London sights

Compare London tourist passes

Which is the best London tourist pass for you ? - a thematic guide to Great Britain

Many tourists visiting London buy a pass to gain fast entry into major tourist sites. But before buying a pass, it is useful, if not essential, to compare the different London tourist passes and choose the one that corresponds to your needs.
  Indeed, depending on what you plan to visit in London, and how long you plan to be there, you may or may not be advised to get a pass. And if a pass seems like the best solution, you need to make sure that you get the best pass for your needs, as this will depend on what you plan to do and see. Different passes cover different attractions and sights.

London tourist passes are not essential, but they are very valuable

You will want a pass if....

If you are only visiting London for a few days, and you value your time and don't want to waste too much time standing in queues or lines, then a pass may well be the best option for you. With a London visitor pass in your pocket, you can "skip the lines", i.e. avoid most of the queues that form outside the entrance to  monuments and museums... and that can mean litterally saving several hours of queueing if you visit London during a popular period.
There are several different London tourist passes available.
To find the one that's best for your needs : Jump straight to the Pass Comparer
   If you take the public transport  option as well, you can save the bother of buying a travel card or an oyster card for the days when your tourist pass is valid

You will not need a pass if...

Time is no object for you. Nor will you need a tourist pass if you want to spend most of your time visiting the main public museums and art galleries, such as the National Gallery, the Tate or the Wallace collections. The list of free London museums also includes the fabulous Science Museum, the V&A, and the Natural History museum, and indeed there are over twenty free museums and art galleries in London, including some of the world's greatest. Art lovers and museum lovers could easily spend two weeks just visiting free galleries and museums, and still not see all that there is to see.  
   If you're intending  to stay in London for three days or more, it makes sense to plan your visits carefully, taking in the free attractions on certain days, and the paid entry attractions that feature on  London visitor passes on other days.
  For example, a visitor spending four days in London might want to take just a two-day visitor pass, visiting paid-entry attractions on those days, and visiting the free museums and other inexpensive or free attractions on the other days.

Ticket queues and security queues

Even if you have a pass, you may need to queue to get past security... or just to show the pass. But you won't need to waste time standing in a line to buy a ticket for each visit you make .

Compare the main  different London Passes:  2019

Compare  London passes for content and sample prices
What is included.. London Pass
Biggest choice
London City Pass
Best value
London Explorer Travel card
Transport only
Zones 1 - 6
Website The London Pass London City Pass London Explorer See London transport
Public transport  Paid option   Paid option  No Yes
Free museums and art galleries Yes Yes Yes Yes
Buckingham Palace NO NO NO No
The Shard Yes Yes NO No
London Eye  NO Yes Optional No
Tower of London Yes Yes NO   No
Madame Tussauds NO Yes Optional   No
London Dungeon NO Yes Optional   no
London Aquarium NO NO Optional   No
Thames cruise Yes Yes Optional   No
HMS Belfast Yes No NO  No
Hop-on hop-off tour bus yes Yes Optional   No
Cutty Sark Yes Yes Optional No
Westminster Abbey Yes NO Optional   No
Shakespeare's Globe Yes NO Optional  No
London Zoo Yes NO NO No
St Paul's Cathedral Yes NO Optional No
Other paid sites..... in and around London About 60 more About 10 more About 10 more No
2019 rates

Prices - 2 Days
Without travel:
Adult :  £ 99  
Child : £ 75
With travelcard:
Adult: £ 119
Child: £ 94
Without travel:
Adult :  £ 89.90  
Child under 16 : £68.90
With travelcard:
Adult: £ 112.90
Child : £ 91.90

Without travel.
Passes valid 30 days.
Choose 3 5 or 7 attractions
3 attractions:  £ 64
5 attractions: £  94
7 attractions : £  114
Zones 1-6
Use your contactless credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex etc): Max £ 20.20
 - or -
Travelcard 2 days:

Prices - 3 Days Without travel
Adult :  £ 125  
Child : £ 89
With travel:
Adult: £ 155
Child: £ 117
Without travel
Adult :  £ 109.90
Child under 16 :  £83.90
With travel:
Adult: £ 132.90
Child : £ 106.90
Without travel.
Passes valid 30 days.
Choose 3 5 or 7 attractions
3 attractions:  £ 64
5 attractions: £  94
7 attractions : £  114
Zones 1-6
Use your contactless credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex etc): Max £ 30.30
 - or -  
Travelcard 3 days:
Prices - 6 Days Without travel
Adult :  £ 169  
Child : £ 125
With travel:
Adult: £ 224
Child: £ 157
Without travel
Adult :  £ 149.90
Child under 16 :  £83.90
With travel:
Adult: £ 192.90
Child : £ 147.90
Without travel.
Passes valid 30 days.
Choose 3 5 or 7 attractions
3 attractions:  £ 64
5 attractions: £  94
7 attractions : £  114
Zones 1-6
Use your contactless credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex etc): Max £ 60.60
 - or -  
Travelcard 1 week:
£35.10  + £5
Also available 1 day
10 days
4 days
5 days
7 days

1 week  £35.10  + £5
Info and buy The London Pass

Buy online in advance
London City Pass

Buy online in advance
London Explorer See Travel in London
Travelcard: buy on the day from your first train or underground station.
Contactless card: just ue your card.

Note: the most popular pass durations are for periods of 2 days, 3 days, or 4 days
IMPORTANT: Remember that entrance to most major art galleries and museums is free

The passes in more detail....

Other passes:

PASSES are often the easiest solution, but not necessarily the cheapest way to visit London ...

 Choosing which pass is best for you, or whether you actually need a pass at all, will depend untimately on what  you want to see, what you want to do in London, and how long you are staying.  London has hundreds of different tourist sights (see London tourist attractions), including museums, monuments, views, places to walk, tours, concert halls, cabarets, restaurants and cafés. No-one has time to see everything. In fact, most tourists, in the space of a short trip to London, can do no more than scratch the surface.
  So before choosing a pass, or no pass, ask yourself the following questions.
  1. Do you want to take in at least three paid entry attractions a day (between monuments, museums, river cruise...)  . If so, a pass might be the best solution.
  2. Do you want primarily to visit London's great free museums, such as the National Gallery, the Science Museum, or the Tate, rather than other attractions? If so, you probably don't need to buy a pass at all,  as most public museums and art galleries are free.
  3. Do you want to pack in as much as possible in a short space of time, including the main sights ?  If so, buying a pass will allow you to skip the queues or the lines outside some of the more popular paid entry sites, as well as offering you a better rate than you would get by buying separate tickets for each location.    

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What to see in London, how much to see, and how best to see it ?  These are fundamental questions that need to be addressed by any tourist visiting the British capital. There really is so much to see, and for this reason, buying a tourist pass with free skip-the-line entrance in to some of the top attractions may be the best solution.  Or may not be. looks at the main options.

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Visit London's main paid-entry attractions and avoid the queues, with a London Pass. Click for more details

Visiting Paris  too ?
 Click here to compare Paris tourist passes

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