If you are planning to visit London and would like to see some of the main historical and cultural attractions in the city, then purchasing the London Pass might be a good deal for you to save money as well as time.
The London Pass not only gives you access to more than 90 popular attractions in London but also allows you to use some transportation including the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour and Uber Boat by the Thames. You will also be able to skip the long ticket office and entrance queues at some of the attractions.
While the London Pass is a great deal for many visitors to London, it might not be suitable for some tourists.
In this London Pass review, I am going to talk about the pros and cons of the London Pass and share all the information you need to know before purchasing the London Pass. Plus, I also share my own experience using the London Pass with the breakdown of costs and savings.
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Who Should Buy the London Pass
When it comes to visiting London, you should know that there are many free things to do in London, but visiting historical sites and the main touristy attractions in London can be expensive.
This means that if you plan to visit London and you are not interested in seeing the most popular attractions and just want to hang out with the locals and enjoy the city at a slow pace, you won’t need the pass.
However, if you are a first-time visitor and would like to learn more about London's history and culture by visiting the major attractions like Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, you can definitely save money and time with the London Pass.
If you are travelling with children, the London Pass can be a good deal for you too. You will be able to visit some of the kid-friendly London museums and attractions like the London Zoo, the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the Science Museum's IMAX theatre and many others.
Attractions Included in the London Pass
The London Pass includes free admission to over 90 tours, monuments, museums, palaces and attractions all around the city. Some of the most popular ones are:
Tower Bridge: one of the most iconic and striking bridges in London.
Westminster Abbey: a working royal church that is the final resting place of 30 kings and queens.
St. Paul’s Cathedral: one of the most iconic and impressive structures in London.
Tower of London: one of the oldest attractions in London. It has served as a fortress, royal palace, prison, a place of execution and a private zoo.
The View from the Shard: a tourist attraction in the tallest building in the UK.
Kensington Palace: a historical and working royal palace. It has been home to young royals for over 300 years.
Kew Gardens: a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 50,000 living plants across 300 acres of land.
Chelsea FC Stadium Tour: home to Chelsea Football Club, one of the English Premier League's top teams.
London Zoo: a great attraction for families with children, home to more than 755 species.
While the London Pass covers some of the best tourist attractions in London, it doesn’t cover all of them. For instance, the London Eye and tours of the Houses of Parliament are not included. Thus, it is worth checking the list of tours and attractions before purchasing the pass.
What attractions are not included in the London Pass?
While the London Pass offers access to an impressive array of attractions, it's important to note that a handful of iconic experiences are not included. Keep in mind that, London Eye, View from the Shard, Buckingham Palace tours, London Dungeon, London Aquarium, and tours of the Houses of Parliament are not included in the London Pass.
Saving Money by Using the London Pass
One of the obvious reasons that you should consider purchasing the London Pass is to save money, but how much money can you save with the pass?
To answer this question, Bruno and I took the 1-day pass and visited some of the attractions we always wanted to visit in our home city: London. We also documented our experiences with the breakdown of costs and savings in the video below.
The 1-Day London Pass with the current discount (August 2023) costs £79, so that’s £158 for the two of us.
We visited Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the View from the Shard.
Westminster Abbey ticket: £27/adult, total cost: £54.
St Paul’s Cathedral ticket: £21/adult, total cost: £42.
Tower of London ticket: £33.60/adult, total cost: £67.2
Tower Bridge ticket: £12.30/adult, total cost: £24.60
The View from the Shard: £32/adult, total cost: £64
In total, the cost of visiting these attractions would have been £251.80, this means that by purchasing the London Pass we saved £93.80. You can even save more if you get the multi-day passes.
How to Buy the London Pass
You can simply head to the London Pass website to purchase it. Depending on the length of your trip to London, you can purchase it from one day up to the 10-day city pass. The website allows you to buy the pass up to two years in advance and it has a 90-day refund policy.
To be able to use the London Pass, you only need to download the app and scan your pass at the entrance of each attraction.
How to Make the most of the London Pass
The London Pass will be activated when you scan it at the first attraction. It is valid for a calendar day, which means no matter what time of the day you activate the pass, it will expire at midnight on the same day. So, it is good to start your day early.
Plan ahead and try to visit attractions that are close to each other. This helps to see more and avoid wasting time moving from one side of the city to another.
Check the opening and closing times of the attractions and keep in mind that most of the attractions close around 5 pm. Some attractions are also closed on certain days. Plus, some tours and attractions like the View from the Shard require booking in advance. You can also find this information on the London Pass website and the app.