Is the London Pass Worth it? An Honest Review by a Local

My hometown of London has an unwelcome, but not undeserved, reputation for being eye-wateringly expensive. Although its superb state-funded museums are free, London’s other attractions can seriously bend your credit card.

Like many major cities, London has a city pass – the Go City® London All-Inclusive Pass or London Pass – that provides free access to many of its top attractions and activities. But is this London Pass worth it?

The bottom line is that this pass can generate significant savings, particularly if you are visiting the more expensive attractions.

Get the lowdown in my London Pass review which covers how it works, what is included, how much it costs and where to buy it. All information and prices are taken from the London Pass official website and are correct as of March 2024.

The shard amongst other buildings on  the river Thames is one of the attractions included in the london pass

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LONDON ALL-INCLUSIVE PASS
red-phone-boxes-covent-garden-london

KEY POINTS

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10-day pass
  • Prices start from £90
  • Access 90+ attractions & activities for free
  • Risk-free savings guarantee and refund policy
  • Savings can be considerable

The London Pass gives you free access to several top London attractions and tours

Some of these include fast-track admission, avoiding the need for queuing. At selected attractions, there are extra perks such as gift shop discounts.

The pass also comes with a free guidebook containing information about each attraction, maps and helpful London tips. 

It works as a digital sightseeing pass. You choose your pass duration – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 days – and then download this to the official London Pass app. For the duration of your pass’s validity, you can visit as many of the included attractions as you can manage, subject to a maximum “credits value“. As these credits values are extremely generous, they will not be an issue for most travellers (for example; a 1-day adult pass has a maximum credits value of £180).

The London Pass has to be used on consecutive days. For example, if you have a 3-day pass and start using it on a Wednesday, it will be valid for that day, Thursday and Friday.

London All-Inclusive Pass vs London Explorer Pass

It’s easy to confuse these two London city passes, both of which are sold by Go City.

Unlike many traditional city passes, the London Explorer Pass offers access to a predetermined number of attractions over a generous 60-day time window. The London All-Inclusive Pass provides access to unlimited included attractions over a predetermined number of days.

The London Pass lets you choose the number of consecutive sightseeing days. With the London Explorer Pass, you choose how many attractions you would like to visit.

What is free with the London Pass?

As of March 2024, more than 90 attractions and activities are free with the Go City® London Pass.

You can check the full list on the official website. Most of London’s most popular attractions are there, including the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.

In addition to tours and attractions, the London Pass gives you free tickets to screenings at the wonderful Curzon cinemas.

Here are some of the most popular London attractions included in the pass along with the full adult ticket price at the time of updating this article (March 2024).

There’s no need to pre-book many of these. However, there are a few you will need to book in advance as they cap visitor numbers. You can get the full list of attractions that require reservations here.

Tower of London (£34.80)

yeoman warder dressed in a black and red uniform
Beefeater at the Tower of London

This UNESCO-listed fortress has played a prominent role in English history for more than 1,000 years. Built by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London is famous as a place of imprisonment and execution and as the home of the Crown Jewels.

St. Paul’s Cathedral (£23)

painted interior of dome of st pauls cathedral london

For me, St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most beautiful and special places in London.

Built by Sir Christopher Wren after the devastation wrought by the Great Fire of London in 1666, the cathedral has been the setting for many ceremonial events. It is also famous for its Whispering Gallery and the views over London from its Golden Gallery.

Westminster Abbey (£27)

westminster abbey london 1

Westminster Abbey is London’s Pantheon.

Founded by Benedictine monks in 960 AD, this Gothic masterpiece is the final resting place of 17 English monarchs, plus writers, artists, scientists and political leaders. It is also where you will find the Coronation Chair, on which monarchs have been crowned for the past thousand years.

The View from The Shard (£37)

Soaring to a height of almost 310 meters above the River Thames, The Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the seventh-tallest in Europe. It is home to The View from The Shard, the highest viewpoint in London.

the pointed building of the shard alongside the river thames in london

Tower Bridge Experience (£12.30)

Looking down from Tower Bridge
Looking down from Tower Bridge

In this fun and educational visit to Tower Bridge, the most famous of London’s bridges, a lift whisks you up to the walkways, 30 meters above the street level. From here, you can look through the glass floor to the bridge below and learn about the construction of the bridge.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (£24)

exterior of shakespeares globe theatre london

This detailed reproduction of an Elizabethan theatre is located a few hundred meters from the original Globe, where many of Shakespeare’s plays were first performed. If you can’t make it to one of the productions here, the next best thing is to take a tour of the Globe Theatre.

Kensington Palace (£24)

bronze diana statue of woman and children in front of fountain at kensington palace london

Designed by Christopher Wren, Kensington Palace is best known as the childhood home of Queen Victoria and the official residence of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Kew Gardens (£21.50)

duck sitting on flower planter in front of lake in kew gardens london

Displaying over 50,000 plant species, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in London. The Temperate House and the Palm House are gems of Victorian engineering and kids will love the Treetop Walkway, 

London Zoo (£41.80)

Set in Leafy Regent’s Park and home to over 700 species, London Zoo is a fun family day out.

Hampton Court Palace (£27.20)

large statue overlooking wide red brick exterior of hampton court palace

This royal palace is one for all fans of Wolf Hall. Hampton Court is famously the former home of the Tudor king Henry VIII.

Windsor Castle (£33) – afternoon entry only

towers and gateway of windsor castle

Windsor is one of the easiest day trips from London by train. In just 30 minutes you can be exploring one of Europe’s historic palaces.

Home to British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years, Windsor is the oldest occupied castle in the world.

It’s also good to see many of London’s interesting smaller museums on the list of attractions included in the London Pass. These include the excellent Museum of Brands and the Mail Rail at the Postal Museum.

Transport & Tours

Hop-on-hop-off Bus Tour (£37)

Choose between two operators to see the best of London from an open-top bus with an audioguide in five languages.

Uber Boat by Thames Clippers 1-day River Roamer (£23.50)

For a sightseeing tour by water, jump on a Thames Uber Boat, stopping at 24 piers that include Greenwich, the Tower of London and Westminster.

London Bicycle Tour (£34.95)

Explore the city on two wheels on a choice of two guided bicycle tours. For a DIY option, bicycle hire is also included in the pass.

Wembley Stadium Tour (£26)

Visiting the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium is one is for the footie fans (and their reluctant partners). The London Pass also includes tours of Chelsea FC Stadium, Emirates Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur.

Fuller’s Brewery Tour (£25)

Sample British beer on a tour of the Griffin Brewery in west London.

>>> SAVE MONEY ON LONDON’S BIGGEST ATTRACTIONS WITH THE LONDON PASS. CLICK HERE TO BUY YOURS!

Attractions not included in the London Pass

Even to my critical eye, the London Pass is pretty comprehensive. However, it does not include the London Eye, tours of Buckingham Palace, the London Aquarium, the London Dungeon and tours of the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament). Madame Tussauds is also a notable exclusion, but who in their right mind would want to waste precious time there?

It’s also worth mentioning that the pass may not cover admission to special exhibitions and events or audioguides at the included attractions. Government-funded museums are not included but admission to their permanent exhibitions is free regardless. 

Unlike some city cards, the London All-Inclusive Pass does not include public transportation. To zip around London’s transport network, buy an Oyster card (a prepayment tap-and-go smart card) and load it with credit when you arrive. Alternatively, use your contactless bank card.

the london eye
The London Eye is one of the few attractions not included in the London pass

London Pass prices & how to buy

The cost of your London Pass will be determined by its duration.

It comes in these different flavours: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 days. The longer the duration, the cheaper it is on a £ per day basis.

Adult prices apply to those aged 16 and over. Child prices are for those aged 5 to 15. Most attractions grant free entry to under-fives.

The London Pass prices quoted refer to full face value as of March 2024 but discounts may be available at the time of purchase. Check the current prices here.

  • 1-Day Pass – Adult £90 | Child £55
  • 2-Day Pass – Adult £125 | Child £70
  • 3-Day Pass – Adult £138 | Child £80
  • 4-Day Pass – Adult £151 | Child £96
  • 5-Day Pass – Adult £166 | Child £101
  • 6-Day Pass – Adult £171 | Child £106
  • 7-Day Pass – Adult £182 | Child £112
  • 10-Day Pass – Adult £202 | Child £117

The London Pass can only be purchased online from the official site or GetYourGuide here. It’s worth comparing the prices and cancellation terms offered by the two sites.

Is the London Pass worth it? Crunching the numbers

The only way to figure out if the London Pass will save you money is to cost a sample itinerary with and without the pass. To give you a head start, I’ve priced one and two-day itineraries.

These are based on a first-time visitor’s solo trip to London.

DAY ONE

These key London attractions are clustered within walking distance of one another along the Thames.

  • St. Paul’s Cathedral (£23)
  • Tower of London (£34.80)
  • Tower Bridge Experience (£12.30)
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (£24)
  • Evening boat ride on the Thames (23)

Cost of individual tickets: £117.10

1-Day London Pass: £90

SAVING: £27.10

In the evening, you could max out the pass further by seeing a movie at one of the Curzon cinemas.

DAY TWO

Day two of this sample itinerary starts by visiting Westminster Abbey before taking a short train ride to Windsor.

  • Westminster Abbey (£27)
  • Windsor Castle (£33)

Cost of individual tickets: £177.10

2-Day London Pass: £125

SAVING: £52.10

Note that these itineraries do not include the use of a hop-on-hop-off bus or one of the excellent tours on offer.

As these examples illustrate, the London Pass is likely to save you money. With a little planning, you can visit enough attractions in two days to be easily quids in.

Add to that the convenience of not having to queue to buy tickets at each place, and fast-track admission where available, and it’s a no-brainer.

For extra reassurance, Go City has introduced a risk-free guarantee.

If the city pass costs more than individual attraction tickets, they will refund you the difference. To be eligible, you’ll need to have scanned your pass at least three times per day, every day of your pass.  

Find out more here.

>>> SAVE MONEY WHEN VISITING LONDON’S BIGGEST ATTRACTIONS WITH THE LONDON PASS. CLICK HERE TO BUY YOURS!

the castle-like tower bridge in london
Tower Bridge, London

Who is the pass good for?

If you want to see as much of London as possible – Then the Go City® London Pass is for you. The more you use it, the more money you will save.

If you are spending longer in London – Although you are likely to save money using a London Pass if you are in town for a day or two, these savings will be amplified if you stay longer,

If you want to set your budget in advance – No one likes a nasty shock when they check their credit card statement at the end of a holiday. With the London Pass, you can take control over a chunk of your vacation budget.

If you are looking for convenience – There’s a lot to be said for not having to purchase individual tickets and fast-track entry. Who doesn’t want to be treated like a VIP at times?

tower of london

Who should skip the pass?

If you do not have a smartphone – Although those who do not have a smartphone are in the minority, there are still some out there (including a few of my friends). As the London Pass is no longer available as a paper ticket, you will not be able to use it if you do not have a smartphone.

As you can show a London Explorer Pass as a paper copy, consider this as an alternative.

If you are on a budget – In an expensive city like London, it can be challenging to stretch the travel budget to the paid-for attractions. Fortunately, London has a clutch of excellent free museums, parks and gardens.

If you have already visited the big-ticket items – Perhaps you have already visited places like the Tower of London or Westminster Abbey. These more expensive London Pass attractions generate the biggest savings.  

If you are looking for a relaxed itinerary – Another key to maximising the benefits of the London Pass is to squeeze as much into your sightseeing day as possible.

The London Pass is unlikely to be a good buy if you only plan to visit a few paid attractions during your stay. Instead, consider the London Explorer Pass as an alternative.

Tips for squeezing the most value out of your London Pass

1. Plan your itinerary

A little research can go a long way. Identify which attractions you want to visit and whether they are included in the pass. This will help you decide if the London Pass is worth it for you.

2. Consider transit times

Don’t just look at a list of London attractions in isolation. Whilst, many of its landmarks are located in central London, others are in outer boroughs (e.g. Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace).

Therefore, consider how long it will take to travel between the places on your draft London itinerary, clustering them by locality if possible.

3. Don’t try to squeeze too much in

This is the biggest danger of city cards. By trying to visit as many of the included attractions as possible, you run the risk of becoming completely frazzled.

It’s far better to pick a smaller number of high-value activities and enjoy them. If relaxed sightseeing is more your thing, take a look at the Go City® London Explorer Pass here.

4. Prioritise high-value attractions

You get the most bang for your buck by using your London Pass for entry into the more expensive London attractions. By using the pass to get you into places like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle, you maximise its benefits.

5. Consider what is not covered by the London Pass

Think about attractions that are not covered by the London Pass, such as its excellent museums and the London Eye. If these are on your itinerary, visit these on a “non-London Pass day.”

6. Start using your London Pass on the morning of the first day of validity

As the pass’s validity is for consecutive days, not 24-hour periods, make an early start to your sightseeing to get the best value from it. If you start using your London Pass late in the day, that will count as your first day.

7. Check opening hours in advance

Some London attractions are closed on certain days of the week (Westminster Abbey is closed on Sundays, for example) and many admit their last visitors at 4.30 pm.

8. Make sure that you make reservations where these are required.

9. Appoint the London Pass guidebook as your best friend

The complimentary guidebook is a mine of useful information, including travel information and those attractions offering skip-the-line access to pass holders. 

bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman is a Londoner who has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at hello@theflashpacker.net or follow her on social media.

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