Big Ben

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Big Ben: Our most recommended tours and activities

Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

1. Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

Discover the best of London with a hop-on, hop-off tour on-board an open-top, double-decker bus and enjoy a trip on the London Eye as part of your ticket. A hop-on, hop-off tour is the ideal way to discover the best sights, landmarks and attractions of London at your own pace. The tour gives you unlimited use, with stops strategically placed at all the places you would like to visit including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge and St Pauls Cathedral. Hop off the bus at Westminster Bridge to take an unforgettable ride on the London Eye. From the top, you can take in the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city's impressive skyline. See the city's most famous sights including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from an unrivalled bird's eye view. You can start your tour at any of the Big Bus stops. Popular starting points include the London Eye, Marble Arch, Victoria Station and Trafalgar Square. With all ticket types you can enjoy a boat cruise along the River Thames. A Classic ticket includes a single river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London (in either direction) whilst the Premium and Premium Plus tickets include a return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich with the option to break the journey at the Tower of London. Departure times vary for the river cruise. You can board the river cruise at Tower Pier (near stop 16), Greenwich Pier, Westminster Pier (near stop 18) and the London Eye Pier (near stop 11). Big Bus route highlights include Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, London Dungeon, Sea Life London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Covent Garden, Bank of England, Monument, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The Shard, City Hall, Lambeth Palace, British Museum, Marble Arch, Mayfair, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Harrods, South Kensington Museums, Kensington Palace and Notting Hill.

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Westminster Abbey Tour with Optional Houses of Parliament

2. Westminster Abbey Tour with Optional Houses of Parliament

Meet your guide at the entrance to Westminster Abbey at 09:15 AM, and then look inside the historic monument to stand in the footsteps of kings and queens. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been held in the abbey, as have many royal weddings, including that of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011. Then, take a panoramic tour around the Houses of Parliament and pass the Elizabeth Tower where the famous Big Ben bell chimes every quarter hour. Learn about the role of MPs who sit in the House of Commons and the function of the House of Lords. Hear how, and why, the Elizabeth Tower and its great clock and iconic bell were built. For a more complete experience, select the option that includes the ticket to the Parliament and get an audio guided tour inside the building.  Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace of Westminster (the official name of the Houses of Parliament) boasts an ostentatious façade with golden spires and statues of kings that reflect in the River Thames. Listen as your guide explains the history of the building, from the first medieval clock tower built in the old Palace of Westminster, to the design and construction of the present Elizabeth Tower.  

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London: Westminster Walking Tour & The Tower of London Entry

3. London: Westminster Walking Tour & The Tower of London Entry

Start with a walking tour of the Westminster area, where your tour guide will escort you to 20 different historical and cultural sights. Head through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, admiring the well-manicured trees and flowers along the way. At the palace, watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard Ceremony. Afterward, see 17 other iconic London sights such as Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. Then, step into the Tower of London, where there is an abundance of history, stories, and ghosts to be found. Marvel at the Crown Jewels and other fascinating historical artifacts including the suits of armor worn by the Kings of England. See the cells where prisoners were once kept. Journey back in time and take an exciting trip into England's past.

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London: Tootbus Must See Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Cruise

4. London: Tootbus Must See Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Cruise

Hop on board the Must See London tour, sit back, relax, and (re)discover the city from a whole new perspective. See the best bits of London on this tour designed to see the most famous sights and incredible views of the city. Enjoy a tour past London's top attractions and landmarks including; Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, and Downing Street. Start the tour at any of the bus stops. Be welcome on board whether you are a first-time visitor with just a few hours in town and want to get a taste of London or a Londoner who wants to experience the city differently. Download the Tootbus app to easily find your way around, follow the buses in real-time, and enjoy self-guided walking tours to help you explore more of London.

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London: Christmas Lights by Night Open-Top Bus Tour

5. London: Christmas Lights by Night Open-Top Bus Tour

Make it a memorable Christmas with a festive tour of London’s top attractions. Atop an open double-decker bus, you’ll have the best seats in the house for savoring panoramic views of the glowing streets. Watch the city light up when the sun goes down, and see how London does Christmas. Set off from the illuminated London Eye, and onto the iconic Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. Marvel at the exquisite displays in Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. See one of the tallest Christmas trees in the city at Trafalgar Square. Hear about the fascinating history of the Tower of London as you cross the magical Tower Bridge. Cruise through the winding streets of London and feel dazzled by the merry décor. Take your pick between a live or audio guide to learn some jolly facts about each location.

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London: Changing of the Guard Walking Tour

6. London: Changing of the Guard Walking Tour

Find the prime vantage points that most people miss and see this time-honored tradition from outside Buckingham Palace. Follow your guide on a dynamic journey that will take you through each stage of the entire Changing of the Guard ceremony from beginning to end. Navigate the crowds easily and quickly. Let your guide take you to the best spots with unobstructed views for taking photos of the palace, gardens, and parade grounds. Marvel at the precision with which the Queen’s Foot Guards march to Buckingham Palace, clad in their iconic red tunics and bearskin hats. Admire the gleaming coats of the Household Cavalry’s horses as they emerge at Horse Guard’s Parade. As you watch, hear about the history of this fascinating ceremony and gain invaluable insight into every detail of this British spectacle.

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London: Westminster Tour, River Cruise, and Tower of London

7. London: Westminster Tour, River Cruise, and Tower of London

From the meeting point, start the 3-hour walking tour by heading through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, admiring the well-manicured trees and flowers along the way. At the palace, watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard Ceremony.   Afterward, see 17 other iconic London sights such as Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, Parliament Square, and the Houses of Parliament. After the walking tour, take to the River Thames for a sightseeing cruise where you will get to see many other iconic buildings and sights. Disembark at Tower Pier and head to the Tower of London for the exciting Beefeater tour. Walk around the Tower of London, discovering the history, stories, and ghosts that lie within. Marvel at the Crown Jewels and other fascinating historical artifacts including the suits of armor worn by former kings of England. See the cells where prisoners were once kept and journey back in time for an exciting trip into Britain’s past.

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London's Palaces and Parliament Walking Tour

8. London's Palaces and Parliament Walking Tour

See more than 20 of London's most iconic sights on a 3-hour walking tour. Explore the City of Westminster, one of the most popular tourist locations in London. Learn fun facts about the history of the area and how it developed, as you pass by many of its iconic monuments. Head through Green Park to Buckingham Palace where on selected days you can watch the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony. Walk down The Mall, a tree-lined, royal road, adorned with Royal Parks and Royal Palaces.  Travel to Parliament Square where you will see Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. View some of the most famous sights in London, including: Buckingham Palace, the Victoria Memorial, St James's Park, Green Park, St James's Palace, Big Ben, Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and Trafalgar Square.

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London: Top 30 Sights Walking Tour and London Eye Ride

9. London: Top 30 Sights Walking Tour and London Eye Ride

Start with a walking tour of the history, culture, and legends of one of Europe’s best-loved cities. Head through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, on selected days you can watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard ceremony. Head to Westminster, and see Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. Go to the London Bridge area to see Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. Then, hop onto the London Eye and see London from the clouds. The view of London from this globally recognized icon is world renowned.  See 30 sights in 1 day, including: • Buckingham Palace • Trafalgar Square • Big Ben • Downing Street • Westminster Abbey • Whitehall • Houses of Parliament • London Eye • Shakespeare’s Globe Theater • London Bridge • Southwark Cathedral • The Shard (tallest skyscraper in the EU) • HMS Belfast (Second World War Battleship) • Square Mile • Tower Bridge • Tower of London

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London: Panoramic Open-Top Bus Tour

10. London: Panoramic Open-Top Bus Tour

Sit back and relax while one of the well-ventilated open-top buses reconnects you with your favorite London landmarks. Glide past the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and Piccadilly Circus in this 2 hours fully guided tour of Central London. This tour is not Hop-On Hop-Off and guests will be required to remain on the same bus for the duration of the tour. There will be masks and gloves provided, however, you can wear your own if you wish. The buses will be running at reduced capacity and tickets will be sold in specific time slots to avoid overcrowding. Join this activity to explore this great city, enjoy the insights and fascinating facts with a live English guide, or multilingual audio-guided tour.

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Planning Your Visit

  • Get a closer look

    The exterior of the clock tower has countless beautiful details and ornate decorations, many of which are all but impossible to see with the naked eye from below considering the tower's height of 96 meters. To really admire the tower's beauty, it's a great idea to bring a pair of binoculars.

  • When to visit

    The favorite time to listen to Big Ben is at noon, when the large bell chimes 12 times. However, it's also the busiest time of day. To avoid the crowds, it's best to come in the early morning or at night, and weekdays are less busy than the weekend.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Tours of the Big Ben tower are reserved to UK residents, however visits to the Houses of Parliament are available through the official website: www.parliament.uk/visiting/.
  • Is it expensive?
    Free to check out the tower, but a tour of the Houses of Parliament building £25.00 for adults, more with added perks.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Every hop-on-hop-off bus will pass by Big Ben, but you should look into getting a tour through Parliament in order to learn about Big Ben up close.
  • How to get there
    Take the District, Circle or Jubilee tube lines to Westminster, or check the bus schedules for other options.
  • Additional information

    • Photography, filming and mobile phone use are prohibited inside the Parliament buildings.

Other Sightseeing Options in Big Ben

Want to discover all there is to do in Big Ben? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Big Ben

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 2,993 reviews

Absolutely fantastic, girls were great , enjoyed every minute of my day , afternoon tea was amazing , worth every penny , left them a tip which we were sad to see that my sister & I were the only 2 to tip them , how sad at xmas when so much effort was put into it , xmas lights & music made it so enjoyable, as much tea & coffee as u liked & a great variety. Also got to keep the cups and left with a doggy box fir the left over cakes.

It was a great day. The tour guide is informative, fun and friendly. It was a great way to sight see around London. In case you're worried about London traffic - you don't cycle anywhere dangerous. I would and have been recommending this activity to others.

This was a great tour, full of information, great spots, nice pace with snack and toilet stop. Our guide kept us so entertained that 3 hours went so fast that I didn’t realized we got to the end of our tour I really recommend it

It was amazing. I enjoyed London views with delicious snacks and tea with my friend. It's few days before Christmas so the scenery was ideal. It was a really really enjoyable! I hope I'll do it again.

A great, safe way to explore London and learn loads of different/fun facts. Wrap up warm if it’s winter - although there’s plenty of cycling, it gets quite cold with all the stops.