Ultimate Guide to visiting Big Ben & Houses of Parliament;-The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben stand out among all the other London landmarks that are dispersed throughout the city as being the most identifiable and representative of its culture.
Since the Houses of Parliament and its great clock tower, known as “Big Ben,” have long served as enduring emblems of London, it can be difficult to visualize the city without thinking of these two landmarks.
The Houses of Parliament were initially constructed as a royal palace and home during the time of Henry VIII (also known as the Palace of Westminster; not to be confused with the neighboring Westminster Abbey). The British Parliament received the structure in 1547, and it has served as its permanent home ever since.
- Make careful to get there early because lines can be very lengthy, and be ready to spend up to an hour waiting outside in the rain; (the queues for the Public Gallery of the House of the Lords, however, tend to be shorter, as well as any queue during the evening hours).The Ultimate Guide to visiting Big Ben & Houses of Parliament 2022
- There are self-guided tours available if you don’t feel like taking a tour with a guide so you can move at your own pace. The guided tour, however, takes guests through areas that are off limits to the general public and provides much more historical context regarding the buildings’ development. It could be a good idea to register online in advance because space can be scarce.
- Even if it is advised that you arrive 15 minutes before your tour begins, it might be a good idea to do so (at least 30 minute beforehand)The Ultimate Guide to visiting Big Ben & Houses of Parliament 2022
To obtain a tour ticket, tourists must visit the Ticket Office, which is in front of Portcullis House; (a four-minute walk away from Big Ben).
- By tube
The closest tube station, Westminster, is four minutes’ walk away if you’re taking the subway
- By coach
Coach drivers can stop on Abingdon Street, which is one minute’s walk from The Palace of Westminster, if you’re traveling by bus.
- By bus
There are numerous bus routes that stop at Parliament Square on Victoria Street if you’re traveling by bus (opposite the Houses of Parliament)
- By car
The closest parking spots for those driving are located on Great Peter Street, Smith Square, and Matthew Parker Street. A underground parking garage is also available in front of the Houses of Parliament.The Ultimate Guide to visiting Big Ben & Houses of Parliament 2022
Visiting Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament
Visitors are welcome to participate in debates, observe committee hearings, and take a tour of the Houses of Parliament, but only UK citizens will be permitted to visit Big Ben.
Check out the Houses of Parliament’s official website in advance if you’re interested in attending a committee meeting or a debate while the legislature is in session. (The House of Commons convenes from 2:30 pm to 10:30 pm on weekdays.) When Parliament is in session, one flag will fly at the Ayrton Light on the Clock Tower at night and another flag will fly outside the Victoria Tower during the day.
When Parliament is in session, visitors are permitted to view the House of Commons Visitors’ Gallery, although
UK citizens can purchase tickets from an MP for a seat in the House of Commons’ Strangers Gallery or from a Lord for a seat in the House of Lords’ gallery. However, whenever the House of Commons is in session, foreign visitors must wait in a line to get their tickets. (Be advised that there is no guarantee that overseas guests will be able to acquire a seat due to the limited space.)
Be ready to go through airport-style screening before to entering the Houses of Parliament, which could take between 15 and 30 minutes; (or up to 45 minutes on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons if you want to visit the public galleries). Don’t bring any large items.The Ultimate Guide to visiting Big Ben & Houses of Parliament 2022
Ticket prices and Opening hour
Every Saturday from 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the entire year, guided tours of the Houses of Parliament are offered.
There are trips every: in July and August.
9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Wednesday between 1:15 and 4:30.
As of September:
9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday and Friday.
From 1:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Children (aged five to 16) can enter for free, while adults must pay £15 for tickets, families must pay £37, students must pay £10, and children (aged five to 16) must pay £6.
Along with the Easter and Christmas breaks, Parliament takes a three-month summer break. There are guided tours of the chambers and the courthouse at this time.The Ultimate Guide to visiting Big Ben & Houses of Parliament 2022
Frequently Asked Questions
A tour of Big Ben is free of charge. It is perfectly scheduled so that you are in the bell tower when the hour chimes. Over a year ago, you had to email your MP to schedule trips.
- Can tourists go inside Big Ben?
We have suspended clock tower tours while Big Ben is undergoing conservation work. Since it was constructed in Victorian era, the Elizabeth Tower, also referred to as Big Ben, is presently undertaking the most ambitious conservation project. Visitors cannot enter the Elizabeth Tower while this maintenance is being done.
- How long does it take to visit Big Ben?
The views from this location can be enjoyed for as little as ten minutes or as long as thirty. For the best views of Big Ben, stand anywhere on Westminster Bridge. Or, for the best experience, choose a position just in front of the Queen Boadicea statue at the base of Westminster Bridge, next to Westminster tube station.
- Can you visit the Houses of Parliament for free?
Yes, by attending a debate, Prime Minister’s Questions, or Ministers Questions in the right chamber, you can visit the Houses of Parliament for free. This is what? Additionally, you can reserve a space on one of the frequent, free Democratic Access Tours offered by Parliament.