£49 For the London Pass… is it Worth it?

£49 For the London Pass… is it Worth it?

As I already mentioned, London is a city full of fun things to do for travelers and locals alike. As I also already mentioned, I fail at life because I only planned for one night in said city.

Rushing from site to site trying to pack in as much as possible, I didn’t think we’d be able to see very much, but in the end, we actually sort of did.

How you may ask? How in a city known for it’s crowds and long queues did we manage to squeeze so much in?

The London Pass.

In case you aren’t familiar, because I honestly wasn’t until recently, almost all the main touristy cities in Europe offer some sort of tourist pass—and London was no exception. The London Pass gets you into most of the city’s top tourist attractions for free, while typically being able to skip the massive queues. This last bit was the key to our success.

You can buy the pass for 1, 2, 3, or 6 days, with the one-day starting at £49.

I know what you’re thinking: forty-nine pounds?! That’s like eighty US dollars!! 

Hear me out. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But, it also has some of the best tourist attractions, all with pricey admission fees, that you wouldn’t want to miss if you traveled all the way out there.

So if you’re looking to cut costs, stay in a hostel, eat cheaper food, but don’t pass on visiting the attractions. And if you really want to cut costs, DO buy the London Pass because it will actually save you lots of cash.

In our visit we were able to pack in four of London’s most popular tourist attractions.

Tower of London

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Price of admission without the London Pass: £19.5

Did you know that the Tower of London is the oldest attraction in the world? I didn’t, until I visited. I honestly didn’t know much about it at all, but when we saw it from a distance on the bus, I knew we needed to hop off to see what it was.

There was so much to explore, it’s no wonder it’s one of London’s top attractions. I loved how it once housed many different bizarre animals for fortification purposes, and now just has fake replicas of them around the grounds!

Jewel Tower

Price of admission without the London Pass: £4

How could I not want to go in and see some of the King’s precious jewels and treasures?

Walking through the Jewel Tower, each orb, each gem was shinier than the last and suddenly I felt what could only be ADD kicking in. Luckily crowds kept people like me, who get distracted by shiny objects, moving along, but it was still a fun stop nonetheless.

Thames River Cruise

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Price of admission without the London Pass: £9

Before arriving in London, I knew I wanted to take a cruise down the iconic Thames River. I was super excited when I found out that was included with the London Pass.

So after spending a few hours at the Tower of London, we hopped on the boat nearby and set off down the river. Our guide was great, providing fun information about the sites we passed along the way, while throwing in a few jokes that had the whole boat laughing. Just as I had hoped, it was a great way to see bits of London’s skyline and most famous sites!

Westminster Abbey

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Price of admission without the London Pass: £22

As a lover of architecture and UNESCO Heritage Sites, I knew if there was one site I couldn’t miss in London that it would be Westminster Abbey. What I didn’t know? That you actually have to pay admission to visit! I think this was the only church we visited in Europe that charged admission. Luckily, with the pass, we were able to go in free of charge.

Total admission fees for those must-visit attractions? £54.5!

See, I told you London was expensive.

Yes, I know that’s only £5 we saved! While that may not sound like a huge amount, a savings is a savings in the grand scheme of things. Honestly, had we not gotten such a late start (at 2pm…), we actually could’ve visited more, and there’s a lot more I want to still visit, but I guess I’ll just have to save those for next time.

There’s no way we could have even seen this much without having the pass. The lines to buy tickets at each attraction were pretty lengthy, and then the actual line to get into each attraction was even worse. It was having the benefit of being able to skip the line that really got us in and out of everything we wanted to see.

If I were to do it all over again, I’d… first of all stay longer in London. Second of all, I’d invest in a 3-day London Pass.

In those three days I’d be able to hit up all of London’s best attractions. Places I missed like Kensington Palace, the Churchill War Rooms, Arsenal Stadium, Kew Gardens and London Zoo. The pass even works for further out destinations like Windsor Castle and on a few tours as well, so of course I’d take advantage of that too.

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Plus, practically nothing is free in London. For example, the Tower Bridge is really cool and I’d like to see it, but do I want to pay £9 to go up it? Not really, but if I had the London Pass I’d certainly give it a quick visit just because I can. So in theory, I’d end up seeing extra things that I probably would never see without the pass.

I know people are often skeptical of buying tourist cards– I am too. They’re rarely worth the price you pay for them even if you were to do every activity offered. However, in a city as expensive as London, it’s good to save anywhere you can and the London Pass is a good place to start!

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What are you tips for cutting costs in London?

A received a complimentary London Pass for review purposes. If it weren’t for the pass, my trip in London would have been nowhere near as successful. All opinions are truly my own.

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27 Comments

  1. August 19, 2014 / 6:46 am

    Wow Beth! You guys really did squeeze in a lot in one day! Next time, spend at least a week in London, it is a wonderful place! :D

    • Beth Williams
      September 29, 2014 / 6:29 am

      Next time we will! I’m looking forward to going back.

  2. August 19, 2014 / 12:35 am

    Beth, I absolutely agree! I was so lucky to buy a discounted London Pass from a friend of mine who had visited, but didn’t end up using it. Although I was in London for a full weekend, it was not nearly enough time either. So happy you enjoyed these iconic sites!

    • Beth Williams
      September 29, 2014 / 6:28 am

      Even better if you can get one for discount! Hopefully you saw a ton in your weekend there :)

  3. August 18, 2014 / 3:18 am

    I guess it’s worth it to save a few bucks if you wanted to see all those things anyway

    • Beth Williams
      September 29, 2014 / 6:28 am

      Always good to save money, no?

  4. August 17, 2014 / 10:13 pm

    I learned first-hand of the benefits of city passes on my most recent trip to Europe. We had them in Berlin and Vienna and it was so worth it, especially because they also included public transportation. When I finally make it to London, I’ll be sure to invest in the London Pass!

    • Beth Williams
      September 29, 2014 / 6:27 am

      Maybe I should have done one in Vienna… maybe I would’ve ended up liked the city more! Haha

  5. Stefania - the Italian Backpacker
    August 17, 2014 / 12:44 am

    I bought a similar pass when I was in Paris, only it was the three-day version, and it was so useful. I entered some attractions, like the Pantheon, that I wouldn’t have without the pass, just because I was passing by. I saved a lot of money, especially because I went to Versailles and to the Louvre, which are both very expensive!

    • Beth Williams
      September 29, 2014 / 6:26 am

      I think Paris would be another good city to buy a city pass for! Most attractions there were just as expensive as in London.

  6. August 16, 2014 / 11:45 pm

    I definitely agree! As long as you can be a bit diligent and plan out your day(s), the London Pass is a fantastic idea!

    • Beth Williams
      September 29, 2014 / 6:23 am

      Yeah, it probably wouldn’t be as worth it for those who don’t have an idea of what they’d like to see or do, but with a little planning, it’s perfect!

  7. August 16, 2014 / 9:31 am

    We purchased the London Pass in 2010 and found that it was definitely worthy of the price we paid at the time (can’t recall if it was a little cheaper back then but it was certainly comparable!).

    Our first stop using the pass was Windsor Castle outside of London before we headed downtown. We used it for the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Lord’s Cricket Ground Tour, Twickenham Stadium Tour, Jason’s Canal Boat Ride and a couple of other things so I think its safe to say we got pretty good value for our money! If you can stick to your schedule and everything planned out, you can really take advantage of this great deal!

    • Beth Williams
      September 29, 2014 / 6:21 am

      Next time Windsor Castle will be on my list! I’ll certainly plan it out better to get even more value.

  8. August 15, 2014 / 10:34 pm

    Good to know! Thanks for enlightening me :) With all your reasoning it sounds like the pass really is totally worth it!

    • Beth Williams
      September 29, 2014 / 6:21 am

      It really was! I usually skeptical of these things, but this one was totally worth it.

  9. August 15, 2014 / 2:26 am

    Oh, London, you and your prices. I remember eating at this cheap falafel place every day when I was a student visiting so I could afford such things. One nice thing is that most of the museums are free, like the National Gallery! Unlike Paris and Rome…

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 12:18 pm

      Mmm falafel! Yeah, I really appreciated that the museums were free, except we didn’t have the time to go to any. I’d love to visit the Tate though! Ugh, museums in Paris, Rome AND Florence were so expensive as well! It sucks because usually there’s only one or two pieces I want to see in each.

  10. August 14, 2014 / 12:01 pm

    Really great suggestion – we did do London and we did all of the main attractions separately. It cost a LOT! I agree though – skipping the lines is also a major perk!

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 12:19 pm

      Everything there adds up so quickly! Hopefully the lines weren’t too horrible when you went. They were pretty long when we were there, but then again it was June when everyone goes.

  11. August 14, 2014 / 11:13 am

    I bought a 6 day pass with the travel card attached last January. I absolutely recommend it. I still didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do since everything closes between 4-5.
    I’m going to get the NY pass next week and try that out.

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 12:20 pm

      Yeah, I was so shocked at how early everything closed! I could totally see not being able to see everything even with a 6-day pass. I hope you got to see most of it though!

  12. August 14, 2014 / 12:00 am

    Hi there, it’s funny but I thought that London tourist attractions were much LESS expensive because all the museums are free: V&A, Tate, National Museum, British Museum. Never knew these other things cost so much!!

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 12:23 pm

      I was impressed that all the museums were free! Museums in Chicago are quite pricey, so I expected the ones in London to be the same. But yeah, I guess all the other attractions are so expensive to make up for it! ;)

  13. August 13, 2014 / 11:21 pm

    I think being able to skip all of the line ups would be the key here! You could spend forever waiting in those and that’s not good when you have limited time in the city!

    • Beth Williams
      August 15, 2014 / 12:24 pm

      It really was the key for our trip! It made all the difference.