Mayor of London

Visitor Oyster card

Getting started in London

Here's some information to help you get started.

  • London's public transport network is integrated so it's easy to switch between most  transport services using the same travel ticket
  • London is divided into nine travel zones. Zones 1 and 2 are in central London and Zones 6-9 are on the outskirts of the city. See maps
  • Travel is more expensive at peak travel times - Monday to Friday from 06:30 to 09:29 and 16:00 to 18:59. Travel is cheaper at off peak times - this is all other times including the weekend and public holidays

Why buy a Visitor Oyster card?

A Visitor Oyster card is one of the cheapest ways to pay for single journeys on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London:

  • Save time - your card is ready to use as soon as you arrive
  • Great value - it's cheaper than buying a paper Travelcard or single tickets
  • Save money with special offers - plus discounts on the Emirates Air Line and Thames Clipper river buses

Buy a Visitor Oyster card

A Visitor Oyster card costs £3 (non-refundable) plus postage and is pre-loaded with pay as you go credit for you to spend on travel. You can choose how much credit to add to your card: £10, £15, £20, £25, £30, £35, £40 or £50. 

Your card will be posted to your home address. UK delivery typically takes 2-4 days, overseas delivery 8-14 days.

Visiting London for 2 days?

Start with £15 credit on your card for unlimited off-peak travel in central London (Zones 1 and 2).

Other options to buy tickets

A number of overseas travel agents also sell the Visitor Oyster card. Find your nearest agent.

No time to buy your tickets before you leave or already in London? Find out about the other tickets available.

    Great value

    There is a daily price cap for using your Visitor Oyster card - once you have reached this limit, you won't pay any more.

    For example you can travel as many times as you like in a day in Zones 1 and 2 (from 04:30 to 04:29 the next day) and you will never be charged more than £6.40 even if you make 20 journeys.

    Visitor Oyster card
    TravelcardCash tickets

    Cost of single journey on Tube, DLR, London Overground
    Maximum daily cost of unlimited journeys

    Cost of single journey on bus and tram

    Maximum daily cost of unlimited journeys

    Cost of single journey on Tube, DLR, London Overground
    Travel Zones PeakOff-PeakPeakOff-PeakAny time
    PeakOff-PeakAny time
    Zone 1 only




    Maximum daily cost for unlimited journeys on buses and trams £4.40



    Zone 1-2







    Zones 1-4







    Zones 1-5
     £10.90 £10.90 N/A N/A£5.80
    Zones 1-6 £5.10







    Find out the difference between a Visitor Oyster card and a Travelcard.

    Special offers and discounts

    Save money with your Visitor Oyster card, enjoy:

    Child tickets

    • Children under 11 travel free on buses and trams
    • Up to four children under 11 years of age can travel for free when accompanied by a fare paying adult on Tube, DLR, London Overground services
    • Children under five travel for free on the Emirates Air Line when accompanied by a fare paying adult
    If you're travelling with children over 11 years of age, you have two ticket options:

    Visit our Visitor Shop to buy adult and child tickets before you leave home.

    How to add credit to your card

    If you run out of money on your Visitor Oyster card, it's easy to add more credit at:

    • Ticket machines in Tube, DLR, London Overground and some National Rail stations
    • Around 4,000 Oyster Ticket Stops across London
    • Travel Information Centres
    • Tube and London Overground station ticket offices

    You can't top up your Visitor Oyster card online.

    Unused credit on your card

    The credit on your card never expires so you can keep your card until your next visit to London, or lend it to friends and family.

    Please check the balance on your Visitor Oyster card before you leave London at a Tube, DLR or London Overground station ticket machine or Oyster Ticket Stop as you cannot do this from home.

    To get a refund on any unused credit take your card to a Tube station or post it to us.

    Refunds at Tube station ticket offices

    We will ask you for proof of your name and address. Your refund will be paid in cash or by debit/credit card depending on how you paid for the credit originally. Your Visitor Oyster card will be returned to you for future use.

    Acceptable proof of your identity

    • A valid passport or an ID card from an European Economic Association country
    • NHS medical card
    • Birth certificate
    • Driving licence

    Acceptable proof of your address

    • Current council tax bill
    • Current council or housing association rent book or statement
    • Residential utility bill (dated within the last three months)
    • Residential bank or building society statement (dated within the last three months)
    • Credit card statement (dated within the last three months)

    We do not accept mobile phone bills as proof of name and address.

    Refunds by post

    Send your card and a covering letter explaining why you are returning it to:

    TfL Customer Services

    14 Pier Walk
    4th Floor
    SE10 0ES

    We will refund any credit by cheque in GBP. We cannot return your card to you.