FLASH SALE: Get up to 20% OFF the London Pass! Sale runs through Wednesday, April 17th, 2019. Follow the link for details.
The London Pass is one of our favorite sightseeing passes of all! Find out why in our complete London Pass review!
Ah, London! The history. The majesty. The culture.
I LOVE me some London!
There’s something about London that keeps pulling me back. I could visit the city a gajillion times and never grow tired of being there. London is simply one of my favorite cities in the world, and I can’t get enough of it!
Unfortunately, London isn’t cheap.
Consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit, a trip to the UK’s capital can drain your pocketbook. And, since all the prices are listed in British Pounds, things can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.
Don’t let the cost scare you off. There are plenty of ways to save on your London vacation, and that includes saving money with a sightseeing pass. To get the most bang for your sightseeing buck, consider purchasing one of my favorite sightseeing passes of all – the London Pass.
What is the London Pass?
The London Pass is an all-inclusive sightseeing card that provides entry to over 80 of the city’s best attractions. In addition to admission fees, the card also includes “fast track entry” to some of London’s busiest spots, helping you to skip the long ticket lines and save valuable sightseeing time.
If you’re making your first trip to London, this pass is the perfect way to experience the city’s top spots for much less. In fact, we’ve personally used it to save well over $100 USD during our first visit.
As you’d expect, the London Pass includes entry to most of London’s major historical sites – like the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey, and more. These are all “must see” sites that no visitor should miss.
Additionally, the London Pass includes about 80 other attractions. And, with prices for most of the city’s major attractions hovering above 20£ (currently about $26 USD), you only need to hit about 2 places a day to make a multi-day London Pass worth it. Plus, the pass is almost always on sale, providing even more value for your travel dollars. (We’ll talk more about pricing in a bit!)
For those who plan to use London’s fabulous public transit system to get around, you can also add an “Oyster Card” for an additional fee. (We’ll talk more about this too!)
Like the New York Pass, the London Pass is an absolute no-brainer for me, and it should be for you too. As a Club Thrifty reader, just use the coupon code below to take advantage of this month’s London Pass sale!
How It Works
Like most other all-inclusive passes, the London Pass works on a consecutive day basis. This means that you purchase the pass for a set number of days, allowing you to visit as many of the included attractions as you like during the time that your pass is active.
The London Pass can be purchased in 1, 2, 3, 6, and 10-day varieties. So, if you choose a 3-day London Pass, your pass is good for 3 consecutive days from the time it is activated. Capiche?
To activate your card, simply present it at the gate of your first attraction. They’ll scan your card and – voila – you’re good to go! You’re pass acts as your ticket for each attraction, so all you need to do is show the pass on the way in and you’re set. (Editor’s note: Some guided tours may require reservations in advance. Check your pass guidebook for details.)
You can get your London Pass in the form of a physical card, or you can carry the mobile pass on your smartphone. Physical cards can be collected at once you get to London for free, or you can have them shipped to your home for a small fee. As you’d expect, downloading the mobile pass is also free of charge.
Keep in mind that the London Pass uses calendar days, not 24-hour periods. Regardless of whether you activate your pass at 9 AM or 2 PM, that counts as your first day. So, it’s typically best to activate your pass early in the day to ensure you get the most value out of Day 1.
Top Attractions Included on the London Pass
The London Pass provides entry to over 80 of the top tourist attractions in London, including:
- Tower of London (£26.80)
- Westminster Abbey (£22.00)
- Hampton Court Palace (£20.90)
- Windsor Castle (£22.50)
- St. Paul’s Cathedral (£20.00)
- The Shard (£32.00)
- Kensington Palace (£19.50)
- Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (£17.00)
- Thames River Boat Cruise (£18.75)
- Hop on Hop off Bus Tour (£34.00)
- …and much more (view the full attractions list here)
*Current as of April 2019
With access to over 80 London attractions, the London Pass is easily one of my all-time favorite sightseeing passes!
Unlike some passes that offer discounted admission fares, with the London Pass, admission to every attraction listed is included! Plus, by visiting just 2 or 3 sites a day, you can save some serious money.
Speaking of money…
London Pass Pricing
So, how much is the London Pass? I knew you’d ask!
The London Pass has 5 different pricing options based on how long you plan to use the pass. Separated into 1, 2, 3, 6, and 10-day passes, you can use the pass for as long or 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. If the consecutive day pricing model turns you off, you may want to consider the London Explorer Pass instead. Or, purchase the London Pass and plan accordingly.
Here is the pricing structure (current as of April 2019):
|Passes||Adult Price||Adult Price w/Travel||Child Price (ages 5-15)||Child Price w/Travel|
|1 Day Pass||£75.00||£90.00||£55.00||£64.30|
|2 Day Pass||£99.00||£119.00||£75.00||£93.60|
|3 Day Pass||£125.00||£155.00||£89.00||£116.90|
|6 Day Pass||£169.00||£224.00||£125.00||£157.10|
|10 Day Pass||£199.00||£254.00||£149.00||£204.00|
As you can see, there is a separate price if you include the Oyster Card for travel on London’s fabulous public transportation systems. Personally, I love using London’s transit systems, so I think it’s money well spent.
How Much Will I Save with the London Pass?
Let’s take a look at how much you’ll save with the London Pass. First, let’s take a quick look at how much the pass costs per day:
- 1-Day Pass: £75/day
- 2-Day Pass: £49.50/day
- 3-Day Pass: £41.66/day
- 6-Day Pass: £28.17/day
- 10-Day Pass: £19.90/day
So, let’s assume you get the three day pass. In order to break even, you would need to visit attractions that totaled at least £41.66 each day. Anything above that is money you’ve saved. That means you need to visit 2+ attractions each day the pass is active for the London Pass to be worth it.
Now, let’s look at an actual example. Here’s what you would spend at the gate for tickets to six of the London’s top attractions without it:
- Tower of London: £26.80
- Westminster Abbey: £22.00
- Hampton Court Palace: £20.90
- Windsor Castle: £22.50
- The View from the Shard: £32.00
- Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour: £34.00
- TOTAL: £158.20
The 3-Day London Pass costs just £125.00. By visiting just 2 of these attractions a day, you’ll save £33.20 (almost $44 USD) per person! By hitting 3 attractions each day, you can save considerably more. That’s definitely not chump change, especially if you’re traveling with a family or small group.
Plus, you’ll get fast track entry at several of these spots, saving you time as well! And if you grab the pass on sale, you stretch your savings even further!
Seriously, to me, it seems like a no-brainer.
5 Top Reasons to Get the London Pass
1) Save Money
Let’s face it: Visiting London can be expensive. That’s why it’s important to save money any way you can…and that includes sightseeing.
With the London Pass, you can visit the best attractions in the city and still save. In fact, we personally used it to save some serious cash on our first trip to London. So, if you’re looking to enjoy London for less, we highly recommend this pass!
2) 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.
Yep, this is the place where the “Two Princes” were believed to be murdered by their uncle, King Richard III, so that he could usurp the throne. It’s where two of King Henry VIII’s queens (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard) lost their heads. And, it’s also the spot where countless political prisoners (like Sir Thomas More) arrived through “Traitors’ Gate” and were imprisoned before becoming a head shorter.
Guided walking tours of the grounds led by a Yeoman Warder (a.k.a. a “Beefeater”) are included with your London Pass entry. These tours also provide access to the Church of St. Peter ad Vincula – the burial spot of both executed queens.
Last but 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.
3) Westminster Abbey
Possibly the most famous structure in all of London, Westminster Abbey was founded in 960 A.D. and remains a working church to this day. The famous double towers on its western facade are known throughout the world.
You remember Westminster Abbey as the site of numerous royal weddings (like Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s) and funerals (like Princess Diana’s). What you may not realize is that Westminster Abbey has been the site of every English and British Coronation since 1066. While you’re there, be sure to sneak a peek at King Edward’s Chair – the throne used in every coronation since 1308.
Additionally, the abbey acts as a cemetery for many of the most famous people in English and British history. Walk 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.
4) Hampton Court Palace
Be transported back in time and enjoy a trip through Tudor history with a visit to Hampton Court Palace. Located about 11 miles from Central London on the Thames River, the palace is 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. Henry expanded the palace’s famous Tudor style, while William III and Mary II expanded the rear of the palace 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. The chapel itself is stunning, and standing in the king’s private pew gave me some legit goosebumps.
Give yourself time to wander through the magnificent gardens and the famous hedge maze. If you’re timing is right, you may even bump into different characters roaming the halls in full Tudor costumes. Turning the corner and seeing “Henry VIII” himself definitely gave me chills!
5) Windsor CastleLocated in the county of Berkshire, about a 30-50 minute train ride from Central London, Windsor Castle is the largest and 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 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.
Additional Benefits of the London Pass
Free entry into London’s best attractions isn’t all the London Pass has to offer. Here are some other great benefits of the card:
- Fast Track Entry – One of the biggest benefits of purchasing the London Pass is that you get “Fast Track Entry” into several of the city’s most popular attractions. During peak times, lines to get in can be crazy long. Purchase the card, skip the lines, and save yourself time (and headaches) so 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.
- Mobile Pass – Now, you can carry your London Pass on your smartphone. Simply have the pass sent to your mobile device and use it to gain entry to each attraction!
Adding the Oyster Card to The London Pass
Let’s talk a little bit about transportation. In our Paris Pass review, we mentioned that the Paris Pass includes a travelcard. While travel is not automatically built into the cost of the London Pass, you can add it on…which I think is an even better option!
London has one of the best – if not the best – public transportation systems in the world. It’s my preferred method of getting around the city, and you should use it while you’re there too. Not only is it über convenient, it’s extremely easy to use.
Although you can make your way around on buses, I prefer the city’s subway system. The subway is officially known as the “Underground” but is more affectionately referred to as “The Tube.”
You’ll find tube stations located throughout the city. The easily recognizable signs, featuring a red circle with a white center and a blue horizontal stripe running through the middle, will let you know when a tube station is near.
Here’s what the signs look like:
The other train system you need to know is the National Rail system. You’ll use these trains to travel 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’ll first need a train pass. With the Oyster Card, you can board either the Tube or the National Rail, making it the perfect travel card for sightseeing in London. Better yet, you can add it to the cost of your London pass for just a few dollars more.
I highly recommend you do this! It is by far, the easiest, fastest, and best way to get to all the places you want to see quickly! Get your London Pass with travel card here.
Where the London Pass Falls Short
As you can tell, I absolutely love the London Pass. In fact, I actually struggle to find a many negative things to say about it.
With that said, in recent years, the London Pass has added a per day credit cap. This effectively caps the total amount of savings you can get from the card, and credit limits are based on the length of the pass.
While I’m never a big fan of capping an all-inclusive pass, the credit limits on the London Pass are pretty generous. In fact, even the hardest charging sightseer would be hard pressed to hit them.
For example, the credit limit on the 3-day pass is £370. That means you’d need to visit 5 attractions a day valued at about £25 each. Honestly, that probably ain’t gonna happen. (I’m not sure how anybody could move that fast!) Even if it does, you’re still saving £245 per adult.
Who Is the London Pass Good For?
First-time visitors – For first-time visitors, the London Pass is a great way to see the major sites and save money doing it. In fact, almost every major site in the city is included on the pass. Why not save money at the places you’re going to visit anyway?
Both power and casual sightseers – If you want to see as much as you can in the time you have, the London Pass is for you! The more you use the pass, the more value you’ll get. In fact, you only need to visit 2+ attractions a day to get your money’s worth. That’s a pretty great value and easy to do!
Families and small groups – Tourists who are traveling with their family or in a small group get even more value from the London Pass. Use the card with the whole group, and your savings will multiply quickly!
Who Should Avoid the London Pass?
Those not interested in sightseeing – Let’s face it, London is a pretty exciting city all on it’s own. If you have no interest in visiting the major tourist attractions, you obviously won’t benefit from this pass.
People only interested in free activities – Likewise, there are plenty of free things to do in London – like visiting the various parks, hitting the British Museum (free but donations are requested), and just soaking up the atmosphere. Of course, you can always spend a few days doing the free stuff and use the pass during the rest of your time in London.
Tips for Getting the Most from the London Pass
Want to get the most value out of your London Pass? Here are a few tips to help make that happen!
- Visit 2-3 attractions per day. – As we’ve mentioned, to make the London Pass worth it, be sure to visit 2 or 3 attractions each day. Do this and you’re bound to come out ahead.
- Visit the most expensive attractions. – Obviously, the more expensive attractions provide the most value. If you’re planning to visit some of the attractions after your pass expires, visit the most expensive attractions while your pass is still active. Then, pay for the cheaper attractions later.
- Start early in the day. – The earlier you get going the more sites you’ll be able to see. Start your days early and you’ll get more value from the card.
- Don’t activate your card in the afternoon. – Likewise, don’t activate your first day in the afternoon. You’ll essentially lose an entire day’s worth of value in the pass.
- Plan your sightseeing accordingly. – If possible, group your sightseeing by sites that are close to each other. That way, you’ll waste less time in transit between each attraction.
- Skip the 1-Day Pass. – Although the 1-Day pass may be worth it, it’s a lot easier to come out ahead with the multi-day passes. I’d recommend getting a pass that lasts at least three days.
Where to Buy a London Pass
Ordering your London Pass is a piece of cake. Get your London Pass here.
Personally, I like to order mine 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 take advantage of any sales or discounts being offered prior to traveling. While you can buy one if you’re already in the city, you’ll miss out on the online discounts.
Speaking of discounts, The London Pass is almost always offering an online sale! This month’s deal is listed below:
Where to Pick Up Your London Pass
If you order your pass online, 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.
Heading to the Redemption Centre allows me to get my feet on the ground and see a little bit of the city right away. 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’s easy peasy to find this place. The kiosk 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.
The Verdict: Is the London Pass Worth It?
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 using the link in the box below. I bid you safe travels and enjoy London!