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Ok, so you might be aware that when you get to London, you’ll need an Oyster card to be able to use the London underground, the buses, trains, etc. (unless you have a contactless debit or credit card, that works too, but if you don’t know what that is, you don’t have it!)

But so many visitors to London aren’t aware that there are actually two types of Oyster Cards that they can use. There’s the “regular” Oyster Card, which is what local Londoners use everyday to get to work and to travel around town. But there’s also a Visitor Oyster Card, which visitors can get in advance of their visit to London.

What’s the difference between the two Oyster Cards, and which Oyster Card is the best option for your visit to London? That’s a great question.

In this video I’ll break down what you get with BOTH of the Oyster Card options, as well as the pros and cons of using each of the cards over the other. There’s a couple of important things to know for both of the Oyster card options so make sure you watch through to the end of the video.

By the time you’re done watching, you’ll know which Oyster Card you need to get for your trip to London, how to use it, and you’ll pretty much be an Oyster Card professional!

Click the video above to watch it on Youtube, and let me know what you think in the comments of the video– did you find it helpful for choosing which Oyster Card to get?

Before you leave, these other London transportation videos will help you get around London easily:

Important Things to Know Before Using the London Underground
How to Get Around London — 8 Transportation Options

Finally, make sure you pin the image below to your London Vacation Pinterest board, and click here to visit my London Tips for Visitors Pinterest board. You’ll find TONS of great info for your big trip to London!


Most visitors don't know that there are two different types of Oyster Cards that you can use while in London. Click through to find out which Oyster Card option you should choose, how to get the Oyster Card before your trip, and how to use both of the types of Oyster Cards while visiting London.

Jessica Dante

Jess is the founder of Love and London, an online travel guide that helps London tourists to visit London like they live there. She's been featured in Refinery29, Forbes, BBC Radio 2, HuffPost, and more. Jess is also a sustainable and ethical travel advocate.


  • sharona says:

    hi…love your channel. heading to London again in April. haven’t been there in 5 years. question for you…do they have this card on line ? I mean is there a way to just use your iPhone to tap in and out inside of having a physical card? thank you

    • Jess says:

      Hi Sharona, not the Oyster Card but if you have Apple or Google Pay you can use that (although sometimes foreign bank cards don’t work for some reason.)

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