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  • Address: Westminster, London SW1A 0AA, England
  • Hours: Daily when parliament is in session
  • Admission: £14-£16.50 (adults)

London ATTRACTIONS See all

Houses of Parliament & Big Ben Tours

Few landmarks epitomize central London as perfectly as Big Ben, the iconic clock tower that stands at the east end of the Houses of Parliament. Heralding the location of Great Britain's political nucleus in Westminster, Big Ben—or the Elizabeth Tower, renamed in honor of the Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee—stands proud as a symbol of London and the striking centerpiece of the Thames waterfront. The Palace of Westminster, the home of the Houses of Parliament, is another historic monument, as behind the grand Gothic facade, politicians have dictated local laws since 1215, when King John's Magna Carta signified the birth of parliament in the United Kingdom.

The Basics
The most exciting ways to see the great clock face are from a capsule on the nearby London Eye Ferris wheel or on a Thames River cruise, both of which offer magnificent views of the 315-foot (96-meter) clock tower and the Neo-Gothic Palace of Westminster while allowing you to avoid the crowds that gather at Big Ben's base. The landmarks can be experienced at their most atmospheric on a night tour of London, when Big Ben is dramatically illuminated.

Travelers wanting to learn about British politics, with its complex system of monarchs, lords, and elected members of parliament, can arrange an official tour of the Houses of Parliament or even watch a debate from the public galleries. Big Ben, however, is only accessible to UK residents, who must request permission from their local member of parliament to visit. For everyone else, the clock tower is best admired from afar on a city tour that includes stops at other London attractions, such as Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Big Ben is visited on most half- and full-day tours of London, whether a walking, biking, or bus tour.
  • Take 10 minutes to admire the statues of Parliament Square, all of which depict famous political figures.
  • Guided tours of the Houses of Parliament run most Saturdays, and the public galleries are open when parliament is in session—time your visit wisely to watch opposing political parties in fierce debate.

How to Get to Big Ben
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are located on the north bank of the Thames River, easily accessible from the Westminster underground tube station, which is serviced by the Jubilee, Circle, and District lines. Alternatively, hop off at Waterloo station to wander along the vibrant South Bank past the London Eye, then walk across Westminster Bridge to Big Ben.

When to Get There
Holiday travelers can join the crowds to watch London's legendary New Year's Eve fireworks, which take place right in front of Big Ben and ignite the sky in a riot of color. Ensure you book tickets for the firework display well in advance to avoid disappointment and guarantee an unforgettable evening.

Tours & Tickets

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Tour to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament in London, London, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Tour to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament in London

4.5 star rating: Recommended 121 Reviews

Get to grips with Britain’s royal and political history on this 4-hour tour of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Step inside the famous Gothic ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $81.64
Half-Day London Tour: Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament, London, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Half-Day London Tour: Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Join our comprehensive half-day tour covering two of London’s most iconic monuments: Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Your expert guide will ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $103.05
Private Custom Tour: Day Tour of London, London, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Custom Tour: Day Tour of London

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 36 Reviews

Choose from a half-day or full-day completely customized tour. Explore central London taking in the major sights and hidden gems. Discover this fascinating ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $334.59
London Walking Tour Including Fast-Track Westminster Abbey Visit and Changing of the Guard, London, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

London Walking Tour Including Fast-Track Westminster Abbey Visit and Changing of the Guard

4.5 star rating: Recommended 25 Reviews

Visit Westminster Abbey and get a front-row view of the Changing of the Guard on this 2.5-hour London walking tour. With a knowledgeable guide, get fast-track ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $86.99
3-Hour Guided Private Walking Tour: The Best of London, London, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

3-Hour Guided Private Walking Tour: The Best of London

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Discover top attractions and famous landmarks across the British capital on this private 3-hour London walking tour. Follow a private guide through the ancient ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $133.84
Private Guided and Chauffered Tour of London, London, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Guided and Chauffered Tour of London

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Explore London like a true professional with a chauffeured tour. With a separate guide and driver, you can explore the best of the city and make the most of ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 to 6 hrs

From USD $171.31
Private Full Day London Walking Tour, London, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Full Day London Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 14 Reviews

You will see London's most iconic landmarks from the exterior: Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard, Big Ben, St Paul's Cathedral the Tower of London and ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $368.05
Private Tour: Chauffeur-Driven Tour of London, London, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Chauffeur-Driven Tour of London

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 10 Reviews

Enjoy a private 4-hour tour of London with a private guide and a driver. This tour offers a flexible itinerary, you can choose what you visit. See famous Big ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $384.78
Private Guided Tour: British Museum & Westminster City Center, London, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Guided Tour: British Museum & Westminster City Center

This 5 to 5.5 hour private tour is a history lover’s delight as we explore central London and its iconic British Museum. Your energetic guide will lead you ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 to 5.5 hrs

From USD $148.54
Westminster to Covent Garden Tour in London, London, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Westminster to Covent Garden Tour in London

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Explore the age-old London route from Westminster to Covent Garden, and everywhere in between, experiencing this parliamentary and regal area of central ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $46.84

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