Home Blog Getting Around London: A Guide to London Transport Payment

Getting Around London: A Guide to London Transport Payment

London is known for its many different forms of transport, from its extensive underground railnetwork (called ‘the underground’ or ‘the tube’) to iconic Red Routemaster buses. For first time travelers, the transport network can be a little daunting but rest assured, Totally Tailored is here to put your mind at ease with our comprehensive guide to travel cards in London.

Tour Guide Fact: The London underground network is the oldest in the world. It was opened in 1863 and now measures 402km in total.

The Iconic Choice:

The Oyster Card

Price:  £7 initial fee and any trip costs

The iconic Oyster is perfect for someone looking for a souvenir for their time in London. Unlike contactless payment, there is an initial fee for the card which can then be filled with a set amount of money. You are able to register your Oyster card online if you wish for ease of top up, but you don’t have to. The easiest way to top up is at a rail station or newsagent.

This makes it the perfect card for someone who is budgeting their transportation costs. There is also a Visitor Oyster Card, which have cheaper fares than a Day Travelcard or paper single tickets. They also offer capping, which is a set limit for payment for the day based on the zones you travel, click here to see.

The Visitor Oyster Card also offers unique discounts to restaurants, shops, theaters, and galleries.

Tour Guide Tip: A family cannot get a single Oyster card and each member of your group will need their own one.

Our Choice:

Image: Debra Hurford Brown/PA
Contactless and Apple Pay

Transport in London has been cashless since 2014! One of the most common ways you’ll see Londoners pay for the Tube or Bus is using contactless payment. This includes credit, debit, and apple pay, which makes for simple travel.

The contactless method tracks your rides to ensure you pay the proper fare along with capping. In order to not experience higher rates simply do not forget to use the same form of payment throughout your trip.

Tour Guide Tip: Use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees to avoid racking up unnecessary charges

The Tourist Choice:

Image: Transport for London
The Day Travelcard

The Day Travelcard is simple, which makes it perfect for tourists. For a flat fee (based on the zones), you can experience unlimited travel on the bus, Tube, Tram, DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line and National Rail services in London.

If you prefer paying an upfront cost rather than a pay as you go system this is your best option.

Tour Guide Tip: The capping system for the Oyster card and contactless payment are more affordable than the Day Travelcard

The simple public transport is one of London’s most desirable features. We at Totally Tailored love to make our guests trips easy and tailored so they can check everything off their list when visiting London. Click here to book a tour with us in London!

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