The Visitor Oyster card is used for bus, Tube, tram, Overground, TfL Rail, River Bus, Gatwick Express, and the majority of National Rail services in London. Visitors can buy this card from the Transport for London website, travel agents globally, and the Visit Britain Shop.
Be warned that you cannot buy the Visitor Oyster card once you arrive in London. Credit lasts as long as you have the card and it can be easily topped up in stations and local shops. If you would like a refund go to Visitor Centres across the city, or get a refund of up to £10 at Tube station ticket machines.
A sample of fares using the Visitor Oyster card is as follows:
- Tube Zones 1 to 2 – Oyster £2.90 peak, £2.40 off-peak
- Tube Zones 1 to 6 – Oyster £5.10 peak, £3.10 off-peak
- Single bus journey – £1.50
- Unlimited journeys in one day in zones 1 and 2 – £6.60 (this is a capped fee)
For those who do not wish to keep the Visitor Oyster Card as a souvenir, a regular, refundable Oyster card is also available for purchase in Tube Stations and Oyster Ticket Shops.
You may also use a contactless card issued in the UK or some other contactless cards issued elsewhere, although it might be more trouble than it’s worth, and the Visitor Oyster Card is best (in our view, as charges are transparent). Accepted cards include almost all American Express contactless payment cards, and nearly all Mastercard and Maestro cards issued outside the UK. Some Visa and V PAY cards issued outside the UK might be rejected. Overseas charges may also apply.
London: Oyster Travel Card