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London is a very peculiar city for budget travelers. If you just turn up with little preparation you are guaranteed to think that it’s the most expensive place on earth. Unlike most other large and famous cities, the center of London feels like a trap built to suck all the money out of your wallet and your credit cards. Every turn brings another outrageous expense, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’ve previously discussed London budget travel tips, and if you follow that advice you can actually cut your expenses in half or so, while having just as much fun in the process. In fact, London prices are lower than expected on our cheapest European cities list, mostly due to the free attractions and relatively cheap hostel beds.

The London Pass – Is it worth it?

As much as you might save on your bed plus food and drink, you are really coming to London to see its many world-class attractions. More than any other city on the planet, many of London’s most famous attractions are actually free, or at least courtesy of UK taxpayers. However, of the paid ones, London attraction prices are easily among the highest in the world. So is the London Pass worth it?

London is a very unusual city so the answer is complicated. The attractions other than the state-run museums tend to be expensive, and you have to factor in the value of the London travel pass that comes along with the main London Pass as well. We’ve previously reviewed the Paris Pass and reviewed the New York Pass, and the answer here is at least as complicated.

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3 categories of London attractions

Free attractions

  • British Museum
  • Tate Modern Museum (plus about 20 other state-run museums)
  • Speakers’ Corner
  • Hyde Park
  • The Changing of the Guards
  • and hundreds more

London attractions NOT included in the London Pass

  • The London Eye (Ferris wheel)
  • Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum
  • Double-decker bus tours

The 55 attractions that ARE included in the London Pass

  • Tower of London – £19.50
  • Churchill War Rooms – £14.95
  • Windsor Castle – £17.75
  • Westminster Abbey – £18
  • London Bridge Experience! – £24
  • Chelsea FC Stadium Tour – £18
  • Wimbledon Tour Experience – £22
  • London Bicycle Tour – £18.95

So look at the lists above. If you are on a backpacker budget it’s obvious that you can have a great time in London without buying the London Pass. Or, if you are only in London for a few days and you have your heart set on doing the London Eye and Madam Tussaud’s, then the London Pass might actually slow you down more than it helps.

However, if you look at the things the London Pass offers it’s a very impressive list. Many of us don’t like museums, or at least not for more than an hour or so at a time, and a great number of the more exciting attractions are included with the London Pass.

2014 Prices of the London Pass

  • 1 Day Adult Pass: £49.00
  • 1 Day Child Pass: £33.00
  • 2 Day Adult Pass: £68.00
  • 2 Day Child Pass: £49.00
  • 3 Day Adult Pass: £81.00
  • 3 Day Child Pass: £56.00
  • 6 Day Adult Pass: £108.00
  • 6 Day Child Pass: £76.00

NOTE: The Pass is good for one year so you can buy now and validate it anytime in the next 12 months.

There are also options that include a London Travel Card, which can be convenient, but there is no discount on the travel portion so we’ll just examine the value of the attraction part.

>>>Strategies for using the London Pass

Is the London Pass a good value then?

As long as you are interested in visiting enough of the included attractions, the London Pass is definitely a good value. Unlike some other cities we’ve covered, this pass pays for itself very quickly. If you visit only 3 big attractions in one day you’ve already saved money, not to mention the fact that you can skip the notoriously long queues in the process.

If you opt for the 2, 3, or 6-day option then you can take in as few as 2 attractions per day and still save money. Honestly, this is the best-value city pass we’ve looked at, as long as you are actually interested in these attractions.

Who is the London Pass good for:

As mentioned above, this pass isn’t ideal for everyone, so look at your own circumstances to see if it’s right for you.

  1. Those who definitely want to visit many included attractions
  2. Families (skipping queues is invaluable with little ones)
  3. First-time visitors only in London for a few days
  4. Visitors who don’t love state-run museums

Who is the London Pass NOT good for:

  1. Those on backpacker budgets
  2. People who prefer museums over exciting and unusual attractions
  3. Visitors staying more than one week in London

Note for visitors from June through September

The queues for attractions tend to be very long from June through September, and they can be ridiculous during July and August. Being able to skip a 2-hour ticket-buying queue twice a day could be worth a LOT during busy months. Combined with the outdoor heat, the ability to walk straight into the top attractions could really enhance your entire visit. If you are otherwise on the fence then you should really consider getting the pass during summer visits.

Conclusion

Here at Price of Travel we are all about value, but it’s important to remember that the whole point of traveling to cities like London is to see the things that interest you there. Fans of the big museums can save a lot of money by skipping the London Pass and concentrating on the British Museum, Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert plus many more.

But if you want to see the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Windsor Castle or even the Chelsea Football Stadium Tour then you’ll be astonished by how expensive everything in London is and the London Pass is a great way to keep you from spending too much or skipping things because you are worried about going over budget. Also, if you haven’t reserved a room yet, check out our recommended London hotels for our expert choices.

And again, if you decide it’s for you then you can save 5% off All Orders of London Pass Tickets with this code: londpas05



28 Responses to “Is the London Pass 2014 worth it? We review value and prices here”

Ken says:

Thanks for the tips which clearly analysis whether need to buy a London Pass or not.

 
Elizabeth says:

Thank you for the info on the London Pass, very useful.

 
Ain says:

1. Can you please tell me the things to see and do in London on Christmas day and on 24, 26 and 27 december
2. Mid range shopping areas in and near marble arch
3. Where to board the hop on and hop off bus and cost.
thank you

 
Laurie says:

We bought a six day pass as well as a travel card and agree with your review. This was our first time in London, we were staying less than a week and wanted to see a lot of attractions. The London pass was perfect. Being able to skip the lines kept us out of the rain and the travel card made hopping on and off the buses and tube extremely easy. For us it was definitely worth the money.

 
Kay says:

I agree! We found the London Pass to be well worth the price. Having visited in mid June (2013) we had no need for “skip the lines”. There were never any long lines, except at the London Eye which isn’t included in the pass anyway.

 
Sorin Acela says:

The presentation on their web pages says that a 1-day-LP holder will have free access to 90-GBP worth of attractions. How is that “free”, if you have to pay 47 GBP for the pass? That is not “free”, that is a 48% discount. And that is the maximum discount, if you have time to visit the whole 90-GBP worth in one day, which rarely happens. If you are quick around London, and focus only on those attractions, you may visit 4 of them in one day, which is about 70-GBP worth, then the actual best discount is about 20-25%. If one plans to see less than 4 attractions in one day, the pass is useless.

 

    Sorin,

    I’m assuming you are new to the Western world and its advertising and marketing standards. The actual reviews of the London Pass are very positive, and if you want to complain about the offer you are better off doing it directly to them, as I have no influence in their pitch. But for your sake, I hope you are able to get past this or you are going to have a long and frustrating life ahead of you. -Roger

     
      Sorin Acela says:

      And I assume you are new to civility and to mathematics. So you might have a very nice life. It’s your world. It’s full of the likes of you ;-)
      You are also new to the concept of variety of opinions. Not all people can think like you. Some of them didn’t skip the mathematics classes and may work in complex analysis fields that require more qualification than you can acquire.

       

        Okay Sorin, perhaps my first reply was overly glib, and I assume I’m older than you are. But I still contend that it’s up to each of us to sort out the truth in these numbers rather than just assume the advertisements are working in our best interest. This whole site is about trying to sort out the truth in numbers, to help travelers compare destinations based on price among other things. Still, this sort of marketing technique, where a company promotes “50% savings” is on every corner, and in the case of the London Pass, that’s why I wrote this long article about which people it’s good for and which it isn’t. I don’t recommend it for everyone, most likely including you. -Roger

         
Stephanie says:

I agree with Sorin – the numbers do not add up if you want the 1 day pass and I would not recommend the one day pass. You will notice the people who have given positive comments are those who bought the 6 day pass which I would highly recommend and I think is great value for money. I am annoyed because I travelled with 3 children who we thought we should buy passes for. When we got to 3 of the 6 attractions we went to on the 2 day pass – children were free!! So 141 pound for 3 children was not value for money. On top of that we were in London at the beginning of August 2013 and the only long queue we had was for Westminsdter Abbey and the London Pass does not fast track that attraction!! But I love London!!

 
Victoria Ryan says:

Can I buy a London Pass in London? And, if so, where?

 

    Victoria,

    I believe you can buy a London Pass at a few transit offices in big train stations, but it will be easier to buy it online and then collect it (for free, on the same day if you wish) from the main London Pass ticket office near Leicester Square. -Roger

    The London Pass Redemption Desk
    11a Charing Cross Road
    London, WC2H 0EP
    (Nearest Underground Station: Leicester Square, take Exit 1)

     
Donna says:

You noted just a few of the 55 attractions included in the London Pass. Could you pass on a complete list – or can I find that elsewhere?

 

    Donna,

    You can get a complete list of all the attractions and other benefits on londonpass.com. -Roger

     
      Will says:

      Just a warning about the London Pass. I, like many others, bought the pass while the discount was available recently even though I won’t hit London til May. Without warning London Pass has quietly started removing some of the attractions that were listed when I bought the pass, such as St Paul’s Cathedral and Eton College.

       

        Will,

        Thanks for this notice. I contacted the London Pass people and here is their response: “Eton College is closed for the whole of 2014 and therefore we have removed mentions of it to avoid confusion. St. Pauls has come off the pass and pass holders won’t be able to visit past April 1st. However, we will contacting all customers who purchased before it was removed and are coming past April 1st to compensate them in some way.

        We will be adding some exciting big new attractions in the coming weeks which will alleviate St. Pauls coming off the pass. It is worth noting that Westminster Abbey (similar attraction) is still on the pass and very popular.”

        ———–

        So Eton College just happens to be closed, and St. Paul’s will be swapped out for at least one other good attraction starting in April. -Roger

         
Larry Cohen says:

For the week I am going to be in london I am planning a day trip to Paris, I was wondering if I purchased a 3 day pass does it have to be used 3 consecutive days or any 3 days that week?

 
Abhijit says:

Hi
I am interested in the Lord’s tour and the wimbledon tour which comes with London Pass..Does this tours happen every day or I need to get information beforehand? If so, from where do I get information?

 

    Abhijit.

    The Lord’s Cricket Ground Tour that is included leaves daily at 10am, 11am, noon, and 2pm. Starting in May there is also a 3pm tour and an extra 1pm tour on weekends. In November they scale back to 4 per day, but it goes every day of the year except for major match days and match preparation days.

    The Wimbledon Tour also goes daily, but they don’t announce all the tours for the year in advance. The Wimbledon Tour does NOT run from 18 June through 14 August, due to tournaments and such.

    I was able to get that information from the free iPhone app that you can download even if you don’t buy a London Pass. It should also be in the free pdf guidebook they offer on the London Pass site. -Roger

     
simon says:

Thinking about visiting tower of london, tower bridge, westminster abbey and london eye all in a days work. Doable? And, would you recommend the london pass for this?

 

    Simon,

    You could definitely see all four of those in one day. Westminster Abbey is just across from the London Eye, and it’s a 40-minute walk or quick tube ride over to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. However, the London Eye isn’t part of the London Pass (although you can save money if you buy tickets online). So those other 3 are included and you do get to skip the ticket queues at the Tower of London. You’d probably also have time for another attraction or two because so many are just in that same area. -Roger

     
      Simon says:

      Thanks Roger,

      Do you advise getting the London Pass online or when I arrive at Heathrow? Also should I get it with the travel card or get the oyster card instead? Thanks!

       

        Simon,

        If you have time, I’d buy the London Pass online. You can always get a discount of at least 6% online, and sometimes it’s 10%. Better still, you can start planning because it comes with a downloadable PDF guide to London and the Pass, as well as a smartphone app with all the hours and details of each place included.

        I’d buy the Travel Card as well because using it is exactly like an Oyster Card, but you don’t have to pay the £5 deposit for it. They both essentially work for unlimited rides on the underground and on daytime buses, and that really comes in handy in a city as spread out as London. -Roger

         
Simon says:

Thanks Roger,

London Pass + London Travel Card (1 day) it is.
I’m try and see if I can squeeze Tate modern and Shakespeare’s Globe on the same day as well.

 
jan says:

Arriving London from Australia on 29th March with voucher for 3 day London Pass. Is the final day to use the Pass to visit St Paul’s Monday 31st March or Tuesday 1st April?

 

    Jan,

    That’s a good question. When I wrote to them about it, my contact there wrote that St. Paul’s would no longer be included “past April 1,” and I assumed he meant it would drop off at the end of March. But looking at it again, April 1 could be the last day. I’d plan on going in March just to be safe, though you might email them if an April 1 visit would be much more convenient just in case. Fingers crossed that it works out well for you. -Roger

     

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