Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
Houses of Parliament & Big Ben

Houses of Parliament & Big Ben

Daily when parliament is in session
Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA

The basics

The best way to see Big Ben is from afar, to appreciate the scale of the 315-foot (96-meter) clock tower while also avoiding crowds nearby. Popular ways to admire the clock include taking a ride on the nearby London Eye or opting for a Thames River cruise. Alternatively, city tours of London—on foot or by hop-on, hop-off bus—typically pass by Big Ben, also stopping at Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London.

To go inside the Houses of Parliament, arrange an official tour or watch a debate from the public galleries. Big Ben is only accessible to UK residents.

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Westminster Abbey Tour and optional visit to Houses of Parliament in London
Westminster Abbey Tour and optional visit to Houses of Parliament in London
$75.93 per adult
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Jane was the best hostess! She was recognized throughout the tour by her colleagues and was so knowledgeable. She shared so much and made our tour very interesting.
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Things to know before you go

  • Big Ben is visited on most half- and full-day tours of London, whether on walking, biking, or bus tours.

  • Take 10 minutes to admire the statues in 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.

  • Big Ben is only accessible to UK residents, who must request permission from their local member of parliament to visit.

  • Stop by after dark to see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament illuminated.

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How to get there

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are located on the north bank of the River Thames, easily accessible from the Westminster underground tube station, which is serviced by the Jubilee, Circle, and District lines. You can also hop off at Waterloo station to wander along the vibrant South Bank, past the London Eye, before crossing Westminster Bridge to reach Big Ben.

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Trip ideas


When to get there

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are must-sees of London vacations year-round. A particularly great time to visit is on New Year's Eve, when fireworks light the sky in a riot of color right in front of Big Ben. Be sure to book tickets for the fireworks display well in advance to avoid disappointment.

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Why is Big Ben called Big Ben?

The origins of Big Ben, the popular—if not strictly official—name for the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, is a subject of much debate. Some attribute the nickname to Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the Great Bell's installation, while others give the credit to English heavyweight boxer Benjamin "Big Ben" Caunt. (Also, Big Ben is technically the name of the Great Bell, not the tower as a whole.)

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Houses of Parliament & Big Ben?
A:
Attractions near Houses of Parliament & Big Ben:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in London?
A:
As well as visiting the Houses of Parliament & Big Ben, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: