View Full Version : Cheapest way to travel around London for 3 days (tourist)

5th May 2013, 16:13
Going to London with my wife for 3 days soon THUS FRI SAT,

Been many years since we where last there...I remember we bought discount travel cards at a tube stn last time we where there...cant remember what they where called,

Just been looking up about travel cards and I see there are Oyster Card and also Travel Cards....not sure which we need...

We are staying at a hotel in Vauxhall and need to visit Wimbledon....apart from that we will be around central London and may need to get about during the evening peak,

I wonder could anybody advise what cards we need to buy and where do we get them.


5th May 2013, 16:27
Since travel cards are only for either 1 or 7 days, from 16 for an "unlimited" travel across all zones per 1 day card and a 7 day card costing 55 per person for unlimited travel in all zones, I would recommend the "Pay As You Go" Oyster card which you can top up with as little as possible and only add more "credit" in small amounts. Depending on what you are doing and where you are going, of course, I would say this would work out cheaper than paying for a travelcard if you are not doing much daily travelling. More info below.

Visitor Oyster Card | Ticket comparison (http://visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk/help-centre/ticket-comparison.html)

Metro man
5th May 2013, 16:56
Buy a travel card covering the only number of zones you need and go off peak (after 9.30am I think). Work out on this basis if it's cheaper to buy a daily or a weekly one, e.g. if you only need all the zones on one day then buying them for a week is a waste.

Buying single tickets gets expensive very quickly, I paid 4.50 from Green Park to Victoria, a travel card was about twice that.

5th May 2013, 18:23
Don't buy single tickets. The advantage of the Oyster is that you get debited for what you acutally use - capped at the price of a day-ticket.

You can get the Cards at the Tube station at Heathrow - 5 deposit, but you get that and any residual credit back when you leave. You do have to stop by a manned ticket office though.

5th May 2013, 19:34
Cancel the hotel and buy an Oyster card.

Sleep on the tube and save loads!



5th May 2013, 19:43
Thanks for the info guys,

The visitor Oyster card...is it possible to buy one tube stn...if so do I need ID....reading on the TFL website it gives the impression that you have them sent to you in the post...as we re travelling this coming Thursday I don't think we would get one in time if that's the case,

They never seem to answer all these type of questions in the FAQ section.


5th May 2013, 20:36
I know you can buy them at Heathrow Underground and at the London City DLR stations. I'm guessing you can buy them at any 'manned' (wommened? personned??) ticket office. They take Credit Cards and UK Maestro (direct debit) cards. 5 deposit plus whatever you want to put on the card, I started with 20.

You can 'top-up' the card at machines at any underground station using cash or credit cards.

No ID required. You can 'register' the card on-line after you've bought it, but that's up to you. Registering it means that you can top up on-line or cancel it should you lose it etc.

5th May 2013, 20:43
ExxB's posting above is exactly as it works, and yes you can buy them at any staffed counter.

The first time I topped mine up I keyed in 200 instead of 20. Went to the counter and they reversed it straight away and credited my card account.

I hardly ever go to or through London but it's a useful thing to have. Also it's not nominal so you can let someone else use it, but as far as I know you need one Oyster card per person, in other words you can't swipe it twice to allow two people to do the same journey.


Visitor Oyster Card | Home Page (http://visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk/)

5th May 2013, 20:54
One extra with the Oyster card - if you have a Senior Railcard you can register it with the Oyster card and you then get a discount on journeys (20% I think)

5th May 2013, 20:57
What the difference between the visitor Oyster Card and the ordinary Oyster Card.

5th May 2013, 21:17
and dont forget to also use the high speed cataraman from Embankment to O2 to get a different view of London from the river, no commentary but a lot cheaper than the official River Cruise, and they take Oyster and there is a discount!

5th May 2013, 21:39
What the difference between the visitor Oyster Card and the ordinary Oyster Card.

Bugger all. Buy one for 5, top it up and use as needed. Put more credit on as you require and when finished you can cash it in or donate it to a charity by dropping it off in one of the prominent boxes around the system. Enjoy.

5th May 2013, 21:41
What the difference between the visitor Oyster Card and the ordinary Oyster Card.
None! (unless it's changed since I left London a coupla years ago.)

6th May 2013, 00:18
Oyster cards are very convenient, but do remember to 'swipe out' at the end of your tube journey otherwise you may be overcharged. (It's easy to overlook exit swipe pads if there's no barrier). London buses are often quicker and more convenient for shorter journeys, and you only swipe on boarding because it's a flat fee per bus journey.