There’s a reason why London is one of the greatest cities in the world. The English capital is sophisticated, historical–yet ultra modern–with an infusion of diverse culture, food, arts, music and of course, good British ale. Plus, Brits are super stylish and know how to have a good time–think Prince Harry! And they have cool accents.
There are so many things to do that it’s impossible to take it all in on one trip. So, to make the most of your time, I recommend getting the London Pass, which allows you access to over 60 attractions for free.
How does it work? You can purchase the pass online and either pick it up when you arrive in London, have it mailed to your house, or downloaded to your smartphone, which I personally think is the best option.
You can buy the pass for 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 days, and it activates as soon as you visit your first attraction. You will even get to skip the line at several places, and to save even more, you can add on an Oyster card that covers your public transportation needs.
I’ve been to this city several times, but this was my first experience using the London Pass. I absolutely loved it because not only is it an amazing deal that saves you lots of cash, but I went to places I never would have before, which enhanced my time in London that much more.
Here are some of the fun things I did in one day. It can be done if you get an early start and manage your time well.
1. Shakespeare’s Globe
If you love literature and arts, then you have to check out Shakespeare’s Globe. During the 30 minute guided tour of the reconstructed Elizabethan theatre on the south bank of the River Thames, you’ll learn about the infamous playwright and see how plays were staged in Shakespeare’s day. In addition, you can explore the indoor museum at your own pace. Note: You can take photos during the tour, but no video.
2. Tower Bridge Exhibition
Not to be confused with the Tower of London, which is nearby but totally different. At the Tower Bridge, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how the world’s most famous bridge operates and how it was created. You’ll also see the most beautiful panoramic views of the city and have the opportunity to daringly walk across high level glass floor panels that let you see London from a unique standpoint. If you’re afraid of heights like I am, then you can skip this part, but you do a get sticker if you can do it. You’ll also have access to the victorian engine rooms that have been preserved below the bridge.
3. London Bridge Experience and Tombs
At this attraction you can experience the terror of a haunted house all year round. There are two parts to this one: First, you will be guided through medieval-style rooms below the London Bridge, each with a different theatrical rendition of some of the city’s darkest history, with live actors. Next up are the tombs, which is where the real horror begins! It’s been rated as the U.K.’s scariest attraction, and after going through it myself, I concur! You will come face-to-face with evil clowns and other frightening creatures that will chase you, so don’t go alone. This part is not a guided tour, but you will be given instructions on what to do, and you will be with other visitors. If you like being scared then you’ll have a great time, but you will leave screaming!
4. Tower of London (Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress)
You could spend hours at this historic castle exploring the numerous buildings and admiring the royal crown jewels, so allow time for this attraction. One thing you must do is take a free tour with a Beefeater, which is a ceremonial guardian of the Tower of London. Nobody knows why they’re called Beefeaters, but they’re hilarious, knowledgable, and give great tours.
5. River Thames Cruise
Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Along the way to your next destination, you’ll see great views of the city onboard a river ferry. You can buy snacks and drinks on board, and the boat in enclosed, so weather is not a factor.
6. The Shard
It’s one of the most recognizable buildings in London and home to high-end retailers, restaurants and a hotel! It’s also one of the best places to take in the most stunning views of London. You can go to the top of the skyscraper to enjoy ‘The View from the Shard,’ which boasts a 360-degree view for up to 40 miles of the city. In addition, you can make reservations for afternoon tea at one of the restaurants, or you can stop in for a cocktail at any of the bars. Going to the top of the Shard isn’t free with the pass, but you do get a discount so definitely add this to your must see places.
This isn’t on the list of attractions you can visit with the London Pass, but it’s something you absolutely must do at least once. It’s a spectacular and cool way to see breathtaking views of London. Located on the South Bank of the River Thames, the Coco-Cola London Eye was launched in 2000 and is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel, which means it’s supported ay an A-frame on only one side. Here’s some fun facts about London’s most iconic attraction:
– Kate Moss has been on the Coco-Cola London Eye 25 times, which is the record for a U.K. celebrity.
– More than 3.5 million visitors ride the Eye every year.
– There are 32 capsules, one for each borough of the city. However, they’re numbered from 1-33 because there isn’t a number 13. It skips from 12 to 14 for superstitious reasons.
– A ride takes 30 minutes to go around completely, and travels at a speed of 0.6 miles.
– More than 5,000 people have gotten engaged on the Eye.
Tips: Get there early or book your tickets online in advance, and consider the fast track option. There is always an insane amount of people waiting in line, so to avoid spending hours here, pay a little more to jump the queues. It’s worth it!
Also check out the other cool options like the champagne or chocolate experience, or booking a private capsule.
In addition to the numerous things you can do and see with The London Pass, there are always special offers and discounts on theatre tickets and other great experiences.
The London Pass help makes your trip more affordable, simple and effortless. The pass is incredibly easy to use, and there’s even an app you can download that gives you helpful tips.
Every city should have a pass like this!
For more information go to https://www.londonpass.com/