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Cheapest Option to Visit London for 3 Days

Cheapest Option to Visit London for 3 Days

Apr 26th, 2014, 08:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 23
Cheapest Option to Visit London for 3 Days

A group of 8 of us, ages ranging from early 20s to early 80s will be visiting London in May for 3 days. We would like to see all the major attractions, and would like to know which would be both the cheapest, as well as least strenuous option? We have to bear in mind that it will be difficult for the 80+ travelers to climb downstairs/upstairs all the time at the tube stations.

Here are the options we have been considering:

1) London Pass vs. Purchase Tickets for Individual Attractions

Advantage of London Pass: can bypass all the queues at the attractions.

Disadvantage: The cost of the London Pass would be much more than what we would actually be able to see in 3 days.

2) Travel Pass vs Taxicabs

Advantage of Travel Pass: can board any tube or bus by just showing the pass.

Disadvantage: May be more expensive for 8 people to each have their own Travel Pass than getting 2 taxicabs each time.

Alternative suggestions are more than welcome! Thanks.
ManishaD is offline  
Apr 26th, 2014, 08:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,220
>>1) London Pass << Not a good idea at all.

If you all get paper travel cards (bought in a train station) you can use the 2for1 discounts. http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/?gclid...FU5afgodInoADw

The buses are MUCH easier that the tube for the mobility challenged

For a 3 day visit - you'll each want 3 one-day zone 1-2 paper travel cards

In 'real life' what you likely do is a combo of some buses, some cabs, and maybe the tube.
janisj is online now  
Apr 26th, 2014, 08:57 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 23
Thanks, janisj. I like the suggestion about the travel cards. Will they still enable us to bypass the queues at the respective attractions we visit?

Regarding the 2for1, let me prioritize a list of the attractions, and then see which ones accept the 2for1 offer.
ManishaD is offline  
Apr 26th, 2014, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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>>Will they still enable us to bypass the queues at the respective attractions we visit?<<

No - but the only place the London Pass really saves any sort of queueing is at the Tower of London. Except for the Tower there really are few queues of any length. The way to beat the lines at the Tower is to get there just before opening time.

And even the few places where the LP might save a few minutes in a short line . . . you'd still have to queue for security screening.
janisj is online now  
Apr 27th, 2014, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 24
If you've got a group, it's often cheaper or at least not more expensive to use a taxi. Rarely faster, but infinitely easier. The underground stations steps are especially unfriendly to the handicapped or elderly.
nononora is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 07:46 AM
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nononora: If there are eight people in their group they are unlikely to find a big enough taxi to take all of them, unless they prebook it. That means splitting up in at least two and maybe even three taxis. I doubt that would be much cheaper. On the other hand, you're right about the unfriendly steps.
anyegr is online now  
Apr 27th, 2014, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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I like the bus. Easy on easy off. You can get just about anywhere.
stokebailey is offline  
Apr 27th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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Check out the bus map in the TfL visitors' guide:

Bear in mind that the 2for1 options is tied to tickets issued by the National Rail companies NOT TfL (both issue travelcards valid for use on the buses and the tube) - so you would need to go to a National Rail station near where you're staying. You should be able to buy them all at the same time if you make it clear to the desk clerk you also want them for the next two days. Don't forget that you also get one-third off riverboat tickets if you have a travelcard.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 233
We're visiting London right now and got the 7-day paper travelcards for the 2-4-1. We used it for the Tower of London, London Bridge, and London Eye--all places we had wanted to go to anyway. The savings more-than-paid for one of the travelcards.

Husband still having jet lag issues, and my well-worn-in comfy shoes suddenly gave me horrific blisters on one heel. But we're walking around a lot despite this, though today was an "off" day, due to laundry needing to be done and the strike messing things up.

I'd get the paper travelcards if you're going to see places that are covered. These last five days, we'll probably just Oyster it.
propita is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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HUH? London Bridge is free to walk across or under or, if you're divine, through.

The 2for1 will cover the Tower, Churchill War Rooms and potentially St. Paul's. The savings on the Tower for the 8 of you will pay for a big lunch.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 12:53 PM
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I think you will have to break up into smaller groups - based on not just capacity for getting around quickly - but also level of interest in different things.

We went with DC with my parents when they were in their late 70's and most days they went back to the hotel about 3 pm to rest (and we had really slowed down to their pace in the am). Not a problem since we had seen much before, but we saved things they weren't up to or for until the later afternoon. Also, a couple of evenings we either ate in the hotel restaurant - or they had room service - when we went for an 8 pm dinner.

There is no way all 8 people can do this trip joined at the hip and enjoy it.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 02:56 PM
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Because of your age differences, some people will want to do different things. My son and I (I was in my 30s and he in his late teens) each got London Passes and filled our days doing wonderful things such as the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral (we walked the entire way up and got magnificent views of London... but I couldn't do that now), The London Dungeon, The Sherlock Holmes museum, the Vinopolus (for an extravaganza of wine tasting), Kensington Palace, ice skating at the Queens Ice and Skate, and many other things. We were in London for 10 days, though, and got plenty of use out of the Passes. Your 20-somethings may like Nameco Station- at the County Building and full of dynamic games. The London Eye should be done at least by the eldest of your group. Sunset is a magnificent time to see London from the air. To get to a far distance fast, we used the Tube; for shorter distances, we used the buses. Beware, though: the Tube has many stairs in some places! You may want to have a game plan for who's going where when and break up into groups. As an English speaking town, even the youngest of your group should be fine on their own. There is so much to see in London and it's nearby country side. A year later, we went back for another 10 days and got the London Passes with Travelcards as well. Taxis are super expensive and should be used as a last resort, in my opinion. Depending on where you are staying, it might behoove you to find a little store/grocer (like Tesco) nearby to purchase sodas, snacks, fruits, etc. Food for hungry 20 year olds cost a lot! No matter, you will have a great time!
Beachnurse29572 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 03:24 PM
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Do not buy the London Pass.

Waste of money.

You have three days in London. You'll likely want to see the Tower of London because: it's the Tower of London. You'll likely want to see Westminster Abbey. You'll need daily travelcards. And then you can go to each one of the following - all or any combination - for the sum total of NO ADMISSION:

Tate Modern
Tate Britain
Imperial War Museum
National Maritime Museum
Museum of London
V&A Museum
National Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
British Museum
British Library

So you'd need a London Pass for . . . what, some secondary or tertiary attraction or overpriced tourist traps?

Get the Travelcards at national rail stations to use with the 2for1 and you'll be fine. (see daysoutguide.co.uk)

And go to the Transport for London website to get information on easy Tube riding for the elder generations.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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The London Pass is not worth it if you only have three days--will never get to all the sites you want to see in such a short period of time. We used it but we had the 6 day pass and we were there for 10 days. As BigRuss says, don't forget the fabulous world class free museums--they should be on your list too--British Museum, National Gallery, Imperial War Museum if re-opened etc.

Propita--I encountered the same thing with the blisters on well worn shoes at home but when traveling in London they are suddenly not so comfortable. Go to the nearest Boots and ask for compeed for your blisters. You will be very happy you did.
europeannovice is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,134
If some of your party finds stairs a problem, and if you want to keep your whole party together, the ONLY way of organising things is to avoid the tube. Stick to buses, with very occasional emergency uses of taxis.

In practice, you'll quickly realise that the ability (and desire) of the group to get about varies from individual to individual, and you'll break into subgroups.

But the problem with the tube is that every journey involves moving around within at least two (and often several more) stations, each differently accessible. Accessibility details on the TfL websites has to generalise about a complex picture (At Paddington, for example, the Bakerloo line is a very great deal more accessible than the District line, and the accessibilty of the Circle Line depends on which direction you're travelling)

Life's just too short to plan short journeys so meticulously, especially when buses are so convenient (and so well signed) and cabs easily hailed - most of the time - on the street.

In fairness, central London doesn't have the endless stairs, with no alternative, that can crop up in New York. Some "inaccessibility" problems shown on the maps involve just half a dozen steps, which no-one in your party might cavil at. But you can't conclude from one calibration test that everyone's going to manage every station.

School yourselves to rely on buses.
flanneruk is offline  
May 1st, 2014, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 233
@ europeannovice

Thanks again! I thanked you in the other thread, too!

We got the 7-dat travelcards for the two of us, and renewed them, since we are here 12 days. We saved basically the cost of two of the cards, so that's not bad. Two main days left--Kensington museums (we had a quick visit already, this will be the day) and Greenwich. Then rest up for Paris.
propita is offline  

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