Given the price of visiting London and checking out some of the best tourist sights in the city I’m sure there’s a lot of people wondering:
Is the London Pass worth it?
In this post I want to go over my London Pass review, share some of the main details of what’s included, some of the places worth visiting, and whether or not it’s worth it for you to pick up during your trip to the lovely English capital.
One thing I want to mention is that London is HUGE and unless you’re visiting for a week or more it’s impossible to see everything while spending time at museums and still making the most of your visit.
You also want to avoid cramming everything in during a short trip and one of the reasons I like these city passes is that you don’t have to waste time booking tickets, you just show up and walk in.
Having just visited London for 4 days I was fortunate enough to be able to explore the city courtesy of the London Pass, which the company behind sent me to try it out.
So far I’ve had a good experience using these types of tourist cards in cities like Vienna, Budapest, and Salzburg and I typically find them to be good value, easy to use, and well-suited for short-term visitors.
Today I want to talk about everything that’s included with the London Pass as well as whether or not it’s worth it to use during your trip.
Keep in mind that it really depends on what you’re trying to see and do in London that will determine if the pass is going to be of value.
There are tons of free museums and other free things to do in London where you can still have a good experience without spending too much money if that’s what you’re into or you’re traveling on a budget.
On the other hand, if you want to explore some of the best tourist sites in the city, go on a river cruise, experience a guided tour, and just get a better sense of what the city has to offer then the London Pass might be a good fit for you.
Let’s take a look at what the London Pass has to offer!
Exploring London with the London Pass
With the London Pass you’re able to take advantage of free access to 60 different sites and attractions along with discounts for a wide range of other attractions and tours.
Depending on your preferences it’s possible to go with a physical card or use the London Pass mobile app.
I preferred using the mobile app since it was very helpful at seeing the different sites and attractions available to choose from and I didn’t have to worry about carrying a physical card around.
Using it was even easier – just show up, show the app to the person checking tickets, and you’re in without any problems!
The mobile app also came with plenty of relevant information regarding how to get to the different attractions and provided a quick look at each of the sites so you had a better idea of what to expect before you even got there.
Depending on what you’re interested in seeing there might not be enough time in a short visit to explore everything with the pass, although you can really make a dent in your bucket list.
There are a range of different time-frames that you can take advantage of when it comes to the London Pass depending on the length of your visit:
- 1 day (£59.00)
- 2 day (£79.00)
- 3 day (£95.00)
- 6 day (£129.00)
- 10 day (£159.00)
For a little bit more money for each pass you can add an Oyster Travelcard and this will really help make getting around the city a lot easier and you don’t have to go through the hassle of buying one on your own.
With the Oyster Travelcard you can just hop on and off the Tube, bus, and overland trains to quickly make it around the city without having to walk everywhere or take an Uber.
Public transportation in London is actually a lot more expensive if you’re not using some form of contactless payment such as an Oyster Travelcard and if you want to cover a lot of ground in a short while then I’d recommend combining the pass with the travel option.
With the Travelcard you can just tap it onto the card reader whenever you’re getting on a subway or a bus and don’t have to worry about buying tickets or having to find your own method of getting around the city.
To pick up the London Pass, if you’re not interested in using the smartphone mobile option, you’re going to have to visit their office which you can find just a few steps away from Trafalgar Square.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that the pass is actually valid for 24 hours, I think that it’s only good for the day that you’re using it, so I recommend getting to the office first thing in the morning so that you can pick it up and start your day.
One thing I want to mention is that make sure that you print out the online voucher that you get because I ran into some trouble trying to get the voucher with just a PDF of it saved on my smartphone.
I would hope that in the near future it becomes possible to just show the voucher on a smartphone because having to print something out can be a hassle since many people don’t own printers these days and having to carry around a piece of paper can be a pain in the butt as well.
When you pick up the pass you will receive a detailed booklet about everything that’s included and how to use the pass along with a convenient lanyard that you can use to wear the pass around your neck when you’re going between different attractions.
To use the pass you simply just need to show up at the attraction that you are interested in visiting and in my experience there were signs that will lead you in the right direction for London Pass holders.
Depending on where you’re visiting you might even be able to skip the line and this is a huge bonus, especially during the summer when London is completely packed with tourists.
Something else that I want to mention is that if you’re just interested in exploring museums then most of the best ones in London are free and you won’t need the pass to get in.
Up next I want to talk about everything that is included with the London Pass and all of the different sites and attractions that you get free entry to.
There are also plenty of areas where you can enjoy discounts wire and I recommend checking out the website online to see where these discounts can be applied.
Where to Use the London Pass
It’s possible to use the pass at more than 60 different attractions throughout London and even more if you count the places where you receive discounts for.
Some of the more popular attractions where you can take advantage of free entry to include:
- Tower of London
- Tower Bridge
- Westminster Abbey
- Windsor Castle
- London Zoo
- Kensington Palace
- Hampton Court Palace
- HMS Belfast
- The Globe Theatre
- Kew Gardens
- Royal Observatory Greenwich
- Royal Albert Hall
- The Monument
These are just some of the many different attractions that you’re able to take advantage of free entry to and I recommend checking out the London Pass website for a full list of everywhere you can go.
It’s also possible to enjoy a free entry to a few different museums but in my opinion all of the best museums in London are free of charge and if that’s what you’re not interested in seeing then I don’t think that the London Pass is a good fit for you.
Along with these different attractions there are also some tours that you can go on for free including:
- London bicycle tour
- Hop on hop off bus tour
- Thames River cruise
- London Bridge Experience
There are a few other tours that you can enjoy but the ones I listed above are the ones that I recommend and that I think offer the best value overall.
A few of the different attractions that I mentioned are located a bit outside of the city and you may have to figure out your own transportation because the distances you’ll have to cover might not be included with the Travelcard if you go with that option.
What I Spent and How the Card Saved Me Money
I’ll be completely upfront, there is no doubt that the London Pass is expensive and I’m not going to argue that it’s a good choice for a budget traveller.
However, London is one of the most expensive cities in both Europe and the entire world to visit as a tourist and this means that apart from the free museums but everything else is going to be costly to get in and enjoy.
Given the high price of some of the more popular attractions you don’t have to visit that many places to make your money back and especially if you’re visiting for more than just one or two days then you’re able to cover a lot of ground and see a lot of different places for a reasonable amount.
Like I mentioned up above, I was able to use the London Pass for 2 days and I actually wish that I was able to use it for 3 days because there is just so much to see in the city that two days just wasn’t enough time for me.
I decided to head to some of the more popular attractions and I made sure to keep note of the entry cost so I could see how much I was saving, if anything, when I returned at the end of the day.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a pass that came with the Travelcard option so I just had to order my own Oyster Travelcard online so that I could use the public transportation without having to pay the full fare.
The cast for the travel option with the London Pass is slightly inflated but having to order my own and figure out how much money I needed to put on it was a hassle and I would definitely recommend going with the travel option so that you don’t have to worry about this.
On the first day I headed to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London and I spent almost 4 hours between the two attractions thoroughly exploring and taking plenty of photos.
On the way back home along the river I also popped into the HMS Belfast and the Globe Theatre for a quick look around.
Despite visiting in January there were lineups to get into all of the attractions but I was able to walk right in thanks to the London Pass.
The total amount to visit these places came to £64 so just in one single day I was already a full £5 ahead in savings.
I also didn’t have to deal with buying tickets or standing in lines, I just walked up and showed the pass on my smartphone and I was let in without any problems at all.
I would have been able to see even a few more things but I ran into some issues getting my pass set-up earlier in the day so I didn’t get started until well after noon.
On the second day I started off at Westminster Abbey, I enjoyed a Thames River Cruise, and I used the Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour as a way to get around the city more quickly without having to use the Tube.
The total for these attractions came to £63 and that brought my two day total to £127.
So even with just one day I had already come out ahead but after two full days of sightseeing in London using the pass totally blew the savings out of the water.
The two day London Pass costs £79 and that’s a difference of £48 between the savings I was able to enjoy compared to if I had paid full price for everything.
I could have even done a few more things if I was so inclined and having the three day pass would have meant that I could have gone on a day-trip somewhere nearby.
Is the London Pass Worth It?
After doing the math and calculating the cost savings above I would definitely argue that the London Pass is worth it.
Keep in mind that for one day I was only able to save just a few pounds and if you only have one day in London you might not want to go through the hassle of getting the ticket and having to either pick it up or download an app on your smartphone to get it working.
The pass also doesn’t make sense if you just want to see one or two attractions and it’s much better suited if you really want to see it all during a visit to London.
The longer you’re staying in London the more worth it that the pass becomes and even the ten day pass, which is very expensive, is bound to be worth it if you’re able to check out all of the different sights and attractions including all the castles, palaces, gardens, and everything else that isn’t easy for someone to see that’s visiting for just a few days.
I also believe that it’s more worth it if you add the travel option as well, since you don’t have to worry about trying to figure out the ticketing/payment system for getting around using the Tube, bus, or other transportation systems in the city.
Keep in mind that if you just want to explore museums and galleries that you’re better off without the pass since most of the best museums in London are free and you can spend hours just walking around them and exploring without having to spend any money.
Another benefit to using the pass is that you can pass the savings onto some other aspect of your trip.
So like I mentioned I saved about £48 and this is a few meals for just one person, or a nicer meal for a couple.
The savings can also be used to spend on souvenirs or just put towards other aspects of your trip.
Overall, I believe that the London Pass is definitely worth it if you’re visiting for a few days and you really want to experience some of the best sights and attractions that London has to offer.
I would recommend doing the math beforehand to see if the pass is worth it for you in regards to the specific places you want to visit and things you want to do so you can get a better idea of how much you’ll be saving if you use it.
Tips for Using the London Pass
For the best value I recommend going with the two day pass or any of the longer options. With just one day it’s really hard to pack in all of the different sights and attractions and make the most of the pass.
If you’re not using the mobile app, which I actually recommend using, try to pick up the pass as soon as the office opens so that you have the full day to explore.
Write down everywhere that you want to visit beforehand and make a note of the locations on a map so that you know what you should visit in the best order to reduce the amount of time you spend traveling.
Whether you go with the Travelcard option or not you should familiarize yourself with the London public transportation options and maps so you know how to get around.
Double check and keep note of the opening and closing times of the different attractions. Some of them open late and others open early while many of them are closed on sundays.
Where to Buy
You can buy the London Pass through their website and if you order it early enough you can have it delivered to your home or current location.
When it’s delivered you don’t have to pick it up in London and you can start using it right away.
Alternatively, you can order it online and pick it up at the London Pass office at 11a Charing Cross Road right behind Trafalgar Square in the little standalone booth.
To avoid having to deal with the physical card and worry about having it delivered or picking it up you can simply use the smartphone app (this is the option I most recommend).
Looking for somewhere to stay in London?
Check out my Nadler Victoria Hotel review!