The London Pass is an awesome, time-saving, efficient and valuable resource when planning your trip and time in London.
What is London Pass?
London Pass is a sightseeing city pass that you pre-pay ahead of your arrival. This Pass allows you to fast-track entry at many of London’s top attractions while giving you a discount to entrance prices. You can choose a 1 day, 2 day, 3 day, 6 day or 10 day pass depending on the length of time you will spend sightseeing in London. As well, there’s the option to add on a Travel pass or Oyster pass (good for transportation around London).
I bought a 3 day London Pass when I visited London for the first time and it was so efficient and easy. That’s the best part of this pass – it makes your sightseeing and vacation so effortless. Every city should have a similar Pass that is so smooth and efficient. Also, if you buy your pass online, you can start planning out your itinerary (at home) based on time so you’ll know exactly which attractions you want to see when.
Note: for Royal fans, Buckingham Palace isn’t included in London Pass.
You have to go to the Royal Collection website to buy a separate ticket. As well, Buckingham Palace state rooms is only open during summer (July & August) for viewing. I highly recommend buying your tickets online ahead of time (especially during summer months).
Is it worth it?
So the price for a few days for 1 adult London Pass can give you sticker shock when you first happen upon it. But if you dig a little deeper and take a look at the prices for key attractions (that you will definitely want to visit), then you will see the savings.
Let’s take a look at the normal entrance prices for top visited London attractions:
Westiminster Abbey – £20
Tower of London – £22.5
London Bridge Experience – £26.50
Kensington Garden – £16.3
Windsor Castle – £20
Hampton Court – £19
Thames River Cruise – £18
Hop on Hop off Bus – £25
From this list, you can see that if you visit 3 attractions per day, then the pass does help you to save. For a 2 day adult London Pass, you pay £75. If you see 3 major attractions each day at an average of £20 per attraction, then the pass is really valued at (3attractions X 2 days X £20 average) £120 (versus the £75 you paid).
Thus, it may be helpful to look at what attractions you want to visit, how many days you have in London and even an estimate of how long you will spend at each attraction. Ie. Is it 1 day and you’ve been to London before OR is it 5 days and you’ve never been to London? Depending on your answer, a 1 day adult London Pass may or may not be worth it depending on what you see.
1. If you see Hampton Court, Kensington Gardens and the Thames River Cruise (total regular admission price = £53.3), then the £65 1 day adult London Pass may not make sense.
2. If you see Westminster Abbey, London Bridge Experience, Tower of London and use the Hop on Hop off Bus (total regular admission price = £93.5), then the £65 1 day adult London Pass makes total sense! And yes, you could complete that in 1 day if you start early and crank it.
As you can see, the London Pass value comes down to what you want to see in the time you have.
When I visited London, I crammed as much as I possibly could into my 4 days. I left a day for Buckingham Palace only and some of the other squares like Piccadilly or Covent Garden. I would advise that both Windsor Castle and Hampton Court are half-day attractions. This is because of the travel time it takes to get to both destinations. Hampton Court also has beautiful gardens that you’ll want to explore. Windsor Castle also has the town of Windsor to explore.
Overall, I highly recommend getting the London Pass. It really helped me plan my vacation and I felt like I got a lot of value from the Pass rather than buying individual attraction tickets.
Note the Closing Times while Planning
Another thing to note about the London Pass is that the majority of attractions close around 4-5pm. Westminster Abbey closes at 3:30p and Hampton at 6pm in summer only. With Hampton, even though the Hampton Court building closes at 6pm, the gardens remain open a bit longer as I remember us lingering there for a while. We eventually got shooed out of there because someone was having a gala at Hampton in the evening and there needed to be preparations.
Consider opening and closing times for major attractions:
Westiminster Abbey – 9:30am – 3:30p
Tower of London –9am – 5:30p
London Bridge Experience –10:30am – 5 pm (weekday)
Kensington Garden -10am – 6pm (summer)
Windsor Castle -9:30am – 4:15pm
Hampton Court –10am – 6pm
Thames River Cruise -10am – closes ?
Hop on Hop off Bus -8:30am – 4:30p
*Times are approximate; check the individual attractions for changes based on time of year.
What this means is that in order for you take advantage of your pass, you’ll have to get going early. Try to get out to Windsor Castle early so that you are there when it opens. Hampton you can do in the afternoon as well as the Thames River Cruise. In the summer, you can take the Thames River Cruise all the way to Hampton Court like a Royal! Or vice versa – take it back to London. But you have to check the times of operation.
For me the best feature of this pass is that you have complete flexibility. In other words, you can plan out your itinerary (on paper and your mind). But you don’t have to commit to any attraction until you are there at the door. Therefore, you can switch it up if you want to see something different or if you feel like you will not have enough time to travel over to an attraction and there is one closer that you prefer. It’s all up to you – and what you want to do. You can see completely different attractions than the one I list above as well.
For example, after visiting Tower of London, my family and I decided to take the train out to Hampton Court. This wasn’t planned but we had the time and so we just did it.
Ease of Use
When you arrive at your selected destination/attraction, you present your London pass. Then, it’s checked or stamped and you enter the attraction. I was there in August/ summer and I don’t remember having to line up in any long lines to enter anything. Very organized and seamless. I wish all travel could be that smooth. I believe the website calls this, Fast Track Entry – and that would be correct.
On the London Pass website, it showcases a 94% customer approval and positive review rate. I consider this to be a testament to the value and ease of the pass. You can read the reviews online yourself for ideas and validation. On their site, they also list out itineraries which I recommend to consider. Go to www.londonpass.com