London

London City Passes

What’s a London City Pass?

A London City Pass is your ticket to many attractions, including major landmarks, Hop-on Hop-off buses, Thames river cruises, walking tours and more. Most London City Passes include top attractions such as the London Eye, Tower of London, The View from the Shard and Madame Tussauds.

With a London City Pass, you can take advantage of many of these offers without having to buy additional tickets. The cheapest City Pass costs just £64.00. The most expensive one costs £179.00. But price is not the only important criterion. What matters is what you get for it. Basically, the more expensive a London City Pass is, the more attractions you can visit for free.

The decisive factor for the price of a City Pass is often the validity. With some passes you have only one day to visit as many sights as you’d like – with others however, you’ve got up to 30 days. Even if the price is higher with a longer validity, the more time you spend in London, the more worthwhile a City Pass is.

There are currently four major passes for the city of London. They are all available on the Internet and unlike in other major cities, you don’t have to pick up your London City Pass in the city, you can use it digitally on your smartphone.

This page contains partner links. This means that we receive a commission when you buy a product through an affiliate link (e.g. a London City Pass). This does not make the product more expensive for you.

When Is a London City Pass Worthwhile?

  • When You’re in London for the first time

    Since London City Passes include the most famous attractions in London, they are most rewarding for first-time travellers to London. Those who are in the city for the second or third time probably already know many of these sights and are interested in other offers. Indeed, some City Passes also contain more special attractions, but these often do not justify the purchase price for a City Pass.

  • When you’d like to do intensive sightseeing

    For most London visitors, a City Pass will only be worthwhile if they are prepared to visit many sights in a short time. This can be exhausting, but a City Pass can save you a lot of money if you do intensive sightseeing. You should visit two to three major attractions a day. If you want to slow down, you should take a closer look at the Flexi Attraction Passes.

  • When you spend several days in London

    There are City Passes that are only valid for one or two days – but those are hardly worth it. The longer a London City Pass is valid, the cheaper it is per day and the more worthwhile a purchase. Those who stay at least four or five days in London have a good chance of saving money with a City Pass. Those who stay a week or longer and regularly visit sights cannot help but save money with such a pass.

  • When you travel unprepared

    A London City Pass can be worthwhile if you want to visit many attractions but don’t have time to plan your trip thoroughly. A City Pass will tell you what you should see and can’t see, and most City Pass packages include a small travel guide with information on the attractions indluded, as well as street maps and metro and bus maps.

  • When you don’t want to buy single tickets

    Savings aren’t necessarily the only argument for a City Pass. Some travelers appreciate the convenience of a City Pass. Instead of buying many individual tickets, a city card already includes tickets for several sights as well as tickets for a Hop-on Hop-off bus, for river cruises and sometimes even for public transport.

All London City Passes at a glance

In the following section we briefly introduce the four most important tourist cards for London.

Please click on the respective icon.

Benefits of the London Pass

  • Free entry to 70+ attractions
  • 1 day Hop-on Hop-off bus ride for free
  • Optional: Travelcard for local public transport
  • Valid for up to 10 days after first use
  • + Free travel guide, city & metro map
  • Detailed information about the London Pass

Benefits of the London Turbopass

  • Free entry to 14 major attractions
  • Includes 24h Hop-on Hop-off bus
  • Additional discounts for shopping and tours
  • Optional: Visitor Oyster Card for public transport
  • Flexible validity from 1 to 7 days
  • Detailed information about the Turbopass

Benefits of the London Explorer Pass

  • Choose from 25 of London’s top attractions
  • Visit 3, 4, 5 or 7 or sights without buying tickets
  • Download the pass to your smartphone
  • Use the offers within 30 days
  • Additional: travel guide, city map and subway map
  • Detailed information about the Explorer Pass

Benefits of the London iVenture Card

  • 28 attractive offers to choose from
  • Choose 3, 5, 7 or 10 from 28 attractions
  • Valid for a whole month
  • Available as mobile pass or physical card
  • Additional: free travel guide and city map
  • Detailed information about the iVenture Card

London City Passes Compared (Table)

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Last update: 10/2019

Differences between City Passes

Comparing the four most important London City Passes is no easy task. Even though they have some things in common, they differ in many small details. In the following, we would like to point out the main differences between the London tourist cards:

Time-based vs. Attraction-based: The London Pass and the London Turbopass are time-based city passes. This means that you can take advantage of all the included services, but only have a limited amount of time to do so. The price of these city passes is defined solely by the length of their validity. The London Explorer Pass and the iVenture Card on the other hand are attraction-based products. This means you can choose 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 attractions you’d like to visit. The purchase price depends on the number of attractions you choose. Both passes are valid for 30 days.

Validity: Time-based passes are valid from 1 to 10 days. With the Turbopass you are fully flexible because you can choose between 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 days validity. This allows you to choose a validity that matches the length of your stay in London. The London Pass is available for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 10 days. For all London City Passes, one day equals one calendar day. In this respect, all city passes are the same.

Included Attractions: All City Passes advertise top attractions, which you can visit free of charge with the Pass, but no company can offer all the important sights. Every City Pass lacks a few attractions that are popular with tourists. The table above shows this for selected attractions. The included sights will probably be the most important purchase criterion for you. Therefore, it is worthwhile to consider which sights you really want to visit before buying.

Fast Track Entry: The providers of City Passes often advertise that you can skip the lines at some attractions. But this argument hardly applies in London, as it is only true for very few offers. With the London Pass and London Explorer Pass you won’t benefit from a fast entry anywhere. With the Turbopass fast track entry is only available at the Tower of London and at Kensington Palace.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Pass

Advantages of the London Pass

The selection of attractions included in the London Pass is really good and comprehensive. No other City Pass includes that many sights.

The London Pass is worth it for visits of 3 days or more. The longer the Pass is valid, the more worthwhile it is. If you spend several days in London, the pass will pay off for you.

There is a mobile option for the London Pass. Simply download it to your smartphone and use it immediately at the first attraction. This is very convenient.

If you buy the Pass at Get Your Guide, the purchase can be cancelled free of charge without giving any reason. This can be done up to 24 hours before departure.

Disadvantages of the London Pass

 The attractions of Merlin’s Magical London (Madame Tussauds, London Eye etc.) are missing in the London Pass.

The London Pass for 1 or 2 days is hardly worth it, as there is not enough time to visit enough attractions.

With the London Pass you have to queue at every attraction. In the high season you should expect long waiting times. That’s why you can’t visit more than two or three attractions a day. However, this applies to all London City Passes.

The optional Travelcard offers no advantage. Visitors to London should rather buy the Oyster Card at a ticket vending machine.

Advantages of the London Turbopass

 The selection of attractions is small but fine. Many important sights are included in the Turbopass.

If you know what you want to see and mainly choose the more expensive attractions, you can save money with the Turbopass.

The London City Pass is valid from 1 to 7 days. Most other city passes are not that flexible.

The vouchers included in the City Pass are digitally transferred to your smartphone. You don’t have to pick up your City Pass in London. Postage is also not necessary.

Disadvantages of the London Turbopass

 The Turbopass is technically not a City Pass, but a collection of digital vouchers. This is a bit confusing.

The selection of the attractions is indeed good, but compared to other city passes, there are rather few attractions included in the pass.

The Turbopass does not ignite a turbo. At most attractions you have to queue like other visitors. However, this applies to all London City Passes.

The purchase price for 1- and 2-day passes are too high. It will be difficult to visit enough attractions to save money.

Advantages of the London Explorer Pass

 The benefits of the Explorer Pass are very easy to understand compared to other city passes. It is easy to calculate your savings compared to single tickets.

The London Explorer Pass includes almost all important sights. Most attractions are relevant for London visitors.

You have 30 days to use the services of this city pass. This is an exceptionally long validity.

You can download the Explorer Pass to your smartphone.  So you don’t have to pick it up in London.

You can cancel your Explorer Pass free of charge up to 24 hours before your trip if you buy it from Get Your Guide.

Disadvantages of the London Explorer Pass

 With the London Explorer Pass you don’t save any time. You must queue with all other visitors and pick up your free ticket. Waiting times can be up to several hours.

Savings with the Explorer Pass are not as high as the company indicates. If you buy single tickets on the Internet, you will benefit from lower online prices. Nevertheless, you can save money with this city pass.

Not every attraction is worthwhile with the London Explorer Pass. In order for the pass to pay off, you should visit the most expensive attractions.

For some attractions there are cheaper ticket bundles available. If you want to visit these sights in particular, the Explorer Pass will not be worth it.

Advantages of the iVenture Card

 The selection of attractions is very good. Many of the most important sights are covered by the iVenture Card.

The Flexi Attractions model is very flexible. You decide how many attractions you want to visit and pay only for those.

If you mainly visit the most expensive attractions, the iVenture Card can save you money compared to buying single tickets.

You can use the iVenture Card on your smartphone or as an electronic card to pick up in London.

Disadvantages of the iVenture Card

 Some popular London attractions are not covered by the iVenture Card – e.g. the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Madame Tussauds.

Many tours require you to make an appointment in advance. Some attractions require you to pick up a voucher at the iVenture office.

The iVenture City Pass is not worthwhile for every sight. Some attractions are too cheap.

Contrary to the information on the official website, you can hardly ever skip the queues with the iVenture Card.

Which London City Pass is the Best?

We recommend the London Pass for stays of 3 days or longer, because with this pass you can save the most money compared to buying single tickets. The savings are significant if you just visit two to three attractions per day. You can check our sample itinerary for three and six days here.

You can also save a lot of money with the Turbopass London, but the pass includes far fewer attractions and is therefore less suitable for a long stay in London. In the following section, we assess all London City Passes according to various situations. Click on the following statements if they apply to you to find out which City Pass is best suited for your situation.

The London Explorer Pass includes mainly important sights and there are only a few top attractions missing (The View from the Shard and the Tower of London). Choose from 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions and take your time to explore London’s main attractions.

The iVenture Card works the same way. You can use it to visit 3, 5, 7 or 10 attractions. However, it is a bit more expensive than the Explorer Pass.

The London Pass includes by far the largest range of sights. You can visit up to 70 attractions with this pass without having to buy additional tickets. However, as many attractions have long waiting times, you won’t be able to visit more than two or three per day. Therefore, the pass is only worthwhile if it is valid for at least three days. Then you will be able to visit a lot of attractions.

With all four passes you can save money compared to buying single tickets. The longer the City Passes are valid, the more money you can save. The London Pass is worth it from three days, and even more for longer valid options. The Turbopass London is most worthwhile for four or five days.

With the London Explorer Pass you can visit up to seven attractions and calculate your savings in advance. However, the savings will tend to be lower than with the other passes. The same applies to the iVenture Card which is even a bit more expensive than the Explorer Pass.

With City Passes that are only valid for one or two days or that contain only a few attractions, you will hardly save any significant amounts of money.

Public museums in London are generally free of charge. You don’t need a City Pass. These museums include top attractions such as the Science Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Gallery and Tate Modern.

In addition, there are a number of privately run museums that cost admission. Many of these are included in the London Pass. However, the entrance fees are usually too low for it to be worthwhile to buy the London Pass just for that.

None of the London City passes are worth it if you’re only in London for two days. You can save a few pounds each time, but with City Passes you almost always have to stand in the long queues in front of the attractions. For a short stay in town, City Passes are a waste of time.

You’ll be better off if you buy online tickets for each attraction in advance. Even if you don’t always get immediate admission with these tickets, you don’t have to queue at the ticket office. At some sights there are also so-called fast-track tickets, which allow you to enter the attraction immediately at a pre-arranged time.

The London Pass is worthwhile from three days and even more four or five days. The Turbopass London is most worthwhile for four to five days.

The London Explorer Pass allows you 30 days to visit up to seven attractions. If that’s enough for you, you can easily calculate your savings once you know which attractions you want to see.

For long stays in London the London Pass is most worthwhile. It is available for six and ten days. The ten-day pass costs only £17.90 per day, so it’s worth it from as little as one attraction per day. If you visit two sights a day, the savings are significant.

There is also the Turbopass for six and seven days, but the number of attractions included in the pass is quite small. The pass can only be worthwhile for this long duration if you visit almost all the attractions it contains.

If you are in London for a long time, but only want to visit one attraction per day, the London Explorer Pass is worthwhile. It is valid for 30 days and you can visit up to 7 attractions. The iVenture Card allows you to visit up to 10 attractions in the same time.

For travelers with kids there is unfortunately no simple answer as to which City Pass is the best. In principle, there is a children’s version of every London City Pass at a reduced price. But whether this is worth it depends on which attractions you want to visit and how old your children are.

All attractions offer reduced admission tickets for children anyway. Some are free for children under 3 (e.g. London Eye), others are free for children under 5 (e.g. Tower of London). Family tickets are often also available. Depending on the number and age of the children, this is cheaper than a City Pass.

Basically, there is always the possibility that the parents use a City Pass and buy a separate ticket for their children on site. With the City Passes, you almost always have to queue up at the cash desk to redeem your ticket anyway.

An attractive offer for families is Merlin’s Magical London. This ticket combo allows you entry to the London Eye, London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, Shrek’s Adventure and the SEA LIFE Aquarium – attractions that are popular with families – at a greatly reduced price.

Every City Pass requires that you want to see the sights from the inside. If you only want to see London from the outside, no City Pass is suitable for you. If you still decide you want to visit an attraction from the inside, buy a single ticket.

FAQ About City Passes

No, you can only visit each attraction once. Only the Hop-on Hop-off buses you can use as often as you like within one day.

You can buy all London City Passes on the Internet. For all passes there is an official website of the issuing company. This should be your first port of call:

There you can buy the city cards and either download them digitally or pick them up in London. Only if you book the public transport option will you have to pick them up in London.

Only the iVenture Card and the London Pass you would be able to buy in London.

However, there are advantages to buying a London Pass online. On the one hand, the company occasionally offers discounts and on the other hand there are discount vouchers that we can offer on this website. If you buy in London, the pass will be only available at full price.

It’s also a good idea to get to grips with the London Pass before you travel. The better prepared you are, the more benefit you will get from the pass.

In principle, there is a children’s version of every London City Pass at a reduced price. But whether this is worth it depends on which attractions you want to visit and how old your children are.

Yes, for both the London Pass and the London Explorer Pass there is a 30 day money back guarantee (if you have not used the pass during this time). This applies to purchases made on the official websites.

You can also buy both passes at Get Your Guide. You can cancel passes purchased there up to 24 hours prior to departure free of charge and without giving reasons.

You can cancel your Turbopass up to one day before the first valid day. However, there is a cancellation fee of €30 per pass.

The iVenture Card cannot be cancelled after purchase.

Other London Discount Cards

So far, we have only presented the most important London City Passes that are of interest to a wide audience. In addition, there are some City Passes for more specific interests or with only a few attractions included. These are briefly presented below.

Merlin’s Magical London

This pass is a ticket for up to five attractions: London Eye, London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Aquarium and Shrek’s Adventure. These attractions are particularly popular with families. You can buy the 5-Attraction-Pass at a significantly reduced price or you could buy tickets in any desired combination on the official attraction websites.

Discount London Bundles

The Discount London Bundles are not a City Pass, but ticket bundles at reduced prices. The provider packs attractive sights such as the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, Hop-on Hop-off buses and a few more into ticket bundles that you can buy together and save money. There are bundles of up to six tickets. Choose the bundle that best suits your needs.

Visitor Oyster Card

If you don’t need a City Pass, but want to use the public transport intensively, you can buy a Visitor Oyster Card before your trip, with which you can easily use the Underground and buses. You can receive the Visitor Oyster Card by mail. It costs £5.00 activation fee. You can also top up your credit to match the length of your stay in London. Later you can top it up with additional credit at any ticket machine.

However, you can also buy the regular Oyster Card in London at any ticket vending machine or counter and top it up with any amount of credit. In this case, there is no activation fee, but a deposit that you can have refunded at the end of your trip.

If you don’t find a London City Pass worthwhile, you can also buy individual tickets to most of London’s attractions: