Things to do in London

Crafting your itinerary for the Tower of London

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The Tower of London, also known as His Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, is a historic site located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It is situated within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, adjacent to the financial district of the City of London separated by an open space called Tower Hill.

The Tower of London is a significant part of London's history, and it’s not the same as Tower Bridge. Visiting this well-preserved historic site is a must for anyone interested in exploring London's past. Check out this blog for tips on navigating your trip to the Tower of London.

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Before you visit Tower of London

To avoid long lines and save time, booking Tower of London tickets online in advance is advisable. The Tower can be crowded, especially during peak season. To bypass crowds, consider visiting early in the morning or late afternoon. The Beefeaters, popularly known as Yeoman Warders, have been providing tours of the Tower for over 700 years. Free tours leave every 30 minutes from the White Tower. To make the most of your visit, start by exploring the 23,000 gemstones at The Crown Jewels as it tends to get busier around midday. The Tower also features a long outer wall where you can get your steps in for the day and enjoy the stunning views of the area.

Best time to visit Tower of London

The Tower of London tends to be busiest around midday, with 15 to 30-minute wait times. To avoid crowds, visit during the off-peak season from November to February. It's best to start your visit by seeing the Crown Jewels early in the morning at 9am and then exploring the rest of the tower and moats.

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Tickets to Tower of London

To avoid lines, purchase Tower of London tickets online in advance or at the entrance. Opt for the Early Access with Beefeater guide for the quickest experience. The Tower of London is also included in the Go City pass for a full London experience.

Opening hours

The Tower of London has a unique schedule because of its historical importance and the need to balance access for visitors while preserving the site. The fortress and palace are still in use for official ceremonies, which can impact its operating hours. The opening hours are as follows:

  • April 15 to May 5: Daily 9am to 5:30pm, except on Sunday & Monday, it’s open from 10am to 5.30pm.
  • May 6: 9am to 5:30pm.
  • May 7 to May 24: Daily 9am to 5:30pm, except on Sunday & Monday, it’s open from 10am to 5.30 pm.
  • May 25 to June 2: Daily 9am to 5:30pm.
  • June 3 to July 19: Daily 9am to 5:30pm, except on Sunday & Monday, it’s open from 10am to 5:30pm.
  • July 20 to September 1: Daily 9am to 5:30pm.
  • September 2 to September 30: Daily 9am to 5:30pm, except on Sunday & Monday, it’s open from 10am to 5:30pm.
  • January 2 & 3: 9am to 4:30pm
  • January 6 to February 9: Daily 9am to 4:30pm, except on Sunday & Monday, it’s open from 10 am to 4:30pm.
  • February 10 to February 18: 9am to 4:30pm.
  • February 19 to February 28: Daily 9am to 4:30pm, except on Sunday & Monday, it’s open from 10am to 4:30pm.
  • March 1 to March 28: Daily 9am to 5:30pm, except on Sunday & Monday, it’s open from 10am to 5:30pm.
  • March 29 to April 14: Daily 9am to 5:30pm.
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Tips for visiting Tower of London

  • Allocate 2.5 hours to explore the Tower of London fully.
  • University students, 16 and 17-year-olds, individuals aged 65 and over, and those with disabilities are eligible for discounted rates. You’ll need to provide a valid identification to avail the discount.
  • There is no fast-track entry to the Tower of London. All visitors must pass a bag check before entering. Know that there is no luggage storing room at the Tower of London, so large bags and backpacks are not allowed inside.
  • London Pass holders must present their pass to the Admissions team upon arrival on the day of their visit. Although you cannot reserve a free space in advance, you will be given the next available time slot.
  • You can reach the Tower of London by a unique and scenic boat ride. Choose from various boat tours such as the Thames River Cruises and City Cruises departing from different locations in London. The journey to the Tower of London typically takes about 30 minutes.

Getting the Tower of London

🚇 By Tube:

Trafalgar Square to Tower Hill station by Tube takes about 10 minutes. The closest Tube lines that stop at Tower Hill are the District and Circle lines.

🚌 By Bus:

The Tower of London can be easily reached by bus, as several bus routes stop near the Tower Hill bus stop. Buses 15, 42, 78, 100, 343, and RV1 stop right outside the Tower of London. You can catch these buses from Trafalgar Square, King's Cross, and Paddington.

🛥️ By Riverboat:

The journey from Westminster Pier to Tower Pier by riverboat takes about 20 minutes. Riverboats run every 30-60 minutes during the day from various piers in central London such as Westminster, Embankment Pier, and London Bridge Pier.

Amenities and accessibility

  • The New Armouries Café located near the Salt Tower offers a variety of hot meals, sandwiches, paninis, salads, and breakfast options.
  • The Tower of London has baby changing facilities, dedicated safety and first aid staff, free Wi-Fi, and buggy parks inside.
  • Restrooms at the Tower of London are at Brick Tower, behind the Jewel House, Salt Tower (male toilets), and Cradle Tower (female and accessible toilets).
  • Services for disabled visitors include wheelchair rental, specialized tours, and a digital British Sign Language guide.
  • Photography is permitted everywhere at the Tower of London except inside The Jewel House and The Chapel of St. John in the White Tower.
  • There’s also a Tower of London shop where you can buy a variety of souvenirs such as historical replicas, books, jewelry, and royal-themed items.

What to see at Tower of London

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The Crown Jewels

The Tower of London is home to the iconic Crown Jewels, a must-see attraction showcasing over 23,000 gemstones including treasures like the priceless Cullinan and the Kohinoor. These jewels, featuring crowns, scepters, and orbs used in royal ceremonies, hold immense historical significance and are truly priceless gems!

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The White Tower

Step into history at the White Tower, one of the oldest and most iconic parts of the Tower of London. Here, you’ll get to see the medieval arms and armor, along with the Royal Armouries collection. The interactive displays provide a peek into the world of warfare and monarchy, making it a must-visit spot for history buffs and curious minds alike.

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The Bloody Tower

The Bloody Tower, infamous for its dark history and links to mysterious royal vanishings, is another notable sight at the Tower of London. Don't miss the opportunity to walk along the famous Tower walls and take in panoramic views of London from various vantage points.

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The Tower Green

The Tower Green is a historic space within the Tower of London where many significant events took place like the execution of high-profile prisoners, adding to the tower's dark history. Discover the history behind this infamous water entrance and its role in the imprisonment and transport of individuals accused of treason.

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The Ravens

The Ravens at the Tower of London are mystical birds that have been a part of the Tower's history for centuries, and legend has it that if the six of them ever leave, the kingdom will fall. You can witness the daily tradition of the Ravenmaster feeding and caring for these fascinating birds.

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The Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula

The Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula is an important religious site within the Tower of London. It is the final resting place for numerous individuals, including prisoners who were executed at the Tower.

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Nearby attractions

Tower of London - Plan Your Visit