The Palace of Westminster and Big Ben

No trip to London is complete without a visit to the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben - home to the Houses of Parliament

Gothic Spires of the Palace of Westminster with Westminster Bridge in the Foreground
Gothic Spires of the Palace of Westminster with Westminster Bridge in the Foreground cc licensed photo by _gee_

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 Westminster

Fee: No

Category: Landmarks & Historical Buildings

Address: Westminster
London SW1A 0AA
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7219 3000


Yelp Rating:
4.5 out of 5 4.5 Star Rating
Based on 185 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

5 Star Rating Gorgeous buildings, one of the prettiest I've seen! The architecture was mesmerizing! Read More

Dante M. Jan-26-2023

5 Star Rating At first I thought seeing where people sit in shots on BBC sounded boring, but it's so much more than that! Unfortunately they are stingy on photo... Read More

Stephanie G. Jul-12-2022

5 Star Rating I don't get a chance to go inside but the outside is massive and beautiful. Many tour bus passes by this area and you can not missed it. This is one of the... Read More

Kim T. Nov-28-2022

Accommodations near Palace of Westminster:


Tube Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Circle, District and Jubilee LineWestminster2 Minutes
Northern and Bakerloo LineCharing Cross14 Minutes
Victoria LineVictoria19 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.

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Enjoy this interesting look inside the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster and learn about its fascinating history and construction

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