London is one of the most Iconic Cities in the world, steeped in ancient history and tradition the Capital of the UK has over 1000 years of history and culture as the seat of democracy, Law and Order, and the creation of the modern world. It is an incredible City To visit whether you are flying in from overseas or visiting from other parts of the UK. However, like with most Cities visitors can often be overwhelmed with the huge array of things to see and do. It is not the cheapest place to visit either, hotels, food, attractions, all cost significantly more than other parts of the UK and most of Europe.
This is where an Attraction Pass can help out. Attraction passes promise to not only save you money but help you see more and really get the best out of a City. We use these passes all over the world and on the whole, find they transform a trip into real bucket list adventures. The LONDON PASS is one such pass gear to the City Of London UK. In The LONDON PASS Review, we take close look at this all-inclusive pass to see both what the pass offers and what it actually delivers when visiting London so you can find out if the LONDON PASS is worth it for your trip.
One thing that we should address early on is the site you are reading this on, YourUSACityGuide.com, not the most obvious place for a London attractions pass review! While our specialty is USA Cities we have a deep affiliation with London and the UK in general, seeing as we were born here. We have extensive experience with Attractions passes the world over and have visited pretty much every attraction featured on the pass and in London in general so have a pretty good grasp of the up and down sides of using the Pass and what visiting London both with and without a Pass is like.
- Product: THE LONDON PASS
- Price: £59-£144
- Price Child: £38-98 (Child 3-15yrs)
- Where to Buy: Londonpass.com
- Number Of Attractions: Unlimited attractions from 80 Top Attractions
- Time Limit: Consecutive Days
- Validity Period: 2 Years from Purchase – 90 Days Cancelations Guarentee
- Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.3/5 Stars
Attractions Available – 80+
- 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
A great option for a short trip where you want to pack the maximum in. Savings of over 60% are possible when visiting some of the cities best attractions. The pass focuses heavily on culture and less on touristy attractions but does miss out on some of the Cities most popular tourist attractions.
What is the LONDON PASS?
The LONDON PASS is what we call an All-Inclusive Attraction Pass. This means the pass lasts for a set number of days and you can visit as many attractions as you like during that time. This ranges from 1 day to 10 days and offers a selection of over 80 top London Attractions. The pass is digital and you simply scan the attraction when visiting any of the list sites around London.
The Pass offers to save over 50% compared to buying at the gate and is often the absolute cheapest way to see a large number of London’s best attractions. We also find The Pass helps in a number of other ways such as providing inspiration, planning, and Flexibility to your trip meaning you really can See More and Pay Less! Of Course, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and if these Passes sound too good to be true, we take a deep look at Them to see if this is really a complete No-Brainer or a Terrible Tourist Trap!
How Much Does the LONDON PASS Cost?
- 1 day – Adult – £59 ( £59.00 Per Day) Child – £38
- 2 day – Adult – £81 ( £40.50 Per Day) Child – £50
- 3 day – Adult – £93 ( £31.00 Per Day) Child – £62
- 4 day – Adult – £119 ( £29.75 Per Day) Child – £75
- 5 day – Adult – £124 ( £24.80 Per Day) Child – £78
- 7 day – Adult – £135 ( £19.30 Per Day) Child – £89
- 10 day – Adult – £144 ( £14.40 Per Day) Child – £98
Save an Extra 5% per LONDON PASS
Use the Code Below to get even more off your LONDON 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 PASS Site, Any purchases made will provide us with a small commission, this is how we support the site, thanks
How Does the LONDON PASS Work?
The LONDON PASS in Practice
The Pass is a Digital Product that is sent to either your phone, E-Mail, or LONDON PASS App. The Pass comprises of a QR Code that is simply Scanned directly at the attractions. You can either scan the pass directly from your phone or print out the code and use it that way. In this respect, it could not be easier.
The issue with the pass can arise here. Some Attractions the Pass now require Pre-Booking. This is quite rare for London Attractions and for the majority, you get straight in. The Shard and Kew Gardens though for Example require you to book a time and date beforehand. This can be done easily online but it does add a layer of complexity and takes away a little spontaneity! Also for any Tours, you are likely to have to wait until the next tour and most require you to arrive beforehand. But both these issues would apply if you were to book separately without using the PASS.
For the Majority of attractions though the Pass is your Ticket and it really is just a case of arriving and scanning the pass to gain entry! The Pass works really well in London as the City is really quite compact, well at least the areas you will want to visit are, and besides the Subway or London Underground is pretty much the best urban transport system on the planet*.
Overall the PASS works fantastically. With so many attractions so close together and minimal complications you really can visit quite a few in a short space of time and get the best out of the City.
*Note – Why do we think the London Underground is the best on the Planet? Coverage! The system really does go where you need it to, and that after all is the most important thing! London’s Spider-web layout gets you exactly where you need to be with minimum fuss and minimum walking! As we are so used to this we actually find pretty much every USA Metro System pretty frustrating, and some (L.A) basically useless!
Do we really Need a LONDON PASS?
Who does the London Pass Suit?
London is such an incredible city that many people simply wandering the hallowed streets is enough. Standing outside Buckingham Palace, Wandering the Mall, Crossing Tower Bridge, hearing Big Ben chime, and exploring St James Park is more than enough, along with the incredible shopping at Harrods, Oxford Street, and Bond Street. On top of this Many of London’s BEST Museums are actually completely free! The British Museum, the Tate Modern, and the National Gallery are all free. So London has a lot to offer without spending a dime!
However many of the most popular attractions do incur fees to enter, and this is where the Pass comes in. While you can aimlessly wander the streets of London for nothing most of the places you visit will cost if you actually want to go inside them. Most people want to do at least a few of the Paid Attractions and with the Pass, this becomes a nonissue.
Most people purchase a Pass for the Cost Savings, and this is definitely not to be ignored, but we see them differently, they are more like a key to the City allowing you to do and see so much more than you ever would without!
So if you are genuinely content with just exploring the City on your own then a pass may not be the best deal, but even if you just want to visit a few Paid attractions the pass can be a great option, Even if the LONDON PASS doesn’t suit there are a number of other options that may be more suitable, we look at these below
So the best way to decide if the Pass is right for you is to check out the attractions available on the ass and decide if these are the things you REALLY want to see when visiting London. Even if only a few are attractive, you may find that simply having the pass gets you to try out things you possibly would not have done otherwise. Some of these can turn out to be your favorite attractions in the city, this has happened to us countless times!
Take a look at all the attractions available here, and we take a look at our favorites below!
What are the Best Attraction on the LONDON PASS?
1 Day Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour – £29
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
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
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
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 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.
Pros and Cons of the LONDON PASS
The main reason for getting a Pass is the money-saving a Pass can offer, But as we have stated there are other tangible benefits to the Pass, as well as a few things we like less about having a pass. As always you need to weigh up the pros and cons yourself as we all having differing priorities and one thing that might mean very little to us might be a deal-breaker (or maker) to you! so let us just lay it out so you can decide.
Advantages of the LONDON PASS
Naturally saving money is the biggest draw. With the Pass, you can save over 60% on attractions quite easily. We go into more detail on this below.
When visiting a new city, you suddenly realize that despite dreaming of visiting for years you actually know very little about the place in practical terms. What is there to actually see and do? The pass is fantastic at providing real inspiration for your trip. It lets you get under the skin of the city and see what is on offer and gives you the financial freedom to visit everything you want, without worrying about the costs.
Once inspired the Pass is also a great tool to help actually plan out the Itineraries of your days. You can pick out the main attractions and plan your day around these supplementing your trip with the cheaper sights and attractions along with Free activities and sights in the immediate area!
Planning can be the nemesis of some travelers. Rigid itineraries bore the hell out of people and it’s not a fun way to travel. So while the Pass does require a modicum of panning, you are not stuck to your plans, it’s so easy to chop and change things, find something new, drop attractions you don’t fancy that day, or rework your trip due to weather and mood on the fly. Trust us, you want flexibility with the weather in London!
It really is great to know exactly what your attraction spend will be beforehand. Costs on travel pretty much always spiral out of control and no matter how much you thought you would spend it’s always more, a few extra drinks, a nice meal you hadn’t planned, it all mounts up and your Travel money evaporates or you get home to a nasty shock when the Credit Card Bill Arrives! With the Pass at least attractions won’t add to this issue!
We used to recommend buying a month out but now we leave it till only a week or so before the trip, so much can change in an instant in the current pandemic climate! Leaving it late gives you maximum flexibility to cancel your plans.
The Pass really can open up new experiences and attractions that you never thought you would try. These can sometimes be as unrewarding as you thought, but at least you tried and with the PASS it cost nothing. But often we find some of these the most rewarding things we do on our travels. Some people Shun the Open Top Bus Tours, they are too expensive and too touristy, but in reality, they are really fun, and the pass lets you hop on and find out for yourself. Many times we have wanted to see what it’s like inside somewhere only to be put off by the entrance fee, with the pass many of these are opened up. Simply paying out at every attraction becomes distinctly tiresome, again with the Pass this concern is irrelevant.
We think this is the best thing about the LONDON PASS, it really opens up the city and lets you explore. Simply put whenever we visit a City with a PASS we have a much better experience than without.
Some of the downsides are specific to the London Pass some passes in general, most are pretty minor but to some are deal-breakers, we find a lot of the time a different pass is a better option than no pass at all.
London’s Free Attractions – There is a lot to see and do in London and you do not need a pass for any of these things. Just seeing the City is enough for many and having a pass can mean you ignore some of the free stuff in favor of paid attractions included on the pass. We think it’s really important to take your time and only visit the attractions you really want to otherwise the ass can make the trip less fun than if you included more of the free stuff.
Merlin Attractions – It’s unfortunate but there are non of the Merlin attractions included n the Pass. These used to be on there and made the pass really special, but Go City and Merlin no longer have a working relationship so the attractions are missing. These were important attractions too, some of London’s most popular. Go City has offered some alternatives but it’s still a shame.
- The London Eye – (Replaced with the Shard)
- The London Dungeon – (Repaced with the London Bridge Experience)
- Madame Tussauds – Irriaplacable.
We find the new Pass lineup is far more Cultured and you really can get into all the best historical sites and attractions, such as the Tower of London. But if you were coming for the big merlin attractions the pass is no longer an option. Check out the Alternatives section below for ways to get the best of both worlds!
Chasing the Pass – All too often People see the huge list of attractions and try and plan far too much into the day. They chase around the City trying to bag as much value as possible. This is a mistake and you are not getting the best of the City, the Pass or the attractions. Slow down and take your time. Only plan a reasonable amount of attractions onto a day and allow for time between them, dining, and general downtime, along with getting to see the Free sights and attractions surrounding them!
Consecutive Days – The LONDON PASS is a consecutive day pass, this is our least favorite type of pass as there is no opportunity for downtime. You really need to visit something from the pass every day to get the best value which is not always the best way to experience the City. It is not too bad in London as visits are usually short and you need to cram stuff in, but it is not ideal and we much prefer passes that offer NON-Consecutive days.
Remember – Days, not 24h periods – The Pass days are CALENDER days so be careful to make sure you activate in the morning (you do this by visiting an attraction) so you have the full day, as soon as you hit midnight the day is over, no matter what time toy activated.
Bus Tours – Don’t fall into the trap that Hop on Hop Off bus tours can be used for transportation. They are a tour of the City and should be treated as such. Yes, you can hop off a few times and visit attractions near the stops, but it’s not as fluid as people think. There are long waits for busses and queues, Treat it as a fun tour around the City that can be broken up with a few stops. You are still going to need to use the Underground to get about!
Is the LONDON PASS Worth It?
Really we think on the most part the pros far outweigh the cons and we think this will be a great addition to your London trip. However, the reality is most people care most about simply the cost savings. And these can be pretty extreme! Let’s take a look at a suggested Itinerary below. This is REALLY light, you could do a lot more than we suggest, but we have kept it light to show how easy it really is to save, and give you time to check out other things in the City, still, the savings come out at staggering levels!
3-Day Pass – £93
Start the visit off with the Hop on Hop off tour. This gives you a great introduction to the City. Hp Off at Westminister, to see Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, and Buckingham palace, being sure to pop into Westminster Abbey! then continue the tour, with multiple opportunities to hop off and see some of London’s best sites. You could visit far more attractions than the couple we have suggested.
- 1 Day Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour – £29
- Westminister Abbey – £23
- St Pauls Cathedral – £20
Total – £71
Start off in the incredible Tower of London before heading across the river to take in the view from the Shard. After lunch, head across town to Regents Park and check out the London Zoo. You could also check out Tower Bridge and/or take in the Tower Bridge Experience!
- Tower of London – £30
- View from the Shard – £32
- London Zoo- £37.50
Total – £99.50
Day 3 Starts off with a wonderful cruise down the Thames on the Uber Clipper. This could be the highlight of the day, but also stop off at the world-famous Greniwch Park and check out the Observatory, Roayl College and board the Cutty Sark, a historic Clipper that sealed the high seas during the 1800s. Again there are many other possible stops on this cruise where you can hop off and use the London Pass.
- Hop-On Hop-Off River Cruise – £20.50
- Royal Observatory Grenwich – £16.00
- Cutty Sark – £15
- Old Royal Navy College – £13.50
- Normal Price: £235.50
- Pass Price: £93
- Savings: £142+ -65%+
With Longer passes you can cram less into your days and still come out on top and visit some of the further away sights such as Kew Gardens and the Football Stadium tours, These are time-consuming but as the cost per day drops significantly the more days you buy this is less important!
So on the whole the Pass offers incredible value when used correctly. It requires a little planning to get the best of it, But even if you ONLY did the Hop on Hop off Bus, Tower of London, Shard, and River Cruise, you have saved over £9, it’s almost impossible to not save money using the pass!
On top of this the advantages, we listed, meaning you really are going to See more and Pay Less which is pretty much the Holy Grail of Travelling! With the Added Protections the Pass has added for the Pandemic, the 90 day Money back Gurenttewe and 2 Year Validity Period means you are not going to be out of pocket whatever happened with the current travel situation.
We really think it’s a fantastic product at a crazy cheap price, if only some of the Merlin, Marquee attractions were available!
Tips And Tricks – How to Get the Best out of the LONDON PASS
Make sure you plan to Visit Attractions that are close together to minimize TRavel time. In our example itinerary, all attractions are really close together or linked by a tour. This gives you the most time at the attractions and surrounding areas. Always check for free attractions in the area too.
Plan Days flexibly
Planning to some degree is always needed to get the best of the pass, but avoid stuffy and regimented itineraries. We find one on the best way is to plan your days out, but not actually which day you will do these on, that way if you have a largely outdoor day, such as with an open-top bus, and it’s given pouring rain, you can just swap the days around and do the outdoor day when the weather is better (if it is ever better in London!)
Check for Pre Bookings
Some Attractions require you to pre-book so make sure you check the small print!
Booking Required at:
- The Shard
- Kew Gardens
- Kensington Palace
Use the London Underground
The London Underground Subway System is one of the best in the world! Use this to get around all the best attractions. There is almost always a stop close by to any London attraction.
Longer Passes reduce the need to rush/Cram
The more days you buy the more the cost per day goes down, this means you have to cram less and less into a day and still get great value. on the longest passes, you can even get away with off days and still get amazing value.
Use the Bus and River Tours to link up Attractions
The Bus Tours and River Trips should not be seen as transport, but as tours in their own right. But always hop off at places with high concentrations of attractions and stretch the tours out into a full day of sightseeing.
Enjoy the City
There is so much to see and do in London, do not be a slave to the Pass. Link Paid attractions to Free ones. For example, when visiting Westminister Abbey, you are in the heart of London! The Abbey is Steps from the Houses of Palimetm Big Ben, The Mall, Buckingham Palace, St Jams Park, and downing Street! Take it ALL in!
Finally, Don’t Pay Full Price!!!
Yep, the Pass offers staggering value, over 60% 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 5% off code, saving you another 5% off the purchase price of the LONDON 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 PASS Site, Any purchases made will provide us with a small commission, this is how we support the site, thanks
The London Pass requires a certain level of commitment and packing things into the day. This may not be for you. However, there are other Pass options that may suit you better.
London Explorer Pass
The London Explorer pass is from the Same People that bring you the LONDON PASS, Go City. There are our favorite Pass Providers and we use them the world over. The Explorer pass has a near-identical line-up of attractions, the big difference is the way the pass works. With the Explorer you select the number of attractions you wish to visit and then can visit these at your leisure there are no strict time restrictions forcing you to charge around the City.
You are limited to how much you can save and cheaper attractions are poor value when using the Pass but it still offers a great way to see the City without the pressures of the All-Inclusive Day Passes. They still offer up to 50% off, however!
We mentioned above how we miss the Marquee attractions offered by the Merlin Group in London. Namely The London Eye, the London Dungeon, and Madame Tussauds. These are big losses to the Pass, but you can still buy these as a package directly from Merlin. $60 gets you all three which is a good saving and could be bought as well as a pass giving you access to basically everything good in London!
Final Word on the LONDON PASS
Overall the LONDON PASS can be a serious weapon in your sightseeing arsenal. It includes so many of London’s best attractions with a particular edge on the history and culture of the City. There are some distinct advantages to having the Pass on top of the really great money-saving the Pass offers. While the MErlin Attractions are a big loss, even bough alongside the Melin Pass, you really can get the best out of London at what is a pretty low price point.
We think for most people the Pass really will open up the City of London and let you explore and enjoy so much more than you would without a pass!
Have Your Say
Have you used the LONDON PASS? What were your thoughts and experiences of the Pass? Did you get value for money? Were you able to see the best of the city or did you find it all a bit too rushed? Whatever you have to say about the pass let us know below in the comments. Or if you have any questions just fire away below.