London Explorer Pass 2019: We review prices and value here

London is one of the world's most expensive cities, and many of the most famous attractions here such as the London Eye (Ferris Wheel) and Madame Tussauds are some of the most expensive city attractions anywhere. If you want to experience those things then a London Explorer Pass should save you money.

Many people will be better off with the original London Pass, which is discussed below and is offered by the same company. However, if you prefer to focus on the famous and expensive attractions that are featured as part of the London Explorer Pass, it's cheaper and is almost guaranteed to save you money with very little effort.

Note: This article has been updated as of December, 2018.

What is the London Explorer Pass?

Introduced in summer of 2017, the London Explorer Pass is an alternative to the traditional London Pass, and it's offered by the same company. The London Explorer Pass is simply a way to save money on the most popular London attractions by pre-paying for either 3, 5, or 7 attractions of your choice out of the 20 on the list.

You must buy it online and you can get FREE instant delivery to your iPhone or Android phone. You can also pick up a physical version of the pass for free at their London redemption office (near Leicester Square), or have it shipped to your home for a nominal fee.

Price of 2019 London Explorer Pass

  • Adult 3-Attraction Pass: £59
  • Child (ages 3 to 15) 3-Attraction Pass: £49
  • Adult 5-Attraction Pass: £89
  • Child 5-Attraction Pass: £69
  • Adult 7-Attraction Pass: £109
  • Child 7-Attraction Pass: £89

Special discount for Price of Travel readers

Buy the London Explorer Pass for 5% off at this link using promo code POT10. Look for “Promo code? Click here” at the bottom of the Secure Checkout page. Expires December 31, 2019.

Get FREE instant delivery by downloading your pass to your iPhone or Android phone.

Key differences between London Explorer Pass and London Pass

The London Pass and the London Explorer Pass are run by the same company, so they are not real competitors. It's just a matter of choosing the one that suits you best.

London Pass at a glance

Get free admission to as many of the 70 included attractions as you can in 1, 2, 3, 6, or 10 consecutive days. If you plan well and start early you can save a LOT by visiting as many attractions as you can in a short time.

>>>Full London Pass review with discount code

London Explorer Pass at a glance

You prepay for your choice of 3, 5, or 7 top attractions out of the 20 included, and you have 30 days to do this from when you validate it by visiting the first attraction. Since this pass includes many of London's most expensive (and popular) attractions such as the London Eye and Madame Tussauds, you are certain to save money and you can take your time.

Attractions in the London Explorer Pass that AREN'T in the London Pass

  • London Eye: £26
  • Madame Tussauds: £35
  • SEA LIFE London Aquarium: £26
  • DreamWorks Tours Shrek's Adventure: £27.50
  • Thames River Cruise Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour: £18.75
  • Planet Hollywood lunch or dinner: approx £22 value

Attractions included in London Explorer Pass

London Eye (Ferris wheel): £26(adult)/£21(child)

This is the huge and famous Ferris wheel just across the river from Big Ben.

Madame Tussauds: £35/£30

This is the flagship location of this famous international chain of wax museums. They are MUCH more entertaining than you probably expect, and there are fun interactive displays for kids of all ages.

1-Day Big Bus Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour: £34/£18

First-time visitors to London are highly encouraged to take at least the first 2 or 3 hours of this hop-on, hop-off bus tour that can last 4 or more hours in traffic. The portion from Victoria Station to the Tower of London is lined with great sights, but after that it's less interesting.

London Dungeon: £30/£24

This is essentially a 30-minute interactive comedy theater performance followed by a very impressive permanent haunted-house attraction that takes 30 minutes. It's very fun in a group.

SEA LIFE London Aquarium: £26/£21

This extremely impressive aquarium is located right next to the London Eye, and of course it's very popular with children.

DreamWorks Tours Shrek's Adventure: £27.50/£22

This live-action attraction includes 10 shows and a 4D magical bus ride themed from the Shrek films. It's also right next to the London Eye.

Thames River Cruise 24-Hour Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour: £18.75/£9.25

Many of London's most important sights are built along the Thames River and this entertaining guided cruise is the best way to see them, especially if the weather is decent.

Westminster Abbey: £22/£9

Probably the most interesting and ornamental church in the world, you've never seen anything like the interior of Westminster Abbey. It's located next to Big Ben and very close to the London Eye.

St. Paul's Cathedral: £18/£8

London's oldest church is equally famous and an architectural masterpiece. It's not as close to other attractions so Westminster Abbey is a better choice for most people.

Chelsea FC Stadium Tour: £22/£15

The stadium tour of one of the world's most famous football clubs takes you up to the VIP boxes and down to the pitch. It's a must for any real fan, but probably not great if you don't follow the team at all.

Wembley Stadium Tour: £20/£12

The home to England's national football/soccer team is a bit outside the city center, and probably best for those who've followed Rooney, Beckham, and the other England stars in recent decades.

Planet Hollywood lunch or dinner: approx £22 value

This centrally located restaurant has different themed rooms to enjoy your hamburger or pasta dish plus fries or salad and an ice cream dessert and a drink. It's not cheap, but it's fun and included.

Hampton Court Palace: £20.90/£10.45

King Henry VIII lived here in style. There is also a famous hedge maze as part of the very extensive gardens and grounds. It's an hour west of central London in a leafy suburb.

Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition & Theatre Tour: £16/£9

This recreation of a Shakespeare-era theater along the Thames offers interesting tours that explain what London was really like in the 1500s and 1600s.

HMS Belfast: £14.50/£7.25

This Royal Navy cruiser is now a museum that allows visitors to explore 9 decks and learn about what it was doing in WWII and the Korean War. It's docked in the Thames, just across from the Tower of London.

Tower Bridge Exhibition: £9.80/£4.20

Go up in the famous bridge and across the span for amazing London views. There are glass-floor sections up there that you have to build up nerve to stand upon.

Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew: £15/£3.50

Kew Gardens, as it's normally called, is one of the world's largest botanical gardens and grows more flora than any other garden in the world.

Royal Greenwich Observatory: £9.50/£5

Tour the observatory that keeps track of Greenwich Mean Time. It's well east of central London, but the included Thames River Cruises stop here before turning around for the journey back.

Cutty Sark clipper ship tour: £13.50/£7

This famous clipper ship is docked in front of the Greenwich Observatory. If you know the story it's quite interesting.

Is the London Explorer Pass a good deal?

The math on these city passes can be complicated because it's not easy to know exactly how many attractions you will have the time and energy to visit in a certain number of days. But with the London Explorer Pass the math is very easy and you are guaranteed to save money as long as you visit the attractions you have planned within a 30-day period from the first one you visit.

The London Explorer Pass includes 20 different attractions, but it doesn't make sense to use it on anything that costs less than about £15 for an adult. That still leaves 14 attractions that you can save money on, and it's an even better deal with the 5-attraction and 7-attraction versions. You can see on our things to do in London article that there are some good free and inexpensive choices, but the top attractions are not cheap.

With any of the passes you'll want to use it on at least 2 of the most expensive attractions in order to justify your purchase. As long as you want to do the highly recommended hop-on, hop-off bus tour, and the London Eye, you will save money with the London Explorer Pass.

Who should buy the London Explorer Pass

If you are going to London and you want to experience the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, the London Eye, and a few more of the most expensive and popular London attractions, the London Explorer Pass will save you money. Unlike the London Pass itself, which allows for visits to as many attractions in a short time as you can manage, this one gives you 30 days from when you start using it so there is really no risk.

On the other hand, if you are well organized and like to start sightseeing early in the day, a London Pass is probably a better deal overall. It doesn't cover the London Eye or Madame Tussauds though, so if you want to visit those places and one of the other 4 attractions that are NOT included in the London Pass, you might want to actually get both of them.

Special discount for Price of Travel readers

Buy the London Explorer Pass for 5% off at this link using promo code POT10. Look for “Promo code? Click here” at the bottom of the Secure Checkout page. Expires December 31, 2019.



7 Responses to “London Explorer Pass 2019: We review prices and value here”

kc says:

Roger,

I come from Malaysia, and I’m a great history, arts, and music lover. Thank you very much for this wonderful site! I have some questions:

How much time would I need in order to fully appreciate all the treasures in The British Museum?
Are the private galleries better than those public ones? Does London Pass cover private galleries?
Does London Pass cover any classical music concert/ballet, or West End show?

 

    KC,

    I appreciate the nice words and I’m quite a fan of Malaysia myself. The British Museum is famously one of the largest museums in the world with a massive collection. There are major art and history lovers who would say a week in the main collection isn’t long enough, while most people can get overwhelmed in the place so it’s best to just spend a couple hours seeing a handful of the most famous items. Almost all of the most famous items are in the public galleries, which are free to enter for everyone. The special exhibitions are temporary and usually on a theme. For example, coming up this year is a Edvard Munch exhibit and another one on Japanese manga. There are fees (€14) to see those. But as a first-time visitor I’d focus on the main collection because it’s amazing.

    The London Pass or London Explorer Pass don’t cover those special exhibitions. The London Pass DOES offer discounted tickets to some West End shows at their concierge site. However, there are other places that offer discounted tickets, so it’s wise to check different places before you buy. Needless to say, the hottest and newest shows tend to be sold out long in advance and you won’t get discounted tickets for those, but for the long-running shows you can usually get discounted tickets up to the day of the show. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
kc says:

Hi Roger,

Thanks for a quick reply. But you mentioned in the other page “Is the London Pass 2019 worth it?” that

*While the main collections in the state-run museums are free, they each have ongoing special exhibitions that cost around €19 each, and those ARE included with the London Pass.

Which museums are these? The British Museum not included?

 

    KC,

    Sorry about that. Evidently the special exhibits at the British Museum are no longer included with the London Pass. They must have removed that recently without sending notice out. I’ll update the article. Also, as mentioned, the main collection is what you really want to see, and that is already free. -Roger

     
kc says:

Roger,

Ok, I’ll take your suggestion seriously. Thanks again!

KC

 
Shanae says:

Hello! Your information has been very helpful in order to plan my ireland/London trip this summer. I’ll be traveling with three young kids so I’m leaning towards the explorer pass as we don’t want to overwhelm them with the sheer number of sights and trying to rush. Plus the aquarium and other kid-friendly options on the explorer pass. My question is- does it still save line time? On the pass website it specifically states that you can line jump with the pass, I didn’t see that mentioned on the explorer pass information. Are most of the lines just waiting to get tickets or is there a wait for tickets and then a wait to get in? Thank you for your help!

 

    Shanae,

    I see what you mean about how the different websites handle the “skip the queue” question. The London Explorer site is newer and it looks like they forgot to include that part, but I’m 99% sure it’s the same thing since I’ve actually done most of the main attractions just in the last couple years. How it works is this: At the larger and more popular attractions there will be a normal ticket queue AND a separate ticket queue for London Passes and any other pass. In the cash queue many of the people will be using foreign credit cards and fumbling with cash, so it typically goes pretty slow. In the London Pass (and other passes queue) almost everyone is just showing a pass or using a voucher, so the queue goes pretty quickly. I’m almost sure the Explorer Pass goes in that line as well.

    Just so you know, those Pass queues aren’t always short or even shorter than the cash ones, but they almost always go faster and you’ll pretty much always save time by using them. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     

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