The Houses of Parliament and their famous the Clock Tower, properly called the Palace of Westminster, are probably the single most recognized landmark in all of London. In fact the 316 foot high Clock Tower, which is commonly refered to as Big Ben after the nickname of it's heaviest bell, is famous throughout the world. The giant bell chimes each hour while four smaller bells chime every 15 minutes.
The site of the Palace of Westminster has a rich history going back nearly 1000 years to the 11th century. While it originally served as a royal residence it has been the location for meetings of the Parliament of England since 1295. In 1834 a huge fire broke out and destroyed the majority of the complex. Two Chambers where quickly repaired in order to be used by the Houses of Lords and Commons by February of the following year. After debating different designs for rebuilding the palace it was finally decided to stay with a convservative Gothic style. Rebuilding was completed in stages between 1840 and 1870. Palace of Westminster and the famous Clock Tower were again damaged heavily by a total of 14 different bomb strikes during the course of World War II, however everything was again rebuilt and repaired after the war.
During your visit to Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) you can enjoy viewing and photographing the impressive architectural details and you can enjoy the Tower Gardens, a park that runs along the Thames River next to the Palace.
Public tours are available on Saturdays and during the Summer Opening. Tickets are required. For more information see Parliamentary Tours for overseas visitors
There are many other attractions within easy walking distance of Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster). Some of these include Saint James's Park, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and the Westminster Cathedral. These attractions can be nicely combined into a memorable one or two day walking tour.
Facts For Your Visit
Official Website: Palace of WestminsterFee: No
Some attractions may have reduced hours or be closed due to COVID-19. Please verify opening hours with the attraction before visiting.
Category: Landmarks & Historical Buildings
London SW1A 0AA
Phone: +44 20 7219 3000
Christine S. Aug-14-2019
Since there is a very limited time of when you can actually tour the Houses of Parliment, I wasn't sure if it was worth it or I just needed a glimpse of the... Read More
Angy M. Aug-18-2020
Even though I only had the chance to view it from the outside, it was certainly beautiful! Being up close, you see so many of the details of the building.... Read More
Brian G. Nov-20-2018
Fascinating, educational and memorable tour through the Houses of Parliament today. Fabulous, historic edifice full of history and memorable artwork. The... Read More
Accommodations near Palace of Westminster:
|Tube Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Circle, District and Jubilee Line||Westminster||2 Minutes|
|Northern and Bakerloo Line||Charing Cross||14 Minutes|
|Victoria Line||Victoria||19 Minutes|
How to get to Palace of Westminster by Tube
From Westminster Station you will exit onto Bridge St. right across from Big Ben.
From Charing Cross Station walk west on Strand then bear right at Trafalger Square and head south along Whitehall St.
From Victoria Station walk east along Victoria Street.
Map & Instant Route Finder
Click&Go Map and Route Finder with public transit, walking, driving or cycling directions. Get up-to-the-minute transit times for your route.