London is an epic city with so much to explore and experience, so contemplating spending only 48 hours in London will likely be a daunting prospect. When you are trying to visit a city like London in only 48 hours, you have to be prepared, otherwise time will literally fly by and you will have experienced very little. Make the most of your time in the city and you will have an awesome adventure!
Thankfully this is where the amazing London Pass comes in handy. You don’t need to worry about conducting research on a myriad of attractions around London, instead this is all done for you inside a handy booklet or even an app for your smartphone or tablet. For many of London’s leading attractions, lengthy waiting times can be expected. However, the London Pass already has this covered with Fast Track access to many of the ‘busier’ attractions.
We will take a look at more of the benefits shortly but if you are limited to only 24, 48 or even 72 hours in London, we strongly recommend considering the London Pass as a viable option to make your stay that bit more enjoyable and organized. If you are looking for reasons to visit London, well it’s an endless list with so much to choose from. The London Pass makes life easier and will inevitably ensure that you can make the most of your trip to one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world.
What is the London Pass?
The London Pass is a single, ‘all in one’ sightseeing card that you can purchase online and gain entry into a myriad of attractions in and around London. Free entry to over 60 attractions, museums, and guided tours makes this a popular option for not only first-time visitors to London but also those that are returning to this beautiful city.
A full listing of the London attractions available with the London Pass can be seen on the London Pass website though new landmarks and locations are frequently being added, making this an extremely lucrative purchase!
As I mentioned, we have visited London a couple of times before and actually used the London Pass during our first visit which was a 3-day trip, but our recent 48 hours in London was a more ambitious attempt and we are grateful for both the benefits of the London Pass.
The London Pass is available in several different options. As of December 1, 2015, the available options are 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 6-day and even a 10-day card.
In addition, you can add a London Oyster travelcard to this for an additional charge which is definitely an incentive if you plan on getting around London using public transportation. Be sure to calculate prior to purchasing this option to see if the cost-savings are enough to justify this.
Benefits of the London Pass
The benefits of purchasing a London Pass are such that it will quickly become a no-brainer that you should pursue this route if you plan on experiencing London’s tourist attractions.
Here are a couple of benefits that were important to us:
- Cost-effective – Determine exactly how many attractions you can feasibly visit during the duration of your visit to London. This is one of the main drawbacks of the London Pass in our opinion because many of the attractions have limited hours all year round, especially in Winter (most close by 5:00PM daily), but you can certainly achieve large savings if you visit enough to cover the cost of the Pass.
- Fast Track – Attractions such as the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, London Bridge among others are renowned for having long wait times. The London Pass allows you to bypass all these long queues and gain Fast Track access.
- Itinerary Planning – In addition to this post and others that we have put together on our recommended attractions in and around London, the London Pass website offers a couple of viable alternative itineraries that you can follow. Of course, personal preference will determine which attractions you want to see but the guidebook and informative website will allow you to plan your itineraries in advance of arriving in London.
If you have used the London Pass before, what do you consider to be the main benefits of such a pass?
Our Guide to 48 Hours in London
Before we look at our specific itinerary that we followed during our 48 hours in London, we want to make you aware of a caveat that should be considered – don’t try to see too much in such a short period of time!
We mentioned earlier that the cost-effectiveness of the London Pass is a huge benefit but on the flip-side this can be a negative because you will be eager to try and see as much as possible. This is perfectly fine but be aware that it can be time-consuming to get from one attraction to another and the limited opening hours make it impossible to see everything.
Here is a quick guide to how we spent our 48 hours courtesy of the London Pass:
- Wembley Stadium Tour – £19 saving
- Kensington Palace – £15 saving
- Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour – £22 saving
- Westminster Abbey – £20 saving
- Royal Albert Hall – $12.25 saving
- Thames River Boat Cruise – £18 saving
You may be thinking that we didn’t see much during our time in London, but even with a basic itinerary like this you will save quite a bit of money purchasing the London Pass. Let’s take a look at the savings of the London Pass versus paying at the individual attractions.
The 2-day London Pass costs £75 per person (£55 for children). As you can see above, the total of the attractions we visited was £106.25 so over £30 savings each! The beauty of the attractions we visited is that we were able to experience a little bit of everything, from the history and heritage of Kensington Palace to the world-famous sporting venue that is Wembley Stadium.
Both the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour and Thames River Boat Cruise offer an opportunity for visitors to catch an ‘overview’ of London and these are both great ways to get around especially if you choose to decline the Oyster travel card option.
Throw in some time to sample the fine cuisine throughout London and of course, a little retail therapy in Harrods and your time in London will be over before you know it!
I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of purchasing a London Pass. Even with the ‘light’ itinerary that we experienced above, you can see the value in cost-savings in addition to the other benefits mentioned.
London is a city that will capture your soul the minute you set foot outside of Heathrow airport, so it is critical that you are well-prepared and the London Pass will certainly point you in the right direction to achieving good preparation.
We strongly recommend purchasing one of these passes with the Oyster travelcard included so that it is a breeze once you arrive at the multitude of London Underground stations. With the hectic London lifestyle, it can be an overwhelming experience fighting the hoards of people scrambling to board the Tube, so to have a travelcard handy in your pocket will make this experience a little less stressful.
The ultimate experience in London is exploring this beautiful city and spending as much time as you can checking out everything there is to do there. With the London Pass, your time is maximized so be sure to consider this the next time you are heading to the English capital!
Disclaimer – We were provided 2 complimentary 2-day passes for our trip. These are solely our personal opinions/experiences and we were not financially compensated for this post.