If you are planning a trip to London, the best advice I can give you is to purchase a London Pass. The London Pass is an all-inclusive sightseeing card, that gets you free entry to many must do experiences in London and its surrounding area. Not only does it give you free entry, but you also get to by-pass many lines that can save you a lot of time.
There are 5 durations you choose from (1, 2, 3, 6 & 10 days). This means you can tailor the pass to the time you have in London. And if you know you will be traveling using the Underground, you also have the option to add your Oyster travel card.
Believe me, the London Pass is worth the cost because it not only save your money, but time.
20 Must Do Experiences for London Pass Holders
- Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
- Tower of London
- Westminster Abbey
- Tower Bridge
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
- Churchill War Rooms
- Royal Mews
- Kensington Palace
- Hampton Court Palace
- Windsor Castle
- Golden Hinde
- Royal Observatory
- The Queen’s Gallery
- Wellington Arch
- Kew Gardens
- Thames River Boat Cruise
Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour
If you are looking for a way of seeing London without having to navigate the transportation, nothing beats a Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour. You can take the double-decker, open-top bus for a comfortable sightseeing excursion to over 100 attractions like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Cleopatra’s Needle. It is one of our favorite ways to get a great overview of the city while giving our feet a rest. Read our detailed guide to why you should take a Big Bus tour of London.
Tower of London
Located on the banks of the Thames, this large complex is both a Royal Palace and a Fortress and was once a prison that held such notable figures as Sir Walter Raleigh. Your time at the Tower of London can be spent going through the Royal Armory and Crown Jewels, among other things. Read our list of 10 Things to See at the Tower of London.
Visit the place where Prince William and Kate Middleton got married. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only a church but also the burial place for some of the most esteemed British intellectuals such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Charles Dickens.
The Tower Bridge is one of the most photographed landmarks in London and an engineering marvel. With your ticket, you will be able to go to the top where you will find not only beautiful views of the Thames, but also the history on how this bridge was built over a century ago. Read our review of the Tower Bridge Exhibition tour.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Designed by Britain’s most famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren, this cathedral sits at one of the highest points in what’s known as “The City” section of London. You can climb the Dome to the Whispering, Stone and Golden galleries and even go below the Cathedral floor to experience the Crypt.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
If you ever wondered what theater was like during the time of William Shakespeare, here is your chance to find out. This Globe theater is a reconstruction of the original Elizabethan playhouse built in 1599. It has an authentic timber frame, thatched roof with an open-air stage. Not only can you watch a play here (extra ticket) but you can see an exhibition featuring items that were found on the original Globe theater site. Read our post on what you can expect during your time touring the Globe Theater.
Churchill War Rooms
When London was under attack during WWII, Churchill commanded forces from an underground bunker below the vast Westminster government complex. Now known as the Churchill War Rooms, you can walk in this great man’s footsteps. You will see where he and other key war planners ate, slept, and made some of the most important decisions during the second World War.
Ever wonder who cares for the Queens horses and the coaches & carriages that are used in ceremonies? The Royal Mews gives you the chance to see the royal collection of historic coaches and carriages up close. The most magnificent is the the Gold State Coach, which has been used at every coronation since that of George IV in 1821.
The official residence of the Will & Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kensington Palace has a rich history that dates back to the 1600’s. If you watch the PBS series Victoria, you will be happy to know that there is an exhibition that details Queen Victoria’s long and extraordinary life. There is also an exhibition featuring the gowns and outfits worn by Princess Diana.
Hampton Court Palace
If you want to see where King Henry VIII spent most of his life, Hampton Court palace is the place. The free guided tour will give you a unique perspective on this enormous palace and grounds. Check out what you can expect to see at Hampton Court Palace and why this is one of my favorite must do experiences for London.
Okay, I know this isn’t in London proper, but it is close enough to make it on this list. There is nothing quite like seeing Windsor Castle. Built in the 11th century, it is easy to see why this is Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite weekend home.
One of our must do experiences for London is seeing Evensong at St George’s Chapel. This is where Harry & Megan were married and it is a pretty amazing experience to sit inside! Wondering what else you can do in Windsor? We have a great list of day trip ideas for Windsor.
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to sail a 16th century ship, here is your chance to check one out. Board the full-size reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s flagship, the Golden Hinde, and listen to tales of life aboard the Elizabethan Galleon ship.
This is another spot that isn’t in London, but just down the road in Greenwich. While I wasn’t a huge fan of this attraction overall, nothing quite beats standing on the Prime Meridian. It’s one of those things you really should do while here! It also has some of the most beautiful views of London!
The Queen’s Gallery
Royal Collection Trust maintains the Royal Collection, one of the most important art collections in the world. The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace allows you to see some of it with their revolving exhibitions. Currently, they are showcasing Splendours of the Subcontinent celebrating South Asian treasures, but in 2019 they will have an exhibition featuring Leonardo da Vinci.
The original entrance to Buckingham Palace, the Wellington Arch provides views over the Royal Parks, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben & More once you climb to the top. Inside, you will also find an exhibition on the history.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kew Gardens have a history that dates back to King Henry VII. You will not find any other garden like this one in the world and it is worth taking time to walk among the more than 30,000 different types of plants & flowers.
Thames River Cruise
Give your feet a rest and hop on board a river cruise that takes you up & down the Thames passing by some important London landmarks. You will get to see the Houses of Parliament, London Bridge, Tower of London, Big Ben & more.
You will notice that we don’t include any museums on our must do experiences for London Pass Holders. That is because the London Museums are FREE for everyone, regardless if you have a London Pass or not. The above list is just tailored for London Pass holders so you can see that you will get your money’s worth by purchasing a London pass.
Have you purchased the London Pass? What are your must do experiences for London Pass holders?