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London Pass

I was wondering if anyone has used the London Pass Card? It looks like a good deal but can you still make reservations for things and/ or skip waiting in lines to pay for admissions? Thank you!

Posted by
138 posts

Not worth the money unless you want to run through all the sites included in the card. You'll pay less if you choose wisely on what you want to see and do

Posted by
5542 posts

You need to work out exactly what you want to see and do the maths vs buying tickets individually for 2-4-1 deals available. It will differ depending on how long you have and what you want to see. I have never been anywhere in Europe where such passes work for my interests, but you aren’t me!

Posted by
10053 posts

As Jennifer said, you really need to work it out and how it applies to your trip. We have used the, successfully twice on our first two trips to London. Both times I managed to buy the, under a 20% off promotion. Our first trip we broke even on the pass so the value was in skipping lines.

The second time there were three of us and as the third person had never been to London we repeated some sites my husband and I had visited on the first trip. We really filled the three days to maximize use and came out with some savings. We also visited some sites we might have skipped had we needed to pay more out-of-pocket.

I would be unlikely to buy one again as we have now been to London several times and are interested mostly in sights, sites, and activities beyond the pass. The 2-for-1 deals are worth exploring, too.

Posted by
464 posts

(sorry if this is a duplicate Ipsy tablet died as I tried to post earlier)
I used the pass in 2017 and it did not allow for reservations then. It had a couple places that it was skip the line and one that was supposed to be skip the line but wasn’t (mostly places that didn’t really matter)
Last year I didn’t use it and just payed as I went and got reservations for places before starting the trip for busy places.
In my case I don’t think it saved me much if anything and if it did it didn’t save enough to bother with. But I travel with my father and we are not into rushing. Basically we only used it a couple times a day.

So in my not so humble opinion unless you run around like mad it is probably not that big a saving and the hassle of using it is not worth it, my time avoiding lines is worth more to me.
Still you may want to double check online, but I don’t see how you can make reservations as you typically have to pay when you make reservations and you can’t do that ahead of time with the pass as it starts ticking the moment you first activate it. But they may have added some more skip the lines. But I know that the Tower, Tower Bridge, the war rooms and Westminster to name but a few you had to stand in LONG lines (ok the bridge line was pretty short). Heck the Tower you had to stand in a line to get your tickets then get into line for security. And they don’t open the ticket window unto the open the gate so you get dumped to the back of the line to get in.
Thus this year (well last year I guess) I just bought online and made reservations.
But to each their own.
And I bought an Oyster Card separately

Posted by
153 posts

I will be purchasing one for my first trip to London since childhood but I am interested in many of the things in the Pass and will be there for 9 days so the 10 day pass is actually a good value for that.

I'm curious though about people mentioning the lines thing. Can you give an example or two of how the Pass isn't to your benefit time wise for lines?

Posted by
13068 posts

Don't be misled by the frequent mention of "fast track entry" ( aka "skip the line") on the London Pass website. If you click through to the actual list where this is offered, it is very small, and the attractions listed are not known for long lines.

https://www.londonpass.com/how-it-works/skip-the-lines.html

Thus it will not allow you to skip the long lines at the Tower of London, Churchill War Rooms, London Eye, or Westminster Abbey. (I didn't check to see if these attractions are even included).

Posted by
324 posts

The only line you skip is to buy tickets. Everyone goes through the security check lines.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you everyone! I think I’m going to pass on the pass and make reservations online for the things I can. I appreciate your help!

Posted by
13486 posts

Additionally to the text about line-skipping that Lola provided, under "Can I skip the lines" in the FAQ section of the website, this is mentioned along with a repeat listing of the few attractions with priority pass entry.
https://www.londonpass.com/contact-london-pass/

"Certain attractions have "timed" ticketing. Please consult your guidebook before you visit the attraction."

I'm seeing some comments on the TripAdvisor review page about info in the guide which comes with the pass not being up to date, and there are some complaints about having to wait in long queues as well.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g186338-d11768364-Reviews-The_London_Pass-London_England.html

Posted by
5136 posts

I have a little different take on this. I do think it is important to do the math. However, if you are a solo traveler "2 -4-1" deals are non starters and don't really matter. I decided to buy the London Pass this year. I priced out the places where I wanted to go and then took advantage of buying it through Costco where you get 4 days for the price of 3. It just matched my timeframe and my interests and priced out cheaper for my particular interests.

Posted by
464 posts

A couple examples of the downside of the pass.
1) You walk into a pier and see a couple companies offering river trips. But you forgot which one the pass works for so you have to go around asking. Vs just walking up to whatever one you like and paying for it. (Yes if you took notes or brought the paperwork you can avoid this issue but if/when you don’t....

2). You get advised to go to the Tower of London early and make a beeline to the Crown Jewels
Issue is with the pass you have to get your ticket from the kiosks. Tickets are only available for the day you get them so you have to stand in line for the ticket kiosk vs standing in the ever increasing line to get in. So the person that bought tickets online is the 2nd person through the door while you are second in-line to GET your ticket. Once the tower opens your buddy goes in and you get your ticket then you go to the back of the entrance line.
3). Very similar situation at the War Rooms
4) same again for Westminster Abby. And you still have to get online and buy a reserved time if you want to go up on the Jubilee Galery (I can not recommend this enough it was fabulous.
5). You leave the Tower of London and want to visit the Tower Bridge.
As you walk accords the bridge you get to the tower closet to the castle. It is the entrance to the crosswalk with the elevator up. Your buddy walks up and buys his ticket. You are told you need to get your ticket from the Engine Room (or whatever it is called). So you have to cross the bridge, get your ticket and then walk back to the spot your buddy bought his ticket so you can go up. Meanwhile you buddy just goes up. Crosses the walkway and down the other tower. If he wants he can then go in and see the old engines that used to lift the bridge. Meanwhile you get to cross the bridge thee times vs his one.

Please note that these things may have changed (but I doubt it) I used the pass in the fall of 2017. So things may have changed. I did NIT use it in 2018. Take that to mean whatever you want.
Personally I would not get it again as my time is more valuable then any cost savings could be.
I am only in Europe for a couple weeks per (expensive) trip. And 14 days (plus 2 travel days) is only 224 waking hours in Europe (assuming 8 hours of sleep) and you lose 35 hours of that getting food and other daily requirements giving you less then 190 hours. If you assume 1 hour in lines to get your tickets per day (about 20 minutes average for 3 places) you lose 14 hours of almost 8 percent of you entire available waking hours in Europe. And you can easily loose more time then that as it cost me probably 45 min at Westminster and the Tower of London and Tower Bridge and the War Rooms were not much better (the line at the bridge wasn’t bad but the walk to get the tickets and walk back with my father was not fast)
The question is what is worth more to you? The bit of money you save or the extra time and a more relaxing trip with less lines.
For me it is a no brainer as my father is only good for so many hours a day and even fewer hours standing (he is 87) and I am not going to waste them in lines I can otherwise avoid.

Posted by
5136 posts

Things have changed since 2017 and the information above is no longer valid.

For example, the Tower of London: walk directly to the entrance, show your pass and enter.

Posted by
1223 posts

The consensus is generally that the pass works best for a solo traveler bought at one of their frequent discount sales and also for a longer period of time.

I suggest you plan in advance what you want to see rather than let the pass drive the itenerary. Keep in mind that most of the major museums are free. Also, some of the attractions on the pass are very spread out.

I’ve looked at it for all of my London trips and always have decided against it. My usual plan is for one free museum and then another different activity for the other part of the day. Another advantage of not having the pass is the flexibility to slow down if I want to. A nice walk along the Thames or an afternoon at a pub is sometimes what I need rather than another 3 hours dealing with throngs of tourists.

Posted by
464 posts

You didn’t have to get a ticket from the Kiosk for the Tower of London? Because they were sending folks to the Kiosk there in Sept of 2018 when I went back. So I guess that is realy a new change.

Anyway the issue for me with the pass is that with very few exceptions you need to get the pass swapped for a ticket and those lines tended to be long. Yes we all stand in security but standing in line for 15 to 30 minutes to get tickets THEN getting in the security line is a big difference.

I could have saved 20 min just standing in line for the pass at the War Rooms as the buy direct tickets had no line but I had to go through a specific line. If this has changed then great. But being as the web site and documents didn’t say anything about it when I used it I personally would not trust it.

If you want to gamble to save a hundred bucks on a trip cost 5 to 10 grand feel free but to me unless thier have been a lot of changes and until I see enough folks reviewing that the changes are in place I just don’t think it is worth it. If you take the cost of a trip to Europe and divide by your active site seeing hours you get a number that works out to hundreds of dollars an hour, so unless you are saving more then that anything that slows you down or takes time you don’t have to spend is financially not worth it. And if you consider the value of enjoyment vs frustration then it is even more in favor of just buy online tickets whenever possible.