<< Scroll right for the travelcard prices >>
|Trains||Cash||Oyster and Contactless||Travelcards (Trains & Buses)|
|Single||Single||Daily cap||Weekly cap||1-Day||Weekly||Monthly||Annual|
Child fares? See our child train fares page
Return fares? There are no return fares. You just pay the same price as two single journeys
Anytime, peak and off-peak? For Oyster and contactless off-peak is outside the hours of 6.30-9.30 AM and 4-7 PM (Mon-Fri). For travelcards off-peak is any time after 9.30 AM (Mon-Fri). Weekends and public holidays are always off-peak. Fares are based on what time your journey begins (it doesn’t what time you finish)
Daily cap? If you make multiple journeys in one day then the computer will stop charging you once your total amount reaches the daily cap. Journeys after that will be free if you stay within those same zones
Weekly cap? If you make multiple journeys between Mon-Sun then the computer will stop charging you once your total amount reaches the weekly cap. Journeys after that will be free if you stay within those same zones. You only get a weekly cap with contactless cards, not Oyster
Oyster cards look like a blue credit card. You simply load them up with as much credit as you need and the computer will automatically deduct the correct fare every time you touch it against a yellow reader. When you start running low on credit you simply top it up again at a ticket machine. More information about Oyster cards.
Visitor Oyster cards are aimed primarily at tourists, but work in exactly the same way as blue Oyster cards. The big difference is that they already come with some credit pre-loaded on to them, to save you having to load it on yourself at the station. More information about Visitor Oyster cards.
Travelcards remain valid for a set period of time: either 1-day, one week, one month, or one year. You can also choose which zones you want it to cover. Depending on which type you get and where you get it from, it will either come as a paper ticket or be loaded on to a blue Oyster card. More information about travelcards.
Contactless cards are just your normal everyday bank cards (the same ones your use to do your everyday shopping). They work in exactly the same way as Oyster cards, and even have the same fares as Oyster cards. The only difference is that you don’t need to keep topping them up because the money comes straight out of your bank account. More information about contactless cards.
In order to work out an adult train fare you will need to know which zone (or zones) your train passes through. The more zones you pass through, the higher the adult fare will be.
Most London underground maps will show the fare zones as a series of concentric grey/white rings, with the smallest ring at the centre. That is zone 1 (the touristy bit). Most tourists will spend their entire holiday within zone 1, or possibly zone 2 as well if they want to visit Greenwich or The O2. They might also want to visit zone 6 if they’re flying in from Heathrow.
Just to confuse things, sometimes a station might be in two different zones at the same time. Earl’s Court, for example, is listed as being in zone 1 and zone 2 at the same time. The fares for these stations are based on your direction of travel. If you came from the direction of zone 1 it will count as zone 1, and if you came from the direction of zone 2 it will count as zone 2.
If you use our train journey planner then we will tell you which zones you pass through for each journey. For example, if you look at the journey between Heathrow airport and King’s Cross then you will see that it passes through zones 1 to 6.
Oyster cards and contactless cards both have something called a daily cap. This is the maximum amount of money that the computer will take from your card each day – regardless of how many journeys you make. It’s worth nothing that the daily cap is always cheaper than a 1-day travelcard, making Oyster cards and contactless cards better value for money.
Contactless cards also get something called a weekly cap as well (Oyster cards do not get this). This will freeze your maximum weekly spend at the same level as a weekly travelcard.
Note: the weekly cap only works between Monday and Sunday. If you’re travelling between any other stretch of seven days, like Friday to Thursday, for example, then the computers aren’t clever enough to realise that you’re travelling over a week and will just charge you for seven individual days.
Buy train tickets online:
Buy an Oyster Card
Buy a Visitor Oyster Card
Buy a 1-day travelcard
Buy a weekly travelcardNote: Monthly and annual travelcards cannot be ordered online. See travelcard page for details Buy National Rail tickets: Buy from Trainline
Buy from Raileasy
Buy a London Pass online:
Buy an Oyster Card + London Pass
Before you decide which card to buy you might want to look at buying a London Pass.
The main benefit of getting a London Pass is the free or discounted entry into lots of popular attractions (and a way to skip the queues!), but you can also buy them with an Oyster card attached, saving you the hassle of having to buy one separately.
Oyster fares and contactless fares are described as being Peak and Off-peak. If a fare is Peak then that means a journey between the hours of 6.30-9.30 AM and 4-7 PM (Monday to Friday). Outside of those hours is Off-peak. Weekends and public holidays are always classed as off-peak, no matter what time you’re travelling.
Travelcards are slightly different because they’re described as being Anytime and Off-peak. Anytime means exactly what it says: you can travel at any time, plus up to 4.30 AM the following day (you always get a bonus journey home after midnight with a travelcard). Off-peak is any time after 9.30 AM (Monday to Friday). Weekends and public holidays are still classed as off-peak.
Note: fares are based on what time your journey begins. It doesn’t matter what time your journey finishes. So an Oyster journey between 6 AM and 8 AM on a Monday is off-peak. Between 8 AM and 10 AM it’s peak. For a travelcard they’re both peak time.
London: A Visitor’s Guide
Have you seen our guidebook? We explain how to ride the buses, boats, taxis and trains, with all the fares and ticket options
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