If you’re visiting London and intend to visit several attractions during your stay, you may want to consider purchasing a London Pass.
Let’s not make any bones about it: London can be an expensive city to explore. From restaurants, to transport, to attractions – if you’re trying to stick to a budget then it helps to know some of the tricks of the trade, including discounted offers. Luckily, when it comes to the city’s array of famous sites and places of interest, there’s a great way to keep your costs down: the London Pass.
A digital sightseeing credits package, the London Pass is popular with visitors planning to see more than just a few of the city’s best known tourist spots. Giving you free access to over 90 attractions across the capital, you can purchase a pass that’s valid for anything from one to ten days, with the only requirement that you use it over consecutive days. Sounds interesting? Read on for our full overview of the London Pass, including where you can use it, how to use it, and how much it costs.
How to buy the London Pass
Passes can be purchased via the official London Pass website. Just select a duration of your choosing – anything from one to ten consecutive days – and once bought you then download the pass with its special code to your phone to show at the gate of any participating attraction. Alternatively, you can print out your code as a hard copy instead. You have two years to activate your pass from the date of purchase. To help you plan your adventure, there’s also a free smartphone app and downloadable guidebook.
How much it costs
Whether or not the London Pass represents value for money for you will depend in large part on how many attractions you plan to visit over the course of your stay – and how many of them are included with the pass (more info on this below). Passes are available for both adults (anyone over 16) and children (aged 5 to 15), with under 5s benefiting from free entrance to most London attractions. As of 2022, prices start at £79 for adults for a one day pass, rising to £179 for the maximum 10-day pass. Children’s passes start at £50 for a one-day pass, rising to £115 for a 10-day pass.
What attractions you can use it for
London Pass holders are currently granted free admission to over 90 museums, monuments, palaces, castles, tours, and other attractions. Among them are: Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, The View from the Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tower Bridge, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, The ZSL London Zoo, Kew Gardens.
However, before deciding whether a London Pass is right for you, it’s worth checking the attractions that AREN’T included with the London Pass. Currently these include the London Eye, Buckingham Palace tours, London Dungeon, London Aquarium, and tours of the Houses of Parliament. You should always make sure you have access to the latest list, as these are subject to change.
As well as free access to the attractions listed above and many more, the London Pass also comes with a number of other perks and benefits. Among them is fast-track access to several attractions, including Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, London Zoo, where you get to skip the ticket lines.
The London Pass also enables visitors to take advantage of a number of discounts on things such as food and drinks, entertainment, theatre tickets, massages, walking tours, river cruises, cell phone hires, and souvenirs at specified businesses. These can often vary, so you should check the app for any discounts included during your dates of travel.
All London Passes also include a one-day free Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour ticket and a one-day River Boat ticket. To get your bus ticket, show your London Pass to the bus ticket seller or staff member before you board at any of the designated stops. You can get on and off the bus as many times as you like in a single day. Riverboat tickets can be used to board or disembark boats at 23 piers across the city. Tickets can be redeemed from the ticket offices found on the piers between Westminster and North Greenwich.
Finally, visitors also have the option buy a London Pass + Travel package, which entitles you to an Oyster Travelcard, which is much cheaper than buying single tickets for travel in London. Your Oyster card will be assigned with enough credit to cover the amount of travel associated with your chosen London Pass. So for example, a two-day London Pass comes with two days of travel, a 3-day pass with three day of travel, and so on. The Oyster Travelcard provides access to all London Transport Networks, which are the London Underground (Tube), city buses, Docklands Light Railway, and overground trains.
Alternatives to the London Pass
If you’re visiting London for a short space of time, there are a number of alternatives to the main London Pass that can often work out as the more affordable option. The London Explorer Pass with 3 or 5 Attractions includes a handful of the city’s most famous sights for prices starting at just £60. Another popular choice is Merlin’s Magical London comparison with 4 Attractions, which covers 3 London highlights from the Merlin Entertainment Group and a hop-on hop-off bus tour for 1 day, with prices starting at £75.
The London Pass can be purchased via GetYourGuide. To help keep your travel plans flexible, you can reserve your spot and pay nothing until later.