I need to make 1 return ride with the London tube. I figured out that a paper tickets is the best option (don't have contactless credit card, and I do not need a oyster card) but:

  • Can I buy a paper ticket return upfront (e.g. valid for a month)?
  • Can I buy a paper ticket in each underground station (in zone 1)?
  • Can I pay a paper ticket there by VISA Credit Card?
  • Can I buy London Tube tickets at Gatwick Airport Station from one of those 15 red vending machines which are lined up there? Or is this only for train?


  • From Gatwick you'll probably enter in London at Victoria Station. Right before exiting the station, on the left, there is an official information booth selling tickets and helping tourist.
    – motoDrizzt
    Jun 5, 2017 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


You can buy a paper single for fares from £4.90 (for zone 1 travel, as of 2017); you can find the fare on the TfL website. You can also get paper returns (according to Wikipedia they are simply twice the price of a single), but they're only valid for one day. You can't buy them at Gatwick, but there are ticket vending machines and (theoretically) staff to assist with their use at every tube station concourse, both in central London and in the outskirts. The machines accept cards.

It's quite pricey, deliberately so (to try to encourage people to use Oyster), but if you really don't want the hassle of that, it's probably the best way if you're really only doing one journey per day.

If you're doing more than one journey per day, consider getting a paper Day Travelcard instead; they currently cost £12.30 for a Zone 1-4 anytime travelcard or a Zone 1-6 off-peak travelcard; or £17.50 for a Zone 1-6 anytime travelcard (fares here).

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