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Everybody knows that London can be quite expensive, but it doesn’t have to. One of the keys to making this possible was getting the London Pass.
The first thing you need to know if it’s worth to get the London Pass is, how much do you want to see and are those things free to enter. Ok, let’s start with this question.
Are you interested in any of the following attractions?
If from that list you say yes to at least 5 attractions, the London Pass is for you.
The London Pass is a pre-paid discounted pass that gives you access to over 60 attractions, and you could enter to all of the above mentioned. It also gives you discounts in other attractions or stores, including the British Museum, walking tours, M&M store, night tours, and even tours to Stonehenge.
So, here is the catch and what I learned from it. While they advertise the pass as per day. You have a cap of how much is worth using. At first, I thought by buying a two-day pass, I could do anything I wanted for two days. So I was rushing through the city, planning my route and comparing opening hours to be able to go to as many places as possible and really make the pass worth. With a 2 day pass, I ran out of “money” in 1.5 days, read the full policy on the pass and saw the cap. I visited a local office where the passes are sold, to ask if it’s possible to increase my pass from a 2 day to a 3 day, and with a mean, british accent, and a face that only said “stupid tourist”, was told that is not possible, and if I wanted an extra day I needed to buy a day pass, which you can see in the table below, it was £40 more expensive than if I would’ve gotten the 3 day. So of course, I didn’t get it.
Another catch is that once the pass is activated in one place, your day starts running, so you better activate it and be ready to use it at 9 am. As is not a 24-hour deal, it starts from the day of activation (regardless at what time) and follows by consecutive days. So if you activate it at 2 pm, you’ve wasted almost the entire day, since it expires that night (for a 1-day pass). Or Let’s say you decide to get a 3-day pass but explore London 2 days and then do a day trip to Bath or Stonehenge, your 3rd day will be lost, unless you used the money for the 3rd day during your second day.
And just to make sure you know, the pass entitles you to one visit per attraction, so no re-entries. And each person in your party must have their own pass.
The question here is, is the London Pass worth it? YES!
Even though I ran out of money, I did £200 worth of entrances and only paid £71 for it. And my savings go even further, since I got discounts in other places, such as 30% in night bus tour, £2 off in bloody London walking tour, a Free audio guide at British museum worth £2, 15% in Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor Castle day tour, and more.
Use this table to determine your best deal.
*Prices updated February 2017
Make a quick google search for a promo code, I used “10db” for 10%
Tips to plan your day with a London Pass.
1. Buy your London Pass online and without an Oyster card
You can buy your pass online and way in advance; it doesn’t activate until you scan it for the first time. I recommend to not buy the Oyster card with the pass, as you’d have to go to specific locations to pick the card. It’s easier if you get it yourself. For more info about the card, read “London transportation.”
2. Download the London Pass app.
Is the best advice I can give you! The most important part about this app is not even syncing your pass for faster scan. It’s that it works pefectly without internet!. Is full of great features, even if you don’t have a London pass. As it contains, attraction information such as cost, opening hours, offer with and without london pass. It also has maps, map of attractions, tube map, hop-on and hop-off bus map. And of course, you add your pass here.
3. Look at the central map in the london pass and find the attractions you’re interested in visitg
This is how I was able to plan a successful route and maximize my time.
4. Start your day early, be there when the first attraction opens, as most early (4pm or 5pm)
Like I mentioned before, your pass will activate for the day regardless of what time. So I highly recommend to start your days early, find the attractions that open the earliest and go to those first, be in line (or even no line at all) when they open
5. Take a physical map, mark the locations of your interest, and opening hours.
Most hotels and hostels will offer a free map of the city, take your london pass app, open the central map, and circle on your real map only the attractions that you’re interested in doing, even if you don’t have time for all of them. This way your visual clutter of all the little points on the central map don’t distract you. Plus you save a little battery on your phone if you look at a physical map. And I also like to cross off the places I’ve visted
6. Eat while you walk to the next point.
Is all about maximizing your time and go to all the attractions that you can during the day. Grab a bite to go and keep walking.
BUY THE LONDON PASS HERE
You don’t want to make more research? Download my London Pass itinerary with options for 1, 2 and 3 days with details, opening hours, entry cost (with and without London Pass) and map here!