Many museums and galleries in London are free, but some ‘must see’ attractions charge an admission fee. This can add-up to quite a hefty sum if you plan to do some serious sightseeing.
If you want to save some money, there’s an easy way to get 2 for the price of 1 discounts on London tourist attraction entrance fees.
2 for 1 vouchers with a Travelcard or train ticket
UK train companies run a promotion called ‘Days Out’, a 2 for the price of 1 admission deal for attractions in London and the UK.
There are three ways to do get tickets to qualify for 2 for 1:
Buy a one day or weekly Travelcard
The Travelcard is a transport pass giving you unlimited travel on the underground, trains and buses in London.
For zones 1-2 (central London):
- a one day Travelcard costs £12.10 (£6 child)
- a weekly Travelcard cost £32.40 (£16.20 child)
To qualify for the 2 for 1 deals, you need to buy a ‘paper’ Travelcard from a train station in London.
Travelcards from underground station ticket machines, TfL Visitor centres and Travelcards loaded onto Oyster cards are not valid for the offer. The ticket must have the National Rail logo on it to qualify.
Buy a train ticket to London
If you travel to London by train, your ticket will be valid as long as it has a National Rail logo.
Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect train tickets are not valid.
If you want to buy train tickets to London, it’s easy to find cheap tickets on the Virgin Trains website and there are no booking or credit card fees. They sell tickets for all trains in the UK, not just Virgin trains.
Buy a train ticket in London
If you live in London or travel to London by coach or car and don’t want to buy a Travelcard, you can buy a cheap train ticket from a London train station. You don’t need to use it for travel but you must have valid train ticket for each day you use a 2 for 1 voucher.
For example, for example single tickets for the journeys listed below are £2.30 adult/£1.15 child.
- Queenstown Rd to Vauxhall
- Herne Hill to Elephant and Castle
- West Hampstead to Kentish Town
These tickets are available from any train station ticket machine or office. You don’t have to go to Queenstown Rd etc. to buy one.
Don’t put a single train ticket in the ticket barrier, you will not get it back! Show your ticket to a station staff member who will open the barrier for you.
Where can I buy a ‘paper’ Travelcard?
You can buy a One Day or Weekly ‘paper’ Travelcard from train stations in London. (Not London Underground managed train stations).
If the train station has an underground station as well, don’t buy your tickets there. Follow the signs for ‘Trains’ and go above ground. Buy your Travelcard from the train station ticket office.
Not all train stations sell the Travelcards that are valid for the offer. See where to buy paper Travelcards in central London.
Photos for weekly or monthly Travelcards
You need a photocard for a weekly or monthly Travelcard. The ticket office staff will make you one with a recent passport-sized photo of yourself. It doesn’t have to be photo-quality, it can be a something printed from your PC or a decent photocopy.
The photo should measure 4.5cm x 3.5 cm. Your face should fill most of it.
There are photo booths in most train stations. It costs £5 for four photos.
Which London attractions offer the 2 for 1 deals?
About 65 London attractions take part in the scheme. Some only take part in winter.
2 for 1 vouchers are also available for temporary exhibitions at free museums and galleries, boat trips, tours and guided walks.
How does it work?
When you’ve decided which attractions to visit:
1. Download the voucher
Find the attraction on daysoutguide.co.uk. Click ‘download now’.
When you first claim an offer you are asked to create an account. You need to give your name, address, and email address.
If you already have an account, the voucher will be added to the ‘My Trip’ section.
2. Print the voucher
You have the option to print the voucher straight away, or it can be emailed to the address you gave when setting up your account or to an alternative address.
3. Present your voucher and Travelcard/train ticket
Go to the attraction ticket office and show them your 2 for 1 voucher and train ticket or Travelcard.
You need one voucher for every two individuals – an adult and a child or two adults
Booklets with 2 for 1 vouchers are available from some train stations.
How much money can I save?
A lot. Here’s an example of the full standard adult and child entrance fees for some of the attractions taking part in the offer.
These are the entrance fees for tickets ‘bought on the day’. Prices include voluntary donations.
|Tower of London¹||£25||£12|
|Hampton Court Palace||£18.20||£9.10|
|SEA LIFE London Aquarium||£24.50||£18.10|
|London Transport Museum||£17||Free|
|St Paul’s Cathedral||£18||£8|
|Tower Bridge Exhibition||£9||£3.90|
|Churchill War Rooms||£19||£9.50|
1.Tower of London 2 for 1 not valid 8-18 April 2017. Buy discounted tickets.
2. London Eye 2 for 1 not valid 25 & 31 December 2016, 9-24 January 2017 (closed for maintenance). Buy discounted tickets.
3. Westminster Abbey 2 for 1 not valid 1-23 April 2017
Top Tip: Want to visit an attraction on your own or without doing the 2 for 1? See our guide to discount attraction tickets.
This offer has been running for years. The current expiry date is 30 April 2017.
Is my Travelcard or train ticket valid for 2 for 1 offers?
Travelcards purchased from VisitBritain are not valid for the 2 for 1 offer. Their website says you can’t buy paper 7 Day Travelcards once you get to London. This is a bit misleading, you can buy paper Travelcards them from train stations.
Some train tickets are not valid for the offer. If you’ve already bought a ticket to London or a Travelcard, check if you can use it on the Day’s Out website.
Can I use the 2 for 1 vouchers if I book tickets online?
Not for most attractions. You need to show Travelcard/train ticket and give them your 2 for 1 voucher when you buy your tickets at the attraction.
A few attractions are offering online booking via the Day’s Out website:
Does everyone visiting an attraction need a train ticket or Travelcard?
Yes, everyone visiting the attraction needs a valid Travelcard or train ticket.
How many attractions can I visit?
As many as you want. There’s no limit to the amount of attractions you can visit.
What else do I need to know?
- If you buy a single train ticket or One Day Travelcard you must visit the attraction on the day the ticket is valid. If you buy two single train tickets instead of a return, for example one single to London and one single from London, these will be classed as a return. You can visit attractions up to and including the date on your departure single ticket. Make sure you show both single tickets at the attraction.If you buy a Weekly Travelcard or a return train ticket, you must visit any attraction before the expiry date of the ticket.
- One adult (or child) has free admission when accompanied by one adult who pays the full adult admission fee. Check the terms for each individual attraction as this may vary.
- Where to buy a paper Travelcard
- 2 for 1 London attractions map
- Top free museums and galleries
- Discount tickets to attractions
Last updated: 14 November 2016