This is how much it cost to visit London’s biggest attractions 50 years ago

A day out to some of London’s most famous attractions isn’t exactly cheap. Today, a visit to the Tower of London will set visitors back a whopping £34.80 per adult. So it’s pretty depressing to find out that back in 1974 it cost just 10p – the equivalent of 90p in today’s money.

A new study by Which? has revealed that the cost of tourist attractions in London has risen astronomically over the last 50 years – and that prices have risen much, much more than inflation. Tickets to Madame Tussauds, Kew Gardens and London Zoo are, deep breath, 500 percent, 26,566 percent and 358 percent more expensive than they were in the ’70s, respectively. 

While entry to Madame Tussauds was once just 75p, or £7 in today’s money, a ticket now costs £33 if purchased in advance – rising to as much as £42 if purchased on the day.

In 1974, a Kew Gardens ticket was just 1p – 9p in 2024 terms. Now it costs between £12 and £24. 

London Zoo, which was once just 80p (£7.20 in today’s money), costs £27 per head during off-peak periods, and up to £33 at weekends.

‘The cost of a day out in particular has risen by astronomical amounts, with many of London’s most popular attractions charging entry fees that have far outpaced inflation and beyond the means of many people,’ Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said.

‘There are still plenty of ways to keep costs down though, such as checking for online vouchers and schemes for cheaper attraction tickets.’

More inflation in London

Prices are rising faster than sea levels. That’s why London has lost 46 pubs in the last six months, and art galleries are closing left, right and centre too. Legendary music venue Bush Hall needs donations to survive too.

Listen to Time Out’s brilliant podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’: the newest episode with AJ Odudu in Regent’s Park is out now.

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