London Tube and Oyster Card. Travel with ease and confidence. First, know that there is a difference between the Oyster Card and a Visitor Oyster Card.
What is the difference?
Oyster Card: 5 pound refundable deposit. You can buy them in London. Can top up at any time. Balance under 10 pounds you can get refunded.
Visitor Oyster Card: 5 pound non-refundable deposit. You must order it online before you arrive in London and ship it to your home. Not available for purchase in London.
We arrived at London Gatwick and this is where you can buy your Oyster Card – the Visitor Centre. It’s just to the left of the WHSmith store where I got our sim card.
Travelling from London Gatwick to Central London? We took the Thameslink. It’s cheaper and only about 6 minutes longer than the Gatwick Express. Know that your trip into Central London doesn’t count towards your cap.
What’s a cap?
The cap is 7 pounds. Each trip on your Oyster Card is 2.40 pounds. If you pay cash, you’d be paying peak and non-peak, don’t pay cash – it’s almost double the Oyster Card rate.
So, with each trip being 2.40 pounds, that means on your third trip, it only costs you 2.20 pounds, and the rest of your trips for that day are free.
The cap will work on your Visitor Oyster Card, too. It seems like all their selling with the Visitor Oyster Card is the convenience of having it in your hand before you get to London – yet you don’t actually need it before you get there.
London Tube and Oyster Card
The trains come quickly and often. Google Maps is great for tracking when you need to leave – we use this exclusively.
Don’t be fooled, though – there is a bit of walking from above ground to the line you might be looking for. Accessibility is marked on the map since each station isn’t accessibility equip.
Also – it’s easy to find where the Underground is located from the ground level. Just watch for those signs!
Also – be sure you pay attention to which way/which line you’re supposed to be on. And, as you can see from the Aldgate East sign, there are different ways to get out (not all open 24 hours). It’s easy to loose your sense of direction when you’re in the tube, yet fret not, it’s also easy to get out.
Well, there you have it – how to take the London Tube with your Oyster Card. Keep an eye on your balance as you scan in and out. It takes about 15 minutes for new payments to be loaded onto your card and ready for use.
Happy public transportation taking!