Big Ben

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Big Ben: Our most recommended tours and activities

London: Climb The Roof of The O2 Arena

1. London: Climb The Roof of The O2 Arena

Discover stunning views of London and experience the thrill of climbing the O2 Arena with this attraction ticket. Leave your fear behind with high-quality climbing equipment that is regularly maintained to high standards and the help of your climbing guide that is with you every step of the way. Put on your climb suit, boots, and harness. Become a true urban mountaineer. Ascend the O2 Arena, a London landmark, and cross the walkway suspended 52 meters in the air. At the top, take in panoramic views over Greenwich, the Olympic Park, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Canary Wharf, and The Shard.  Climb during the day and enjoy the clearest views for miles, at sunset for a romantic experience, or opt for the twilight climb and marvel at the twinkling city light. 

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.  

London: London by Night Sightseeing Open-Top Bus Tour

3. London: London by Night Sightseeing Open-Top Bus Tour

Experience London’s grand architecture and vibrant atmosphere which are impressive by day, and which truly come alive at night. Add a spark to your London trip and enjoy this city tour aboard an open-top bus. See the famous landmarks lit up against the night sky. Witness the Tower of London and Tower Bridge standing proud amongst the skyline and feel a thrill as you glide past the monumental Big Ben. Witnessthe fountains of Trafalgar Square dance with joy from the light that shines within them, and let the neon screens of Piccadilly Circus dazzle and thrill. As you pass Harrods, witness the exquisite lights which are evocative of Christmas, even in summer. Learn about the history of landmarks like St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey from your guide and hear fascinating stories about the city. Embark on a fun and informative tour suitable for families and groups of friends.

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

4. 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 unrivaled 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 the Tower of London to Westminster Pier (in either direction). Departure times vary for the river cruise. You can board the river cruise at Tower Pier (near stop 16) or Westminster Pier (near stop 18). 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.

London: Landmarks and Secret Gems Bike Tour

5. London: Landmarks and Secret Gems Bike Tour

Saddle up for a fun, small group bike tour of London and see the city like a slightly eccentric local. Ride a fabulous classic-style, traditional English Pashley bicycles, pedaling across the capital using riverside paths, dedicated bicycle lanes, and quiet back streets. Cruise at an easy pace to ensure your comfort and safety at all times, the tour is ideal even for those who haven't ridden a bicycle in years. Frequent stops are made to give you a chance to soak in the sights, take photos, and listen to your guide recount interesting facts and strange historical tales of landmarks like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and the London Eye. You will also visit lesser-known spots, including a bizarre stone nose, wartime bunkers, legal graffiti zones, and the best spots for food and drink. Take a break at the best-rated ale and cider pub in town, and learn about traditional brewing techniques, taste samples, and enjoy a pint with your group.

London: River Thames Speedboat Ride

6. London: River Thames Speedboat Ride

Explore London from the Thames River on a thrilling speedboat cruise that combines sightseeing, speed, and fun. See iconic landmarks, including Big Ben, the Shard, and Tower Bridge from a unique perspective. On arrival, you will meet a member of the team in the waiting room, who will take you through your safety briefing and supply you with life jackets and waterproof clothing. When it's time to depart your crew will arrive and take you to the boarding platform to embark the boat. See various iconic sights such as the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower that houses the world-famous Big Ben, the London Eye, Shard and HMS Belfast to name a few. Sit back and enjoy the view as you pass under some of the ccapital's great bridges including the most modern, Millennium Bridge, as well as the world-renowned majestic Tower Bridge on the way to the fast zone.   Once past Tower Bridge, it’s all about speed, experienced skippers will give you an aquatic ride of your life of twists and turns, wave jumps and speed on the way to Canary Wharf. After all the adrenaline-fuelled fun, it’s back to Westminster Pier with time to admire the view, catch a breath and take in the great experience of speeding along the Thames and maybe even get those sightseeing pictures or the must-have selfie. For safety reasons, the minimum height requirement to travel on Thamesjet is 1.35 metres (4 ft. 5in.).

London: Tootbus London Discovery Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

7. London: Tootbus London Discovery Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Enjoy the flexibility to hop on and hop off as you like throughout the day with this hop-on hop-off bus tour. See essential sights like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace from the top deck of the bus, and enjoy extra options through the inclusive app. Board a famous double-decker bus at one of 8 conveniently-located central London bus stops. Once checked in, your ticket will be valid to come and go from the buses as many times as you like throughout the next 24 hours. Settle into your seat and enjoy cruising past some truly iconic landmarks. Take advantage of the incredible top deck views as your journey takes you to Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, the London Eye, and many more. Discover the city with knowledgeable commentary from local expert guides. If you are traveling with children, a child-friendly audio guide is available. Your ticket also gives you access to the app, including multi-lingual options and self-guided walking tours to try out at your own pace. Add more fun to your trip by joining one of the Jubilee special tours (May 21-September 4). These tours take place daily with various departures from 9 AM to 4 PM. This year, Queen Elizabeth II will be the first monarch to reach the Platinum Jubilee milestone, making her the longest-reigning and oldest British monarch. Naturally, this calls for celebration. The Jubilee special tour does just that. Commemorate The Queen’s historic reign and embark on a journey through royal history with local guides. Take in the views and discover the places that make London so unique under a whole new glorious light. Make a day of it and visit Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, or other royal hotspots after hopping off the bus.

London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

8. London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

Discover what London has to offer on a hop-on hop-off tour of the English capital. Pass iconic landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, London Eye, and Big Ben with audio commentary available on board. Choose from a selection of tickets and routes. You can also explore London on foot with a live guide with a choice of 3 daily walking tours (included in Premium & Deluxe tickets). Walking Tours last about 1.5-2 hours. Changing of the Guard Walking Tour – 10 AM – Stop 7 (Trafalgar Square) City of London Past to Present– 1 PM – Stop 15 (St Paul's Cathedral) Jack the Ripper – 4 PM – Stop 17 (Tower of London) Classic Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 1 day (24 hours from time of redemption) Single river cruise between Tower of London and Westminster – either direction A choice of 3 live guided walking tours Premium Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 2 days (48 hours from time of redemption) Single river cruise between Tower of London and Westminster – either direction Panoramic evening tour A choice of 3 live guided walking tours Deluxe Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 3 days (72 hours from time of redemption) Single river cruise between Tower of London and Westminster – either direction Panoramic evening tour A choice of 3 live guided walking tours Discover London via 2 specially-designed routes covering over 45 stops: Red Route The Red route takes in the best of historic London including Big Ben, the London Eye, and St Paul’s Cathedral. Frequency: approx. every 10-20 minutes. Blue Route The Blue Route is a comprehensive route covering all of central London from Kensington Palace in the West to the Tower of London in the East. Stops include Harrods, the South Kensington Museums, and Madame Tussauds. Frequency: approx. every 10-20 minutes. River Cruise Classic, Premium & Deluxe tickets includes a river cruise from Tower of London to Westminster in either direction. The river cruise includes live commentary in 8 languages. See top London attractions lining the Thames, including Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare's Globe, and the Tate Modern. Departure times for the river cruise are approximately every 45 minutes. Panoramic Evening Tour The panoramic evening tour is included in the Premium & Premium Plus ticket types. Discover the magic of London as the city becomes illuminated in the evening. Hop on for a one-round panoramic tour past London's top landmarks as the sun begins to set. The tour departs daily at 06:00 PM from bus stop 12 at The London Eye.

London: Churchill War Rooms & WW2 Westminster Private Tour

9. London: Churchill War Rooms & WW2 Westminster Private Tour

Join a guided private historical walking tour around London with your live guide, a fellow historian lover. Enjoy a day exploring all the iconic sites such as the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall to discover the military bunkers of the Churchill War Rooms. Learn all about World War II, when on September 7th, 1940, Nazi Germany sparked a lightning war on London, dropping bombs across the city and beginning 57 consecutive nights of terror on Britain’s capital. But how did we get there, and what was to happen next? On a private walking tour with a local expert guide, discover the grandeur of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Cenotaph, Ministry of War, 10 Downing Street, and Whitehall through the lens of WW2 - learn about the famous British resolve and the reality of life for millions at that time. As your private guided experience continues, descend below the streets of Whitehall to discover the military bunkers of the Churchill War Rooms, frozen in time and ready to be explored once again. Roam the top-secret corridors with your private guide. Absorb the atmosphere of a Cabinet War Room where the decisions made could lead to victory… or disaster. Chart the course of the war in a Map Room, untouched since 1945. Learn more about the man who led a nation through their darkest hour in a museum brimming with artefacts from Winston Churchill’s life- from his baby rattle to the cigar and bowler hat he was never seen without. Discover the reality of life in the bunkers for the men and women who slept, ate and worked here as the bombs rained overhead. ‘’It is the time to dare and endure.’’ —Winston Churchill

London: Essentials Morning Bike Tour

10. London: Essentials Morning Bike Tour

This tour starts in Kensington Garden - you'll start the morning by cycling through this beautiful park to see where Queen Victoria grew up and where Princess Diana lived. Further down the road, you'll stop at London's most classic venue, The Royal Albert Hall, built to memorialize Prince Albert. Feel free to do your own "last night of the proms" or lay back and listen to one of your guide's anecdotes. Your group will then follow the "rotten row" in the magical Hyde park to the statue of one of England's biggest heroes of all time, the man who defeated Napoleon back in 1815: if you know his name and where the battle took place you're the hero of the day. It's all downhill from there, through the Green Park to visit the official residence of the Royal family, Buckingham Palace - maybe you'll get invited for a cup of tea? We hope to tell you some stories about the Palace that you won't find in a travel guide! Next stop on your route is Trafalgar square, one of the world's most famous places. Whatever happened to Lord Nelson in Trafalgar and where did all the pigeons that once lived here go? If you know this then please do share - that's what the tour is all about, sharing some stories  - it's more of a chat than a lecture with a lot of yeardropping. If you like the royal weddings and the coronations, the amazing Westminster Abbey might be the highlight for you on the tour, if you prefer some good old execution and torture you can pay some extra attention by ţhe Houses of Parliament. Then, take a selfie at Big Ben, London's number one landmark before your group goes back again through the Royal Parks to the meeting point again. But please don't rush off without challenging your guides with any questions you may have about other attractions, museums, markets and more ways to enjoy this fabulous city.

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

4.4 / 5

based on 7,557 reviews

Excellent from start to finish was a bit nervous before hand but the staff are brilliant !! The harness is easy to get on and the staff shows you how to do it and then check that the harness is on correctly and all the safety devices are in the right places.the walk itself is fantastic starts off a bit of a hard incline but then it gets easier the higher you go up,you feel really safe and secure all the way up to the viewing area once there you can walk around and take in the spectacular views and take photos! The climb down is easier until the last view steep bits it’s pretty steep but you can choose to go backwards or forwards……all in all a very good experience worth the money and the staff are friendly and look after you would totally recommend climbing the O2

Guide was more than helpful and patient with the older participants,.Stops were useful to see around the fab views. It was good within the groups, two celebrations and whilst they sipped the bubbles, the guide explained the views.So glad to have done the walk . All the team were very pleasant and share our pleasure

Great fun, great views, and great guide! Everyone was so kind and informative! I recommend everyone in London do this at least once.

The meeting points are easy to find, everyone is helpful.

Friendly and helpful staff nothing too much trouble