The London Pass sightseeing pass discussed

Identify if London Pass suits your London sightseeing needs, if so use a discount voucher code!


The London Pass

The London Pass is a convenient way of planning ahead and budgeting for your visit to London and if you use the voucher code further down the page you can save even more money on your London sightseeing.


The London Pass is a flat rate sightseeing pass to many (but not all) of London's main attractions. You can buy a London Pass for 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 day durations. It gives you entry into over 70 London tourist attractions, and access for one day on a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tour plus a river cruise on the River Thames which for many is a highlight of their trip.


The more you visit, the more you save

You pay in advance and it's the same standard price no matter how many attractions you visit in those days. You just show your card at the entrance or ticket office of any attraction included on the London Pass. The more attractions you visit under the scheme, the more money you save.


There are often flash sales offering up to 20% on the price of the pass. Generally, the 10 day passes offer the largest discount, followed by the 6 day passes, then the 3 day passes. These sales run fairly regularly. Like our Facebook page to be kept up to date on these flash sales.

 

All other times we offer a permanent, 6% discount for London Toolkit readers. After clicking the link to the London Pass page, and checking out your purchase, simply enter the code at the bottom in the box labelled 'promo code.'


The London Pass discount voucher

Some of the attractions, including some of the most well known you get fast track /skip the line entry too. For a supplement, you can also opt to purchase your London Pass with Oyster Travelcard - a public transport pass, after which you travel for free on all London underground and bus services.

 

You can have the London Pass sent straight to your smartphone (iOS and Android) and have your passes instantly at your fingertips. Alternatively you can choose to collect your order in London or shipped to your home address (for a shipping charge). You will need to print and bring with you the London Pass voucher which is emailed to you on completion of your online order. The collection point is off Trafalgar Square which is geographically the centre of London.

 

What attractions are covered?

Unlike many tourist passes that have lots of third tier attractions included you would not normally visit, the London Pass has most but not all of the main attractions.

 

Top tier attractions include Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, London Zoo, Kew Gardens, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the Shard, Tower Bridge Exhibition, St. Paul's Cathedral, London Bridge Experience, the Cabinet War Rooms/Churchill Museum and Windsor Castle.

 

The notable omissions are the Coca-Cola London Eye, London Dungeon and Madame Tussauds (owned by Merlin and covered by a Merlin Pass.)

 

You also get a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour included in the London Pass. You now have the choice between two different Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus operators - Big Bus or Golden Tours.

 

Alongside this included in the London Pass is a Thames River Cruise - thought by many to be one of the best ways to see London.

Note: Most of the major museums and art galleries in London are free including the British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Maritime Museum, Imperial War Museum and British Library. Probability is that you will want to visit at least one of these.

The London Pass

 

Sometimes the London Pass lists one of the above free attractions as being covered by the London Pass. This will not be for admission but for something like an audio guide or a special exhibition.

 

Is the Transport Pass option worthwhile?

The standard London Pass doesn't provide any transport facility apart from the hop-on hop-off bus on the first day and a River Thames Cruise.

 

For a supplement you can purchase a travel extension to your London Pass (The London Pass with Travel can only be purchased online in advance, not from retailers.) The Travel option is a Oyster Travelcard that comes pre-loaded with money to cover fares. The longer the duration, the more money comes pre-loaded on the Oyster Travelcard.


Crudely speaking the Oyster Travelcard comes pre-loaded with enough cash to cover unlimited travel on public transport in the centre of London (zones 1 and 2) for the number of days you have purchased.

 

If you travel outside Central London (zones 1 and 2), perhaps to Hampton Court or Heathrow Airport, you may have to top up the Oyster Card with more cash, which is very easy to do at any Underground Station. It may be cheaper to buy a standard Oyster Card on arrival in London separately to the London Pass. The Oyster Travelcard comes with a non-refundable administration fee (around £5); the standard Oyster has a deposit that is refundable.

 

If you are staying in London more than 5 days, normally it will be cheaper to load a 7 day Travelcard onto the Oyster - this is only possible on the standard Oyster, not the Oyster Travelcard that comes with the London Pass.

Full details are on our Oyster Card page.


Note - children: Children under 11 travel free on buses and the Underground in London without a ticket (but not on the train to Windsor or Hampton Court). Up to four under 11s can travel for free on public transport when travelling with an Adult holding a valid Oyster Travelcard.

 

Children (11- 15 year old) get a child off peak Travelcard with the London Pass transport package, not an Oyster, you can use the Travelcard on the same public transport as the Oyster. Off peak means you cannot travel before 9.30am Monday to Friday.


Windsor Castle trains - the big plus buying The London Pass transport package:

Windsor Castle, covered by the London Pass is outside London beyond the coverage of standard Oyster Cards. However, with the London Pass you get tickets for the train between London's Paddington Station and Windsor Central Station, located directly opposite Windsor Castle, but only if you purchase the travel option with the London Pass.

 

1 day hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket with every London Pass

Golden Tours London Open Top Sightseeing Bus

Golden Tours hop-on hop-off bus

Perhaps the finest way to get orientated with London and efficiently up to speed on where everything is in London are the hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour buses.

 

The London Pass comes with a ticket for the Golden Tours or Big Bus hop-on, hop-off bus on the first day of using the London Pass. (Once selected you cannot switch between operators.)


Both companies cover three different routes and up to 60 stops in London that cover all the major attractions and much else besides. Both routes also have a main route that gives you live commentary that is very informative and the opportunity to ask questions about your plans with the local guide.

 

Other routes have pre-recorded commentaries in up to 12 languages.

Golden Tours hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus - full details

Big Bus hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus - full details

 

Thames River Cruise with every London Pass

City Cruise Tickets come with every London Pass. See and experience many of the major London sights from the relaxed comfort of City Cruises modern, all-weather boats with open upper decks and spacious lower saloons with panoramic windows.


The most popular cruise journey on City Cruises is between the London Eye and the Tower of London through the heart of London but you can extend the trip all the way down the River Thames to Greenwich.

 

Other benefits of the London Pass including fast track entry

One of the main attractions of the London Pass to many people is that some of the admittances covered give you fast track, skip the line entrance. Attractions with fast-track include Tower Bridge Exhibition, St. Paul's Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace, London Zoo, London Bridge Experience and Kew Gardens. (Note: queues for security checks may apply.)

 

This can be a big deal particularly if you're coming to London in summer when lines build up fast at the popular attractions. Some of the attractions covered by the London Pass with fast track like the Tower of London are infamous for the length of queues.


To help you plan your sightseeing adventure each pass comes with a full colour, informative, comprehensive 160-page guidebook. This guide is packed full of information about all of our participating attractions in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese. There are also special offers and discounts for a range of things in London. Every little helps.

 

Will I save money with the London Pass?

That's the million dollar question, and there is no universal answer. For some it works financially, for others it doesn't. You really have to set aside an evening and have a good idea what you want to visit and work it out yourself.

 

The convenience of the London Pass combining transport and attractions in one convenient package with a known set cost in advance has great value to many visitors. The key aspect is planning. You obviously get more value for your money if you visit several attractions in a day. Many of the attractions have late opening. A visit to Windsor Castle and Hampton Court will take at least half a day each.


It is probably a good idea as a starting point to jot down what you want to see and for how long you anticipate visiting without looking whether the London Pass supports this - everyone is different. It's a false economy after investing a lot of cash on travel and hotels to compromise your ideal itinerary just to fit in with what is covered by the London Pass.


London Pass

The London Explorer Pass - an alternative sightseeing pass to the London Pass

The London Explorer Pass was launched in 2017 by the same people to make available the London Pass.

The main differences between the London Pass and the London Explorer Pass are:

  • The London Pass has over 80 attractions available, the London Explorer Pass around 20.

  • The London Pass gives you entry to as many attractions as you can visit in a choice of 1, 2, 3 , 6 or 10 days.

  • The London Explorer Pass is valid for 30 days; you can choose to enter either 3, 5 or 7 attractions in that time.

  • The London Pass has an optional transport option, a public transport pass (Visitor Oyster Card).

So if you are the type who likes to linger or prefer to spread your London sightseeing over many days then the London Explorer Pass may well be better suited than the London Pass.


London Explorer Pass