London, a vibrant and diverse city, offers numerous attractions and sights to explore. Whether you're a visitor or a local, knowing the cheapest ways to get around London is a must. In this guide, we'll provide you with the most affordable and efficient transport options, including public transit, cycling, and walking. Get ready to explore London on a budget!

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Public Transportation
  3. Cycling
  4. Walking
  5. Travel Passes and Discounts
  6. Conclusion


Before diving into the various transport options, it's essential to understand that London is divided into nine fare zones. Zone 1 is the central area, and the zones extend outward, with Zone 9 being the farthest from the city center. Fares for public transportation vary based on the zone(s) you'll be traveling in.

Public Transportation

Public transportation in London is extensive and relatively affordable. Options include buses, trains, the Tube (London Underground), the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, and trams. Using a contactless payment card, an Oyster card, or a Travelcard can make your journey even cheaper.


Single FarePrice
Child (11-15)Free

London's bus network is extensive, and buses are an affordable way to travel around the city. The flat fare of £1.55 per journey makes buses the cheapest public transportation option.

Tube, DLR, London Overground, and Trams

Zone(s)Peak FareOff-Peak Fare

Peak times are Monday to Friday from 6:30 am to 9:30 am and from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Traveling outside of these times can save you money.


London has a public bike-sharing scheme called Santander Cycles, popularly known as "Boris Bikes." You can rent a bike for just £2 for a 24-hour access period, with the first 30 minutes of each journey being free. Additional charges apply for journeys over 30 minutes.

0-30 minFree
31-60 min£2
Each additional 30 min£2

Cycling can be an affordable and eco-friendly way to explore London, especially in areas with dedicated bike lanes.


Walking is free and allows you to truly experience London's charm. Many of London's top attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially in Zones 1 and 2.


Passes and Discounts

To save even more on transportation costs, consider purchasing a Travelcard or using an Oyster card or a contactless payment card. These options provide discounts and convenience.


Travelcards allow unlimited travel on buses, Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, and trams. You can purchase a 1-day, 7-day, or monthly Travelcard, depending on your needs. Prices vary depending on the zones covered.

Zones1-Day (Anytime)7-DayMonthly

Oyster Card and Contactless Payment Card

Oyster cards and contactless payment cards allow you to pay as you go, charging you only for the journeys you make. They offer several benefits:

  • Daily and weekly fare caps that limit the amount you spend
  • Cheaper fares compared to paper tickets
  • Convenience and easy top-up options


Exploring London on a budget is possible with the various affordable transportation options available. Public transportation is efficient and cost-effective, with buses being the cheapest option. Consider cycling or walking to enjoy the city at a leisurely pace and save money. Utilizing travel passes or an Oyster card can further reduce your travel expenses, allowing you to experience the best of London without breaking the bank.