Is the London Pass 2020 worth it? We review value and prices here

ThamesBoatsLondon 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. Generally, London prices are near the highest on our cheapest European cities list, but savvy travelers and those who do their research can save a lot.

New for 2019

The London Pass added popular attractions including St. Paul's Cathedral and the Freud Museum in 2017, and for 2018 they included the View from the Shard (£29.95). No new attractions have been announced yet for 2019, but it's worth noting that prices on most of the expensive and popular attractions went up by about 5% during 2018. The London Pass is an even better deal now, at least up until the point that it raises its price, which is usually around the end of January.

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 and famous 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.

Short version: If you want to visit the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and Windsor Castle, then a London Pass is probably going to save you time and money. Better still, if you can get a London Pass at a discount, it's obviously even easier to save money.

But if you think the British Museum and Tate Modern (not including the special exhibits) are interesting enough, you can skip a London Pass and still enjoy a visit.

Exclusive discount for Price of Travel readers

  • Get 10% off 3-day London Passes
  • Get 15% off 6-day and 10-day London Passes

Use promo code: POT10 (expires December 31, 2020 – Look for “promo code?” in Step 4 of checkout)

>>>Click this link and use code POT10 to receive 10% off 3-day London Passes, and 15% off 6 and 10-day London Passes.

Note: If a larger discount is being offered, you'll automatically get the best discount with the above link.

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 many more

London attractions NOT included in the London Pass

  • The London Eye (Ferris wheel)
  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

The 70+ attractions that ARE included in the London Pass

  • One-day hop-on, hop-off bus tour – £34
  • View from the Shard (London's new tallest building) Observation Deck – £32
  • Thames River Boat hop-on, hop-off cruise – £18.75
  • Tower of London – £26.80
  • Churchill War Rooms – £17.25
  • Windsor Castle – £21.20
  • Westminster Abbey – £22
  • St. Paul's Cathedral – £18
  • London Bridge Experience – £27.95
  • Chelsea FC Stadium Tour – £24
  • Arsenal Stadium Tour – £23
  • Wimbledon Tour Experience – £25
  • London Bicycle Tour – £24.95
  • London Zoo – £29.75

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.

New: London Explorer Pass

Introduced in July, 2017, the London Pass company has introduced the London Explorer Pass as an alternative or complement to the London Pass. It provides prepaid entry to 3, 5, or 7 of the most expensive London attractions including the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, DreamWorks Tours Shrek's Adventure, and the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. None of these is covered by the normal London Pass and if you want to visit those places you WILL save money with the London Explorer Pass.

>>>Read our full London Explorer Pass review

2020 Prices of the London Pass

  • 1-Day Adult Pass: £75 (£90 with Oyster Card travel option)
  • 1-Day Child Pass: £55 (£64.30 with Oyster Card travel option)
  • 2-Day Adult Pass: £99 (£119 with Oyster Card travel option)
  • 2-Day Child Pass: £75 (£93.60 with Oyster Card travel option)
  • 3-Day Adult Pass: £125 (£155 with Oyster Card travel option)
  • 3-Day Child Pass: £89 (£116.90 with Oyster Card travel option)
  • 6-Day Adult Pass: £169 (£224 with Oyster Card travel option)
  • 6-Day Child Pass: £125 (£157.10 with Oyster Card travel option)
  • 10-Day Adult Pass: £199 (£254 with Oyster Card travel option)
  • 10-Day Child Pass: £149 (£204 with Oyster Card travel option)

London Passes with Oyster Card explained

LondonOysterCardAn OysterCard works as an unlimited travel card, but it is more flexible and doesn't need to be used only in the days that your London Pass is valid. For the 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, and 6-day London Passes, the OysterCard actually contains more travel credit than you will use in those number of days. In other words, if you get a 1-day London Pass with an OysterCard, you can use it for unlimited transportation on one day, and you'll still have enough credit for one more ride on another day. For the 10-day London Pass the travel option comes with slightly less than you'll need for unlimited trips for the entire 10 days, but it should provide enough credit for what you'll actually need. On 1 or 2 days you'll likely only take one or two rides, so you won't need the unlimited travel every day of your visit.

The short version: The Oyster Travel Card that comes with your London Pass will cover unlimited public transport for all of the days your London Pass is valid for, and you'll have at least a bit more credit left to use on other days, or to get from Heathrow into the city as long as you have your London Pass delivered to your home.

>>>Strategies for using the London Pass

Best London Pass itineraries for 1, 2, and 3-day passes

If you only have 3 or fewer sightseeing days in London, planning it with your London Pass (or without a London Pass) can be confusing. We are here to help so we have visited and reviewed everything, to help separate the lesser and more distant attractions from the absolute best of them that are easy to see on short visits.

>>>Best London Pass itineraries for 1-day, 2-day, or 3-day passes.

London Pass now includes a free smart phone app, and a free electronic guidebook

One of the best features of the London Pass used to be the helpful guidebook that comes along with the deal, but you'd have to wait until the pass was shipped to you (or you picked it up in London) in order to read it. London Pass allows you to download a free 160-page guidebook so you can start figuring out your schedule right away. Better still, you can also download their free iPhone or Android app for your phone or tablet, and you can get these before you even order. The app is helpful for finding your GPS location and which attractions are nearby.

Is the London Pass a good value then?

ThamesBridgeAs 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.

Important advice for getting value out of your London Pass

Once in a while I hear from someone who feels disappointed with their London Pass experience, and we can all learn from the mistakes that they invariably made. It requires a bit of work and planning to maximize your sightseeing and value with the London Pass.

1. Start early in the day (around 9am if possible)

FullEnglishMost of the top attractions don't really get crowded until late in the morning, so if you can leave your hotel by around 9am you'll have time to see two top attractions before lunch. You'll then have the rest of the afternoon to see two or three more things, and the whole evening to have a leisurely dinner and spend time in a pub or attend the theatre. But if you can't leave your hotel until close to noon, you'll find that everything is quite crowded already and you'll feel behind schedule the whole day.

2. Plan your sightseeing route before you go out of the day

The other mistake that some people make is they only plan one thing at a time, so they have to scramble when they leave to figure out where to go next. London is a huge city, and although many of the included attractions are close to each other, many others are not. The free smart phone app helpfully puts all the attractions on a map and lists the hours for each. With a bit of advanced planning before leaving your hotel, you'll be able to get from attraction to attraction quickly and efficiently, and get great value out of your London Pass.

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.

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

Who is the London Pass NOT good for:

  • Those on backpacker budgets
  • People who prefer museums over exciting and unusual attractions
  • Visitors staying more than one week in London, and prefer to see no more than one attraction per day

Expert London Pass tips from a pro

In 2016 I lived in London for 6 months and I visited nearly every one of these attractions at least once so I could compare them and recommend the ones that are the best value on a short visit.

Here are the best London Pass attractions for visits of 3 days or less:

Hop-on, hop-off bus tour (£34)

HOHObusLondonIf possible you should do the HOHO bus on your first full morning in London, as it's the best and fastest way to get oriented. The full route takes 3.5 to 4.5 hours depending on traffic, and the first two hours are the best. If you start at Victoria Station you can get off at the Tower of London and you've done most of the best parts.

NEW in 2018: London Pass now comes with your choice of the Big Bus Tour or the Golden Tour. Both companies are similar and run basically the same routes, but now you have twice as many departure times available for the same price.

View from the Shard (£32)

Take the elevator up to the 68th floor to enjoy the view from Western Europe's tallest building and observation deck. The Shard is just south of the Thames and it's within walking distance of the Tower of London and St. Paul's Cathedral, which are both also included and highly recommended.

Tower of London (£26.80)

This riverside castle is almost 1,000 years old and it's the sort of thing that you really have to see in person once in your life. It might be a bit dry for the kids, but you can see the highlights in an hour or so, or take a free tour with the beefeater guards if you come at the right time.

Windsor Castle (£21.20)

WindsorCastleIf you want to see a historic and fancy castle, Windsor is the one you want. It's located a bit north of London, but you can get there in less than 45 minutes from Paddington Station, and the trains are included with the London Pass. There is a good chance your hotel is close to Paddington Station, so this one is far faster and easier to reach than you might think.

Westminster Abbey (£22)

Even if you've seen your share of cathedrals in your lifetime, you haven't seen one like this. Westminster Abbey is by far the most stunning and interesting church on the interior that you'll ever see. It's very central so you'll pass by it no matter what, and you can do the free walking tour with the audio guide in about an hour once inside.

Arsenal or Chelsea or Wimbledon Stadium Tours (£23+)

ChelseaStadiumAll three of these stadium tours are very enjoyable and impressive. If you are a fan of Chelsea or Arsenal then your choice will be obvious. The tours are quite different from each other, and all are worthwhile. If you don't care about tennis then the Arsenal tour is the best of the three, and it's the most central and easiest to reach.

Thames River Cruise (£18.75)

The HOHO bus takes you places all over London, but most of the most famous and important things were actually built along the Thames. This pleasant boat ride comes with interesting live narration (most of the time), and allows you to hop on or off at Parliament, Tower Bridge, or Greenwich. It's very worthwhile if the weather is nice.

London Bridge Experience (£27.95)

This “experience” is sort of an interactive comedy and history show for the first 30 minutes, and then a very professionally put together haunted house for the remaining 30 minutes. If you aren't a haunted house fan then skip this. But if it sounds like fun then it's a good use of an hour and it's located near several other attractions.

Short video showing the highlights of the London Pass

Here's a 68-second video I made that shows the top London Pass attractions, including many that allow you to skip the queue.


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.

Exclusive discount for Price of Travel readers

  • Get 10% off 3-day London Passes
  • Get 15% off 6-day and 10-day London Passes

Use promo code: POT10 (expires December 31, 2020 – Look for “promo code?” in Step 4 of checkout)

>>>Click this link and use code POT10 to receive 10% off 3-day London Passes, and 15% off 6 and 10-day London Passes.

Note: If a larger discount is being offered, you'll automatically get the best discount with the above link.

NOTE: This article was originally published in 2011, and has been updated continuously since then to reflect current prices and new features.

115 Responses to “Is the London Pass 2020 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.

    Roger Wade says:


    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.

        Roger Wade says:

        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?

    Roger Wade says:


    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?

    Roger Wade says:


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

        Roger Wade says:


        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:

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?

    Roger Wade says:


    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?

    Roger Wade says:


    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!

        Roger Wade says:


        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

        Chris L says:


        A tip – I went to the Tower of London last year, and while you get to skip ticket lines with the London Pass, there was still a pretty sizable line to get in to see the Crown Jewels. If that’s important to you, you might wish to move the ToL to the top of the day’s activities.

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?

    Roger Wade says:


    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

Patty says:

Hi Roger!

Me and my family of 4 (3 adults + 1 Child) are planing on going to London in early July. We only have one day to see the city and planing on visiting about 3 or 4 attractions. I was going to purchase to one day pass to avoid the “lines” and to save some dimes, what would your recommendation be? And one more question, where exactly do I click to apply the 6% coupon code you provided? Couldn’t find it in check out…

Thank you in advance for your reply Roger!

    Roger Wade says:


    Personally, I like to start quick city visits with a tour, so I’d recommend the Thames River Cruise in the morning. After that you’ll easily have time to see at least 3 more things, as most of the most famous sights are within walking distance of each other and near the river. Westminster Abbey and the (very interesting) Churchill War Rooms are close together, and from there you can take a long stroll (or fast taxi or tube ride) to the Tower of London. There are a few other included sights along the way, so you’ll have many options.

    London Pass now has a free smart phone app (iPhone and Android) that shows you all the attractions on a map, with opening times and descriptions and whatnot, and that can help you choose.

    To apply the promo code, go through the Checkout process and under “Step 4 – Additional Products” there is a thing at the bottom that says “Promo code? Click here.” Just click there, put in the code, and it will instantly change the price in the shopping cart. -Roger

Judy says:

Hi, Roger!
Thanks for the info on the London Pass; I was really confused before reading your comments. You mentioned the river cruise as a good way to start a quick visit. We were also looking at the Big Bus tours as a way to get an overview of the city at the beginning of our trip. Do you recommend that, or will the river cruise be sufficient? Thanks SO much!

    Roger Wade says:


    I’m always happy to hear that this information helps. I think the Big Bus tours are an ideal choice for someone with only a day or two to see a city, but I think there are better ways of getting oriented if you’ve got a bit longer. The Thames River Cruise has excellent views of most of the important sights, and you obviously spend far less time sitting in traffic, which is unfortunately a major feature of the bus tours. So if you have at least 3 days in London, or hopefully even more, I prefer the river cruise early on, and also the “free” walking tours of the city center (Westminster) area. The walking tour goes places where the buses can’t go, and the descriptions and stories are much more vivid. They make money by asking for tips at the end if you’ve enjoyed it, and I always give around £5 because even that feels like a great bargain.

    Also, if you are getting the London Pass you’ll be seeing many of these attractions (Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Churchill War Rooms, Windsor Castle etc) from the inside and outside as you visit, so seeing them from the top of a bus as it drives by is not as important. But again, if you have a very limited time, I do think the bus tours are far better than nothing. -Roger

      Judy says:

      You are awesome! I really appreciate your taking time to share your very helpful insights. We have just five days in London, and now we know just what we are going to do with them! Many thanks!!

Payal Bubna says:

Hi Roger ,
We are family n friends ( 4 adults & 4 kids ) ( kids all below 10 ) are visiting London for the first time . We are in London for 9 nights . Planning to take the London pass with travel so it would be easier and cheaper for us . We do plan to visit few places which is mentioned in your attractions .
Is it better to book it online and collect the pass there ?
Is it worth the money or oyster card is better for travel ?
Do we get discounts with London pass on madam tussads , london eye , harry potter , legoland etc ????

Awaiting Reply


    Roger Wade says:


    I used to always recommend that people order the London Pass online and have it delivered to them at home, and that’s still a great option because you’ll get a chance to go through the guidebook that comes with it to help sort out your sightseeing plans. But now London Pass has created an electronic version of the book, as well as an iPhone and Android app with the same information, and you can download those all for free when you buy online for pickup in London. Also, the London pickup point for London Passes is in Leicester Square, which is a very central area for sightseeing, but you might be staying on the other edge of the city so picking them up in person could be a bit of a hassle.

    The London TravelCard that comes as an option with the London Pass is almost exactly like an Oyster Card, except that you don’t have to pay the £5 deposit on each card when you buy them. The other difference is that a TravelCard is for unlimited public transport rides (underground, buses), while an Oyster Card allows you to buy just one or two rides per day if that’s all you need. By the time you get to 3 rides per day, the Oyster Card hits its maximum price for the day, and then it’s exactly like an unlimited TravelCard.

    In other words, if you think you might only want 1 or 2 tube rides per day, then skip the TravelCard and buy Oyster Cards once you get to London. But if you think you’ll be doing 3 or more rides per day, which is very likely when you are using the London Pass because you’ll want to move around town quickly to take advantage of the included attractions, then the TravelCard is ideal. Most likely it comes down to which area of town you are staying in. Most of the best attractions are on or near the northern bank of the Thames in the Westminster area. If you stayed nearby, you will be able to walk to many attractions, but hotels in that walking area tend to be very expensive compared to almost anywhere else. So if you are staying at least 1 or 2 kilometers from that area, you’ll probably take the tube a couple times each day just going back and forth.

    The London Pass does NOT include discounts to those things you mention, but with Madam Tussauds and the London Eye you can get a good discount just by booking online. You might find discount tickets for the others when you are in London, or elsewhere online.

    Hopefully this helps, and feel free to ask any other questions if I missed something. -Roger

      Sarah says:

      Hi Roger,
      My family (two adults and a 14 year old child)are coming to London in June for 4 nights (3 full days + 1/2 day). I am thinking to get the 3 day London pass (2 adults and 1 child). I thought the travel card only works at off peak hours ( and the Oyster card worked all day long with discounted price for each ride. Can you confirm if the travel card works all day long?

      I am trying to plan our time in London and hopefully you can help me. We are arriving at London in the morning (Tuesday)so we would have some time in the afternoon. Should I activate the card on the same day or the next day? We would like to visit several places included in the pass and a couple of other places that are not included. We’d like to do the river cruise, Tower of London, Westminster Abby, Churchill War Rooms, Tower bridge and Winsor castle. We’d like to have time to visit Buckmingham Palace, House of Parliment, London Eye. Can you please give us some suggestions on how to plan our 3 and half days?

      Looking forward to hearing from you.


        Roger Wade says:


        The TravelCard/Oyster Card thing is indeed confusing. Here’s how it works: London public transport offers two different kinds of TravelCards (along with versions that include suburbs that very few tourists will ever want to visit). A TravelCard is good for unlimited Tube rides on the day it’s valid. The more expensive version is good all day every day (London underground shuts down for about 5 hours overnight), and the slightly cheaper version is only valid after 9:30am on weekdays, and all weekend. This is obviously to encourage tourists (and shoppers etc) to wait until the morning rush hour is over to start riding. The tube tends to be quite crowded until that time, so I personally am happy to save a little by starting after 9:30am, and this is the version you can add on to the London Card when you order.

        The Oyster Card requires a deposit of £5 per card (fairly easy to get back when you are done with it, though queues at Heathrow can be long) and then you add ride credit to it. When they introduced the Oyster Card, they jacked up the price of the underground to the point that no sane person would ever NOT use an Oyster Card. Right now, it costs £4.70 for short tube ride WITHOUT an Oyster Card, and £2.20 WITH an Oyster Card. So after only 2 rides, your Oyster Card “discount” has already paid for the deposit.

        The best feature of the Oyster Card is that you can use it for “discounts” on a few rides per day, and once you hit about 3 medium-length rides or 4 shorter rides, you’ve reached the maximum fare for the day, and every additional ride is free. So essentially, an Oyster Card automatically turns into a TravelCard after 3 or 4 rides, but it can be even cheaper if you don’t ride as often. But you have to pay the deposit and possibly stand in a longer line to get the deposit back when you are leaving, which can be a hassle.

        For a family trying to get the most out of a London Pass, it’s almost certain that you’ll be riding at least 3 or 4 times per day, and even more if you are staying away from the touristy area along the Thames. So the TravelCard is probably exactly what you want anyway, and you’ll have it with you when you arrive, with no deposits and such. (Also, most attractions don’t open until 10am or so.)

        As for how to use it most efficiently on your visit, there isn’t a big difference in price between the 2-day version and the 3-day version, so I think it’s wise to get the longer one. Those overnight flights can be problematic for some people, but I’m usually so excited that I prefer to get out and see some sights on the day I arrive (and this helps with jet lag as well). I think doing the Thames River Cruise on the first afternoon would be a great way of getting oriented. You’ll still have time for one or two more attractions in the same area, including the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, and the Churchill War Rooms.

        Another day you can come back to that area and see the remaining things you passed on your first day, and you’ll have time for a ride on the London Eye (buy tickets online to save), and maybe a quick visit to the (free) Tate Modern museum nearby. Windsor Castle is in the suburbs, so you’d need to plan ahead to get out there.

        It’s hard to offer specific advice without knowing all of the places you want to visit, but I can say that the underground is really efficient for getting around quickly, so you can see a lot. I’ll also suggest downloading the London Pass iPhone or Android app, which you can do for free, even before you buy. On it you’ll see all the places covered along with operating hours and such. That makes choosing where to go much easier, when you can see them all on the same map.

        Hopefully this helps. Have a great trip, regardless of what you decide. -Roger

Andrea says:

I need to find out do I need children’s passes? I have a 10 year old and 14 year old. I know a friend of mine that did Paris last year said they did not need to buy childrens passes? So do we need a london pass for children. Also for the tube?

    Roger Wade says:


    On the London Underground, children up to the age of 10 can ride for free along with a paying adult. Children 11 to 15 get a reduced fare.

    The London Pass itself has a child price for ages 5 to 15, and I don’t believe any of the included attractions would be free without it. I think the difference is that the Paris Pass covers many museums and most or all of those museums are free for everyone under the age of 18. In London, the famous state-run museums (British Museum, Tate Modern etc) are free for everyone (actually paid for by taxpayers). And the London Pass obviously covers the other attractions (Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Thames River Cruise, London Bridge Experience etc.) and most of those are quite expensive. Children 5 and over need a ticket, although those are usually around half the price of an adult ticket. -Roger

      Andrea says:

      Our schedule is to go from Heathrow to Liverpool on Tuesday. We will go the Euston station. We will be in Liverpool for 2 day then coming back to London on Thursday around 4pm. Friday and Saturday we were wanting to use the London Pass. Sunday going out to Harry Potter Universal. Then Monday leaving at 2pm on Eurostar for Paris. Should I do a 3 day pass for Thursday night or 2 day pass. And should I do the travel part of the pass or get separate oyster card since I have so many other travel trips.
      Any advise would be appreciated. Trying ot be the most cost effective

Sairam says:

Hi Roger,

Thanks for all the information, really appreciate the time and effort you have put in to help visitors in london. Just wanted to ask a query which we are pondering, planning to be in london for 7 days. As we are a couple w/o children, would it be a good idea to combine Big Bus tour with London Pass or do you think there is a better way to travel to reach destinations which are included in london pass.


    Roger Wade says:


    It’s my pleasure to try to help with this. I think those Big Bus hop-on, hop-off tours can be good for sightseeing, especially if you want to see a lot in only a short visit of 2 or 3 days in London (or any other city), but they aren’t good as transportation between sights. Especially if you are going in high season, the buses can get quite crowded and the one you are waiting for might be nearly full when it pulls up because most people stay on it the whole way around. Also, they tend to move very slowly in heavy traffic.

    The better way of getting around and between sights is a combination of walking and the Tube/underground. The London Pass comes with an optional TravelCard, and if you get that you’ll have unlimited rides on the Underground during the validity of your London Pass. Once you use the system once or twice, you’ll realize that it’s quite easy and visitor friendly. It’s also the fastest way to get around in almost every case. If you don’t get a TravelCard you’d want to get an Oyster Card, which works the same way after you put a £5 deposit down and then buy credit for the thing, but a TravelCard will be easier.

    Another thing to consider is that if you are in London for 7 days, you really won’t need to rush around the city, so that Big Bus Tour wouldn’t be too helpful. You’ll be better off spending most of each day in one smaller area, seeing all the sights in that neighborhood rather than going back and forth across town. The London Pass also comes with a Thames River Cruise, which takes you by many of the most famous sights, and is a very good orientation to the city.

    So again, if you were going to be in London for 2 or 3 days, the Big Bus Tour isn’t a bad way of seeing a lot in the time, but for 7 days I don’t think it would be worthwhile. Have a great trip. -Roger

Randy says:

This is a great resource. I am traveling to London with my wife and 2 children, ages 11 and 8. I think a 6 day pass for myself and my wife is a no braine, with travel. Do I also need for the kids, or are they normally underage and free? Thanks.

    Roger Wade says:


    Thank you. As it says on the London Pass site, “Child Pass is valid for 5 – 15 years. Children under 11 years of age may travel free of charge on the tube, buses, DLR and London Overground if accompanied by an adult holding a valid travelcard.” So that would mean that the 8-year-old wouldn’t need a travelcard (and many people would chance it on the 11-year-old as well because it’s not like kids that age are all carry around ID cards, if you know what I mean).

    As for the Child London Pass itself, it gets a bit tricky. Most of the attractions on the card have a “child” price for ages 5 to 15, but at least a few of them are actually free for those under 11 so it’s a bit of a mix. You might check the official websites of a few of the main attractions you plan on visiting to see their age policies and decide from there. Most of the popular attractions seem to only have free entry for those under 5 because they are commercially run as for-profit businesses. Good luck and have a great trip. -Roger

Marianna Galea Xuereb says:

We bought a six day pass but unfortunately it looks like we will only benefit from it for five days and not for the whole six days because weather forecast are predicting very extreme weather (for this Sunday) that can be dangerous and are recommending that people avoid going out. I really believe that the London Pass Managers should extend the use of the London pass for one day more when such circumstances occur.

Brad says:

There is no point of buying the pass on line as you have to stand in a queue for almost an hour to pick it up!

    Roger Wade says:


    Sorry to hear that the queue was so long. I generally recommend that people buy online early and have it shipped to their home. As you know, the Pass comes with a helpful booklet that can be good to read before you arrive. You can also get the London Pass smart phone app online for free. -Roger

vicky says:

Hi Roger,

I purchased 4 London Pass books and now 1 in our party will not be able to join us. Can I return the London Pass for a refund?

    Roger Wade says:


    You’ll have to contact the London Pass people. I don’t know their return policy at all. Best of luck. -Roger

hary says:

Is it safe to send the London pass to the hotel?
I stayed at millennium Gloucester. We are arriving at London on 17th Dec and leaving on 20th Dec(6:50am). Which pass do you recommend (days or 3days)?
Thank you

    Roger Wade says:


    Yes, I believe it is safe to have a London Pass sent to a hotel. There are a few London hotels that are small and/or disorganized so I’m not sure I’d be confident in those, but the Millennium Gloucester is a proper hotel with fulltime staff so it should be waiting for you when you check in.

    Since you will only be there 2 full day plus two partial days, I’d go for a 2-day London Pass. Trying to do much sightseeing on arrival day can be stressful, so I’d shoot for using it only for the two full days you’ll be in London in the middle. Have a great trip. -Roger

ana says:

We are coming in London on Decemeber 27th. We bought London Pass for six days. If we start using it immediatelly, we have only five days till New year. Can we use the sixth day on January 2nd, or will this one day be lost?
Thank you!

    Roger Wade says:


    I’m not sure, but my guess would be that you’ll need to use 6 consecutive days. I just checked the opening days of Windsor Castle, as an example, and they are open normally on January 1. I think many other major sights will be open on New Year’s Day as well. To be certain you’d have to check with the London Pass people. Good luck. -Roger

Christie says:

Your article and subsequent replies to questions have been immensely helpful!

My husband and I would like to travel to London in 2016 for two weeks.
I’m thinking we should buy the 6 day pass and travel card for the first week and then the second week get an Oyster card and see the free things.

Is there a better way to manage a two week trip that would save us more money?
We would also like to travel to Dover and “James Herriot’s” home town.

Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.
I have been to London once before with my daughter’s choir and they purchased the 6 day London Pass w/travel card. The ease of use cannot be over stated.

Thank you for your time!


    Roger Wade says:


    I think your idea of using the 6-day London Pass and focusing on the free museums and other attractions for the rest of your trip sounds ideal. For one thing, a 6-day London Pass becomes fairly cheap on a per-day basis compared to the short ones. But also it’s great to have enough time to see the rest of London at a slower pace, and spend time in the British Museum and the Tate Modern etc., without worrying that you aren’t getting your money’s worth.

    Dover is a bit over an hour away from London by the fastest trains, and it’s not a cheap journey, unfortunately. The earlier you buy the cheaper the options will be, and my favorite site for UK train tickets is this one:

    Also, with two full weeks in London you’ll have plenty of time for day trips or side trips. One of the closer and cheaper ones is down to the seaside town of Brighton, which can be reached on an affordable commuter train. A bit farther away you might also spend a day in Bath, which would be a really nice change of pace from busy London. Have a great trip. -Roger

      Christie says:

      I just discovered London Pass now offers a 10 day pass with a £50 Oyster card.
      Oh the decisions!
      We’ve done a preliminary list of sites and can definitely make the 10 day worth the cost, so may go that route.
      Although we cannot figure out the “daily cap” formula on the Oyster card.

        Roger Wade says:


        Very interesting. I hadn’t heard of the 10-day pass with Oyster Card until now, so it’s brand new and I’ll add it to the article soon. It looks like a great deal since it only costs a bit more than the 6-day version.

        It says that it includes an Oyster Card with a value of £50, which should go a long way. The cap works like this: Most of your stay you will likely be only in Zone 1 and Zone 2, and a single ride in that zone (assuming you start after 9:30am) is £2.30. If you take a second ride that day it’s another £2.30, but if you take a third ride that day you hit the daily cap of £6.40, so that 3rd ride only deducts £1.80 from the Oyster Card for a total of £6.40 for the day. After that, your Oyster Card is good for unlimited rides at no extra charge.

        If you go outside Zones 1 and 2, the daily cap is higher, but not by much. Also, if you are going to hit the daily cap, you can leave before 9:30am because the price is the same for the day.

        So a £50 Oyster Card will allow you unlimited rides for about 8 days (£6.40 x 8 = £51.20), which should be plenty for a 10-day stay because it’s unlikely that you’ll be riding the Underground that much every single day. If you do ride a lot, you can add another £5 or £10 on your own to cover the final days or rides. It’s a great system as long as you know how it works. That 10-day one sounds like excellent value. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Jeanette says:

I am traveling with my son to London and Paris in March. What will the queue lines be like at that time of the year? I’m trying to decide if the Pass will be advantageous.

    Roger Wade says:


    Generally you wouldn’t expect the really long queues (over an hour) in March or even April. But for the most popular attractions like the Louvre or the Tower of London, they are very popular all year round and they don’t have all of the ticket windows open in the slower seasons. So if you get unlucky or go at the most popular times of day, you could still wait maybe 30 minutes or even more for the top attractions. Sorry for the wishy-washy answer, but that’s as accurate as I can get for this. Have a great trip either way. -Roger

Priti says:

This is really wonderful site giving lot of tips. I had few questions:
1.Buying a 3 days London pass with travel card is better or online purchase of London pass with buying Oyster card at Heathrow airport would be advisable. I am travelling with husband and Daughter(age 4)on June 28 to London, I want to travel from Heathrow to paddington where my hotel is located. Can the oystercard/travel card cover this journey
2. London pass is also available on Heathrow now so is it advisable to buy it when we land on the airport. In case buying online is the better option can we collect the pass physically from Leicester Square on June 29 and start using our pass for 3 days.
3. Visitor Oyster card/ Oyster card/ Travel card which is better.

I hope to get a reply on this.

    Roger Wade says:


    1. The old London Passes used to come with a TravelCard that was good for only Zones 1 and 2, but now they come with the Oystercard option, which is good for all zones. If you have the Oystercard delivered to your home then you can use it for the ride from Heathrow to Paddington, so it’s a great deal and much less hassle now.

    2. I wasn’t aware that you could get a London Pass at Heathrow Airport, although I have seen it available at a higher price at a ticket booth in Victoria Station. The pass comes with a guide book and some other helpful information so I personally prefer to have that sort of thing at home to help with trip planning.

    Even if you start using the Oystercard at Heathrow, the London Pass itself doesn’t start its activation until you go to one of the attractions. So you can wait for a day or two or three if you like, no matter how you get the Pass.

    3. The Oystercard is better, which is explained in greater detail in the article above. Basically, it provides unlimited rides in the central part of London if you use the Tube a lot, but it also allows you to use it just for a few rides here and there over a longer period if you prefer. The Travelcard option is only good for unlimited travel within Zones 1 and 2 for a set number of days, and Heathrow is in Zone 5.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great trip. -Roger

      Priti says:

      Dear Roger
      Thank you for your reply and clarification. Its London Pass with Oyster Card it is. The Oyster card comes with credit of 25 or 40(3 day or 6 day). If this credit is not utlised can we get the refund. Also does this Oyster card can be used both in Peak and Non-peak hours.Can the Oyster card be used on Heathrow Express or Heathrow connect or only on tube.
      Await your response.

        Roger Wade says:


        The Oyster Card option is new and I can’t be sure myself since I’m not affiliated with London Pass, but I’d be very surprised if they offered a refund for any unused credit on an Oyster Card. When you buy a normal Oyster Card you pay a £5 deposit, and that IS refundable, though I’d guess that these are disposable so I doubt you’d get that back.

        However, I can confirm that the Oyster Card can be used any time of day. If you begin riding before 9:30am then the daily cap is a bit more expensive, but it will cover either one. And unfortunately, the Oyster Card cannot be used on the Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect. For airport transportation, it’s only valid on the regular Tube. Have a great trip. -Roger

          Priti says:

          Dear Roger,

          Thanks for your effort in giving reply. I will confirm the refund issue from the London pass officials. Regards.

Jayelle says:

Hi Roger,

Just wanted to say thanks for all the time you’ve spent answering questions here. I had a lot of the same questions, and have learned a lot reading this thread.


Dee Ann says:

We are going to visit London soon. We will arrive on May 14 and depart on May 21 (8 days). We have a “Day Trip to Paris” scheduled for one of our days while there. Which London Pass with Oyster Card would you suggest for us?

    Roger Wade says:

    Dee Ann,

    I really think the best value for your trip will be the 6-day London Pass with Oyster Card. These passes are only valid on consecutive days, so if you got a 3-day pass you’d have to do it all before or after your Paris day trip. Also, the 6-day pass is only about 25% more expensive than the 3-day pass, and it’s obviously valid for twice as long so you’ll be able to see many more things and you won’t have to rush around like you would with a shorter pass. You still might want to do the Paris trip on the day before you leave, but even in 5 days you’ll be able to get a LOT more out of a pass than in 3 days.

    By the way, the Oyster Card will be good for your whole trip starting when you validate it, so it should easily cover all of your travel within London starting at that point, and you won’t waste a day while you are in Paris because it’s for a fixed amount rather than a set number of free days. It might sound confusing, but it definitely works out in your favor. Have a great trip and let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

Claire says:

Hi Roger

I will be travelling to London with my family (5 adults) from 15 Sept to 18 Sept 2015. I’m planning to buy 2 days London Pass with Oyster Card. Is it a good choice?

Thanks for your reply.

    Roger Wade says:


    Yes, assuming that you are interested in visiting at least a few of the major (and expensive) attractions that come with the London Pass, then I think it’s a great choice. London is still quite crowded in September so being able to skip the queues will also be helpful. Have a great trip. -Roger

Pam says:

Hi Roger
My husband & I will be in London mid Dec 2015 & plan to buy the 3 Day London Pass. Being winter is there a risk that many of the leading attractions could possibly be closed if weather is severe. I guess this is the chance we take when travelling during winter. Thanks for your reply. BTW great site with just about every question re London Pass answered with so much information & more. 🙂

    Roger Wade says:


    You’d be incredibly unlucky if there are any weather-related attraction closures in London in December. The city does get chilly and it’s famous for drizzle, but it very rarely snows or anything else severe. As they always say, dress in layers so you can stay warm because you’ll be going inside and outside frequently during your visit.

    As you can see on the London page on this site, the average temperatures in December are above freezing, even at night. And again, it rarely pours so it’s usually just a mist or drizzle that you have to deal with when it rains. I’m sure you’ll have a great visit and the weather shouldn’t be a problem. -Roger

S.T.Menon says:

Hi Roger,
Me,my wife and two boys ( 4 adults) will be visiting London from 4th Dec 8.00 pm to 8th Dec. (8.00 am). We are keen to visit maximum possible attractions on 5th, 6th and 7th of December. Pleas let us know if purchasing 3-day London pass along with travel/oyster pass is worth it. In general we would like to skip the Museum types but visit other more popular attractions that London is so famous for. Pls advice how we can make the best of of this opportunity to visit this lovely city.

Thank you

    Roger Wade says:

    ST Menon,

    It actually sounds like you are the types of visitors that the London Pass was made for. London is partly famous for its many free museums, but many of us can only handle a few hours of museums in any given trip, and anyone with children will also struggle if they try to focus on the British Museum and such. The London Pass includes many attractions that are meant for families, so I think it would be ideal. Better still, at this exact moment the 3-day London Pass is on sale so it’s almost the same price as the 2-day London Pass. That would be perfect for you because it’s like getting one day free, meaning that you won’t need to race around all 3 days in order to get the most use out of it.

    And I am a big fan of the OysterCard version because you’ll almost certainly want to buy and use one of those anyway. If you buy them on your own you have to pay a £5 deposit for each card, and getting the deposit back at the end of your stay might mean standing in a long line. I have 2 OysterCards at home for this reason.

    As far as getting the best use out of the London Pass, my best advice is to download the free London Pass smartphone app (ios or Android), which you can do even before you buy your passes. It shows everything on an interactive map, along with descriptions and operating hours etc. It’s very handy for figuring out the most efficient route between attractions. The other bit of advice is to start as early in the day as you are able to, at around 9am or so, when things are first opening. What happens is that many tourists get a late start, so even the best places are almost empty for the first couple of hours, but then by noontime they can be jammed. If you are in front of your first attraction at 9am then you can do that and one other big attraction before lunch, and by then you’ve almost gotten your money’s worth for the day, with an entire afternoon to do 1 or 2 or 3 more things.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. The timing is perfect for this sale, and I hope you see this in time. Please click on the link in the article to get the best price. -Roger

natalie says:

I tried to use the discount code from your link, but there is nowhere to enter it on page 4 of checkout. Do you have to put your credit card info in first?


    Roger Wade says:


    I just checked it again and it’s there. At the bottom of the Step 4 area look for the words, “Promo code? Click here” and you’ll see it. Just click on that and you can enter the code. Good luck. -Roger

Dr.Gautam B says:

London Pass seems to be worthy of its value specially considering the facts that the queues can be avoided at many places and it really pays its price if not more…

Ron says:

Hi Roger; I’ve used the London Pass previously and it is great (travelling solo). I’m now bringing my family and we are staying in London from Mid Dec later this year to early Jan (17 days). I was going to buy the 6 day pass and use before xmas to see all of the major attractions, but noticed a comment that for longer stays that the London Pass is not good for. Can you please clarify why that is the case? Thank you.

    Roger Wade says:


    In your case, the London Pass idea is probably a good one. My comment about a London Pass not being ideal for longer visits relates to how much sightseeing you want to squeeze into a shorter time. As you know, when you buy a city pass like this, you really have to use it 2 or 3 times per day in order to get good value out of it. The longer the pass, the less you have to rush.

    But still, let’s say there are 10 things you want to see in London and you’ll be there for 17 days. If you want to do them all in a 6-day period, then a London Pass should be good value. But if you wanted to space those 10 things out over 14 days, seeing one thing a day and having a few days off, then obviously a London Pass wouldn’t make sense. For example, if you have a lot of time, you might make a whole day out of a visit to Windsor Castle and the area nearby. That said, I think the 6-day pass should work well, and it will give you 11 more days where you don’t feel the pressure to go sightseeing every day in order to get decent value. Have a great trip. -Roger

Amy says:

Traveling to London, Brighton, and Cardiff, Wales the third week of June. Planning to buy the London Pass for our two days in London. Assume that it will help us with the summer crowds. The London Pass + Oyster travelcard says it works for overground trains but it looks like just in the London area. If so, is there a transportation card you would recommend that would work for London and for our other train journeys?

    Roger Wade says:


    Yes, the Oyster Card is just for Greater London, and it’s mainly just a pre-payment system. It does provide “discounts” for travel, but that is really more of just a penalty for NOT using it and buying tickets one at a time from an agent or machine.

    Brighton is the last stop on one of the commuter rail lines from London, and you can get a ticket for an off-peak train for £10.60 round-trip if you come back on the same day. It takes about 75 minutes from London, by the way. If you stay overnight it costs a bit more, and if you need to travel at peak times (mornings and late afternoons, Monday through Friday) it costs even more. But if you are flexible, it’s a cheap ticket. The Train Line is my favorite website for British rail tickets.

    For Cardiff, or anywhere else outside of Greater London, the trick is to buy your tickets as soon as possible. Check the site linked above and you’ll see that the fares are pretty reasonable now for mid June. But if you were to wait until just before you wanted to go, those same seats would be extremely expensive.

    There are some “discount cards” for couples and families and senior citizens, though you have to buy them so I think they are only good value for people who are going to use them many times. Let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

      Amy says:

      Roger, Thank you so much for your informative website and your quick and lengthy reply. I have bookmarked your site and will let others know how helpful both you and the site have been in planning our trip!

Sheri Warner says:


My husband and I will be in London for 3 days in August, 2016. I am deciding whether to purchase the London Pass with the Oyster option, or just purchase the London Pass through your website and purchase the Oyster when we arrive at Heathrow. I do see the London Pass as a tremendous value due to all the attractions that are included that we want to see.

My question, and I’ve read most of the previous posts to find my answer, is with regard to the OysterCard. I read on another site that if you purchase the standard OysterCard, not the Visitor one, that you pay a refundable deposit and can get a refund if you don’t use all of your OysterCard. If I purchase the London Pass with the OysterCard option, and don’t use all the funds on the OysterCard, can I get the funds refunded to me?

Thank you

    Roger Wade says:


    You’ve really researched this thoroughly, which is admirable because this is a complicated subject. On the London Pass website it says: “Any credit you don’t use can be kept on the Oyster Travelcard for use at a later date. If you want to claim a refund on any unused value/credit, please visit a Transport for London ticket desk.”

    So it’s the same as the individual ones that you buy here in London (I’m actually based in London for the next 6 months). The one thing I’m NOT sure about is if the London Pass Oyster Card is a temporary “free” one, which has no deposit value in the card itself, or whether it’s the thick ones that you buy in London for £5. My best guess is that it’s a temporary free one, so you wouldn’t pay the £5 for it, and you wouldn’t get that refunded. You definitely can get a refund on any unused travel balance though.

    It’s a great system because you can use it to ride the Tube (and/or the buses) in the city center all day and it only deducts £6.50 from your Oyster Card. So you can use it like crazy for a few days and then barely use it at all on other days, and you’ll have a decent balance left on the thing at the end.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

      Sheri says:

      Thank you, Roger, for the information. It sounds like the offer for the 3-day London Pass with OysterCard on your website is the way to go. We’ll be sure to purchase before this Friday, the 27th, to get the discount.


Sue says:

Hi Roger, So happy I discovered your website as my head is spinning trying to do the sums on all these city passes! Having read thru all info I still have a question or two which I hope you can help me with…
I’m a bit confused with the HOHO bus – if I was to purchase the 2 day London Pass which includes a one day HOHO ticket, am I expected to use up one of my days for the bus (if we want to spend the day just touring on the buses) or can it be used in addition to the 2 days covered by the Pass?
I was also wondering about getting the train from Heathrow Airport, I realise the Oyster Card doesn’t cover the Heathrow Express but if we were to go by Tube which I think it does cover, is it a good option for travellers with luggage (our flight is due to arrive at 6am, 31st July 2016)?
Thanks for your help,

    Roger Wade says:


    I’m always glad to hear that this information is helpful. Yes, the HOHO bus ticket is only valid during one of the eligible days of your overall London Pass. That might seem disappointing at first, but you probably don’t want to spend a whole day on the HOHO anyway. Those buses are fantastic to take early in your trip, so you get your bearings and know what is where and what you might like to return to later. But they are a poor method of general transportation.

    Having done literally dozens of these HOHO buses in different cities (although I am based in London at the moment), I highly recommend doing the whole loop straight through first and absorbing the whole tour. After that, if you want to stay on to reach one of the next few stops, it’s not a bad way to go. Or if you want to get off once or perhaps twice on your first loop because you want to see something along the way, it can be okay as long as it’s a stop where many people get off and on.

    The problem is that very few people get off at most stops, so if you want to get on at that stop you might have to stay downstairs in the enclosed area until a popular stop when people do get off. And they tend to be pretty crowded most of the day. If you get on at a popular stop then you can usually get a good seat on top right away, or wait for the next bus to come in 10 minutes and you’ll get one for sure. Again, it’s a great and helpful tour, but kind of a pain in the neck to try to use to go from one attraction to another.

    Fortunately, many top attractions are fairly close to each other, with many along the river so it’s a nice walk between them. And for the more far-flung attractions, the tube is far faster. So my advice is to do the HOHO on the first morning of your pass, all the way around, and then mostly get around on foot or on the tube. You might find yourself near a HOHO stop and wanting to go to a nearby stop, and if that’s the case you can do it on that first day, and it won’t be a problem if you are downstairs without the full view.

    As for getting from Heathrow on the tube, it works better than you might think. The carriages on those Piccadilly trains that go to Heathrow have a clear section near each door that is designated for luggage. And it’s the last stop on the line, so the carriages are empty at Heathrow and the only other passengers are fellow visitors (and a few airport workers). So the trick is to move quickly into a carriage without many other people going onto it, and set your bag in the luggage area and sit in the seat right next to it. The carriages do start filling up with normal passengers as they go, and sometimes they do get a bit crowded, but the airport is an official stop so there will be other people with luggage as well. Of course, the smaller your luggage, the easier it will be to keep with you. And if you have a bag that can sit on your lap, it’s very easy. Have a great trip. -Roger

Sue says:

Thanks Roger for your reply!
That is pretty much what we’re thinking, to do the HOHO bus on our first day. We’re staying at the Doubletree near Victoria Station (got a great deal!) which looks close enough to walk to lots of places. Still have to decide on how many days ticket to get (we’re there for 3 days) but probably will just go for a 2 day pass.
We’re now thinking of getting the National Bus from the airport as it’s only 5 pound each and the drop off is Victoria Bus Station, not far from our hotel, which will save us having to change at Piccadilly, but thanks for the info on the tube!

Thanks again,
Sue (Australia)

Nelson says:

Hi Roger, I love your website and all the information that it provides. I will be visiting with my twin 15 yo kids in August. I was on the site and the Oyster Travelcard info is a little confusing with regards to the “cap.” Nevertheless, it also says that my kids “will receive a paper Travelcard covering zones 1 – 6 during off-peak times.” Does this mean that they will not be able to use it with us during peak travel times? Also, they will turn 16 during our trip. How strict are the age requirements? Will we be asked for passport proof of age at any point?
Finally, we arrive on Sunday 8/7 and leave on Thursday 8/11. We plan on buying the 3d passes, so we likely won’t activate the passes until Monday, leaving us with 3 full days to use the passes. On this site, it mentions that the OysterCard actually contains more travel credit than the number of days in the pass. So will we be able to use it when we arrive at LHR and tube to our hotel (even though the pass won’t activate until Monday) and/or use it when we depart on Thursday to Eurostar to Paris (even though the 3d pass will be used on Mon-Wed)?
Sorry for the long-winded questions, but I wanted to include as much info as possible to be clear. Thanks again, Nelson

    Roger Wade says:


    Thank you. I try to understand this information and help make it clear for readers, but even I get stumped on a few things. I’m based here in London at the moment, and I’m not sure about a couple of these. I’ll try to answer in the order you asked…

    With a 3-day London Pass you get a £25 Oyster Card for each adult. For each day that you use the Tube, the most it will deduct from that £25 is £6.50 if you only use it in Zones 1 and 2. You’ll generally hit that cap by the third ride of the day, so you can keep riding around all day until 04:30 the next morning and it still won’t deduct more than £6.50. Therefore, if you did exactly that for 3 days, your Oyster Card would still have a balance of £5.50 on it after the third day. You can even get a refund on that, although the queues are often long.

    Now, I’m also confused the the Ages 11 to 15 paper Travel Card. Before Oyster Cards debuted, the TravelCard was the unlimited rides card, so it sounds like it basically includes a 3-day unlimited rides Off-peak card in Zones 1 through 6. The difference is that it’s only good for 3 consecutive days from the first use, and there is no stored balance aside from that. Off-peak means you can’t use it until 09:30 Mondays through Fridays. The Tube is pretty crowded until around then (which is why it’s set up that way), and many attractions don’t open until 10am anyway, so I think the Off-peak thing works for most people. What I don’t know, however, is what would happen if you tried to use it before 09:30. My best guess is that it would beep and not open the gate, but I’m not sure. If this an issue for you let me know and I will ask someone at London Pass about it. I don’t see anything online that answers this. There are no “peak” afternoon hours, by the way, so it’s just the morning rush hour that they are trying to get tourists to avoid.

    As for age checks and such, I’ve never seen anything like that here. In fact, the gate security system seems to work so well that you really never see any checks for anyone once in the system. In other words, I wouldn’t worry about it, and I’d go with the Youth one. If they were 17 or older at the beginning of the trip, you might be a bit nervous, but with this you’ll be fine.

    Yes, you can use the Oyster Card balance before or after you activate the London Pass itself. Heathrow is in Zone 6, so it would deduct £5.10 from an Oyster Card at peak times (06:30 to 09:30 and 16:00 to 19:00 on weekdays), or £3.10 any other time. If this wasn’t confusing enough already, note that there IS an afternoon peak travel time for individual journeys, but for TravelCards or the daily cap on Oyster Cards, there is only a morning period to deal with.

    The Eurostar leaves from St. Pancras station in Zone 1, so most likely that would be a £2.40 fare deducted from an Oyster Card, even after your London Pass is done. And you can top-up Oyster Cards in machines at most Tube stations, even with a foreign credit card. I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any other questions or if you really think you’ll want to be on the Tube before 9:30am and I’ll try to find out. -Roger

      Nelson says:

      What a great response. Thank you so much for the thorough answers.
      I think I have only one followup question. While it seems that the Oystercard that comes with the adult pass will remain valid indefinitely, it appears that the child pass with travel card has an expiry date- is that correct? We plan to use our 3-day passes on our full days in London (Mon-Wed). However, we arrive at LHR on Sunday (8/7) and would like to use our Oyster/Travel cards on that day to get to our hotel. If my kids use their Travel card on Sunday, does it mean that it won’t be available for use on Wed (8/10)? We are trying to decide on the correct start date to have stamped on the issued Travel card. I think our adult Oyster card will cover our transportation needs from Sun-Thurs perfectly at £25.
      Thanks again, Nelson

Nelson says:

Sorry Roger,
I forgot to ask the all-important question. Would you even suggest taking the tube from LHR into the city? I’m reading info about having transportation pre-arranged before getting to London, but we really don’t mind taking public transport as long as it won’t be too much of a hassle with some luggage. I read one of your previous replies that discussed the topic of LHR being the last stop, so if we can get on quickly, we can load our luggage and sit nearby. Would you still recommend this for first-time travelers to your city?
Thanks again, Nelson

Nancy says:

London Pass was ABSOLUTELY the right thing for our 6 night trip to London. We used it for everything we wanted to see, and it was fabulous for getting past enormous lineups. The hop on cruise was also perfect for getting to Greenwich, London Bridge, Tower of London, Shakespeare’s theater as well as just being a neat boat trip. Best investment we made.

mary lou bleeg says:

I’ve noticed that St. Paul’s Catheral will be included on the London Pass as of April 2017. Does that mean one should wait until April to purchase the London Pass

    Roger Wade says:

    Mary Lou,

    No need to wait, all London Passes are the same, and the only factor is what are the included attractions when you use it rather than when you buy it. I was told a few months ago that St. Paul’s was coming back to the London Pass this coming April, but I haven’t seen it officially announced anywhere yet. So fingers crossed that my London Pass source was correct on that.

    So if you are arriving in London in April or after St. Paul’s is back in the program, any London Pass you buy now will be valid for entry. Have a great trip. -Roger

Joshua says:

I am interested in the Oyster. We are comparing 2 hotels. One is blocks away from the Blackfriars Bridge, and the other is across the Thames from Battersa park. I am assuming the Oyster card would be beneficial if we were staying down by Battersa, but in your opinion, would it be at all useful if we were staying up in the thick of things by the Blackfriars? Thanks



    The hotel near Blackfriars is definitely closer to a few things such as St. Paul’s and the Tate Modern, but I’d still recommend taking the Tube to visit most of the other places you’ll want to go. The area right around Westminster Bridge is a bit more dense with key attractions, though still the Tube will save you a lot of precious time even if staying there. The walk along the South Bank between Blackfriars and the Tower Bridge is really nice to do once, and it’s actually really enjoyable all the way down to Westminster Bridge, but it’s not really a quick way to get from one part of London to another. And there is only a limited walkway along the north bank, so you have to walk on the normal city sidewalks and cross all those streets.

    Either way, you’ll want to take the Tube to reach Oxford Street and Hyde Park and Covent Garden and so many places that are not a close walk to the river. For the extra cost, the Oyster Card option is well worth it because it’s fast, easy to use, and the daily fare cap is low enough that it’ll save you money almost every day. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

kay says:

When Buckingham Palace is open to the public in August is it included in the London Day pass? Do I need the pass in hand to make reservations? Is there a significant cost to have the pass sent to me? Thank you Kay



    Buckingham Palace has 3 attractions. There is the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews, and both of those are included in the London Pass all year. As you mentioned, in August they also have tours of the State Rooms, but those are not part of the London Pass. In fact, there are limited spots and advance reservations are important. I did the State Rooms myself last August and it was incredible.

    You can get the London Pass shipped to you for about US$10 if you are outside the UK. It comes with a small book and some other things, so it’s a small package rather than an envelope. If you have a smart phone you can now get the London Pass instantly for free with the London Pass app, which is free. Or you can pick it up for free once you get to London, but that can take some time if you aren’t staying near Leicester Square or Covent Garden. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Alma says:

I’ve been wondering about the “unlimited travel” available with the TravelPass. Does it include all zones of public transport? And if no, do you know which ones are included?



    “Unlimited travel” with the Oyster Card means that there is a cap on the amount you’ll be charged each day. The confusing part is that the cap is different, depending on how many zones you travel in, and whether or not you start at Peak Time, which is before 9:30am on weekdays. The Peak Time thing mostly applies to journeys in the distant zones (7 and up), so you can ignore that. If you travel all day in Zones 1 and 2 it will cap at £6.60 per day. If you also go into Zone 3 it’s £7.70 per day, and if you go into Zone 4 it’s £9.50 per day at the most.

    The Oyster Card that comes with the London Pass is charged with a certain amount, so if you travel in fewer zones, the card will have a higher balance after that day. Almost all included attractions are in Zones 1 and 2, although a few things such as Wimbledon are in Zone 4. So most people top out at £6.60 per day in Zones 1 and 2.

    You could go all the way to Zone 9 with your Oyster Card, but it’s a long way and the cap goes all the way up to £23 per day. But again, almost everything is in 1 and some things are in 2. Let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

Alma says:

Thanks for the info! One more question: do you know how much is on the 2-day London Pass Oyster? Is it the difference between travel and no-travel version of the London Pass?



    The 2-day London Pass includes £15 in credit, but it costs £18 more than the one without travel. They mention on the website that each Oyster Card includes a £3 processing fee. You could potentially save the £3 by buying your own Oyster Card when you get to London. The problem is you need to pay a £5 deposit when you buy a new card. You can get that £5 refund when you leave, but it requires standing in what is usually a long queue at Victoria Station or Paddington Station or Heathrow Airport Station, which are the main exit points. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Kyle says:


We will be traveling to London next week and am interested in the London Pass with Travel. It states that to get the travel portion I need to pay online in advance. Do you know if I have the option of prepaying and picking up the London Passes and Oyster Cards once I arrive? Unfortunately I wasn’t pro-active enough to do this in advance to have them mail it to me.



    I’m not exactly sure what you are referring to. I see that it says “if you opt for the London Pass with travel and you choose to collect it in the UK, you must purchase a separate London Underground fare to get from Heathrow into Central London.” That just means that you can’t use the Oyster Card until you have it in hand, so you’ll have to get from the airport to the pickup location on your own. In other words, pay yourself for the Underground from the airport into London the first time. Or you can take the Heathrow Express, which is MUCH faster and I think it’s worthwhile if you are getting off an overnight flight from the US.

    If you opt for the London Pass WITHOUT travel then you can buy your own Oyster Card at Heathrow at basically the same price. You’ll have to pay a £5 deposit instead of a £3 fee, and theoretically you can get that deposit back when you leave. You can get an Oyster Card from a vending machine with any credit card.

    Aside from that, you can prepay for the London Pass online and pick it up at their Redemption Desk, which is in central London. If I didn’t understand your question correctly please ask again. I’m happy to try to help. -Roger

Janet Morell says:

We just returned from London where we had purchased a two day pass. We saved some money using it after carefully planning what we wanted to do in advance.
On Day 1 we had planned to see Westminster Abbey first but it was closed for a special service so we hopped on the river cruise and headed down to The Tower of London. We then took a ferry across the Thames to The Globe theatre and did the tour. We also visited the Tate Modern – free – before our dinner reservation at the Swan and our visit to see King Lear at the Globe. We appreciated the Globe more after the earlier tour.
The second day we took the train to Windsor Castle and on our return hopped on the HOHO bus near Paddington and got off near Westminster Abbey and visited the Abbey. We then got back on the HOHO bus and went to near Oxford Street to do some evening shopping.
We would have spent close to 140 pounds when you include the train fare to Windsor which is included in the London Pass.
The next day we did all the free attractions we wanted to see such as the National Gallery, Portrait Gallery and Museum of London.
We bought the London Pass at Heathrow and then got an Oyster card at Paddington underground. We got very cheap Heathrow Express tickets as we bought well in advance online and happened to be arriving on a Sunday.

Brad says:

Just back from London/UK trip. We were in London for 4 of our 6 days with the weekend away – so it made sense to buy the 6 day pass instead of the 3 day pass; so we could use it on Friday and then Mon-Wednesday. Before the trip I had calculated that we might overspend on the passes – but thought the convenience would be worth the risk. – WOW this is an understatement – we were able to see almost all of the “Bucket list” London sights as well as Windsor and Greenwich and just showed the card. I figure we saved 30+% over the regular charges by using London Pass. We did not get the travel card but did purchase the dining card which was not great for our locations or tastes. We took advantage of the train ride to Windsor as well as the boat to Greenwich. Overall I thought the London Pass was well worth it – the only thing that we tried but did not care for was the hop-on hop off bus. I’m sure its useful – but we were able to navigate the city and see the sights just as well using the tube. In the future it would be great if they could add the London Eye and some out of town items – maybe York.

Nat says:

We will be arrive in London at LGW on May 15, 2018. We have the 6 day London pass with the Oyster card. Whats the best way to get from LGW to London? Also we are planning to go to Stonehenge. Can you suggest the best day to go and possible methods to get there?



    From Gatwick Airport it’s best and fastest to take the Gatwick Express train. There is a station right at the airport and it gets into Victoria Station in London in a bit under an hour. There are several departures each hour and some make 1 or 2 stops along the way, but the travel time is only a bit different so I typically take the cheapest one. You can buy tickets online and then pick them up from a machine at the airport train station by inserting the credit card you used. There are also buses but they take much longer, and taxis are MUCH more expensive and usually slower as well.

    Stonehenge is about two hours out of London by bus or train. It’s possible to book a train ticket yourself and then find the local bus that goes from the nearest train station to Stonehenge, but it’s only a bit cheaper than way and quite a hassle. I actually recommend booking a day-tour by bus, which can be booked in advance online and most of them leave from the Victoria Bus Terminal, across from the Victoria Train Station. Nearly all Stonehenge bus tours include at least one other sight, with the lovely town of Bath being perhaps the best option. In other words, visiting Stonehenge will basically take a full day and it’s not cheap, but the bus tours are enjoyable and pretty stress free. Hopefully you can find one that includes something else you want to see. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Adi Makhija says:

Roger – I am visiting London with my wife for 4 days and I am considering the 3-day London Pass for both of us. I have two questions that I can use your help on:

1. What is the benefit of getting the Oyster card with my London Pass instead of getting it from Heathrow when we land. It seems the £5 deposit will be charged either way (3 days pass charges £30 for Oyster card and gives £25 travel credit). Also, I won’t have to get the London Pass and Oyster card shipped to US with the latter option.

2. How does the 2-for-1 deals compare to the 3-day London Pass ( I am not sure I understand how to take advantage of this 2-4-1 deal with a train ride completely so I am looking for some guidance there.

Thank you for your help and a great travel website.




    I’m happy you enjoy the website.

    1. Getting the Oyster Card with the London Pass is convenient for people who don’t want to buy a card when they arrive. If you are taking the Piccadilly Line from Heathrow into the city then buying a card at the airport is probably the best choice, but if you take the Heathrow Express or some other method then having the card already saves the hassle, especially consider that most flights arrive in the morning after flying all night. It’s just a convenience for some people, and your math looks to be right.

    2. I’d never heard of the 2 for 1 deal, as it seems to be marketed only for people who live elsewhere in Britain. As far as I can tell, it’s a program for British people who are taking a long train ride into London for a holiday, and they can get 2 for 1 tickets on some attractions with a qualifying train ticket. In other words, you have to buy a ticket to London from York or Liverpool or Glasgow or something like that, and not just a train ticket from Heathrow. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Niki says:

I am staying in Paris , but taking train to visit London for 2 days/1 night with my husband and 2 kids (11 and 16). Wondering if the 1 day or 2 day pass with oyster card will be best. We arrive in London at 8:30 in the morning July 11 and will leave back to Paris 8 in the evening on July 12th. Please advise. Should we do the HOHO tour upon arrival that day? Do we visit the attractions when using the HOHO or are we simply “seeing” them? We want to visit as much as possible in the short time we have. Thank you in advance.



    As long as you are interested in enough of the included attractions, I’d say a 2-day London Pass could work very well for you. And I do think doing the HOHO bus tour on your first morning is ideal because it helps orient you to where everything is in the city. The Eurostar arrives at St. Pancras Station and you can take the tube on the Victoria line to Victoria Station, which is where the HOHO bus begins its route. Starting in mid morning should be a good way of minimizing the traffic slow-downs on the bus.

    I’d recommend getting a good seat up top and then staying on the bus for the first 2.5 hours or so until you get to the Tower of London, as long as you are planning on visiting it. After that stop the bus goes across the Thames and kind of winds its way back towards Victoria and that part of the tour has fewer highlights. So you can get off at Tower of London and you are also a short walk from several other included attractions such as the Tower Bridge Experience and the London Dungeon. You are also a reasonable walk back to St. Paul’s Cathedral. After that bus ride and those few attractions you’ll still have a few hours left on your first day to do more included things, and of course the whole second day. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger


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