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Should I Go With the London Go Pass?

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

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Let's talk about the Go City Explorer Pass for London. I have never used this pass so I'm evaluating it purely from what I'm reading and calculating.

First of all, the biggest PRO for me is that once you activate your pass, you have 60 days to use the credits you purchased. This allows for flexibility, which is my biggest issue with the London Pass. You aren't force to start the timer and then finish in a certain number of consecutive days as with the London Pass. I am not a fan of strict schedules because London is full of discoveries. If you have to run from one attraction to the other in 2 or 3 days, you will miss being able to stop and see something else that caught your eye.

The CON I am seeing in the Go City Explorer Pass is that Windsor Castle is NOT included and they seem to be a bit sneaky about that. They have a Windsor Hop on Hop Off tour bus that says, "See Windsor Castle", but they really mean from the outside.

Another CON is a bit of dishonesty about attractions. Some of them on their list that they say, "Just show your pass" are free anyway. For example, Southwark Cathedral on the Southbank. I highly recommend it. It sits on the edge of Borough Market. My GGG grandparents were married there in the mid-1800's so it has a special place in my heart. But, there isn't an entrance fee.

Also, the Natural History Museum is free to enter but your pass gets you a free guidebook.

Okay, but I wouldn't bother buying a "credit" for that.

As far as value for price goes - it's okay. You'll save a bit.

I added up a 5-credit package with the most popular attractions that many tourists want to see the 5-credit pass ends up saving you about £20.

St. Paul's Cathedral

The attractions are:

The Tower of London (£29.90)

Westminster Abbey (£27.00)

St Paul's Cathedral (£21.00)

Kensington Palace (£16.00)

Hampton Court Palace (£25.30)

Total for buying your own tickets is £119.20

Total for a 5-choice Go Pass: £99.00

If you removed Hampton Court Palace because it really is nearly a full day outside London and you may not take the time to go and you purchased a 4-choice pass, you are £93.90 vs £80 for a 4-choice pass. So you'd save £13.90.

DO look through the choices very carefully and only buy what you KNOW you want to see and will do. You can't get a refund for unused credits (although you can get a refund for the pass before you activate it) and you can't purchase additional credits if you decide you didn't buy enough. As they say in nursery school, "you get what you get, and you don't throw a fit."

Just looking at the list, there are some things I would not buy a credit for even if they are somewhat popular. You probably won't get the value out of them because you'll quickly decide it wasn't that useful.

Hop On Hop Off bus - you'll ride it once and the realize you're spending all your time waiting for the next bus. Just get on the red buses or the tube. It's faster and cheaper.

London Traffic

River Cruise - this isn't the Thames Clipper Uber Boat, it's a city cruise boat that only has 4 stops in London. The boats look like they are 40 minutes apart. If you arrive just after the boat leaves, you're stuck waiting for 40 minutes. Even the Thames Clipper Uber Boat isn't an efficient way to get around because they only come like every 30 minutes. But, ride the Uber Boat once - you tap on and off like the tube and take it from Millbank Pier to The Tower of London. Enjoy the trip and then don't take it again unless you're going to Greenwich and want to take the boat. You simply will not spend the day cruising the river for a full credit, so don't buy it.

SO, the Send Me to London Breakdown is that I feel like this is a slightly better option than the London Pass mostly because you have 59 days after the first time you use your pass to use all your credits. You aren't stuck running all over for 3 calendar days to see everything to get your money's worth. You can go at your own pace based on the length of your trip.

BUT, be sure to REALLY ONLY BUY the credits you will use. Attach an activity to a credit purchase so you aren't stuck at Swingers doing indoor mini golf the last day to use up your last credit when you really want to be having a picnic in Hyde Park.

Don't just buy a certain amount of credits and assume you'll figure out where you're going to use them.

Get you LondonCity Go Pass here:

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