In this post, we will cover how you can use 2-for-1 ticket deals at many popular London tourist attractions to save 50% off retail prices.
- The Deal Explained
- How to Get It
- Attractions Included
- Bus Tours Included
- Other Tourist Discounts
- London on a Budget
WHAT IS THE DEAL?
With National Rail, it is possible for visitors to purchase a rail ticket which, in turn, will grant the holder 2-for-1 access to some of the biggest attractions, exhibitions, theatres, and even restaurants in the capital.
With so many places in London signed up for the scheme, it’s one of the biggest (and easiest) ways to save money whilst in the capital.
The 2-for-1 London deal is available at over 150 different attractions in the city, including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, the London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, and many other popular locations.
When you take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll essentially be saving a total of 50% off all admission prices.
If you want to know more about the locations that offer entry tickets as a part in this program, make sure to check our section covering the most popular attractions included.
There are a number of stipulations tied to the 2-for-1 discount.
If you want to get this deal, you’ll have to keep the following rules in mind:
Only Valid with Certain Train Tickets
To obtain your ticket when traveling to – or through – London, simply buy a rail ticket at any National Rail train station.
The following valid train ticket types will allow you to take advantage of the 2-for-1 program:
- Gatwick/Stanstead Express
- Travelcards (only at National Rail station)
- Printed/Mobile tickets with the National Rail logo
- Season tickets
- Annual Gold Cards
- Gold Record Card
- National Rail issued smartcards
Luton, Stansted, and Gatwick Airport train tickets qualify if bought from the railways, but the Heathrow Express and the TFL Railway do not.
Tickets Must Be Purchased at National Rail Stations
The 2-for-1 discount is only valid with tickets purchased at National Rail stations.
Tickets issued from the London Underground stations are not valid and will not be accepted.
National Rail Stations are stations with the symbol seen below.
If you’re looking for a station near you, check the National Rail stations page.
A zone 1-6 off-peak one-day Travelcard is £14.40 (£7.20 child)
You Must Travel to Your Chosen Attraction
All valid train tickets should show that you have traveled to the attraction by train.
So, make sure that the destination on your ticket is as close as possible to the location where you plan to use this deal.
If your tickets show that you traveled to another part of the city, they may not be accepted for this discount.
Keep Your Train Tickets
You must present your National Rail ticket along with the 2-for-1 voucher for the location of your choice to receive the discount.
Businesses need to confirm that you were there specifically to visit their attraction.
Don't put a single ticket into the entrance/exit barrier, as the ticket machine might eat it.
If a National Rail employee asks for your tickets, make sure to inform them that you plan to use the 2-for-1 discount.
Print Out Your 2 For 1 Voucher Before Leaving
2-for-1 vouchers can be downloaded/printed from the Days Out Guide website.
As of 2022, advance online booking is available for many attractions and activities included on this site, including locations like the London Eye, SEA LIFE Aquarium, the London Dungeon, and several others.
For locations accepting online bookings, all you have to do is search for the attraction page and fill out the details to purchase valid tickets ahead of time.
You must use a voucher in combination with your National Rail tickets in order to get the discount.
Paper vouchers do not have to be validated on the specific date you choose before downloading them, so you can print them out a day or two earlier and they might still be valid a few days later.
You Must Purchase Tickets on the Same Day
To qualify for the 2-for-1 offer, the travelcard or ticket you use must be valid for the day you visit the attraction.
For a single journey ticket, this means your attraction tickets must be purchased on the same day that your rail ticket was validated.
This is a great option for anyone who will be in London for more than a few days, as it allows you to choose when and how you use the 2-for-1 deal.
Some Attractions Have Blackout Dates
Another thing to keep in mind is that some popular attractions will have blackout dates, which means that they won’t honor the 2-for-1 program during those times.
This typically happens during peak tourism weeks in the summer, but you should check the voucher for the attraction of your choice to find out which days aren’t available.
We recommend taking advantage of this deal during quieter times such as weekdays and shoulder seasons to avoid missing out.
Skip-the-Queue Tickets Are Not Included
The 2-for-1 deal cannot be used to purchase skip-the-line tickets.
You have to present your National Rail tickets at the ticket booth for the discount, so you won’t be able to skip the ticket line.
If you’re short on time or you don’t want to wait in line, consider getting a London tourist pass instead.
Not Included with the Oyster Card
This promotion is not available through the Oyster Card, contactless payment cards, or Freedom Passes.
They will not be accepted as evidence of traveling by train at any attraction or venue.
However, if you have a National Rail Annual Season ticket loaded onto an Oyster Card and you also have the accompanying Gold Record Card, you can use the Gold Record Card as evidence.
That all being said, if you’re looking to save money on travel, you might want to consider the Oyster Card.
This service can save you quite a bit of money on train tickets, so it’s an excellent discount alternative if the attraction of your choice isn’t included with the 2-for-1 program.
Things to Consider
With all of the rules, you must follow, some readers may be wondering if the 2-for-1 discount is worth the hassle.
The short answer is that this is a great way to save money on a variety of popular attractions, but there are easier options you may want to consider in London.
If you don’t want to worry about whether or not you have the right type of ticket and you’re not interested in downloading vouchers, it’s worth noting that there are several London tourist attraction discount passes that include most of the popular activities you can enjoy with the 2 for 1 deal.
Most of the discount passes available in London come in the form of either a card or an app that you can use on your phone for admission to various attractions.
You won’t have to worry about holding onto any tickets/vouchers, where you purchase them if they are valid, or anything else.
For the most part, tourist passes need only be presented at the ticket booth to get inside.
If this sounds like a far less confusing prospect, check our post about London tourist passes for more information.
There are a lot of notable attractions that take part in the 2-for-1 program.
If you’re planning to use this discount, consider going to one of the following locations:
- Tower Bridge
- The London Eye
- Tower of London
- The Crown Jewels
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Globe Theater Tour
- Westminster Abbey
- The London Dungeon
- Royal Albert Hall Tour
- Harry Potter Bus Tour
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
- Benjamin Franklin House
- Chelsea FC Stadium Tour
- Wembley Stadium Tour
- Emirates Stadium Tour
- View From The Shard
- Fat Tire Bike Tour
- SEA LIFE London
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Madame Tussauds
- Ghost Bus Tours
- The Monument
- Kew Gardens
- London Zoo
- Cutty Sark
Is the 2-for-1 Program Worth It?
Yes, it is. Let’s use the Tower of London as an example since this is one of the most popular (and most expensive) attractions in town.
Here’s an example of how much money you could save.
Tower of London 2 for 1 Ticket
- £28.80 for 2 one-day travelcards
- £59.80 for 2 full-price adult Tower of London tickets
- Total cost: £88.60
2 For 1 Program Price:
- £28.80 for 2 travelcards
- £29.90 for 2 Tower of London tickets
- Total cost: £58.70
This would mean that your daily travelcards actually paid for itself!
The 2-for-1 offer is a great way to save money on travel and several fun activities in London.
If you are interested in the program and you come along on one of our London walking tours, simply ask your guide to point you in the direction of the nearest rail station at the end of your tour so you can start choosing, using, and saving for yourself.
Where Do I Find More Information?
All rail stations in London should carry promotional leaflets advertising the 2-for-1 offer for you to pick up and browse.
Alternatively, you can also visit the Days Out Guide for all the information you could possibly need.
Most of the sites and activities included with the 2-for-1 program are also available at a heavy discount with a Go City London Pass and other similar services.
If you’re planning to purchase tickets for more than a few attractions, this may be a better opportunity.
There are several different types of discount passes available in London.
While an all-inclusive Go City London pass will give you access to dozens of popular activities for one flat price, you can also choose to pay for only the locations you want to visit.
There are also prepackaged passes which include a set number of specific attractions for one flat price, as well as bus tour combo tickets that include admission to a few popular sites in the city.
No matter what your plans are, you’ll probably find a pass that can save you money on our post covering every major London Pass.
For even more great discount opportunities, read our guide to visiting London on a budget.