FLASH SALE: Get up to 20% OFF the London Pass! Sale runs through Wednesday, September 20th. Follow the link for details.
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!
There’s something about London that just keeps pulling me back. I could visit the city a gajillion times and never grow tired of being there. London is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I just can’t get enough of it!
But, 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, costs can really 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 on entrance fees. If you want the most bang for your sightseeing buck, consider purchasing one of my favorite city passes of all: The London Pass.
Is The London Pass Worth It?
When I go to London, I want to experience the city. That includes visiting London’s major historical sites like the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey, and more. But when you’re hopping around town, costs can get expensive. Worse, waiting in line can really cut into your daily itinerary.
The London Pass gives you FREE access to these amazing places, plus about 60 more! Better yet, you get “Fast Track Entry” to some of the most popular attractions – saving you hours of precious time. And, with prices for most of the city’s major attractions hovering above 20£ (currently about $25 USD), you only need to hit 2 places a day to make a multi-day London Pass worth it. (We’ll talk more about pricing in a bit!)
Like the New York Pass, the London Pass is an absolute no-brainer for me, and it should be for you too.
A Quick Note on Timing
When you’re planning your sightseeing in London, take your “time” into consideration. Once you’re 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. Most of London’s popular attractions are open between the hours of 10 A.M.-6 P.M, with a few of them opening at 9. If you’re 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 for a visit to 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.
Attractions Included with The London Pass
With access to over 60 London attractions, The London Pass is one of my all-time favorite sightseeing passes! Unlike some city passes that offer discounted admission fares, with The London Pass, admission to every attraction listed below is absolutely FREE! Here is a quick list of my “Must-See” London attractions, as well as the entire list of attractions available for free entry with the pass.
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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. While touring the White Tower, the original structure of the complex, you’ll remember the story of 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 standing in silent reverence at the spot where 2 of King 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 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 A.D. 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. You’ll also remember Westminster Abbey as 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. 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.
Hampton Court Palace
Want to be transported back in time to Tudor England? Look no further than 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 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 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!
Located 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.
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The Rest of the Attractions Available with The London Pass
(Current as of February 10, 2017)
- 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
- Handel & Hendrix London
- 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 Cinema Soho
- Curzon Chelsea
- Namco Funscpae
- Queens Ice & Bowl
- London Brass Rubbing Centre
- Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
- Chelsea Physic Garden
- London Wetland Centre
- The Monument
- Chislehurst Caves
- Wernher Collection at Ranger’s House
- Fan Museum
- BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
- Jewish Museum London
- Florence Nightingale Museum
- National Theatre Backstage Tours
- Jewel Tower
- Rock ‘n Roll Walking Tour
- 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
- Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising
- The Old Operating Theatre Museum
- London Museum of Water and Steam
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 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 two 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 while discovering all there is to do in the city.
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.
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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 it 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 (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 based on how long you plan to use the pass. Broken down in to 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 February 10, 2017):
|Passes||Adult Price||Adult Price w/Travel||Child Price||Child Price w/Travel|
|1 Day Pass||£62.00||£75.00||£42.00||£48.00|
|2 Day Pass||£85.00||£103.00||£63.00||£75.00|
|3 Day Pass||£101.00||£129.00||£71.00||£89.00|
|6 Day Pass||£139.00||£182.00||£96.00||£126.00|
|10 Day Pass||£169.00||£222.00||£118.00||£171.00|
As you can see, there is a separate price if you include the Oyster Card for travel on London’s fabulous public transportation systems. Let me state this again: Purchase The London Pass with the Oyster Card. It’s money well spent.
Let’s take a look at how much you’ll save with The London Pass. what you would spend at the gate for tickets at 6 of London’s top attractions without the London Pass:
- Tower of London: £22.50
- Westminster Abbey: £20.00
- Hampton Court Palace: £19.00
- Windsor Castle: £20.00
- Kensington Palace: £16.30
- Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour: £25.00
- TOTAL: £122.80
Use the 3-Day London Pass and you’ll pay just £101.00. To make it worth it, just check out 2 attractions a day. PLUS, you’re skipping the lines! Seriously, it’s a no-brainer.
How to Get The London Pass
Ordering your London Pass is a piece of cake. 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.
Other Resources to Save in London
You already know that 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 pay for a bunch of expenses you won’t even think about until you arrive. The best travel rewards cards and cash back cards are a great way to take the edge off.
By getting a great travel rewards card, you can earn points and miles to help pay for your trip. We’ve used these rewards to pay pennies on the dollar for flights and hotels across the world. In fact, we booked our flights to London using points from an airline card. Then, we used a great hotel card to stay for free just a couple of blocks from Buckingham Palace. It was fantastic, and you can do it too! Find the best travel rewards cards here.
On the other hand, a good cash back card helps you earn cash back to pay for miscellaneous expenses. By earning a signup bonus plus cash back on your spending, you can rack up some serious savings quickly. Find the best cash back cards here!
The London Pass Review – Our Verdict
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!