London Explorer Pass Review 2021 – Is the London Explorer Pass Worth It?

Visiting London can be an expensive affair, prices in the Capital are significantly higher than in any other part of the Country. Food, Drink, Accommodation, and attractions are all rather expensive and certainly mount up. One solution to this is with an attraction pass. These passes come loaded with attractions that can save you quite a bit when visiting the many paid attraction in London. They also come with a host of other benefits and can potentially turn your trip into something really quite memorable.

In this article, we take a look at the London Explorer Pass from the Go City Group. We explain how the pass works in practice and which attractions included are worth your time. We ask if the London Explorer Pass is worth it and explain all the Pros and cons of having a Pass. After all, it’s not just a simple case of money savings the Pass should help improve your trip not make it worse! So read on and let our London Explorer Pass Review help you decide if the Pass is right for YOU.

London Explorer Pass Review

Our site is primarily a Guide for visiting USA City’s so on the face of it you might ask what business do we have reviewing a London city pass? We have huge experience with passes in general and as we actually hail from the UK, we also have a huge amount of experience visiting London and all its attractions, after all, we have family in the City and it is only a few hours down the motorway meaning we visit regularly. We are also very keen on saving money wherever possible and have such great experiences using passes in all City’s we have visited worldwide!

  • ProductLondon Explorer Pass
  • Price: £34-£94
  • Price Child: £22-62 (Child 3-15yrs)
  • Where to Buy: Londonexplorerpass.com
  • Number Of Attractions: choose 2, 3, 5, 6 or 7 attractions from 60 Top Attractions
  • Time Limit: 60 Days
  • Validity Period: 2 Years from Purchase – 90 Days Cancelations Guarentee
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5 Stars

Attractions Available – 32

  • Tower Of London – £29.90
  • 1 Day Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour – £29
  • City Cruises Thames River Pass – £20.50
  • View From the Shard – £32
  • London Zoo – £37.50
  • Kew Gardens – £19.50
  • Westminister Abbey – £23
  • Stadium Tours – £21-27
  • and many more…
In A Nutshell
  • Price
  • Ease of Use
  • Attractions
4.3

Summary

A great Value Pass that offers a great selection of attraction at a really great price, saving up to 40% over gate price. The Attraction roster is fantastic but missing a couple of key attraction but generally covers all the top London Based attractions. A great way to get the best out of your trip to London.

How Much Does the London Explorer Pass Cost?

  • 2 Attractions – Adult – £34 ( 17 Per Attraction) Child – £22
  • 3 Attractions – Adult – £49 ( £16.30 Per Attraction) Child – £34
  • 5 Attractions – Adult – £74 ( £14.80 Per Attraction) Child – £49
  • 6 Attractions – Adult – £84 ( £14.00 Per Attraction) Child – £56
  • 7 Attractions – Adult – £94 ( £13.40 Per Attraction) Child – £62

The most important factor here is the Per Attraction Price. As you will see some attractions are high-value £30-38+ whereas others are quite cheap some as low as £7. Even with the best value pass, the 7 Attractions the per attraction price is £13.40 if the attractions that have caught your eye are less than this then there is little point in getting it on the pass. More on this later as we look at some sample itineraries.

Save an Extra 10% per Explorer Pass

Use the Code Below to get even more off your Explorer Pass Purchases, keep reading to see how much you can save, but you will save even more with our exclusive discount code!

Note – Clinking the Link will take you directly to the London Explorer Pass Site, Any purchases made will provide us with a small commission, this is how we support the site, thanks

What is the London Explorer Pass?

The London Explorer Pass is an attraction pass where you choose a set number of attractions and then choose, as you go, which attractions you wish to visit while in the City. There are over 60 attractions to choose from and many of them are top-tier London attractions, things most people want to do when they visit the city. The pass is valid for 60 days after your first attraction which means you can plan your trip as you want and not chase a pass around the City. The pass offers the chance to save up to 40% over paying separately, meaning a load of extra cash to spend on other things! Well, that is how the pass works in Theory but how does it play out in practice?

The London Explorer Pass in Practice

Is the London Explorer Pass Worth It?

The Explorer pass now operates as a Digital pass with the physical form being retired. Now great news for those still operating in the 20th century!

However, the reason a lot of passes have become digital is it is just SO much easier and simpler. So we recommend this option. With the London Explorer App downloaded to your phone you simply scan the QR-Code at the attraction and you are in! There is no need for delivery or any hassle of getting to the Collection point. It couldn’t be easier!

The App doubles as your guidebook to helping you choose and locate which attractions you want to visit. The App is an offline app so if you don’t have data this is no problem and it contains all the information you need for any of the attractions. We have used passes like this all over the world and never had any issue with the use of digital passes. The only potential issue is your battery. The app itself is very low power but if you are taking loads of photos and videos you do run the risk of flattening your phone’s battery. But simply carrying a charger or power bank should help negate this issue.

For most attractions, it is a simple matter of presenting the pass and entering the attraction but there is the issue of Timed tickets. Some would have you believe this makes the pass impossible to use and a waste of money. We disagree and have used the Timed Ticket system countless times often to our advantage, we discuss this later on in detail.

Overall the pass really couldn’t be simpler to use, while there are a few inherent disadvantages which we detail later the Pro’s out weight those in our opinion and that is without really considering the Real advantage, the up to 40% money Saving.

In reality, these Passes are ALL about the attractions. They have to be super high quality and be things you really want to see. Otherwise, the pass is a waste of money, there is no point in seeing and doing things you don’t want to just because they are on the pass, So let’s take a look at what we think are the Best Attractions included on the Pass.

Attractions

Coca Cola London Eye – £30

Unfortunately, this attraction has been removed from the pass.

1 Day Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour – £29

Big Bus Tours

Open Top bus tours are a fantastic way to get around and see any new City. And these bus tours have been operating in London longer than just about anywhere else. In fact, the Originals were horse-drawn and were just used as regular buses only becoming tourist attractions much later.

While the upper deck is very weather dependent when it is fine and dry the top deck really does offer fantastic views as the bus travels around the Cities best sightseeing locations. London’s Subway system is one of the best in the world so getting about will be no issue, but the tours really offer a very enjoyable way of linking up your attractions.

Among many things London is known for its less than fantastic weather, it does rain a lot and being atop an unprotected bus is not the most enjoyable of activities. This is where the flexibility of the Explorer Pass really comes into its own as if the weather is really just diabolical for part of your trip just put off the bus tour until a drier day, we do get them every so often! Often with attraction passes for bus tours you need to head to a ticket center to get a bus ticket before boarding but with the London Explorer Pass, you just show your Pass to the Bus Driver!

Hop-On Hop-Off River Cruise 24hr Pass- £20.50

River Thames

With London bisected its entire length by the River Thames a River cruise is a must-do method of seeing the City. The fact this tour is a Hop On Hop Off trip only makes it more appealing. While its usefulness as transportation is limited, as the boats only sail every 40 mins, as a fantastic attraction in itself that can link up several landmarks it is fantastic.

The Boat sails between Westminster and Greenwich Park via all of London’s best Waterside attractions. Stopping off at the London Eye and Tower Bridge along the way. It’s a fantastic way to see the city and the only downside is the fact it would only cost you £19.25 even without the pass so this attraction only really makes sense on the 5 and 7 attraction passes

Tower Of London – £29.90

Tower Of London

The Tower of London is one of the most iconic attractions in the City. Its historic and bloody past is seriously fascinating and the tower now acts as a living museum to all of London’s long and sordid history. The tower is nearly 4 times as old as the entire United States and even pre-dates the Aztec Empire by several hundred years! Its ancient halls hose some really fascinating medieval Armour and weapons and various other displays of historical artifacts.

The Towers are also home to the priceless Crown Jewels, which are mostly on display to the public. These stunning Jewels, Crowns, Sceptres, and Maces are guarded by the Famos London Beefeaters who stand guard 24/7 outside the Jewel House. They are also responsible for the Ravens housed at the Tower who bring good fortune to the empire (they have not been doing too well of late!). Visitors to the Tower will be able to meet both!

The Tower of London really is one of the Citys most historic sites and a must-visit. Apart from Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, the tower ranks as one of the most visited locations in the City and is far more fun as you can actually go inside the tower and explore the exhibits, whereas the others are closed to the public!

View from The Shard – £32

The View From the Shard

In Stark Contrast to the Tower, the Shard is an ultra-modern Skyscraper, the tallest in the United Kingdom and the Tallest in Europe outside of Russia! The Tower sits just across the Thames from the Tower, accessed either by London Bridge or the Iconic Tower Bridge. This makes Visiting both a Breeze and would save nearly £30 if you just bought a 2 attraction pass.

From the Top of the Shard, the view is absolutely breathtaking. Situated up on the 72nd Floor the contrast of the City really comes into focus, the incredibly old contrasted with the ultra-modern. The Thames snaking through the middle of it all, it’s the best view in London at present!

ZSL London Zoo – £37.50

Ranked as the second-best Zoo in the UK, (only falling behind Chester Zoo one of the best in the world) the Zoo is one of London’s best attractions. With over 670 species including Gorillas, Lions. Tigers, Zebras, Giraffes, Primates, and even Komodo Dragons, the City Centre Zoo is quite a spectacle.

Easily accessible via the Underground (Regents Park on the Bakerloo line), The Zoo Sits in Regents park and is a great morning or afternoon attraction. On top of the larger animals, there is a huge array of smaller critters in the amazing Retile House and BUGS Building.

Westminister Abbey – £23

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a real highlight of London and one absolutely not to miss! Its Central location right next to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben means it is a definite must-see with its stunning Gothic Architecture. However you can visit the Abbey for free, you just need to pay to go inside.

This, however, is well worth it. The interior is just as stunning as the exterior and has been the location of countless historical events such as the Coronations of just about every Monarch in the last 1000 years along with countless royal weddings such as the Current Queen of England along with Willaim and Kate.

It is also the final resting place for some of history’s most notable figures including
Charles Darwin, and Charles Dickens, and more recently Stephen Hawkins. Along with a Large number of Royals. If the Royal Family and British history is your thing the Westminster Abbey is the absolute personification of this!

Football Stadium Tours – Arsenal -£27 / Chelsea -£25 / Wembley -£24 / London – £21

Football, or Soccer if you must, is ingrained in the British Psycy and culture. So nothing can be apter than a tour around a Major football Stadium. While we would not be seen dead in the Emirates (Arsenal) Or Stamford Bridge (Chelsea) or the London Stadium (West Ham) most people are not so discerning as our objections are solely based on the tribal lines of the sport (Man Utd all the way here) We would happily visit Wembly however, and as we said most visitors would love visiting any of these iconic stadiums.

Wembley is a modern and genuinely huge stadium that serves as our National Stadium. Not affiliated to any club it hosts cup finals and major events rather than, week in week out, football. The Emirates Stadium is Arsenal FC’s brand new Stadium, this ultra-modern 60,000+ seater stadium is seriously impressive. Stamford Bridge is much older and smaller than the others but with that comes heritage.

All the Stadium tours allow you access to changing rooms trophy rooms (probably disappointing at arsenal 😉 ), pitchside access, and player tunnels, along with other behind-the-scenes locations.

Care should be taken when planning these tours as they will not be available on matchdays or if a major event is on at Wembley.

Advantages

We take a look below at the value of the pass and how much you can save but on top of this there are some other material benefits to having a Pass, we take a look at these next, followed by the downsides, hey nothing is perfect!

Inspiration

Most people have a dream of visiting a City or Location and feel they know exactly what they want to see and do but then when the process of turning this dream into a reality they suddenly realize they know very little about the practicality of what is actually available in the City. This often leads to people having very little idea and tuning up and relying on finding things when there. Instead, Buying a Pass allows you to really know exactly what is on offer and what it is you want to do. We have lost count of the number of times we have discovered an attraction simply because it was on a pass we bought. Often these turn out to be highlights of the trip!

Planning

Likewise Having the pass gives a real Focus on the trip. A lot of attractions in London are free, such as the parks and visiting Buckingham Palace or a spot of shopping on Oxford Street or at Harrods. But planning out your trip can be confusing, With a pass you can plan your trip around the Paid attractions and fit in the free things around this. Knowing exactly what you are planning on doing really helps you plan out a trip.

Flexibility

While we strongly advise planning your trip out to get the absolute best of it, a completely rigid itinerary is pretty boring and also can make the trip less fun. Things change, such as weather and even just your mood and it’s important to have the flexibility to chop and change as need during your trip. A great example is the Open-top Bus tour. This will be pretty miserable in the pouring rain. With a pre-booked ticket you are stuck but with the Explorer pass, just switch it out for another day! This applies to many other attractions such as the river cruise, the London eye (poor vis), etc, and conversely if you have indoor attractions (Madame Tussauds, The Dungeon, Sealife) planned for good weather you could swap these out for a day that is less wonderful.

Do not underestimate this advantage in London, If the weather is good, take advantage, it probably won’t last!

Budgeting

Budgeting is a boring but unavoidable part of any trip. Knowing how much you have to spend and how much you need can be a depressing business. With a pass, it’s one simple sum to cover all your spending needs as far as attractions go. This means no unexpected credit card bills and now burning through your holiday cash in only a couple of days…well unless you go mad in Harrods that is!

It also helps that you can buy the pass before the trip meaning you can spread the cost of the trip out nicely. With the Explorer Pass, you have 30 days to get any refund on unused passes so if you buy around 1 month before the trip and something happens you can get your money back.

No Rushing

The London Explorer Pass works by choosing the number of attractions, we really like this way of doing things as it takes the pressure off. There can be a desire with all-inclusive passes to rush around the City seeing everything just to get maximum value from the pass. With the pass only having a set number off attractions you can tour the City at your leisure only doing attractions as you choose.

London Eye

Disadvantages

Some attractions use what is known as a timed ticket. This means you need to visit the ticket office and present the pass. This is then scanned and a ticket presented for a specific time, normally the next available, or you can choose a later time if it suits. This does cause an issue at very busy times as the next available can be much later and they even sell out on very busy dates. Pre-Booking means you can select this Time-slot ahead of time and avoid the issue. However, this has its own drawback meaning you are set to a rigid schedule and have to arrive at an allotted time and date. The Explorer Pass approach allows you to chop and change as you please!

Following the Pandemic, the Pass Roster has changed somewhat, and the pass has lost some BIG London attractions. Namely the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, and The London Dungeon.

The London Eye is very disappointing but is somewhat made up for by the Shard Viewing Deck, whereas Madame Tussauds and the Dungeon are irreplaceable. This has been slightly made up for by reducing the prices and adding a large number of attractions but both all three are much-loved attractions and we wish they were still present! There is still so much to do, but if you have to pay for Tussauds and the dungeon separately then the pass falls apart somewhat.

It is worth saying these are really touristy attractions and could be considered traps, so if you are looking for a more cultural visit to London they are not a big loss!

Care must be taken to not plan too much. Many people overestimate how many attractions they can fit in a day. 3 Attraction a day is certainly doable but you are unlikely to fit much else in and you are not really going to get 5 attractions in a day, over a 3-day trip 7 attractions is doable but it will be a hectic trip. The worst thing you can do is plan too much a then miss out on some attractions or rush through things to get your money’s worth. You may even find yourself skipping things you wanted to do, such as free attractions to fit in the paid-for ones. People can forget to take into account traveling time and the human body’s finite amount of energy and attention to keep rolling all day. Check the hints and tips section for ideas on how to plan your trip.

Is the London Explorer Pass Worth It?

With everything taken into account, we love the Pass, and we really feel it will massively help your trip to London be everything you want it to be. But the reality is most of us buy the passes primarily with cost savings in mind. So let’s take a look at some possible cost savings with the pass:

  • 2 Attractions – Adult – £34 ( 17 Per Attraction) Child – £22
  • 3 Attractions – Adult – £49 ( £16.30 Per Attraction) Child – £34
  • 5 Attractions – Adult – £74 ( £14.80 Per Attraction) Child – £49
  • 6 Attractions – Adult – £84 ( £14.00 Per Attraction) Child – £56
  • 7 Attractions – Adult – £94 ( £13.40 Per Attraction) Child – £62
3-Attraction Pass – £ per Attraction
  • Tower of London – £30
  • 1 Day Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour – £29
  • View from the Shard – £32
  • Normal Price: £91
  • Pass Price: £49
  • Savings: £42 – 45%+
5-Attraction Pass
  • Tower of London – £30
  • 1 Day Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour – £29
  • View from the Shard – £32
  • London Zoo- £37.50
  • Westminister Abbey- £ 23
  • Normal Price: £151
  • Pass Price: £74
  • Savings: £77 – 50%+
7-Attraction Pass
  • Tower of London – £30
  • 1 Day Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour – £29
  • View from the Shard – £32
  • London Zoo- £37.50
  • Wembly Stadium Tour – £ 25
  • Hop-On Hop-Off River Cruise – £20.50
  • Westminister Abbey – £23
  • Normal Price: £197
  • Pass Price: £94
  • Savings: £103 – 55%+

As you can see there are clearly huge savings to be made! These are our favorite itineraries but they are not especially the BEST value if you try harder you could save even more, but that is not the right way to use the pass. The key is to only do the things you want to not save the most money. You could save even more by doing nothing but what is the point in that.

However, we would be remiss to not point out it is also possible to not save any money at all. Some of the attractions are low value and can limit the potential savings if the price per attraction is more than the normal price. If the attraction you want to do consider getting a pass with less attraction and just paying the entry fee on the cheaper attractions at the gate.

Tips And Tricks – How best to use the Pass

London Eye View

Groups attractions, Paid AND free – While London is not the biggest city, especially not Central London where most of the attractions are based it still pays to visit Attractions that are clustered together at the same time. For instance, the Tower of London and The shard are both stone’s throw away from each other.

Keep in mind this applies to free attractions as well, when planning the paid attractions always look at what is in the area to do free of charge as well!

Work out the cost of YOUR attractions – As the London Pass works on a set number of attractions the cost per attraction is the most important factor but it doesn’t always work out as cleanly as you imagine. So the best way to work out what is cheaper is to run the maths.

By going from a 3 attraction pass to a 5 attraction pass the price per attraction drops £2.50 but that applies to ALL attractions, not just the extra ones, so you will save more on the original three! See it’s quite complicated so the easiest way is to add up all permutations and just see which will cost you the least.

Don’t plan too much – We always say 3 attractions MAX per day anymore and you risk not fitting things in or rushing so much you won’t enjoy yourselves. With only one day in the City, a 3 attraction pass is fine as you can visit the London Eye and the Dungeon and also do the Big Bus Tour, allowing you to visit some free attractions.

Use the Bus Tours and Boat Tours to link attractions – The Bus and Boat tours are a very poor means of transport but the tours themselves are really fun and get you to some great sights of the City. We use the tours as attractions themselves but you can still take advantage and hop off at certain locations to visit other attractions or just take a better look at something.

Book Timed Tickets early then do something else – As mentioned above if an attraction requires a timed ticket and availability is low and you can’t get into the attraction until later it’s best to visit another attraction while you wait for your timed slot.

Visit indoor attractions in the rain and outdoor attractions when the weather is better – The Pass allows great flexibility and unless you have a crystal ball you cannot plan for weather until much nearer the time. We tend to plan “days” and that way we can move these days around to suit the weather. It’s not a complete RE-Plan on the fly just a case we were meant to do this on Friday, but it’s given rain so we will do that plan on Saturday and move Saturday’s plan on Friday as it’s more suitable to poor weather.

Have Backups – Sometimes attractions are unavailable for unforeseen circumstances always have backups in mind. It can be massively disappointing to miss out but it is better to do something else rather than lose out completely.

Don’t Rush – Like planning too much there is also a desire to rush each attraction to get onto the next. This is a mistake. Take your time and fully immerse yourself in the attraction.

Finally, Don’t Pay Full Price!!! – Yep the Pass offers staggering value, well over 50% off the attraction prices, along with all the other advantages of the Pass, however, if the Passes were cheaper, you could save EVEN MORE!

Well, with our exclusive discount code they ARE! Currently, we have a 10% off code, saving you another 10% off the purchase price of the London Explorer Pass! Click the Link Below then use your code at the checkout for even more savings!

Note – Clinking the Link will take you directly to the London Explorer Pass Site, Any purchases made will provide us with a small commission, this is how we support the site, thanks

Alternatives?

The London Pass is one excellent alternative to the London Explorer Pass. This is a more expensive option but it is an all-inclusive Pass with over 80 attractions and quite a few excellent options such as the Tower of London and the View from the Shard. It is a fantastic option and well worth a look

Have Your Say

Have you tried the London Explorer Pass? Did you think it was good value or did you not get full value from it for some reason? Were the attraction all you expected or were some of them a letdown? Let us know in the comments below as we use your feedback to help better advise our readers!

If you have any comments or questions feel free to leave a comment. The London Explorer Pass can be quite a complicated thing to fully understand so if you have any comments or queries just fire away in the comments, We love hearing from our readers.

<<< Buy Your London Explorer Pass Here >>>

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4 thoughts on “London Explorer Pass Review 2021 – Is the London Explorer Pass Worth It?”

  1. My first thought. I’ve been to London and I found it scary. Big difference from the little villages of wales. Second thought, wait, they have a zoo?! 

    Okay, I passed through London and was scared by the sheer amount of people. There are loads of things London has that I want to see, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey are very high on that list. It sounds like this pass that you mention would e very useful and take the edge of the pricing as you wander around. I would never have considered the Shard for a visit, but in learning how close it is to Tower of London (less travel, less people anxiety) yeah, i’d visit that too. This is a very comforting article and makes the trip to London feel much easier.

    Reply
    • Hi Kelly, If you found London Scary we dread to think of what you would make of New York or LA! 

      We too are from a very rural area but have ventured out into some of the biggest and scariest cities in the world and loved them! 

      Great to hear you think the pass would be beneficial in both taking the edge off the city along with costs. Those three attraction really are the best of the City, and would be great to get ticked off your list! 

      Have a Great Trip

      Steve

      Reply
  2. This is a great review of the London Explorer Pass, and I think, Yes, it probably is worth it. While I know that the pass is aligned with the tourist attractions, I was disappointed to find that the National Gallery, the Tate nor the Portrait Gallery were included as possible attractions (although, possibly these are free). When visiting other cities, we always make a beeline to the art museums! Nevertheless, I really enjoyed reading your review – it brought back many London memories.

    Reply
    • Hi Jenni, 

      While it is a good point, and we will update our article to point this out, there is little reason for having those Museums on Pass, as you alluded to they are all FREE! But we will point this out as some of London’s best sights are completely free, no pass needed. 

      We would definitely add the Bristish Museum onto that list too again a wonderful FREE Museum! If only New Yorks Museums would follow this model! 

       We too love heading straight for the museum hotspots when visiting new Cities and have spent hours enjoying some of the best in the world on our travels, and the London line-up certainly gives the best a run for their money!

      Hope you have a great trip 

      Steve

      Reply

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