Europe Travel: How to See London on a Budget

About the London Pass

With a population of more than 8.2 million people, visiting the city of London, England, can appear to be a daunting task. While it is impossible to experience every site in one or even two visits, The London Pass has made exploring “The Big Smoke” more convenient — and easier on the wallet.

Launched in 1998, The London Pass’s team of travel experts has provided clients freedom to craft their itineraries on their own terms. Offering 1, 2, 3, 6, and 10 day pass options, sites such as Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, and the London Zoo are just a few of the more than 80 attractions available.

I utilised a One Day pass to experience two of the city’s most popular attractions: The View at the Shard, and a River Thames Boat Cruise with City Cruises.

Read below to learn more about how to use and purchase The London Pass, and recommendations for a possible itinerary using a One Day Pass:

How It Works

Purchasing a pass is quick and easy:
1. Visit and click “Prices” under the top left-hand drop down menu.
2. Select your pass duration (1, 2, 3, 6, or 10 days) and select purchase. Viola!
3. Download The London Pass app on your mobile phone and insert your Verification Code. The pass will automatically appear in your app for you to scan at each attraction. Easy-peasy!
Tip: The app also allows you to research the details of each attraction. Learn about hours of operation, when to arrive, and if Skip-the-line access is available.


Stop 1: The View at The Shard

Standing at 1,016 feet high, The Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the sixth tallest building in the European Union. Resembling a shard of glass, it was opened in 2012 after a four year construction period.

On the 69th and 72nd floors, The View at The Shard offers unparalleled views of the city from two observation decks. With The London Pass, you can enjoy skip-the-line access and a discount on a glass of crisp Moet & Chandon champaign as you swoon over the city below.

Different vantage points provide views of some of London’s most renowned sites including the Houses of Parliament and Canary Wharf. For a closer-up view, The Shard’s digital telescopes allow you to zoom in on attractions of your choice to take in every last detail.

Tip: Arrive at the location 30 minutes before opening (9:30am) to get in the queue. Even with skip-the-line access, The View at The Shard is a very popular attraction. Other people with skip-the-line access will begin to line up early to get the perfect, crowd-free shot.

In between stop: Covent Garden

Known for its cluster of high end shops and Instagrammable store fronts, Covent Garden is the perfect location to take a break. From the Shard, the Jubilee and Waterloo lines are the easiest and most direct ways to access the best streets and alleyways. Here, it is recommended to visit:
Neal’s Yard: this tiny side street is one of the most beautiful in London. Here, you can eat and shop at some of London’s most colourfully decorated stores.

SushiSamba: There are countless restaurants and bars you can hang your hat on in Covent Garden, but one of the most renowned restaurants is SushiSamba. Located inside of the Market Building, guests can sip on sake, signature cocktails, and snack on sashimi. The interior of the restaurant is also swoon-worthy.
A Broadway show: You don’t have to be in New York City to enjoy a broadway show — Covent Garden has a wide range of theater performances that are fun for all ages. The Lion King at Lyceum Theatre and Waitress at Adelphi Theatre are just a couple of the popular options chosen by theatre-goers.

After you’ve purveyed your way through one of the city’s most romantic neighbourhoods, hop on the Piccadilly line to the Westminster tube stop. Do this before sunset to catch a glimpse of Big Ben and the London Eye at golden hour.

Stop 2: Thames River Cruise with City Cruises

Snaking its way past some of London’s most iconic sites, the River Thames is one of the most well-known rivers in the world. The longest river in England, many people explore its banks from the Cotswolds to London proper. With The London Pass, sightseers can get a glimpse of some attractions like Big Ben, The London Eye, and Tower Bridge.

The opportunities to witness London on a budget are endless with the purchase of a London Pass. With travel tips for each attraction and special perks, experiencing one Europe’s most posh cities is only a click away.

Visit to plan your perfect trip today before prices go up in March!


**this post was created in partnership with The London Pass.

28 replies to “Europe Travel: How to See London on a Budget”

  1. I visited London back in 2013 on a short trip but sadly only had half a a day in the city. Can’t wait to return to the city and explore all it has to offer. Will definitely have to save this post for my visit, using the London Pass sounds very convenient!

  2. I’ve been to London so many times and have yet to go up the Shard or take a cruise of the Thames. When I finally can do them, the London Pass seems like a great way to save some money.

    1. Ohhh yay glad I could introduce you to it! It’s such a useful card and helps save money on sightseeing and transportation. The best of both worlds! I hope you get to use it someday 🙂

  3. This is very timely as I plan to visit London this summer. The City Cruises sound perfect, and I especially love the view of London Bridge from the Shard! Once I know how long I’ll be in town, I’ll know which pass to get. Thanks for these useful tips!

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