Oyster Card & Riding the Underground

On my first trip to London, I never ended up picking up an Oyster Card. We ended up just buying day passes for the tube. This time, I decided to give the seemingly complicated system a go. Costing just a five pound refundable deposit, each traveler receives an Oyster Card as a contactless form of payment for the London Underground. The card can also be used on most other forms of transport throughout the city (minus taxis).

using my Oyster card

Making my way through the Underground – London 2016

Derek and I both purchased 20 pounds of credit on our cards for our five day stay in London. We used just over half of each card. Luckily, everything we saw and where we stayed was all within Zone 1 – that kept our costs down. We also walked a LOT. The Oyster Card saves you money as you are charged pay-as-you-go fares rather than individual ticket prices. It caps you at a daily (or weekly) maximum so you are never charged too much. Traveling during off-peak hours also saves you money (peak hours are before 09:30 Monday through Friday). Honestly, it’s a lot less complicated than I thought, and you can save yourself a lot of time if you are in London for more than a day. Lining up for a ticket every morning on my first trip cut into valuable travel time.

on the tube

Happily resting on the tube – London 2016

We ended up keeping our Oyster Cards (I’m sure we will be back in London someday), but you can get a refund for any remaining credit and the deposit. For ease of use, I would definitely recommend anyone picking up an Oyster Card if you are planning on being in London for more than a day and using public transportation frequently.

Manage your Oyster Card:


Tranport for London:

Plan your trip here.

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