Can Sightseeing Passes Save You Money?

In late February, my sister and I are traveling to France to board a five-day cruise on the new MSC Bellissima. The short sailing will leave the shipyard in France and sail directly to Southampton, UK. From there, my sister and I have a few extra days planned in London to see all the sights.

For this particular trip, I opted to purchase us a two-day London Pass. If you’re unfamiliar how sightseeing passes work, they basically let you pay upfront for entrance to a certain number of included attractions. While I don’t think every sightseeing pass is a good deal, I tend to believe the London Pass, Roma Pass, and New York Pass provide exceptional value if you plan to utilize your pass to its fullest.

Using the London Pass for Two Days in March

Once I worked up our March London itinerary, I opted to purchase two-day London Pass with transportation for my sister and I. This pass set us back 114 BPs each, which isn’t cheap!

To get the most out of the London Pass (or any other sightseeing pass), you just need to visit enough sights to make the savings worth it. In other words, figure out how much the sights you want to see cost to get into, then tally them up and compare that to what you’ll pay for the sightseeing pass you might buy.

As an example, my sister and I plan to take advantage of the following London Pass inclusions in London at minimum:

  • Tower of London: 26.80 BPs
  • Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour: 34 BPs
  • Thames River Cruise: 18.75 BPs
  • Windsor Castle: 22.50 BPs
  • Westminster Abbey: 22 BPs

This seems like a lot to accomplish in a few days, but we plan to hit the ground running. The best part is, we’ll save money with the London Pass. Not only do our planned stops add up to 124 BPs (a $10 savings over the London Pass) but we also get free unlimited transportation on London’s massive underground subway system. Many of the sights on the list also include fast track entry, which could help you score even more value since skipping the line can help you save time.

Should You Buy a Sightseeing Pass?

Before you buy a sightseeing pass for your next big city adventure, you should take the time to figure out which attractions you have time to see. It may make more sense to pay entry fees as you go if you plan to move at a slower pace or have kids along, but a sightseeing pass can provide enormous value if you plan to see as much as you can like we do.


What is your favorite sightseeing pass? Why?

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