Best Travel Tickets to Buy in London
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Best Travel Tickets to Buy in London

You’ve arrived in the Big Smoke but you need to get around and work out the best travel tickets to buy and there are plenty to choose from. Make your life easier by checking out this guide for the best ticket deals for travelling in London and save yourself the confusion.

Oyster card

London’s Oyster Card has been around for nearly ten years and is deemed a travel revolution in the capital’s travel system.  They are blue smartcards which fit snugly into your wallet ready to use.  You can top up your credit as and when you need, either online with a credit card, at a station, or a newsagents.  It is the most cost effective way of travelling in London and can be used on all means of transport in the city, even boats. 

The system works whereby you simply tap in and out on the yellow card reader located at all entrances and exits which you do at the beginning and end of your journey.  The card then calculates the price of your journey and deducts the amount from your card.  London’s travel map is spilt into zones: the further your journey from central London, the more you pay and the Oyster subtracts your fare accordingly.  You can make as many journeys as you wish, providing you have enough cash on the card and there are many discounts for children, (under 11s go free), students, the elderly and disabled travellers. 

You can buy Oyster Cards at any transport ticket booths and most newsagents.  A £5 refundable deposit is needed when purchasing the card which you can then claim back when you leave.  Registering the card is optional but if your card is lost or stolen, it can replaced and you will be compensated for the amount of credit you had left.  As a visitor who planning a journey to London, you can even order your Oyster Card online before you leave your home which saves you the hassle of standing in a queue when you get here.

Travel Card

If you’re not planning on doing lots of travelling on London transport, you may prefer to buy a one day Travel Card.   These can also be used on any form of transport, although you can pay for a separate, cheaper card just for the buses.  Your one day card will allow you limitless journeys until midnight which means you don’t have to waste time buying different tickets for each journey and afterwards the ticket can be thrown away after a day unlike the Oyster Card which you keep.

The price of the card is dependent on which of the nine zones you wish to travel in and at what times you want to travel; if you travel after 9.30am, the price of the card is much cheaper.  Again, children under ten go free when accompanied with an adult.  If you’re planning to take full advantage of seeing and travelling to many destinations in London, you might want to think about buying a seven day Travel Card. 

There are often people selling even cheaper travel cards outside tube stations and although these might still be valid, as a tourist, it would not be advisable to buy these tickets.

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Comments (1)

Valuable information for the traveler to London. I was there about 15 years ago and I actually rented a car! NEVER AGAIN. I kept seeing people flashing this odd symbol at me that looked strangely like a peace sign - later to find out that it was indeed NOT a peace sign. :)