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What London tickets/passes did you buy before you left the U.S.?

What London tickets/passes did you buy before you left the U.S.?

Old Aug 26th, 2002, 10:00 AM
  #1  
ric
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What London tickets/passes did you buy before you left the U.S.?

I'll be traveling to London for a week in October and was wondering what experiences people had buying London tickets and passes in the U.S. before their trips. What tickets (to the top tourists attractions, tube passes, discount cards, etc.) and passes are a must to buy before you go and which ones are best left bought when you get there.
 
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 10:47 AM
  #2  
janis
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Don't buy ANY ahead of time. The only exception is theatre tickets for a FEW of the biggest sellouts. Otherwise, Transport passes are cheaper in London, the London Pass is no bargain, and theatre tickets are available everyday 1/2 price at the TKTS booth at Leicester Square.

Plus most museums and galleries are free and no tickets are necessary.
 
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 10:51 AM
  #3  
Laura
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All I would get ahead of time would be theatre tickets to a popular musical to make sure I'd get to see it ....some are sold out months in advance.
 
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #4  
raisa
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Janis is right. Wait until you get to London. Then buy a 7-day travelcard for the tube (just for zone 1, almost everything you will want to see will be in zone 1 - and if you need to go outside of zone 1 you just buy an inexpensive supplement). Most museums are free. The total cost of other sights will be far less than the cost of the "london passes" that travel agents and some web sites try to convince you are good deals (they aren't).
 
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 02:19 PM
  #5  
Ellen
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Theater tickets and tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.
 
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 03:30 PM
  #6  
Susan
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Another voice for do not buy anything other than theatre tickets--repeat do not buy travelcard in advance! The places where you have to go to redeem your coupon are the same places that you can buy the pass--there is no convenience and certainly no savings to buying in advance.
 
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 08:13 AM
  #7  
ric
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Ric,
Thanks for the replys. That is what I was thinking and just wanted it confirmed. As far a the theatre goes I am not picky as long as I get to see something so I will get the 1/2 price tix at Leister Square. I will also do a search on the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower and maybe get those in advance. I do want to do the London Eye as well but I'll just get the tickets in advance when I get there.

Again, thanks for the replys!
 
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 08:22 AM
  #8  
janis
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If you want to try fo tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys you must write to them ASAP. The tickets are free but very limited.

Write to:

Ceremony of the Keys
Operations Dept
HM Tower of London
London EC3N 4AB

enclose a SAE and an international reply coupon (they will not answer w/o these), the names of each person, and the date(s) you could attend. Give them several dates because your first choice may alread be full
 
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 08:33 AM
  #9  
Marilyn
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We bought our Globe Shakespeare tickets in advance and were glad we did. The play was the highlight of our trip. Tried to get Ceremony of the Keys tickets, but they are gone months in advance. M.
 
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 09:14 AM
  #10  
janis
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Not that Marilyn was suggesting YOU should get Globe tickets - but just in case, it is an open air theatre and does not have performances in October.
 
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 12:24 PM
  #11  
Jim
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I agree with everyone else, don't buy anything in advance unless you want specific theater tickets and they are hard to get. Do write for teh Ceremony of the Keys tickets, it's free and it is well worth the time.
 
Old Aug 29th, 2002, 05:59 PM
  #12  
brenda
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I've been planning to buy a 4 day travelcard (zones 1 & 2) in advance for a trip in November for 16 GBP. If I've figured correctly, that's a slight savings over buying 1 day travelcards after I've arrived. I realize that I'd have to make x number of trips per day to break even, but thought the convenience would be worthwhile: no fumbling for unfamiliar money at the ticket machines, no need for a passport-sized photo.
 
Old Aug 29th, 2002, 09:30 PM
  #13  
Sue
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Your thinking is pretty much correct, Brenda. A 4-day, 2-zone Visitors TravelCard costs about £19 (RailEurope=€26.50+3.50 shipping). That's what a weeklong 2-zone pass costs. Either way you will have to go to a ticket window, to exchange your voucher for the Visitors TravelCard, or to purchase the weeklong card. By the way, the picture can be any small one, even cut out of a larger group photo--about 1" square.
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 02:55 AM
  #14  
Jen
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Breanda, just a couple of points of clarification to add to your calculatoins about passes:

No photo is needed for any tube passes of less than a full week.

And if your four days includes a weekend, there's a weekend pass that costs £6.10 for zones 1 and 2.

You would mostly be "fumbling for unfamiliar money" at tickets booths staffed by actual humans, rather than at ticket machines.
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 03:13 AM
  #15  
Sarah
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The new touch-screen ticket machines at the tube stations are very very easy to use and usually quicker than queuing at the ticket office window. You can also use credit/debit cards in them which take only seconds to process, so you don't even need to fumble around for any unfamiliar money - although the quicker it becomes familiar the better I would have thought!
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 07:24 AM
  #16  
danny
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What's an international coupon and where do buy/get them? What do zones 1 & 2 cover airports and train stations i.e., Gatwick and Waterloo? Thanks.
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 08:30 AM
  #17  
Jen
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International reply coupons are available at post offices. if yours doesn't carry them, one alternative is to buy British stamps at a stamp collectors shop!

Zone 1 and 2 in the center of London includes most tourist attractions and Waterloo, but not either airport. You can buy an extension for any pass if you're taking a ride beyond its zones. Maps showing hte tube system including its zones are widely available.
 
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