London is divided into 9 concentric zones, arranged like rings around the center. Zone 1 is the central part of London and zone 9 is the periphery (take a look below, at the subway station map).
According to Wikipedia, the system is "used for calculating the price of tickets for travel on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and, since 2007, on National Rail services. For most tickets, travel through the zone is charged more expensively than the others."
You should be interested in Zone 1, the Central part of the city that contains most of the attractions: Westminster, the Parliament, London's Eye, Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral and Hyde Park, Piccadilly Square and many others.
Day Off-Peak Travelcard:Adult Zones 1-2 £7.30
Adult Zones 1-4 £8.00
Adult Zones 1-6 £8.90
Don't forget to check the prices here.
Visitor Oyster card
Visitor Oyster cards are plastic smartcards you can use instead of paper tickets.
Put on pay as you go credit which you use when you travel.
It is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.
According to the official website, here are some fares for Oyster card :
Zones 1 to 2
Oyster £2.80 peak, £2.10 off-peak
Zones 1 to 6
Oyster £5.00 peak, £3.00 off-peak
Single bus journey
Unlimited journeys in one day in zones 1 and 2
£8.40 peak, £7.00 off-peak
on't forget to check the prices here.
During my staying in London I bought everyday a travel card for the off peak hours.
I was lucky to stay in the second zone, next to Finsbury Park so I used the travel card for the zones 1-2 which costs 6,6 pounds. In the first zones are located most of the attractions to visit: Westminster, London Eye, British Museum, Piccadilly Square, Hyde Park and many others.
There were days when I used the bus and the tube many times.
If you pay in cash, a journey with the tube in the zone 1-2 costs 4.3 pounds (No Oyster), while you can use a travel card (6.6 pounds) for multiple journeys in the same day.
For example in the second day I had this route:
- Finsbury Park (tube) - Baker Street (tube) to visit Madame Tussaud.
- Baker Street (tube) - Tower Hill (tube) to visit Tower of London
- Tower Hill (tube) - Westminster (tube) to visit Westminster Abbey, but it was a loong quake and from
- Westminster (tube) - St. Paul's (tube) visit the St. Paul's Cathedral.
- St. Paul's (tube) - Russell Square (tube) to visit a part of British Museum
- Russell Square (tube) - Piccadilly Circus (tube) to eat
- Piccadilly Circus (tube) - Knightsbridge (tube) for Harrods
- Knightsbridge (tube) - Finsbury Park home
It was a looong day...I was almost asleep in the British Museum and when I got home I didn't feel my legs. It was a beautiFULL day :)