- WHERE TO STAY
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
Our main page introducing the London 2 for 1 promotion is at the page linked below:
This page goes into more detail about getting the right tickets and qualifying for the 2FOR1 scheme.
We list the key points you need to know before you travel below.
It is recommended to pre-book your tickets to most of London's top attractions, to save both time and money.
You can now book in advance 2FOR1 tickets for a few of London’s main attractions (London Eye, The London Dungeon, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds London, Dreamwork Tours – Shrek’s Adventure) avoiding queuing on the day for walk-up tickets and potentially a long wait for entry.
You purchase your tickets to these attractions direct from the 2 FOR 1 website, not through the attraction website or a third party. On the 2FOR1 page for the attraction instead of selecting the 2 FOR 1 voucher menu option, you instead select the Buy Online option.
After selecting the option that you wish to purchase an attraction on-line in advance you will typically be given a unique promotional code and switched to the attraction’s own web site and taken through a special ordering process.
Most of the attractions available this way are the busiest ones and you are prompted to select the day you want entrance and the entry slot (often a 30 minute window of time). You pay for the tickets there and then. Note – you will still have to show your qualifying rail issued tickets on arrival.
The aspect that gets visitors most stressed is whether the train tickets purchased will be accepted as qualifying rail issued tickets that can be used with the 2 for 1 promotion.
The only places that sell Travelcards with the rail logo on are railway ticket offices at Central London mainline rail stations, (Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, Kings Cross, St Pancras, Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo, Fenchurch Street and Victoria).
Nearly all these stations also have Underground ticket offices and some have information centres which also sell Travelcards. Purchasing from anywhere other than the train ticket offices do not qualify. Travelcards bought on-line in advance do not qualify for 2 for 1. It's not all straight forward with the qualifying railway tickets either.
The UK has a privatised rail system with many operating companies, not all of which support the promotion. Confusingly return tickets on the Gatwick Express and Stansted Express airport trains bought from the railways do qualify but tickets on the Heathrow Express and TFL Rail Heathrow do not.
Increasingly in London TFL Rail are taking over commuter services from railway companies. TFL Rail tickets do not qualify for 2 for 1. South of the river most commuter trains are still operated by national rail companies, including Southern Trains, South West Trains, South East Trains and Thameslink. Tickets issued by the London Overground do not qualify for 2 for 1.
The ticket you buy should show that you have travelled by train to the attraction, if you buy a single ticket to a destination too far away from the attraction itself (for example, to save money if you do not need train tickets or a Travelcard) then you may be denied use of the 2 for 1 voucher. In simple terms for single ticket use you would travel to Waterloo if you were visiting the nearby London Eye for example. This is a grey area though and different attractions and indeed staff at those attractions have their own rules (see FAQ below).
There are railways stations in the suburbs of London away from where most visitors stay which may sell tickets valid for 2 for 1. If a railway station is in one of the London public transport zonal areas it will sell both Travelcards and return rail tickets that are valid for 2 for 1. However, the ticket office at such stations must be operated by the railways for tickets to be valid for 2 for 1. The easiest way to find out who operates any railway station is to use the National Rail utility linked below. As well as showing who runs the station it will also show the opening hours of the ticket office.
In 2012 the railways brought in a requirement that when you buy a 7 Day Travelcard you require a photo id card. This is issued free when you buy a 7 Day Travelcard, but you must bring along your own passport size photo. This rule only applies to 7 Day Travelcards bought from railway stations, it doesn't apply to 1 day Travelcards.
There are automatic photo machines all over London including all major rail stations that will take the photo and deliver the photos within 5 minutes. North American visitors especially often comment on how inexpensive these are compared with obtaining passport photos in their own country.
7 Day Travelcards bought anywhere else other than the railways ticket offices come loaded on an Oyster Card and do not require a photo but are not valid for the 2 for 1 promotion. The sole exception are 7 Day Travelcards purchased on-line, but these too are not railway Travelcards and again do not qualify for 2 for 1.
Those who read the small print on the official 2FOR1 website interpret that the tickets issued by Stansted Express and Gatwick Express are not valid for 2 for 1. The short answer is that they are valid for 2 for 1, including mobile tickets and they advertise this fact on their respective websites.
The Heathrow Express and TFL Rail Heathrow airport train services do not support 2 for 1.
On the discussion below, a common question is, “if I buy a one-way train ticket (often Vauxhall to Waterloo) will it qualify me for 2 for 1?”
The answer is not a clear cut one ...
This is a grey area and open to interpretation and judgement and at the end of the day the ticket seller has final say whatever you may think.
It's also worth emphasising that different attractions, even different people on the ticket desk at the same attraction perform widely different levels of scrutiny of your tickets. Feedback has been from several people that if refused at one desk, trying at the next desk is fine.
If you are contemplating taking this approach because you don't have a need to buy train tickets or Travelcards purchased from the railways, the key point to remember is that the train ticket you buy should be consistent with using the ticket in order to visit the attraction in question.
If for example you purchased a train ticket Vauxhall to Waterloo this is consistent with visiting the London Eye next door to Waterloo Station. If you were visiting Kensington Palace for example this train journey is going in the opposite direction of Kensington Palace from Vauxhall so may be rejected by the person on the ticket desk.
If you want to avoid the stress of this approach go for the rail issued Travelcard if you have no need for a bona fide train ticket into London.
At present we are unable to maintain the discuss service but you can contact us using the Contact Us link at the bottom of each page. We have decided to leave the answers here as they are useful for many of the questions we receive. If you cannot find an answer to your question, we'll be happy to hear from you.
|London Eye||Amazing panoramic flight on the world's highest observation wheel. » Fast track tickets available.|
|The Shard||Tallest building in Western Europe with viewing of London from the top. » Fast track tickets available.|
|St Paul's Cathedral||Cathedral of the Diocese of London, venue for royal weddings. » Pre-book to guarantee entry.|
|Westminster Abbey||Along with St Paul's, England's main religious building.» Pre-book to guarantee entry.|
|Tower of London||Home of the Crown Jewels and a rich thousand year history. » Fast track tickets available.|
|Madame Tussauds||See wax statues of the most famous people in the world. » Fast track tickets available.|
|London Dungeon||The creepiest attraction in town, the London Dungeon. » Fast track tickets available.|
|Hampton Court Palace||Henry VIII Medieval Palace set in vast grounds. » Pre-book to save money.|
|The London Zoo||World class zoo in the centre of London. » Flexi tickets available.|