

Visitor Oyster Card

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  • Children aged 11-15: Child Visitor Oyster cards are not available.

  • Children aged 5-10: Up to 4 children aged 5-10 can travel for free with a full paying adult who has a Visitor Oyster card or a Travelcard. Ask a member of staff to let your child through the ticket barriers.

  • Under 5s: Travel free with any paying adult

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