London is divided into 1-6 zones*. Central London is zone 1, zone 2 is the ring around zone 1, zone 3 is the ring around 2 and so on. If you look at the zone map below it will make sense.
It’s important to be aware of London’s transport zones and to find out what zone a station is in. Ticket prices for One Day, Weekly or Monthly Travelcard or the money deducted from a Pay as you go Oyster card can vary considerably according to how many zones you travel through.
Please note that the zones do not apply to bus travel. You can travel by bus all over London (zones 1-6) with any Travelcard.
*It’s actually 1-9 zones but zones 7,8 and 9 cover a small area just outside North West London including Watford, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, Amersham or Chalfont & Latimer.
London zone map
You can see the zone on the tube map. The zones are marked in either white or lilac. Scroll around or type in a station name in the search box to see the zone.
View a large version of the tube map.
If you’re staying in a part of London that is not on the tube network, see the National Rail services map (pdf) to find out what the zone is for your closest train station.
What London transport zones do I need?
Find the closest underground or train station to your home or your hotel. Then find the zone of the station you want to travel to. If you are visiting London, this will probably be zone 1.
When you know the zones you need to pay for, what you do depends on the type of ticket/pass you buy:
Weekly or monthly Travelcards
You need to buy a Travelcard that covers transport between where you stay and where you want to visit/your regular final destination. For example, if you stay in Shepherd’s Bush (zone 2) and plan to visit central London, you need a zone 1-2 Travelcard. If you stay in Wimbledon (zone 3) and travel to/from Oxford Circus, you need to buy a zone 1-3 Travelcard.
Pay as you go Oyster card
If you use a Pay as you go Oyster card, you need to top-up your card with enough money to either pay for a single journey for the zones you travel through or add enough money to cover the cost of the ‘daily cap’ if you want unlimited travel for the day.
Paying for transport outside your normal transport zone
There may be occasions when you need to travel outside the zones on your weekly or monthly Travelcard.
The procedure is slightly different if you have a Travelcard on an Oyster card, or a paper Travelcard:
Travelcards on an Oyster card
If you already have a weekly Travelcard for certain zones and want to visit a place outside that zone, top-up your Oyster card with some Pay as you go money to cover the cost of travelling between the last zone on your Travelcard and the zone you want to visit.
For example, if you have a zone 1-2 weekly Travelcard and you want to visit Richmond in zone 4, you need to add extra money to your Oyster to cover the fare for zones 3 and 4.
The simplest way to do this is at an underground station ticket office.
If you have a paper version of the Travelcard, you need to buy an excess fare ticket from the underground station or train station ticket office.
Stations in two zones
Some stations are on the border of two zones. These stations have a white box around their name on the tube map and tickets to these stations are slightly different to other stations. You pay the lower fare or Travelcard price to these stations according to where you are travelling from or to.
For example, Earl’s Court tube station is in zone 1 and 2. If you stay in Earl’s Court and take the tube to any other station in zone 1, you will pay the zone 1 single fare with a pay as you go Oyster. If you travel from Earl’s Court to Heathrow (zone 6), you will pay the single fare from zone 2 to zone 6.
Save money on travel to central London from zones 2-6
A major benefit of the Travelcard is it’s valid on the buses for the whole of London, regardless of the zones you buy.
If you’re staying in zones 2-6 and want to travel to zone 1 (central London) a good money-saving tip is to buy a weekly or monthly Travelcard excluding zone 1, but including zone 2. You can then take the tube/train to the zone 2 station closest to zone 1 and uses the buses to travel around central London (zone 1).
This only works with weekly or monthly Travelcards but you can save quite a bit of money. For example if you’re staying in zone 5, a 2-5 weekly Travelcard is £31.90. A zone 1-5 weekly Travelcard is £54.70. A saving of £22.80 a week.
Popular places to visit outside Zone 1
Camden Market – zone 2
Chiswick House – zone 2 (Turnham Green)
Cutty Sark – zone 2
Dulwich Picture Gallery – zone 2
Greenwich – zone 2
Ham House – zone 4
Hampton Court Palace – zone 6
Kenwood House – zone 2 (Archway)
Kew Gardens – zone 3
National Maritime Museum – zone 2
Osterley House – zone 4
Richmond – zone 4
RAF Museum Hendon – zone 4
Wembley Stadium – zone 4
Twickenham Rugby Stadium – zone 5
White Hart Lane Stadium – zone 3
Emirates Stadium – zone 2
Westfield London (Shepherd’s Bush/White City) – zone 2
Westfield Stratford – zone 3
William Morris Gallery – zone 3
Wimbledon – zone 3
Last updated: 2 January 2015