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London Pass Review: Worth It or Not?
Looking for an honest London Pass review? Read on for mine, along with whether or not I think the London Pass is worth it and my tips for getting the most out of the London Pass.
So what exactly is the London Pass? Basically, it’s a sightseeing pass that allows you to get into 80+ tourist attractions in London at a steeply discounted price.
I bought the London Pass a few years ago when I went to London for a quick weekend trip with one of my friends. All in all, we were in London for less than 48 hours.
Because my friend had never been to London, and I hadn’t been since I was a kid, we wanted to see and do as much as possible during the short amount of time we were there.
So we did some research and discovered the London Pass, which seemed like a good fit for our trip.
Are you wondering if the London Pass is right for you? Read on for my full review, my personal experience and cost savings with the London Pass, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of it.
What’s Included in the London Pass?
The London Pass includes free admission to 80+ popular attractions around London.
If there are multiple attractions you want to do on your trip, buying the London Pass can save you money compared to buying tickets individually for each attraction.
Here are just a few of the 80+ attractions you get access to with the London Pass, along with how much admission normally costs if you were to buy tickets for each attraction individually:
- Tower of London (£28): One of the world’s most famous fortresses that has served as a palace and a prison and is home to the Crown Jewels!
- The View from the Shard (£32): Take an elevator all the way to the top of the Shard skyscraper for the absolute best view in London.
- Westminster Abbey (£23): This gorgeous church is where royal weddings and coronations take place and is a must-see on your trip to London.
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour (£34): Cruise around London on an iconic red double-decker sightseeing bus and hop on and off wherever you want throughout the day.
- Kensington Palace (£20): Currently home to William and Kate, this royal residence has also been the home of royal women from Queen Victoria to Princess Diana.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral (£20): This iconic domed church is absolutely breathtaking.
- Thames River Cruise (£19): Take a scenic cruise down the Thames river passing by some of London’s most famous landmarks. (Thirty minute or three hour cruise.)
- Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (£17): Pay homage to The Bard by touring the theatre where Shakespeare’s plays were performed during his lifetime.
- Churchill War Rooms (£22): Tour Winston Churchill’s secret underground headquarters. This fascinating wartime museum is a must-see for WWII history buffs.
- Hampton Court Palace (£24): This royal palace is the former home of the Tudor king Henry VIII.
- Kew Gardens (£18): The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are an oasis just outside Central London home to gorgeous landscaped gardens and greenhouses.
- Tower Bridge (£10): One of the most famous bridges in the world (and often incorrectly identified as London Bridge!) you can climb to the top of Tower Bridge for a unique experience.
- London Zoo (£27): Kids are guaranteed to love this enormous zoo right in the middle of London. It’s home to more than 750 species of animals.
- Windsor Castle (£23): Dating all the way back to the 11th century, Windsor Castle is the oldest occupied castle in the world – it’s home to the Queen of England!
The London Pass allows you fast-track admission to some of the attractions on this list, meaning you can skip the line and enter without waiting.
You also get free entertainment options such as a free movie at movies theaters around London and a free game of bowling (great options if you’re stuck for what to do on a rainy day.)
What’s NOT Included + Free Attractions in London
The London Pass includes MOST of the popular attractions in London, but it does miss a few things.
The main thing I would have liked to do in London that wasn’t included with the London Pass is the London Eye. It also doesn’t include Buckingham Palace tours or the London Dungeon, so keep that in mind if those are things that interest you.
There are also plenty of free museums and attractions in London. Some of the most popular are the British Museum, the Museum of London, the National Gallery, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
While these museums and their permanent exhibitions are free to the public, the London Pass provides additional freebies like audioguides or access to paid exhibitions.
London Pass Pricing
The price of your London Pass will depend on the duration you choose.
There are 1 Day, 2 Day, 3 Day, 6 Day, or 10 Day passes available. The more days you add, the cheaper the total cost of each day becomes.
Adult prices are for anyone aged 16 and over, while child prices are for children aged 5 to 15. (Children under the age of 5 get in almost everywhere for free.)
- 1 Day Pass: £75
- 2 Day Pass: £99
- 3 Day Pass: £125
- 6 Day Pass: £169
- 10 Day Pass: £199
- 1 Day Pass: £55
- 2 Day Pass: £75
- 3 Day Pass: £89
- 6 Day Pass: £125
- 10 Day Pass: £149
(Note: These prices are accurate as of 2020 but prices can change so check their website for the most accurate pricing information!)
London Pass with Travel Option
You can also add on an unlimited Oystercard to your London Pass.
Oystercards are what the majority of Londoners use for getting around the city. They are valid on all public transportation including the tube (metro) and buses in all travel zones in London.
Considering that a single ride costs anywhere from £4.90 to £6 depending on the zones you’re traveling through, an Oystercard can be a HUGE money-saver if you think you’ll be taking public transportation a lot.
While buying the Oystercard through the London Pass doesn’t save you any extra money compared to buying it on your own, it does save you the hassle of having to purchase it separately.
Here are the prices for adding the Oystercard travel option to your London Pass:
- 1 Day Pass: £15
- 2 Day Pass: £20
- 3 Day Pass: £30
- 6 Day Pass: £55
- 10 Day Pass: £55
- 1 Day Pass: £9
- 2 Day Pass: £19
- 3 Day Pass: £29
- 6 Day Pass: £32
- 10 Day Pass: £55
Note: Children under 11 do not need an Oystercard if they are traveling with an adult who has an Oystercard. (Up to four children per adult.)
How to Buy the London Pass
You can purchase the London Pass online and have it shipped to you, pick it up in person at the collection desk in London, or receive it as an instant mobile ticket.
The easiest way is just to purchase it online and get the instant mobile ticket (it’s free!)
That way, you’ll have your London Pass on your smartphone and you just need to show or scan it whenever you enter an attraction.
How to Save Money with the London Pass
Before buying the London Pass, it’s important to calculate whether or not you will actually save money by getting it, or whether you would be better off purchasing tickets individually.
The best way to figure this is to first add up the value of the attractions you know you want to visit in London that are included in the London Pass.
For example, let’s say you only have two days in London (like I did) and you know you want to visit the following attractions:
- Tower of London (£28)
- Westminster Abbey (£24)
- View from the Shard (£32)
- Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (£17)
- Windsor Castle (£23)
That would cost you £124 if you bought each ticket separately.
Now let’s say you also want to do a hop-on hop-off bus tour during one of your days in London. That’s an additional £34.
So that’s up to a total cost of £158 now.
Considering that the 2 Day London Pass costs only £99, you would save £59 by using the London Pass in this scenario.
I recommend taking a look at all the attractions included in the London Pass and planning out which ones are most important to you and deciding how many you can realistically do in a day. Then add it up and compare it to the cost of the London Pass to see if you’ll be saving money.
You can find the full list of attractions included in the London Pass here.
Is the London Pass Worth It?
Overall, I found the London Pass to be worth it when I used it.
We visited enough attractions on two days to make the cost of our pass absolutely worth it. It was also worth the hassle of not having to wait in line and buy tickets at every place we visited, since we were short on time.
Here is everything we did using our 2 Day London Pass:
- Hop-On Hop-Off Bus (£34)
- Tower of London (£28)
- Westminster Abbey (£24)
- Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (£17)
- Tower Bridge (£10)
- Thames River Cruise (£19)
So we experienced £132 worth of attractions for £99.
Due to poor planning on our end (more on that in a minute) we did arrive at two attractions pretty late in the day and didn’t get the full experience at them.
But overall, I still found the London Pass to be worth the money and I would consider purchasing it again on a future trip to London.
Who Is the London Pass For?
My opinion is that the London Pass is worth it for many travelers, including:
Travelers who have very little time in London but want to see a lot. You really can’t go wrong with the 1 Day or 2 Day pass because it’s so easy to make it worth the cost by visiting some of the best and most popular attractions in London.
Travelers with kids. The ease of being able to skip the line for many attractions, plus the inclusion of so many kid-friendly activities like the London Zoo, Tower of London, and hop-on hop-off bus tour makes it a great choice for families.
Travelers who are looking for convenience: Not having to purchase individual tickets, being able to skip the line, and having 80+ attractions in London right at your fingertips makes the London Pass a good choice for travelers who are looking for convenience on their trip.
Travelers who love sightseeing and activities: If you’re the type of traveler who loves to fill every day of their trip with sightseeing and activities, then the London Pass is perfect for you because you will never run out of things to do and it’ll be easy to make the cost worth it.
Who ISN’T the London Pass For?
I think the London Pass is NOT a good fit for:
Travelers who are on a tight budget: If you’re an extreme budget traveler, the London Pass may not be the best choice for you. There are plenty of free world-class museums and inexpensive things to do in London instead that won’t break the bank.
Travelers who only want to see a few things: If you’re only interested in seeing a couple paid attractions in London, then the London Pass is not going to be worth the money for you.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of the London Pass
The London Pass can be a great value, but there are a few things to keep in mind to get the most out of it. Here are my top tips for maximizing your usage of the London Pass:
Batch London Pass attractions together in a shorter timespan.
A great way to save money on the London Pass is by purchasing a shorter duration pass and batching all your paid attractions into those days.
Let’s say you’ll be in London for three days. Instead of buying a 3 Day London Pass, buy a 2 Day pass and do all your London Pass attractions in those two days. Then save your free attractions (like the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum) for your third day.
Research opening hours in advance.
When I visited Tower of London using the London Pass, I didn’t check the hours in advance so my friend and I rolled up about 45 minutes before closing time. We ended up racing through the whole complex and didn’t get to spend nearly as much time as I would have liked.
We also showed up at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on a day they weren’t giving tours, so we were only able to check out the small museum instead.
Be sure to research the hours for all the attractions you plan on hitting in advance so you don’t end up missing out on anything!
Some attractions are closed on certain days of the week (ex. Westminster Abbey is closed on Sundays) and many attractions close as early as 4:30 PM.
Download your free digital guidebook.
The London Pass comes with a free digital guidebook that you can download onto your phone before your trip for easy access while you’re traveling.
It contains a 175+ page guidebook to London, along with digital maps for the tube, London Pass attractions, and hop-on hop-off bus stops.
Get started early in the morning.
Each “day” in the London Pass refers to calendar days, not 24 hour periods.
So for example, if you have a 1 Day Pass and you don’t visit your first attraction until 2 PM that day, you wouldn’t have until 2 PM the next day to keep using your pass. It would expire at 11:59 PM on the night of the first day.
So be sure to start using your pass first thing in the morning to get as much value out of it as possible. (It’s also a good idea to visit popular attractions early in the day anyway because you’ll be able to beat the crowds.)
Don’t buy an Oystercard for children under 11.
The unlimited Oystercard travel option is a good addition to the London Pass if you think you’ll be using public transportation a lot.
However, you don’t need to purchase an Oystercard for children under 11 because they can travel for free with an adult who has an Oystercard. (Up to four children per adult.)
Give yourself enough time at each attraction.
You can only enter each attraction once with the London Pass, so be sure to give yourself enough time at each attraction because you won’t be able to visit again without paying full admission.
Going back to my example from above, I would have loved to have spent more time at the Tower of London, but since we arrived so close to closing we had to rush through everything. Don’t make the same mistake as me!
Use the hop-off hop-off bus tour as transportation.
When you purchase the London Pass, you get one day of unlimited access to a hop-on hop-off bus tour on either Golden Tours, Gray Line London, or Big Bus.
While hop-on hop-off buses are great for sightseeing, you can also use them as transportation around the city. Take a look at the bus route map before you go and you can easily plan a day of attractions to line up with the stops the bus makes.
I hope you found this London Pass review helpful!
If you want to read more about the London Pass or purchase your pass now, click here.
And if you have any questions about the London Pass, feel free to leave a comment below!
For more posts about England, be sure to read the following:
- 10 England Travel Tips You Need to Know
- 16 Prettiest Villages in England
- Top 10 Best Day Trips from London
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