I am traveling to London on 24th December and planning to spend 4-6 days there.

I am checking the tickets for the main attractions in London to purchase them in advance to avoid long queues and last minute ticket sold out problem.

I found two passes London Pass and Merlin's Magic London Pass

But I am super confused to which to choose, each have there own benefits like London pass is expensive but it includes hop on hop off but it doesn't include tickets for main attractions like London eye while Merlin's magic pass has London eye included but it has only 6 attractions.

I am super confused what to choose, I want to buy the card that includes almost all the main attractions of London where I will not have to wait in long queues and tickets.

Can anybody please guide me which are the best places and attractions that are paid and a must visit for London which I can buy in advance?

And which card should I pick and if not both then which one?

I am basically looking for some combo card where I can get access to almost all the main attraction (if it includes Harry Potter attractions what would be best)

  • 4
    Note that almost everything will be closed on December 25. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 17:59
  • I would review the list of attractions each gives you access to and narrow down the ones you most want to see to a do-able itinerary, bearing in mind that a) you’ll need to allow time for travel between them; b) most will be closed 25-26 Dec; c) there’s no public transport on Christmas Day and services are reduced until after 1Jan. visitlondon.com/things-to-do/whats-on/christmas/…
    – Traveller
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 18:52
  • Yeah, unfortunate timing, you're right on top of a huge holiday period running Dec 24-Jan 1. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 19:43

2 Answers 2


This is impossible to answer, really, because it depends on what you're interested in. Personally, I wouldn't like the Merlin pass, because I'd have little interest in most of the attractions it gives access to, but your tastes are almost certainly different than mine. I have no idea whether you'd personally enjoy Madame Tussauds or whether you'd have a better time spending that time at one of London's world-class museums (British Museum, V&A, Tate, etc...), touring the Tower of London, maybe an exclusive tour of Buckingham Palace (for which there are just a handful of tickets left in December—yes it's £85, but you get a small group guided tour of Buckingham Palace), or perhaps a West End show. Or maybe you'd like the London Transport Museum or the Churchill War Rooms or Bletchley Park or a tour of Parliament or a shopping trip or high tea or...my point is there's a ton to do in London, and you'll have to pick what you personally find interesting.

I'd get a London guidebook and take the time for yourself to research the things in London that most appeal to you. Combo cards like these are usually only worth it if you genuinely already want to visit all or most all of the things on the list. Wax museums and aquariums you can see in many places, while there's only one Tower of London. Many of London's museums are free admission, so a pass doesn't help you there, and other attractions allow you to purchase tickets in advance directly online. So I would lean against buying a card, but it's worth adding up the costs once you know where you want to go to see if it will save you any money.

As noted in comments, many attractions will be closed on holidays, which will influence your calculation.

If you want to go to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour for their Harry Potter attraction, their site provides information about how to get there by train, or you can scroll down to "Bus Transfers" if you want to purchase a combination ticket with a bus from London. However, as Bernhard Döbler notes, advance booking is required, and there may be no tickets left for your dates.

  • 1
    For the Harry Potter Studio tour Tickets have to be booked (sometimes months) in advance Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 18:57
  • @BernhardDöbler Strangely, it seems like it's possible to buy the tickets including a bus transfer for December but sold out to just buy tickets on their own? Which is odd, but at least that's an option. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 19:02
  • An off-topic comment. The London Eye ticket includes a visit to a multi-dimensional show that lasts for 4 minutes including artificial weather. In winter you might get wind, snow, rain and pigeons anyway, without doing that, and my choice would be to visit the Shard tower which dwarfs the Eye and gives views across the whole of London. The queues are shorter too, but children might prefer the Eye. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 19:29

Long queues for tickets are not an issue at most attractions - the main delays can be for security, which you will not be able to skip even with a pass.

The hop-on tourist buses are fine if you want a tour but are not a viable means of transport on their own - they are infrequent and don't go to enough places.

  • For getting around, depending on the relative value of time and money, use either taxis or the ordinary buses. They are much more frequent than the tourist buses, and have a lot more routes. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 22:49

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