Best ways for visitors to pay

Pay as you go

Pay as you go (paying only for the journeys you make) is the easiest way to pay for travel in London. You don't have to work out the cost of your journey in advance.

You can pay as you go using contactless (card or device), an Oyster card or a Visitor Oyster card.

It also offers great value as pay as you go is cheaper than buying single tickets and you get daily and weekly capping.

Make sure you always use the same card or device to touch in and out to pay the right fare (touch in only on buses and trams).

Contactless and mobile payments

Contactless payment symbol

You can use a contactless card or mobile device, such as a phone or watch, to pay as you go on all our services.

Overseas transaction fees or charges may apply for non-UK cards.

Visitor Oyster card

A Visitor Oyster card is a smartcard that's pre-loaded with pay as you go credit. You can use it to pay for travel on public transport in London.

Visitor Oyster cards are only available to buy before you arrive in London. They're great value and can save you time as you won't have to queue for a ticket.

There is a daily cap on fares, you won't pay any more for that day in the zones you travel in.

If you run out of credit on your Visitor Oyster card, it's easy to top up.

If you have credit left on your card at the end of your visit, you can get a refund of up to £10 pay as you go credit at most Tube station ticket machines, Visitor Centres or via our Visitor Oyster credit no longer needed webpage once home.

Your Visitor Oyster card can help with travel to and from London's main airports. You can use it on Tube, Elizabeth line, Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express services between the airports and central London.

You can buy a Visitor Oyster card online from:

Oyster card  

You can get a standard Oyster card in London if you don't have a contactless card or device, or a Visitor Oyster card. You pay £7 and then add pay as you go credit or a Travelcard to pay for your journeys.

Oyster card

You can get an Oyster card from:

  • Tube, London Overground, Elizabeth line (except West Drayton to Reading) stations
  • Over 3,700 local shops in London, known as Oyster ticket stops
  • Visitor Centres
  • Online (UK visitors only)

You can add a Travelcard to your Oyster card if you're staying for a week or longer. This can save you time and money if you're using public transport every day.


Travelcards allow you to make as many journeys as you like, at any time on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line and National Rail services in London.

You can buy Day Travelcards and Group Day Travelcards:

Pay as you go with daily capping is cheaper than buying a Day Travelcard when you travel in London Zones 1-9.

Travelling with children

Children under five travel free with a fare-paying adult.

If your child is under 11, they can travel free on:

  • Buses and trams
  • Tube, DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line and some National Rail services. They must be travelling with an adult who is using pay as you go, or has a valid ticket (excluding Group Day Travelcards). Up to four children per adult

You can also buy child-rate Day Travelcards and Group Day Travelcards online before you leave home, from the TfL Visitor Shop or VisitBritain Shop.

If your child is 11-15 years old, you can ask a member of staff to set a Young Visitor discount on an Oyster or Visitor Oyster card. This allows them to get 50% off adult-rate pay as you go fares, for up to 14 days.


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