In short: it’s all in your use of the card that makes the London Pass worth it or not. In some cases, it will be an amazing deal. For others, not so much. Here’s how things added up for us.
London. There’s so much to do, so many places to see, so much history, and so much amazing international food. But an inexpensive destination it is not. While we scored an amazing deal on our tickets to the city, flying Virgin Atlantic 787-9 economy and staying at the Comfort Inn Hyde Park for free, there was still a decent cost to the trip.
Why? All the entry fees and meals, of course. While you can get into amazing historic sites in China for less than $5, you pay significantly more in Britain.
But there is an interesting option for cutting the cost: the London Pass.
Is The London Pass Worth It?
The London Pass lets you get into dozens of attractions for free with a single card, both saving you money and lessening the hassle of needing to buy tickets everywhere. It includes so many of the major places you’ll want to see: the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Windsor Castle, among many others. You can check out the full list here.
You can choose the number of consecutive days you want and pay the applicable price. The prices are actually set to increase on March 16. If you’re planning a visit to London, I’d run the the numbers on the London Pass now and decide if its worth it.
My Previous Experience With the London Pass
I actually remember using the London Pass over a decade ago when I visited, and it worked well. It was a great choice when touring for a week with friends. I believe we got the 6-day version, and it was well worth it. We visited as much as we could in those days, stuffing in the Tower, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Globe Theatre, Churchill War Rooms, Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. We even stuffed in an evening at QUEENS Skate & Bowl (which was ironically very close to our hotel this past trip).
Even with just those attractions, I recall the London Pass being well worth it. I may be missing a couple attractions. You can fit a lot into 6 days as a 19-year-old.
Unless I’m mistaken, Westminster Abbey wasn’t included at the time. But it is now. I remember visiting on on of our “off” days, as well as spending most of a day at the British Museum, which is free. But the rest of the attractions included made the London Pass worth it for sure.
Running The Numbers For Our Recent Trip
I figured that we’d probably buy the London Pass for three days in the capital, but the math didn’t quite pencil. The 3-day passes would cost £125 for myself and £89 for each of the kids. That adds up to £330, nearly $400 USD! I wasn’t sure we were going to pay quite that for everything.
My math for what I expected to spend visiting attractions was about £102 for myself. This made the London Pass solidly not worth it. Not to mention we wouldn’t give us the flexibility of not using it, which turned out to be critical when I had to cut one day short due to feeling ill.
However, had we been there for 6 days, I almost certainly would have opted for the pass. We skipped a couple fairly expensive attractions, including St. Paul’s for £20 and the view from the Shard for £34. Those alone would put us at nearly the £169 asking price for the 6-day pass. Likewise, the 10-day pass seems to be a bargain for £199, given everything you can do in a visit of that length of time! Yes, it’s pricey. But you could easily get twice that value.
Still, we could have certainly maximized the pass in even three days. In our case, we (well, I) simply decided to do other things. We spent time exploring Camden (free, except for lunch), the British Museum for half a day, and at Parliament (not included in the pass). We did visit Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, and the London Transport Museum, all of which were included.
Bus tour? Ride the public bus instead and sit on the upper level. There are ways to visit London on a budget.
Conclusion: Is The London Pass Worth It Or Not?
You’ll have to run the numbers for yourself to decide whether the London Pass is worth it. Total up the cost of the attractions you plan to visit and see if the pass offers a better deal for the length of your stay. In our case, it didn’t make sense. But for many it will.
Have you used the London Pass before? Did you find it was worth it?