The London Pass is one of our favorite city passes of all! Find out why in this complete London Pass review!
Ah, London! The history. The majesty. The culture. I LOVE me some London!
Sure, I live to experience new places and adventures…but there’s something about London that just keeps pulling me back. I could visit London a gajillion times and never get tired of being there – or run out of things to do and see. London is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I just can’t get enough of it! Of course we are able to see it and many other places through benefiting from using some of the best travel credit cards helping with the cost!
Of course, London is a bit on the spendy side. It definitely isn’t cheap. Consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit, a trip to the UK’s capital city can be a drain on your pocketbook. And, since all the prices are listed in British Pounds (obvi), costs can really sneak up on you if you’re not careful.
But, don’t let the prices scare you off. There are plenty of ways to save on your trip London, and that includes saving on entrance fees. If you want to get the most bang for your sightseeing buck, your best bet is to purchase one of my favorite city passes of all: The London Pass.
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Is The London Pass Worth It?
When I go to London, I’m going there to get out and experience the city. In addition to soaking up the atmosphere by wandering around town, what I’m really there to see is all of London’s historical sites – including The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey, and more. Purchasing The London Pass gives you FREE access to all of these wonderful places, plus about 60 more! With prices for most of the city’s major attractions hovering above 20£ (about US $31.50), you only need to hit 2 places a day to make a multi-day London Pass worth it. The London Pass is an absolute no-brainer for me, and it should be for you too. We’ll talk more about pricing in a bit!
If you find this article helpful, please feel free to use our affiliate links. By using these links to make a purchase, we will receive a small commission – at no additional cost to you. We’ve used the London Pass ourselves. We love it and highly recommend it!
A Quick Note on Timing
When you are planning your sightseeing in London, you need to take “time” into consideration. If it is your first time there, try to resist the temptation to cram all the attractions into just a few days. Once your at a location, you could easily spend several hours wandering through the exhibit. Trust me, you’re not going to want to rush through some of these places.
Be sure to account for travel time as well as for the time you’ll spend at each attraction. The majority of London’s most popular attractions are open between the hours of 10 A.M.-6 P.M, with a few of them opening at 9. If you are sticking to the Central London area, you can probably plan on seeing 3-4 attractions in a day, tops…and that is if you really boogie! Traveling to the outer edges of London to visit Hampton Court Palace or Windsor Castle (which I HIGHLY recommend you do) will cost you at least 90 minutes in travel time (round-trip), so plan accordingly. Personally, I wouldn’t do anything less than a 2 or 3 day pass.
With access to over 60 London attractions, The London Pass is hard to beat! Unlike many other city passes that may offer discounted admission fares, with The London Pass, admission to every attraction listed below is absolutely FREE! (SCORE!) Here is a quick list of some of my “Must-See” London attractions, as well as the entire list of attractions available for free entry with the pass.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is easily one of my favorite places in all of London. Built by William the Conqueror around 1070 A.D., the Tower of London has served as a royal residence, an armory, a royal mint, and a prison. A tour of the White Tower, the original structure of the complex, will regale you with stories about the “Two Princes” – believed to be murdered by their uncle, King Richard III so that he could usurp the throne. Walk the walls and discover “Taitor’s Gate” before laying your eyes on the tools of torture used in the dungeons. Enjoy gazing at the ravens while you stand in silent reverence where 2 of Henry VIII’s queens (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard) were beheaded. Make sure to take a guided walking tour of the grounds led by a Yeoman Warder (a.k.a. a “Beefeater”), and gain access to the Church of St. Peter ad Vincula – the burial spot of both executed queens. Last, but certainly not least, make your way to the Waterloo Barracks to view the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. When in London, The Tower is a sight not to be missed.
Possibly the most famous structure in all of London, Westminster Abbey was founded in 960 and remains a working church to this day. The famous double towers on its western facade are known throughout the world. The abbey has been the site of every English and British Coronation since 1066, and it continues to house King Edward’s Chair – the throne used in every coronation since 1308. Westminster Abbey also has been the site of numerous royal weddings and funerals. Additionally, the abbey acts as a cemetery for many of the most famous people in English and British history. Take a walking tour through the abbey and discover the final resting places of famous royals like Elizabeth I, Henry VII, Edward the Confessor, Mary I, Mary Queen of Scots, Edward I, Richard II, and many more.
Hampton Court Palace
If you’re looking to be transported back to Tudor England, look no further than a visit to Hampton Court Palace. Located on the Thames River about 11 miles from Central London, the palace is just a short 35 minute train ride away. Redeveloped by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey around 1515, the palace was eventually seized and occupied by King Henry VIII after Wolsey fell from his good graces. Henry continued to expand the palace’s famous Tudor style, which was then built upon by William III and Mary II in the Baroque style of the late 1600’s. Along with the “Tudor Kitchens”and the “Great Hall,” my favorite part of the palace is the “Chapel Royal.” In fact, it may be one of my favorite single rooms in all of London. Standing in the king’s private pew for the first time made my body fill with goosebumps. The chapel itself is absolutely stunning, and not to be missed. Be sure to give yourself some time to wander through the magnificent gardens and the famous hedge maze. If you are in the palace at the right time, you’ll be lucky enough to see several different characters roaming the halls in full Tudor costumes. Turning the corner and running into “Henry VIII” himself is sure to give you chills!
Windsor CastleLocated in the county of Berkshire, about a 30-50 minute train ride from Central London, Windsor Castle is both the largest and the oldest inhabited castle in the world. The castle is a favorite weekend residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and her standard flies from the famous Round Tower when she is there. Originally built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the castle has been inhabited by English and British monarchs for nearly 1,000 years. At the castle, you’ll find one of England’s best examples of Gothic architecture, St. George’s Chapel. In addition to being a fully operational church with multiple daily services, St. George’s Chapel also serves as the final resting place for ten monarchs – including King Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. Since this is a working residence, please note that some parts of the castle may not be open at all times.
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The Rest of the Attractions Available with The London Pass
(Current as of February 04, 2016)
- Kensington Palace
- Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
- Thames River Boat Cruise
- Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
- Churchill War Rooms
- Royal Albert Hall
- Royal Observatory Greenwich
- London Bridge Experience
- Tower Bridge Exhibition
- London Zoo
- HMS Belfast
- Kew Gardens
- Cutty Sark
- AccelorMittal Orbit
- Science Museum IMAX
- Wembley Stadium Tour
- The Queen’s Gallery
- The Household Cavalry Museum
- World Rugby Museum & Twickenham Stadium Tour
- The Courtauld Gallery
- London Transport Museum
- The Guards Museum
- Keats House
- Museum of Comedy
- Jason’s Original Canal Boat Trip
- Royal Mews
- Wimbledon Tour Experience
- Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
- Beefeater Gin Distillery Tour
- Charles Dickens Museum
- Arsenal Stadium Tour
- London Bicycle Tour
- Chelsea FC Stadium Tour
- Curzon Mayfair Cinema
- Curzon Bloomsbury
- Curzon Soho
- Curzon Chelsea
- Namco Funscpae
- Queens Ice & Bowl
- London Brass Rubbing Centre
- Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
- Chelsea Physic Garden
- London Wetland Centre
- Design Museum London
- The Monument
- Chislehurst Caves
- Wernher Collection at Ranger’s House
- Fan Museum
- BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
- Jewish Museum London
- Lord’s Cricket Ground Tours
- Florence Nightingale Museum
- National Theatre Backstage Tours
- Jewel Tower
- Rock ‘n Roll Walk
- London Motor Museum
- The Banqueting House
- Eltham Palace
- The Foundling Museum
- Benjamin Franklin House
- Wellington Arch
- Cartoon Museum
- London Canal Museum
- Apsley House
- Pollock’s Toy Museum
- Firepower Royal Artillery Museum
- Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising
- The Old Operating Theatre Museum
Additional Benefits of The London Pass
Wow! That is a lot of attractions! #amiright?
Free entry into some of London’s best attractions isn’t all that The London Pass has to offer. Here are a few of the other great benefits of getting the pass:
- Fast Track Entry – One of the biggest advantages of purchasing The London Pass is that it gives you “Fast Track Entry” into several of the city’s most popular attractions. During peak times, lines to get in can be long. Purchase the card, skip the lines, and save yourself time (and headaches) so that you can see more of London’s best attractions!
- The London Pass Guidebook – When you pick up your London Pass, you’ll receive a nifty little guidebook to help you plan your sightseeing in London. This little gem provides informative descriptions of all of the attractions available with the pass. Additionally, the guidebook supplies you with all of the opening/closing times and with directions on how to travel to each destination. Frankly, this is an invaluable little book that I wear out each time I go there.
- Special Offers and Discounts – In addition to all of the free attractions listed above, The London Pass also gives users access to more than three dozen special offers and discounts. From discounted theatre tickets to free entry to museum exhibitions, The London Pass can help you save even more money as you discover all there is to do in the city.
Adding the Oyster Card to The London Pass
Let’s talk a little bit about transportation throughout the city. London has one of the best – if not the best – public transportation systems in the world. It is my preferred method of traveling around the city, and you should use it while you are there too. Not only is it uber convenient, it is extremely easy to use.
Although you can make your way around on buses, I prefer to use the city’s subway system. The subway is officially known as the “Underground,” but it is more affectionately referred to as “The Tube.” You’ll find tube stations located all throughout the city. You’ll know you’re at one when you see the easily recognizable signs featuring a red circle with a white center and a blue horizontal stripe running through the middle. Here’s a photo of what it looks like:
The other train system that you’ll want to use in London is the National Rail system. You’ll need to use this system to get to attractions outside of London proper, like Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace. Unlike the Tube, where trains come and go every few minutes, trains on the National Rail system leave at predetermined times. Check what time your train leaves before you make sightseeing plans for the day. Typically, National Rail stations are identified by two horizontal red lines that kind of look like fancy train tracks. Usually, they’ll look like some variation of this:
In order to board the trains, you are going to need a train pass. With the Oyster Card, you can board either the Tube or the National Rail, which makes it perfect for sightseeing in London. Better yet, you can add it to the cost of your London pass (at a steep discount) for just a few dollars more. You should absolutely do this! It is by far, the easiest, fastest, and best way to get to all the places you want to see quickly!
London Pass Pricing
So, what is the bottom line? I knew you’d ask!
The London Pass has 5 different pricing options which are based on how long you plan to use the pass. Broken down in to 1, 2, 3, 6 and 10 day passes, you can choose to use the pass for as long or as little as you like. Take note that you cannot split up your available days. The pass is good for a set of consecutive days only. So, you should plan your sightseeing in and around London accordingly.
Here is the pricing structure (current as of February 04, 2016):
|Passes||Adult Price||Adult Price w/Travel||Child Price||Child Price w/Travel|
|1 Day Pass||£59.00||£72.00||£39.00||£45.00|
|2 Day Pass||£79.00||£97.00||£59.00||£71.00|
|3 Day Pass||£95.00||£123.00||£66.00||£84.00|
|6 Day Pass||£129.00||£172.00||£89.00||£119.00|
|10 Day Pass||£159.00||£212.00||£109.00||£162.00|
As you can see, there is a separate price if you include “travel” with the card. This includes your Oyster Pass for traveling on London’s fabulous public transportation systems. Let me state this again: Do it! It is money well spent.
Just to prove my point, here is what you would spend at the gate for tickets at 6 of London’s top attractions without the London Pass:
- Tower of London: £24.50
- Westminster Abbey: £20.00
- Hampton Court Palace: £19.30
- Windsor Castle: £19.20
- Kensington Palace: £16.50
- Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour: £22.00
- TOTAL: £121.50
Use the 3-Day London Pass and you’ll pay just £95.00. To make it worth it, just check out 2 attractions a day. PLUS, you’re skipping the lines! I call that a no-brainer.
How to Get The London Pass
Ordering your London Pass is a piece of cake. Personally, I like to order my London Pass before I depart from home. That way, I know I have it, and it is already there waiting for me. It also allows me to check for any sales and take advantage of any discounts being offered prior to traveling. However, you can still pick one up from the Redemption Centre if you are already there. Follow our link to purchase your London Pass now!
To top it off, the London Pass is almost always offering discounts! Here are the current deals:
Where to Pick Up Your London Pass
If you order your pass ahead of time, you can have it shipped directly to your door for a small fee of 3-7£. Personally, I’d rather save the money and pick it up myself. It immediately allows me to get my feet on the ground and see a little bit of the city. Even for first timers, picking up your London Pass is a breeze. Here is how you do it:
- Take the Tube to Leicester Square
- Exit the Tube from Exit 1 onto Charring Cross Road
- Turn left out of the exit
- Walk past the Wyndham’s Theatre
- Walk 100 meters toward Trafalgar Square
- The redemption desk is in the downstairs of the ticket book across from the Garrick Theatre
Seriously, it is easy peasy to find this place. It is literally about a 90 second walk from the Tube station. Here is a map and a photo of the booth to help you out.
So, is The London Pass worth it? I think I can answer that with a giant ABSOLUTELY YES!!! Don’t forget that you can order your London Pass today by clicking here. I bid you safe travels and enjoy London!
3 Other Resources to Save in London
You already know why we think the London Pass is awesome. But, the London Pass is just one way to save while in London. You’ll still need to get there, stay in a hotel, find things to eat, and take care of a bunch of other expenses. The best travel rewards cards and cash back cards are a great way to help take care some of these expenses. Here are 3 of our favorites:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® – If you want to save money on travel, this card is a “must have!” Quite frankly, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our all-time favorite rewards card for flexible expenses. Right now, you can earn 50,000 bonus points just for signing up! All you have to do is spend $4,000 in the first three months, and you’ve earned the bonus. Those 50,000 points are good for $500 in cash back our about $625 toward travel expenses. Additionally, Chase Ultimate Rewards® points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to 11 of the best loyalty programs around – including Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Ritz-Carlton, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and more. There are no foreign transaction fees, but the card does have a $95 annual fee. Lucky for you, that fee is waived the first year.
Discover it® Miles – Want to earn unlimited miles on all of your purchases? What if I told you that those miles were doubled at the end of your first year? That’s what you get with the Discover it® Miles Card. You’ll earn 1.5X miles for every dollar you spend on the card. Then, at the end of your first year as a card member, those miles double, which means you essentially earn an unlimited 3% travel credit on all purchases for the first year! You’ll also recieve an annual $30 in-flight WiFi credit, which is pretty sweet. There is no annual fee, which makes this card a great way to save! Learn More Here!
Chase Freedom® Unlimited – As a straight cash back card, the Chase Freedom® Unlimited is hard to beat. Right now, you’ll earn a $150 signup bonus for spending just $500 in 3 months. That’s the closest thing to “free money” you’ll ever see! Plus, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. That means no caps and no rotating categories to worry about. There is also a 15-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases. With no annual fee, this may be the best cash back card available.