Home / Backpacking / London’s Oyster Card – Yes, You Need One

London’s Oyster Card – Yes, You Need One

The first stop on any trip to London is not what you think.. Sure the architecture of Big Ben, the grandeur of Buckingham Palace and the glittering lights of the West End are on the list of must-do’s but first, first, first thing you do should be to stop into a train station and pick up an Oyster Card.

This little card is your key to freedom within the Old Smoke and you’ll quickly find out why.

For Londoners, the Oyster Card is a part of everyday life, you can pay quickly and easily for public transport with this golden ticket. Most locals have cards that are attached to their bank accounts and auto-debit monthly to cover travel costs.


 
The Oyster Card is essential for all public transportation in London. You CANNOT PAY CASH for the buses or trains in London. You can’t pay by credit card, you can’t barter or trade any form of livestock. You can plead with the driver for a free ride but you’ll probably get kicked off.  There is only one cardinal way to pay for the Underground, Overground, big red buses or little red buses, and it is the Oyster Card.


 

Here’s what you need to know about London’s Oyster Card:

  • To get an Oyster Card, go to any of the major train stations and choose “Visiting Oyster”
  • You can pay with cash or credit card
  • There will be a £5 deposit on the card
  • The card never expires so if you’re planning another trip through London anytime soon, hang onto your Oyster instead of returning it to a machine for your £5 back
  • You get your £5 deposit back if/when you return the card
  • Fares top out at a max cap per day so if you ride public transport a lot, don’t worry that you’ll spend a fortune per day on transit
  • Oyster is a touch card so you simply touch the pad to enter / exit the train station or to enter the bus
  • You must touch in and touch out of the train stations in order to use the card properly and not potentially face a fine
  • The card balance can be checked at any time with another machine
  • In the city (Zone 1) the max is £6,8 per day of travelling, that means ~4 tube rides or 6 bus rides
  • *You can also use a contactless debit card instead of an Oyster Card however I (the author) have never tried this method as my American cards are not contactless. There are more details on the differences between contactless and Oyster here: https://www.oyster-rail.org.uk/contactless-vs-oyster/

 

Use the chart below to find the daily fare caps for travel when you’re using an Oyster Card

Photo credit: Oyster and National Rail UK
 

In my opinion, the card seems a little flimsy so I recommend keeping it in the little plastic folding sleeve the nice people (hopefully) at the train station should give you when you take your card in the first place.

 

Here’s the beautiful London trail map for you too

Photo credit: London National Rail UK

London is an amazing city, most museums are free of charge to enter (yes, I know!!), the architecture is breathtaking and there’s an endless list of wonderful ways to spend your time.

Just remember to pick up an Oyster Card first!

About DeneaBuckingham

Denea is a world citizen and modern-day nomad. An Australian-American-Canadian, Denea left home at age 17 and has been traveling, learning, and loving life ever since. With a passion for exploration, scuba diving, spelunking, languages, and anthropology, Denea has traveled extensively around Australia, lived in the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and America. Denea is a member of the Explorers Club and is dedicated to building a community of passionate travel bloggers, adventurers, and friends around the world. Each time she ticks off a bucket list item, a new one takes its place. "The best souvenirs are the friends we make along the way."

Check Also

Wolf Week Returns to Sedona, Arizona April 15-22, 2018!

In 2017 I had the unparalleled pleasure of being one of the handlers with Apex …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Terms and Conditions

Legal and General Terms and Condition

Unless otherwise indicated, this Web Site and its contents are the sole and separate property of Travel Bloggers Tales, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (TBT). The copyright and all other intellectual property rights in the material contained on this Web Site belongs to exclusively to TBT. The trademarks appearing on this Web Site are protected by the laws of the United States and international trademark laws.

In accessing this Web Site, you agree that the Web Site is made available for your personal, non-commercial use only. Unless you have TBT’s prior written permission, you are not permitted to copy, broadcast, make available to the public, download, store (in any medium), transmit, show or play in public, adapt or change in any way the material (or any part of it) contained on this Web Site for any purpose whatsoever.

THIS WEB SITE AND ITS CONTENT IS PROVIDED FOR USE “AS IS”. TBT MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THIS WEB SITE OR ITS CONTENTS, ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY AND FITNESS FOR PURPOSE RELATING TO THIS WEB SITE AND/OR ITS CONTENT AND/OR ANY WEB SITE TO WHICH IS LINKED ARE HEREBY TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW EXCLUDED. NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES ARE GIVEN AS TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEB SITE, OR ANY WEB SITE TO WHICH IT IS LINKED.

In no event shall TBT or its owners, employees, agents, suppliers, or contractors be liable for any damages of any nature, including without limitation any consequential loss, loss of income or profit, loss of or damage to property, claims of third parties, or any other loss, cost, claim or expense of any kind or character arising out of or in connection with the use of this Web Site, its content or any Web Site with which it is linked. This exclusion and limitation only applies to the extent permitted by law.

Access to this Site is permitted on a temporary basis and TBT reserves the right to withdraw or amend the service TBT provides on the Site or part of the Site without notice. TBT will not be liable or responsible if for any reason the Site is unavailable at any time or for any period.

You may view (and, where applicable, listen to and/or watch) the content and applications available on the Site for your own private non-commercial use. You must not use or allow others to access or use, all or any part of our Site or the contents and/or applications on it for commercial purposes without our permission. Use of all or any part of any Site or the contents and/or applications on it for commercial purposes shall be subject to separate terms and conditions and may be subject to a fee.

You may occasionally print individual pages of any Site for your private non-commercial use, provided that such printing is not substantial or systematic and our trade marks, copyright notices and trade mark notices are not removed.

You must not (whether directly or indirectly) (a) distribute, transmit, syndicate, sell or offer to sell or otherwise make available all or any part of any Site or in any way seek to commercialize all or part of the combination of materials which together constitute the Site, (b) distribute, transmit, syndicate, sell or offer to sell or otherwise make available any content, files, feeds or data from a Site, whether publically available or not, except as specifically permitted by that Site and in compliance with any applicable conditions or restrictions or (c) copy, download, or store any content, files, feeds or data from any Site, whether publically available or not, to make or populate a database or publication of any kind whatsoever unless is it is copying of an insubstantial part of any such material for your personal use.

If you are required to register to use the Site, it is your responsibility to provide accurate and complete registration details and to keep such details up to date. We are entitled to rely on any such registration details you provide to us.

Your registration with the Site must be in your own real, name, not under any false or assumed name and not with any other person’s identity. You must not pretend to be a different person. You must provide a valid email address when you register for any Site. If you provide an email address to us then you warrant to us that you are entitled to receive email to such email address.

If you are required to register to use the Site, you are responsible for everything done using your registration details. You must not disclose your login details to any other person. If you think that another person may have access to, or be using, your registration details, you must inform us immediately.

TBT may suspend, terminate or prevent your account and/or your access to any or all Site(s) at its sole discretion. Where TBT suspends, terminates or prevents your registration, you must not attempt to re-register or submit any content, material or applications without our prior written consent.

TBT may suspend, terminate or prevent your account and/or your access to TBT’s at its sole discretion. Where TBT suspends, terminates or prevents your registration, you must not attempt to re-register or submit any content, material or applications without our prior written consent.

Any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with them or their subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims), shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of California and you agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts located in Los Angeles County, California. In the event of any legal action arising from or relating to these Terms of Use or your use of any Site, you hereby waive the right to a jury trial.

Should you have questions concerning this legal statement, our web site, or encounter any problems with this web site, please contact us.