a VirtualTourist member from Los Angeles
Hello, we will be traveling to London next month and I was wondering where can we get tickets to the main attractions at a discounted price. Is that possible? Like the Tower of London, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, etc.
If you are traveling with someone you can discounts to the Tower of London and the London Eye plus lots more by buying a travelcard for the tube and buses at a RAIL STATION, NOT a tube station, you can buy these for a day or a week. You then print out vouchers from this website and you get 2 for 1 entry
BTW, if you buy the 7 day travelcard, I believe you now need a photocard so bring a passport size photo with you
I don't think I've ever seen Buckingham Palace discounts but if you are going in April it's not open anyway, only in the summer.
That's great but we won't be traveling by train and for what I read in the link you need to present your train tickets. Is that right?
We will be in London from May 4th to the 10th.
u may want to check the London Pass...
It's a loophole that they've left open, you can get the two for one discounts if you buy your London travelcards at a RAIL station (ie Victoria, Waterloo, Paddington, King's Cross etc). If you buy a weekly travelcard, which you might want to if you are there for 7 days, you go to the rail station window and buy a 7 day travelcard (saves money over buying daily passes once you hit day 4 or 5) for the zones you need (usually just 1-2) and then you can present the travelcard along with the vouchers at the attractions. I have done it lots of times and they do accept them.
You might want to read the FAQ for the 2 for 1 offers, it's a very fine distinction but they note that
"London Underground issued tickets (including Travelcards issued by London Underground ticket offices and agents) and Eurostar-issued tickets are NOT valid and will not be accepted at any attraction."
But "National Rail issued tickets include Off-Peak, Super Off-Peak, Travelcard, Advance, Anytime, Season Tickets, GroupSave and various promotional travel tickets that may be issued from time to time, etc..." are valid, Travelcard being the part that you would be buying to get around London
Be careful with the London Pass, most people do not get their money's worth out of it and the transport component is especially high priced. So much of London is free, most of the major museums for example-the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the V&A, Natural History, Science, the National Gallery, the Museum of London. If you are trying to get value out of the London Pass, you'd probably end up having to skip many of those.
Someone on Trip Advisor put a lot of work into comparing the 2 for 1 offers to the London Pass, here's the link
This site is very good with lots of information about London, and they also have a section notifying you of special offers. Don't forget that most London Museums are free and there are lots to see in the beautiful parks of London.
If you're not going to use the train, don't worry. Why not go to the nearest overground train station where you're staying and buy the cheapest ticket available. It would normally be about £2.00. You can then use that as your train ticket. You don't have to use it on the train! It would pay for itself when you use it on one of the more expensive attractions. It has to have the old BR logo on the ticket which is why underground tickets are no good.
At the station you'll also be able to pick up a leaflet on the 2 for 1's which has the vouchers in the back of it which you just fill in.
When I used the 2 for 1 at St Paul's recently, they didn't even ask to look at the train ticket, they weren't interested, so you could chance your luck!
A lot of the major attractions stop their discounts on 31 March this year. I've never seen Buckingham Palace discounted, and you can buy London Eye/ river cruise combination tickets which work out slightly cheaper. Many of the major attractions are so busy they don't need to discount.
"It has to have the old BR logo on the ticket which is why underground tickets are no good."
That is true if they are bought at an underground/tube station. If you buy the travelcards at the rail station, it still works on the underground/tube (and buses and DLR), it just has the crows foot rail logo on it. If you buy it at a tube station, it doesn't have the logo and technically it doesn't work at the attractions with the vouchers. If you use an Oyster card instead of the travelcard that also doesn't work. I just want to make sure I'm being clear since you are not familiar with London.
The last few times I've used them they have asked to see my rail tickets and I assume they are looking for the crows foot logo. You can buy at any rail station, those are the stations marked on this map with the crowsfoot logo (look at Victoria for example)
Actually after investigating more it looks like I can use the Gatwick/Stansted Express tickets so I can use the discount. Thanks so much!
Yes, it's right on their page. Note the bold paragraph that says which tickets are invalid
And you might want to read through this, if you have a ticket for the Gatwick Express then it is only good for the day you arrive, if you buy a return ticket then you can use for the whole time you are in London, details, details :-)
"What period of time will my train tickets be valid to claim the offers?
If you hold Return train tickets which are valid for more than one day on the return journey, e.g. Off-Peak Returns to London valid for one month, you can use them to claim any of the offers within that same one month period of return travel validity.
If for example you buy Return tickets to London, outbound on a Monday and returning on a Friday, you will be able to use the vouchers throughout the Monday-Friday period, provided you show both outward and return portions of your tickets (remember to tell the train company staff that you need to keep your outward tickets!).
If for example you are buying single tickets, e.g.Advance tickets to London for a one-way journey on a Monday, and Advance tickets for departing London on a Friday you will be able to use the vouchers during the Monday-Friday period, provided you show both outward and return tickets (remember to tell the train company staff that you need to keep your outward tickets!).
Please always remember to present your valid rail tickets alongside your 2FOR1 and special offers/admission vouchers at the attractions box office.
Remember - don't put your outward tickets into the gateline to be swallowed up. Show them to a member of rail staff who can let you through the gate"
This is great advice. Thank you so much. I am returning through HEATHROW can I buy a Stansted Express and return Heatrow express (or something like it)? Would that work? I don't see Heathrow in the website as possibility.
Heathrow Express is not part of National Rail so I don't think that is a possibility.
Are you not buying any kind of transportation card for London itself? How are you planning on getting around?
Oh no! It says that Heathrow Express Tickets are not included. Is there another way to get to Heathrow by train that is not the express one and I can still get the discount? Do you know? TIA
I don't think so. But if you buy a travelcard at a rail station for the time you are in London that will take care of you for your entire visiti
I am not sure. I am not familiar with the city but we will be staying close to the Tower Bridge so I thought by underground or bus. What do you suggest?
Too bad the London Eye offer ends on April 30th and I get there on May 4th to the 10th.
Can I use the travel card for buses or underground? How much is a travel card? Thanks so much for your advice! It helps me a lot.
A 7 day travelcard for central London (zones 1-2) is 30.60£. That covers travel on buses anywhere in London, the tube and DLR in zones 1-2. You can buy the travelcard at the RAIL station at Victoria where the Gatwick Express and trains from Gatwick go and then you don't need to worry about any other tickets for the 2 for 1s
BTW there are two train lines that go into Victoria Station and take only about 5 minutes more than the Gatwick Express. The train is 12.90£ per person, the Gatwick Express is 17.70£ although if you are flying in on EasyJet, they may have discounts (which isn't good for the 2 for 1s)
That Spreadsheet is great! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you everyone for your great advice. I know that many of the museums are free but I am traveling with a 2 year old and I don't think we could go to many of the museums with him. Are any of them fun for a child that age? I love museums! We will go for sure to the British Museum and last time I went to London I couldn't do the Tower of London so I definitely want to do that. My husband wants to go to the London Eye and Albert Hall and it gets pricey! The two for one deal looks great but looks like many of them expire in April but the Tower of London expires in October so that's great. Thanks again!
They do renew the offers but the London Eye tends to be seasonal so it may not renew until later in the year. You might look into the Science Museum for the 2 year old, there was a great hands on section but I went there with older kids (12-14) so I'm not sure if it's good for a 2 year old. There are guidebooks geared to kids, maybe pick one up on Amazon or at a bookstore (if you can still find one!)
A two-year-old will enjoy the Natural Histoy Museum, I think. Maybe not the dinosaurs yet, but there are also exhibitions where he can point out some animals he knows. He may also like the creepy crawlies.
If the weather is nice, take him to Kensington Gardens. Children love the playground there.
This is great to know. Thank you so much!
Actually I am flying into STANSTED. Is there a cheaper train that I can get from there and to Heatrow that I can use with the 2for1? Do you know?
Stansted Express looks to be the only train.
I still say that getting a paper travelcard from a rail station is going to be your best option for the 2 for 1. The ticket from the airport, even if it qualifies, will only be good for the day you arrive.