Turbopass London City Pass - Your passport to London attractions.

London City Pass
London attractions are expensive, very expensive. David and I have travelled together for 35 years visiting many of the world's leading cities. I struggle to remember a single one which surpasses London for the cost of its attractions - except perhaps my home city of Sydney. You have to see the irony in that. But what do you do! We have come half way around the world (22 hours in the air) to get here, we can hardly stand in front of the Tower of London or the London Eye or the Shard, look at each other and say - no its a bit pricey, we won't go in. Luckily we found a solution.  After a bit of internet research we chanced across the London City Pass issued by Turbopass.⃰

Turbopass - London City Pass

What is the London City Pass?

The London City Pass is a sightseeing pass which gives entry to many of London's most popular attractions. Pay once for the pass and never dig into your wallet again.✢

How does the London City Pass work?

Head to the Turbopass London City Pass website, decide how many days (from one to seven) you want your pass to be valid for, choose 'with' or 'without public transport' and click 'book now'. The pass will arrive by email. Download it or print it out (or if you are the cautious type like me), do both - and you are good to go.

At each attraction you visit simply show your pass at the ticket desk to swap it for a ticket. If you are using a printed pass remember to get the pass back so you have it for the next attraction. We used printed passes and they worked like a charm. I also had back-up passes on my phone just in case I mislaid the print out.

Attached to the email containing our passes we also received a host of useful information. As well as a list of the attractions where the passes were valid, there were opening hours and the name of the nearest tube station. There were also instructions on which ticket desk to go to at each attraction to show our passes and collect our entrance tickets. At the Tower of London, for example we went to the 'Group Ticket counter', at the London Eye the standard ticket counter and at the BigBus Hop-On Hop-Off tour we went to one of four designated bus stops. 

What attractions are included in the pass?

For a list of attractions where the pass can be used head to the all attractions tab on the Turbopass website. Bizarrely some of the most popular attractions aren't listed notwithstanding that our passes were valid for them. The London Eye and Madam Tussauds are missing. However both were listed in the information which came with our passes by email. We didn't make it to Madam Tussauds but Andrew, our son, and I went on the London Eye. David has a thing about heights and chose to sit that one out - he has no idea what he missed!

The passes give admission to 14 different attractions or tours. The only notable exceptions I can think of are St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey (hard as it is to believe London charges you to go inside its famous churches), Tower Bridge and Kew Gardens. We intended to solve the problem with St Paul's by attending a service (the services are still free!) but never quite got around to it - next time maybe!

Is the London City Pass worth the cost?

If you are a tourist who wants to visit major attractions - absolutely. See for yourself by checking out the prices for the attractions you want to visit and compare the total to the cost of the pass. Bear in mind that unless you are disciplined about not wasting a moment you will probably only average two or three attractions per day.  Once activated the passes must be used on consecutive days. Unsurprisingly you can get the most from your pass by planning ahead.

Although we were in London for ten days we had our passes for three. We spent a few days getting over the jet-lag (we flew from Sydney, Australia) exploring the city and visiting museums and art galleries, many of which are free. Then we activated our passes and concentrated on seeing the sights included in them. Taking things at a leisurely pace we saw an average of two attractions each day. We visited in early May, before the high season crowds and queues, but we are slow tourists -  just about anyone could do more in a day than us.

Our itinerary went like this:-

Sightseeing day 1.  

We took a ferry to Greenwich and spent the day there. Standing on the Prime Meridian with a foot in both hemispheres was kitschy but fun and stepping aboard the Cutty Sark is a great way to explore the days when sailing ships dominated world trade routes.

Day 2. 

We arrived at the Tower of London by 10 a.m and finally left in the early afternoon - this is an attraction you can spend hours at. If you have even a passing interest in history then the Tower is a must see despite the crowds. It is also where you can see the Crown Jewels - or the fake ones. Does anyone believe the jewels on display are the real thing?

The highlight of the day however was the View from the Shard, London's tallest building. Looking down gave us a great panorama. Looking up through the metal framework to open sky was mind blowing especially if you don't have a great head for heights. I have included a photo at the end of this post so you can see what I mean.

Day 3.  

Today's highlight was the London Eye. We got lucky and found the queue quite short notwithstanding that we arrived right at lunch time and, except for an inexplicable 15 minute hold-up, it moved quickly. My advice is to go early or late, especially in high season.

Don't miss the Thames River Boat Tour. A one-way tour between the Tower of London and Westminster is included in the Big Bus tickets.  The commentary alone is worth the trip.

Total price - £174.95 (321AUD/223USD)

3 Day London City Pass (without transport) - £109.90 (201AUD/140USD)

Total saving - £65.05 (119AUD/83USD)

Note: The individual prices I have listed are what you would pay on the day per adult. Many attractions have a small discount for booking ahead but that usually locks you into a particular day, sometimes a specific timeslot.

How to get the best value out of your London City Pass  

The passes are valid for between one and seven consecutive days. They are day passes not 24 hour passes so it is best to activate them in the morning. Without transport, the cost of a one, three and five day adult pass is £66.90,  £109.90 and £134.90 respectively.  As you can see the three day pass is less than twice the cost of a single day pass and the five day pass is not much more. The passes get cheaper the greater the number of days they are valid for. If you want the best value go for the longest pass you can - five days is ideal or seven if you want to see everything at a slower pace.

View from the Shard
Looking down on Tower Bridge from the observation deck of the Shard.

The Shard
Looking up from the observation deck at the top of the Shard.
London Eye
The London Eye
Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark
The White Tower
The White Tower at the Tower of London

⃰  Note: David and I were given complimentary London City Passes for ourselves and our son, who was travelling with us. 

✢ Almost never, there are a few tours, and shops, for which you receive a discount.

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  1. Hi Lyn, thank you for this very comprehensive post about the London City Pass. I have noticed that more and more cities have cost-saving passes for visitors and they make complete sense. I went to Istanbul recently and didn't buy the visit pass. It was a mistake as we had to fork out and queue for every visit. With this pass, I get the sense that it's a lot easier to plan your trip and to get a handle on your travel budget. I'll be sure to keep it in mind for my next trip to London!

    1. We spent a couple of days in Dubai earlier in the year. I wish I had known about Turbopass then because they have a city pass for there and with only two days it would have worked really well. One of the things I hate most about travelling is standing outside an attraction wondering whether it will be worth the cost. City passes let you cut that out completely.

  2. Sounds like a good deal to me Lyn. Anytime you see savings and experience convenience, you seize that opportunity.

  3. I enjoy using city passes as you never have to think about the individual attraction's cost. Like you said, plan out your days and you get a nice savings. I also like that you don't have to wait in a queue to buy the tickets and then another queue to get into the attraction.

    1. Despite years of travel we had never tried city passes before. I am hooked now though.

  4. Oh my, I never knew/ Been to London three times but never used them. As a result, I haven't even been to Greenwich or taken the view from the Shard or visited The Banqueting House.

  5. I'm headed to London this week so this was especially helpful. So much to see. Don't know if the city pass will be worth it since we're only in the city for a day or two. We did get tickets to the Dior exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

    1. If you are only in the city for one or two days and you are spending time at the Victoria and Albert Museum then a city pass may not work out. Plan what you want to do and have time for, add up the individual admissions then compare them to the cost of a one or two day pass.

  6. Beautiful photos and great information on the Pass. Our stops are usually so short, as in transit somewhere, that we set out on foot, see the sights and enjoy the ambiance of just being in London. This is great information though and I plan to use it should we get there for a real visit one day.

    1. We hadn't been to London for many, many years and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it - except for the traffic!

  7. We used a Citypass when we visited New York City and I really enjoyed using it. This pass for London looks great. It appears to include all of the things I'd like to see in London, and the savings look great. Thanks for sharing this helpful information. I'll definitely look into this pass when I visit London someday. #WeekendWanderlust

  8. We'll definitely be looking at the London Pass - our problem is usually wanting to do everything but not having the time. If only there was a pass to add a few days off!! 😆