Please sign in to post.

Oyster Cards

We'll be in the UK for 3 weeks this spring, spending three days in London. We'd like to leave our rental car...obviously the B&B and take the tube, bus, etc around the city.

We're looking at Oyster Cards and man...the whole system seems a little confusing. Can anyone simplify this for us ? We found a site that says we can purchase a 3 day pass for $30. Can we go anywhere in London and travel as frequently as we want for that ??

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
5606 posts

Also, using the machines to get the Oyster cards is easy. They are at every tube stop, and there should be a human around to help if you can’t figure it out. With the Oyster card, there is a daily fare cap of around £7. Anything beyond that and you ride for free. Forget that site you found and use the official site for your information;

Posted by
13840 posts

There is no need to buy a card before arriving in London.

If you tell us where your B & B is, we can find the zone and then tell you the best card to get. More than likely, just a regular Oyster Card will be your best bet. If you don't plane to return to the UK you can turn the card back in and will get both the 5 GBP you paid for the card and any other money put on it, returned.

If you plan on returning, keep the card as it never expires.

Posted by
8080 posts

echo5298, it may seem complicated when reading about it, but its actually pretty simple in real life. You'll figure it out. The regular Oyster card (used by locals, not just visitors) is a snap to use.

Posted by
31072 posts

Are you still using Gerrards Cross for your base?

If so you will probably do better with a Travelcard from Gerrards Cross which will include the train and then all the buses and Underground you can eat each day.

But, echo5298 if you let us know where this B&B is - is it Gerrards Cross or somewhere else - and the sorts of things you want to do in London we can advise you more accurately. Last time we looked the only thing you wanted in London was Abbey Road.

Posted by
18 posts

Our B&B is in Zone 3. (We have no idea what that actually means and quite honestly....if there's a better/easier part of the city to stay in, we would certainly be on board for a change. Help !)

Posted by
31072 posts

Have you looked at the Tube Map?

The zones are bands around the centre. Zone 1 is where most tourist attractions are found. The zones are marked on the map with a large number.... 1, 2, 3, etc. The more zones you travel through the higher the fare (except buses which don't charge by zone). Zone 3 is a large belt going to all compass points. If you mentioned a bit more detail more appropriate answers could be forthcoming. It would also help if you identify where you want to go to. More than just Abbey Road now? Some parts will be relatively convenient, others not so.

If you travel into London in the morning and back in the afternoon you will be going in the same direction as the rest of mankind trying to get to work and then home.

This at least sounds a bit easier than Gerrards Cross.

Posted by
61 posts

If you have a mobile phone such as an iPhone, you can use it for contactless pay. My understanding is that TfL now treats it the same as an Oyster card. The same rates and caps apply. You want to have your e-wallet set to a credit card that doesn't charge transaction/exchange fees. That way you don't have to worry about funding the Oyster Card or designating the proper zones for a Travelcard.

Posted by
8889 posts

Echo, the answer to your questions is in the link you provided (though perhaps it requires someone familiar with London to recognise the information)

a short journey by London Overground or train, from Crystal Palace railway station (which is only 7 minutes walk from the house); or by direct buses from Crystal Palace bus station (5 minutes walk from the house).

So, you just buy an Oyster Card and fill it up with some cash. Think of it as an "access all areas" pass for all public transport in London.
Then, depending on your mood, you either get a train from Crystal Palace station, or a bus (slower, but you get to see more) to wherever you want to go in London.

This is a map of all London's rail lines - tube and national rail:
You can see Crystal Palace in the middle of square E5. It is at the end of the orange line, which is an orbital line, and on the green-and-white line, which gets you to London Bridge in one direction, and Victoria in the other.