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How Much Does the London Tube Cost – Ticket Prices 2013

There are five London tube tickets available.

London tube tickets are based on a zone system.

As a tourist, you will mostly only need Zone 1, except for getting to/from Heathrow airport.

For taking the tube from/to the airport, go to the tube station counter and request an “extension” to any pass you have to cover you for 1 trip to the airport (zone 6).

The same applies if you have a pass for Zone 1 and want make a single trip to any other zones. If you’re staying in Zone 2, you’ll need a pass that covers Zone 1 and Zone 2, but these aren’t much more expensive than the Zone 1 passes.

1. Single rides.

You can buy a single ride via a paper ticket or by swiping your Oyster card.

An Oyster card is a plastic card you load money onto.

The fare for Zone 1:

Paper ticket: £4.50 GBP

Oyster card: £2.10 GBP (as you can see, you should get the Oyster card! It costs £3 to buy at any station.)

2. Daily Capped Rate

If you have an Oyster card, your daily spend will automagically get capped at £8.40. You don’t have to do anything. This will just happen. If you don’t travel during peak times (i.e., all your travel is after 9.30am), it will cap itself at £7 for the day instead of £8.40.

These rates apply to Zone 1 or Zone 1 and 2 travel. The cap is higher if you travel to other zones but will still happen automatically.

3. Paper 1 Day pass.

If you’re only in London for the day, you can buy a one day pass for £8.80 for Zone 1. If you need all 6 zones (e.g., you’re on a stopover from Heathrow airport), it’ll cost you £16.40 if you travel during peak times, and £8.90 if you only travel during non-peak times.

Peak is before 9.30am, off-peak is after.

You don’t need an Oyster card for this.

4. Weekly pass.

To buy a weekly pass, you need an Oyster card. For 2013, it’s £30.40 for Zone 1.

4. Monthly pass.

To buy a monthly pass, you need an Oyster card. For 2013, a monthly pass is £116.80 for Zone 1. This is valid for a month of use, not a calendar month.

Student tube tickets.

You can get a student Oyster card which will give you access to fares at 30% off normal rates but you have to be studying in London.

Tickets for Children – How much does the London tube cost for children? – 2013

Tube fares for children can be confusing. Age 10 and under, children travel free when traveling with an adult (up to 4 children per adult).

For children age 11-15 inclusive you can get a 50% discount on paper tickets (single ride or day pass).

There is an 11-15 Oyster Card and a 16+ Oyster Card that allow access to discounted weekly and monthly passes but these need to be applied for and there is a £10 administration fee.

1 Comment


  1. // Reply

    My dad and I have been going to London for years, but we’ve never gotten an Oyster card since we always went for just two days and didn’t need to take the tube those entire two days.
    If we had bought an Oytser card at the beginning of our London travels, it would probably have been worth it, but as last year will probably be the last time we go (for now), we just stuck with a day pass again this year.

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