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Free Tube Travel for Children

Kids Go Free on London Underground


Mother and daughter in a train
Yusuke Murata/Taxi Japan/Getty Images

Under Fives

Children under 5 travel free at any time on London buses, the tube, trams, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), and London Overground (London trains) when accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket.

Zip is the name for Oyster photocards for under-18s that allows them to travel for free or a discounted rate. There is a £10 non-refundable application fee for each Zip Oyster photocard.

5-10 years

Buses and Trams
All children aged 5-10 years can travel for free anywhere at any time without a ticket or Oyster Photocard.

Tube, DLR, and London Overground
Up to 4 children accompanying an adult who has a valid ticket or Oyster card can travel for free without a ticket or Oyster photocard. Unaccompanied 5-10 year olds can travel free if they have a 5-10 Oyster photocard but I wouldn't recommend letting this age group travel alone in London. If they do not have a valid Oyster photocard, they must pay the full adult fare on National Rail services.

11-15 years

All 11-15 year olds need an Oyster photocard to travel free on buses and trams. They must also touch in (touch their Oyster photocard on a reader) as they board a bus or at the tram stop before boarding to avoid a penalty fare.

11-15 years olds can travel off-peak on the tube, DLR, and London Overground for a maximum of £1.30 a day with an Oyster photocard.

16-18 years

16-18 year olds who are in qualifying full-time education and live in a London borough can travel free on buses and trams with a 16+ Oyster photcard. Other 16-17 year olds can get a 16+ Oyster photocard to travel at half the adult rate.

Visitors to London

Application can be made in advance for a 5-10, 11-15 or 16+ photocard for collection on arrival in London. Visitors can apply at visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk or ask for an application form to sent. You need to apply at least 3 weeks in advance or you can simply sort it out when you arrive at any London Underground station. Be sure to bring some passport size photos. See tfl.gov.uk/fares for more information.


Students aged 18 and over attending a full-time course at a university, college, or school should contact their education provider to see if they are registered with the 18+ Student Oyster photocard scheme. This allows the purchase of Travelcards and Bus Pass season tickets at 30% off the adult rate.
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