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London Transport

This page covers the most common questions about London transport. If you have a question about Travelcards see our Travelcard help page. If you have a question about Visitor Oyster cards see our Visitor Oyster card help page. If you’re unsure which ticket to buy consult our decision tables or visit our at a glance comparison page.

Buy an Oyster card
  
Buy a London Travelcard

 

tube-map-thumbnail-test-2 View the London tube map

How do I plan my journey?

The easiest way to plan your journey is using the London Tube map. Stations where different lines meet are marked by a circle so you can see where to change if you need more than one Tube line. For example, Baker Street station is served by the Jubilee, Bakerloo, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines.

Tube services run from around 5.30am to around 1am. 

It may be easier to take a bus or a National Rail train to get where you need to go, you can find maps for each of these on Transport for London’s website. You can also use TfL’s journey planner to see the best way to get from one place to another on public transport. 

If your journey can't be made by public transport, you can also book a minicab. Find the best prices and book in advance with us.

How much does travel in London cost? Which ticket should I buy to get the best value?

See our Travelcard product page for details of all Travelcard prices. 

See our Visitor Oyster card product page for details of the different Visitor Oyster cards available to buy, and see the full pricing chart to find out individual prices for single journeys using an Oyster card. 

If you’re unsure which card will be the best value for you, go to our simple 3 step decision tree to tell you which card is cheapest for your circumstances.

When can I travel with my tickets?

You can travel at any time of day with a Visitor Oyster card or an Anytime Travelcard. Off Peak Travelcards can be used at any time apart from Monday to Friday before 9.30am.

I am traveling with children, do they need a ticket too?

Up to 4 children under 11 can travel for free with a full paying adult. They don’t need a ticket – at Tube stations, just ask a member of staff to let them through the ticket barriers. 

11-15 year olds need a ticket. The cheapest tickets for 11-15 year olds are Child Travelcards. Ages 16+ need to purchase an adult ticket (Travelcard or Oyster card).

I am traveling from the airport, what ticket do I need and how do I get to London?

From Heathrow: You can travel to the city centre from Heathrow Airport on the Tube (Piccadilly Line) with a Visitor Oyster card or a Zones 1-6 London Travelcard. Journey time is 45-50 minutes. Heathrow Express also offers a transfer to Central London which takes 15 minutes.

From Gatwick: If travelling from Gatwick Airport, you can use a Visitor Oyster card on Gatwick Express, Southern or Thameslink trains to London. £14.70 (Thameslink / Southern) or £19.80 (Gatwick Express) will be deducted from your Oyster card credit for a single journey between Gatwick and London. You cannot use a Travelcard to travel from Gatwick Airport to London. Gatwick Express tickets are also available to buy in advance from the VisitBritain Shop.

From Stansted or Luton: If travelling from Stansted or Luton Airport, you can’t use a Visitor Oyster card or Travelcard as these airports are not part of London’s transport network. The fastest way to travel is by Stansted Express or by train from Luton. See our full guide to airport transfers for more details.

Can I purchase tickets in London?

7 Day Travelcards are not available to purchase in London and can only be bought in advance online.

We recommend that you buy your tickets online, so that rather than having to wait in a queue with your bags on arrival in London, you’ll be ready to travel straight away.

Can groups or families traveling together use the same tickets?

No, you will need one ticket per person, except for under 11s who travel free with a full paying adult.

Are there discounted ticket prices for Senior Citizens?

No, there is no discount available for Senior Citizens (except for London residents).

Are there discounted ticket prices for Students?

No, student Travelcards are not available. If you are studying in London, you can apply for a Student Oyster card via Transport for London.

In London is there discounted/free travel for wheelchair users and disabled travellers?

There is no discount for disabled travellers available if you do not live in Britain.

What are the different types of public transport in London? How do I pay for bus / river / cable car journeys?

London Underground 

The Underground, commonly known as the Tube, is London’s metro system. Central London has a large concentration of stations, and many popular attractions are served by a nearby Tube station. The Underground also extends in all directions to suburban areas. All major National Rail stations are served by the Underground, as is Heathrow Airport.

You can pay for journeys on London Underground with a Travelcard, Visitor Oyster card, cash, or with single tickets. Paying with cash is much more expensive than paying with a Travelcard or Oyster card.

London Overground 

The Overground is a network of suburban rail routes that mostly serve the areas just outside central London but also extend to the far north and south of London. Many stations interchange with the Underground and DLR.

You can pay for journeys on London Overground with a Travelcard or Visitor Oyster card, or with cash. Paying with cash is much more expensive than paying with a Travelcard or Oyster card.

London Buses

London has a huge bus network, with over 700 routes, serving every part of the city. London bus stops have a destination finder poster with popular areas, roads and districts listed alphabetically, along with the number of the bus to take to get there.

You can pay for journeys on London buses with a Travelcard or Visitor Oyster card. Cash is not accepted.

Tramlink 

Tramlink is south London’s tram network. It connects to the Overground at West Croydon and the Underground at Wimbledon, in addition to various National Rail interchanges. 

DLR

The Docklands Light Railway, usually abbreviated to DLR, is a light rail system serving the east and south-east of the city. It has interchanges with the rest of the transport network at various points, notably at Bank which has connections to five Underground lines. London City Airport is in Zone 3 on the DLR.

You can pay for journeys on the DLR with a Travelcard, Visitor Oyster card, cash, or with single tickets. Paying with cash is much more expensive than paying with a Travelcard or Oyster card.

River Boats

Transport for London manages eight piers on the River Thames, offering a variety of commuter, ferry and leisure services. Leisure services are aimed at visitors and many stops are near major attractions.

You can buy tickets for river boat journeys at London piers on the day. If you have a Travelcard or Visitor Oyster card, you can get a discount on your ticket. 

National Rail 

National Rail train services are not operated by Transport for London – the organisation that operates all the above services – but Oyster cards and Travelcards can be used to travel on National Rail services within the Transport for London travel zones. 

London’s major National Rail stations are Paddington, Euston, Kings Cross St. Pancras, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo and Victoria; all of them are located in Zone 1. 

You can pay for journeys on most National Rail services with a Travelcard or Visitor Oyster card. For a few routes you need a separate ticket, which you can buy from the departure station on the day. 

Emirates Air Line

The Emirates Air Line is a cable car crossing the River Thames in east London. The cable car runs between Emirates Royal Docks on the north of the river, to Emirates Greenwich Peninsula (near the O2 Arena) on the south.

You can pay for journeys on the Emirates Air Line with cash, or buy tickets in advance from us.

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