TOWER OF LONDON ULTIMATE GUIDE
Open: Tue - Sat: 9:00AM to 4:30PM
. Sun - Mon: 10:00AM to 4:30PM
Time Needed: 4 hours
Nestled between the artsy neighbourhoods of Shoreditch and Whitechapel and London’s commercial district, the infamously historic Tower of London may seem slightly out of place. But once you take a step inside The Tower’s main entrance, you can’t help but feel as if you’ve been transported back in time.
The Tower of London complex has been a popular London attraction since the Elizabethan ages, and over 2.4 million people visit the Tower each year to learn more about its grim (yet fascinating) history riddled with tales of imprisonment, execution, murder and scandal.
The Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror during the 11th century, and was originally supposed to be a royal residence. As the years went on, however, the Tower was eventually used as a prison during the Tudor reign, and some of the many famous individuals who were once imprisoned here include Elizabeth I, Edward V and his younger brother (also known as the Princes in the Tower), Anne Boleyn, and many, many more.
With a museum of medieval armoury, The Crown Jewels, and even the ghost of Anne Boleyn, there’s no telling what you’ll come across during your visit to the Tower of London.
The Tower of London is essentially a complex of 21 different towers which cover 18 acres, and there are several different sections and buildings which are included in your admission ticket.
Some of the many highlights include The White Tower (the oldest building in the Tower of London complex), The Museum of Medieval Armour (the oldest national museum in Britain), and The Crown Jewels (where you can see the Coronation Spoon, the Sovereign’s Sceptre, The Crown of the Queen Mother and much more).
Other popular areas include The Tower Green (once the location of executions and beheadings), St. John’s Chapel, The Fusilier Museum (which houses George V’s uniform, 12 Victoria Cross Medals and much more), and the Medieval Palace, which contains a re-creation of Prince Edward’s bedchamber and other rare objects which date back to the time of the Princes in the Tower.
If you plan on visiting the Tower of London more than once, you may want to sign up for the Tower of London's annual membership. which costs between £38 and £48 for adults, or anywhere from £61 to £93 for joint and family memberships. With the Tower of London membership you can avoid all the long queues, get free and unlimited access to all the six Historic Royal Palaces in London, and even a 10% discount at selected restaurants, shops and cafés near the palaces.
London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom (See map).
The nearest station is Tower Hill, which is a five-minute walk away.
The nearest stations are London Bridge or Fenchurch Street.
You can get to the Tower of London via routes 15, 42 ,78, 100, RV1.
The nearest car park is on Lower Thames Street (which is a two-minute walk away from the main entrance). Parking is within the Congestion Charging Zone so you may want to bring some extra change with you for your visit.
By sightseeing bus tour
All buses stop at the Tower of London during their routes.
Recommended visiting time for the Tower of London can last as long as four hours, so make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes, (especially if you plan on climbing up and down the many stairs inside the different towers).
If you can, try and catch one of the Yeoman Warder tours (which are led by actors dressed up in historic “Beefeater” costumes) and listen as the actors entertain visitors with historic tales of imprisonment, execution and torture inside the Tower of London. The tours start every 30 minutes near the main entrance (with the last tour at 3:30 p.m. in the summer or 2:30 p.m. in the winter), and last for about one hour.
There are also three different self-guided “Wall Walk” tours (the South Wall Walk, the East Wall Walk and the North Wall Walk) where visitors can explore several other historic towers inside the complex like the Medieval Palace, The Salt Tower, the Fighting Platform, the Broad Arrow Tower and many more.
If you’re not interested in walking around the entire complex, you can always purchase an audio guide with headphones for £4 so you can listen to some fascinating stories about the history of The Tower of London during your visit.
Inside the Tower there are cafes and restaurants, as well as a kiosk if you need any refreshments. There are also plenty of places to sit down and have a picnic if you want to save some money as well.
Tickets cost anywhere from:
Children under the age of five can get in for free, and there are discounted tickets available for students, seniors, or disabled visitors.
There are also family packages available which range from £41.30 to £63, as well as cheaper rates for groups of 15 or more people. It is highly recommended you buy your tickets online in advance beforehand.
Opening times vary depending on when you visit:
During the winter (November to March), the Tower of London is open from:
During the summer, the Tower is open from:
Keep in mind that all of the internal buildings close 30 minutes before the last admission.
You can make it with a professional guide
Experience London’s Old City and learn about and its impact on Modern CultureBook now