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Visiting the Tower of London 2024: Everything You Need to Know!

Last updated: May 28, 2024 . Written by Laurence Norah - 6 Comments

If you’re visiting London, we think that a visit to the Tower of London should definitely be high on your list of things to do in the city. This is home to one of the oldest intact buildings in London, and has seen a huge amount of history. We’ve visited multiple times, and always have a great day out here.

There’s a lot to see and do at the Tower of London, from seeing the Crown Jewels to learning the legend of the ravens. In this guide to visiting the Tower of London (officially known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London), I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to plan your visit.

This will include everything from saving money on your Tower of London tickets, to what to see and do, and more tips for your visit. I’ll also share some tips for where to stay near the Tower of London. Let’s get started.

An Overview of the Tower of London

Before we get into the details, you might be wondering what the Tower of London is, and why it warrants a visit. Let me answer that question with some quick history.

In 1066 William the Conqueror invaded Britain, bringing an end to centuries of Anglo-Saxon rule. The monarchy that William started shaped much of the England you see today, right up to and including the current monarch.

Of course, invading and conquering a country is one thing. Keeping it under your rule once you’ve done that is another. With this in mind, William the Conqueror, now William the First, set about building castles to keep control of his new lands. In fact, from 1066 through to 1087, he built nearly 700 castles across England and Wales.

With London as his capital city, naturally an impressive castle had to be built here to demonstrate his absolute power. And so it was in 1066 that construction on the Tower of London commenced. Initially the building was a simple timber structure, but a more impressive stone structure was built in the early 1080s. This was built over pre-existing Roman fortifications that were part of Roman city wall.

This was the White Tower, an imposing stone fortress which still survives today as the centrepiece of the Tower of London.

White Tower Tower of London

Over the centuries various changes and additions were made to the Tower of London. These included extra fortifications and structures, including thick walls, defensive towers, and buildings for accommodation, holding prisoners and munition storage.

Today, the Tower of London consists of a series of defensive structures, walls and buildings which span an area of 12 acres. First there is the moat, then there is a defensive wall, the outer ward, another defensive wall, the inner ward and finally the innermost ward where you find the White Tower.

The Tower of London has been the location of many key events in British history. Multiple important figures throughout history were executed here, with 112 people executed at the Tower over 400 years. These included some of Henry VIII’s wives, political and religious prisoners, and even German spies during World War II.

Today the Tower of London is primarily a visitor attraction, a role it has played for around 400 years. It also serves some notable functions, including being the home of the Crown Jewels and the regimental headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site, and also a home for around 40 retired service personnel and their families.

As you can imagine with a building that spans so much history, we’ve only briefly covered the Tower of London in this overview, but hopefully this gives you enough to get an idea as to why to visit!

Where is the Tower of London?

The Tower of London is found on the north bank of the River Thames, right next to Tower Bridge. The address is London, EC3N 4AB. It sits right on the edge of the London borough of Tower Hamlets, next to the City of London.

The Tower of London entrance is on the west side of the building, with the ticket and security check lines forming outside the west gate. This area is also where you’ll find the ticket shop, welcome centre and shop.

Tower of London

How to get to the Tower of London

There are multiple options for getting to the Tower of London, including by rail, underground, bus and even boat! Here are the main options you have.

  • Tube . The nearest tube station to the Tower of London is Tower Hill, which is served by the District and Circle lines. This is around a five minute walk from the Tower of London. Other nearby stations (within 15 minutes walk) include Aldgate, Aldgate East, Tower Gateway, Monument, Bank, London Bridge and Fenchurch Street.
  • Public bus . Bus services 15, 42, 78, 100 and RV1 all stop near the Tower of London.
  • Boat.  The Thames River Boat service stops at Tower Pier, and offers connections up and down the river. A day pass for the Thames River Boat is included on the London Pass , which also includes Tower of London admission.
  • Train . The nearest train station for the Tower of London is London Bridge Station, around 15 minutes walk away. Liverpool Street Station is around 20 minutes walk away.
  • Taxi . You can of course get a taxi to the Tower of London, which prices varying depending on the distance travelled.
  • Hop on Hop off Bus . All the London sightseeing buses make a stop at the Tower of London. A sightseeing bus tour ticket is also included on the London Pass .
  • Walking . Depending on where you are traveling from, you might find it easiest to walk to the Tower of London. For example, it’s 20 minutes’ walk from St. Pauls Cathedral and the Shard, 45 minutes from Covent Garden or an hour from Westminster Abbey.

For more tips on travel in London, see our guide to getting around London .

Tower of London Opening Times

The Tower of London normally opens between 9am and 10am, and closes between 4.30pm and 5.30pm. These times vary depending on the time of year. They can also change for school holidays. Normal opening times are as follows:

Summer (1st March – 31st October)

  • Sunday – Monday: 10am – 5.30pm
  • Tuesday – Saturday: 9am – 5.30pm

Winter (1st November – 28th February)

  • Sunday – Monday: 10am – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday – Saturday: 9am – 4.30pm.

Last admission is usually between 1 hour and ninety minutes before closing, however we would recommend giving yourself at least 2 or three hours for a visit.

Note that opening times can vary, so you will always want to check current opening times here in advance of your visit.

Do You Need a Ticket for the Tower of London?

You definitely need a ticket for the Tower of London. You can either book your tickets online in advance of your visit (recommended), or you can buy tickets from the ticket office which is near the main entrance.

We highly recommend booking tickets in advance. At busier times, there can be queues for the ticket office, so you will lose valuable sightseeing time standing in line.

How Much does it Cost to Visit the Tower of London?

As of April 2024, ticket prices for the Tower of London are as follows:

  • Adult – £34.80
  • Child (age 5-15) – £17.40
  • Concession (age 65+, 16-17, full time student, disabled visitors) – £27.70
  • Child under 5 years – Free

Pricing can vary, we recommend you check the latest information here .

What Does the Tower of London Ticket Include?

The Tower of London ticket includes:

  • Entry to the Crown Jewels, the White Tower and the Chapel of St Peter
  • Entry to the Battlements, the Medieval Palace, the Bloody Tower, the Torture at the Tower Exhibition, the Fusiliers Museum, the Beauchamp Tower, and the Royal Mint Exhibition
  • A tour of the Tower of London with a Yeoman Warder, or “Beefeater”. These run every hour starting near the main entrance, pre-booking is not required. The first tour is usually at 10am and the final tour is at 2.30pm.

The ticket does not include an audio guide, but an audio guide can be purchased separately for £5 for adults and £4 for children. You can either purchase these with your ticket or on-site. Audio guides can be collected just after you pass through the security check, to the right of the entrance.

Premium Tower of London Experiences

As well as the standard visit to the Tower of London, you can also book special experiences. These usually cost more, but will give you a unique experience. These might include witnessing special ceremonies, or simply getting in before the majority of the crowds. Some examples include:

  • This early access tour of the Tower of London with a Beefeater which has you visiting prior to general admission
  • This Tour of the Tower of London includes early access to the Tower and Crown Jewels. You’ll also get to see the opening ceremony, and have a fully guided experience inside the Tower of London. It also includes a hop-on hop-off city cruise tour, which departs right outside the Tower.
  • One of the most unique experiences at the Tower of London is the Ceremony of the Keys. This is held every night from 9.30pm until 10.05pm, and tickets must be purchased separately. These are very popular, and ca be booked on the official website here . Note that photography is not permitted, and this ticket does not include admission to the Tower of London beyond the Key Ceremony itself.
  • If you want to see the evening Ceremony of the Keys and also take a quick tour of the Tower, check out this tour . It includes an hour’s tour with a Yeoman Warder as well as the opportunity to watch the Ceremony of the Keys. I have done this tour and I enjoyed it. However you should be aware it is quite a quick tour and you don’t see inside the White Tower or visit the Crown Jewels. So for a more complete experience I would probably recommend this morning tour .

Where to Buy Tower of London Tickets

There are a number of options for buying Tower of London tickets. The main options you have are:

  • On-site in person at the Tower of London ticket office
  • On the GetYourGuide website here
  • Online on the official website here

We definitely recommend checking prices between the official site and third party sites as sometimes there are discounts as well as bundles that may include other attractions you are interested in.

It’s also worth mentioning that the refund policy varies by ticket. Tickets bought on the official site generally cannot generally be refunded, whilst third-party sites may have a different policy.

The Tower of London is also included on a number of London city passes, see that section of the post for more details on that.

Ticket Office Tower of London

Discount Tower of London Tickets

There are a few ways to get discounted Tower of London tickets, or at least, to save on your admission.

If you are travelling as a family, the Family Saver ticket can save you money. This is available on either the official site here or the Tiqets website here . If visiting during peak times with two adults and three children, you can save over £20 compared to buying the normal full price tickets.

Tower Hamlets residents can visit the Tower of London for just £1. These tickets can only be purchased in person on the day, and residents must provide proof of residence in the form of either an Idea Store card or a Tower Hamlets library card, as well as proof of address.

Finally, don’t forget to check out city passes which include the Tower of London. If you are planning on visiting a few attractions in London, these can quickly save you money.

tower of london average visit time

City Passes that Include the Tower of London

One of the best ways to save money on sightseeing in a city in our experience is to use a city pass. These passes usually include entry to a range of attractions for one price. If you are already planning to visit a number of high value attractions in a city like London, then a city pass can usually save you quite a bit of money.

We normally use the London Pass when we’re in London sightseeing, and have used it to visit the Tower of London a number of times. You can read our full review of the London Pass here , and buy one for yourself here . Of course, there are other city passes which include the Tower of London. Here are the main options to consider. Which one is best for you will depend on your sightseeing itinerary.

  • The London Pass – access to over 80 attractions across London for a specific set of days
  • The GoCity London Explorer Pass – choose from between 2 and 7 attractions to visit
  • The London Sightseeing Pass – access to over 55 attractions across London for a specific set of days
  • The London City Card – access to the Tower of London and the London Eye , as well as an audio guide of London and a hop on hop off boat cruise
  • The London Big City Saver Pass – includes access to the Tower of London as well as your choice of attractions including the London Eye, Madame Tussauds

We normally use the London Pass as we think it offers the best value, but of course it will depend on what you plan to see.

Tower of London Tickets Sold Out? You still have options to visit the Tower of London!

If you are visiting the Tower of London when they are operating timed entry slots, these do have a maximum number of visitors they can accommodate. As such, tickets can sell out.

If you are looking on one of the online ticket portals, including the official site, then you should also check alternatives just in case. Whilst most of them draw from the same allocation, you might get lucky. We recommend checking  the official website here , on the GetYourGuide website here .

If you have no luck, the next option is to book a tour which includes Tower of London entry. Group tour tickets normally have a pre-allocated amount of tickets which are separate from the standard ticket pool. We list tours in our suggested tour options, but some options to consider include:

  • This Tour of the Tower of London which includes early access to the Tower and Crown Jewels. You’ll also get to see the opening ceremony, and have a fully guided experience inside the Tower of London
  • This full day tour of London includes many of the highlights of London, and finishes with a guided tour of the Tower of London

Hopefully between these options you’ll be able to visit the Tower of London during your time in the city.

tower of london average visit time

Can you skip the lines at the Tower of London?

There are two main lines at the Tower of London.

The first of these is the ticket line for buying tickets in person on the day. This one is easy to skip by buying your tickets online in advance, which we highly recommend you do. Most tickets or tours which advertise skip the line privileges are referring to this ticket line.

If you are visiting with a London Pass or other city sightseeing pass, you can normally also skip the ticket line and head straight for the entry line. Just read the instructions provided with the pass.

The second line is the entry line which features a security check. All guests have to go through the security check, so this line can’t be skipped. Our advice is to visit the Tower of London as close to opening time as possible so the line isn’t so long.

The only way to ensure faster access is to book one of the early entry tours, which get you in before the main ticket line opens. While you will still have to go through security, it will only be you and the other members of your group doing this, so it will move quickly. Check out this tour and this tour for examples of early access tours.

What to see and do at the Tower of London

There is a lot to see and do at the Tower of London! We recommend visiting the Crown Jewels (located in a section of the Waterloo Barracks) first and then visiting the White Tower as these are generally the two busiest and most popular attractions here. After that, we just recommend visiting the rest of the attractions in the order that makes the most sense for you.

I should also note that due to the historic nature of the Tower of London some exhibit or area is almost always closed at any one time due to renovations, construction, or safety issues. However, it is rarely the most popular areas.

For example on one of our recent visits the Tower’s Mint and the chapel were closed to visitors, and on another the Beauchamp Tower and a section of the battlements was closed. So if there is any specific exhibit or areas you really want to visit, you may want to call ahead to ensure it is open.

Here’s an overview of the main sights and attractions within the walls.

The Tower’s Mint

When you enter the Tower of London you’ll pass through the Middle Gate, go across the moat, and then pass through the outer wall via the Byward Tower. You’ll now be in the outer ward, which sits between the two main sets of walls.

If you head to your left, up Mint Street, you will come to The Tower Mint. This street is also home to the “casemates”, a series of homes built into the walls where many of the Yeoman warders live.

The Tower Mint is open for visiting. It was established here in 1279, and for 500 years, most of the coins in circulation in the country were produced here. A visit to the mint will teach you all about this process, as well as about the people who lived and worked here. There are also some fun interactive games you can play.

Edward I Groat Tower Mint

The Battlements

The inner curtain wall of the Tower of London separates the outer ward from the inner ward. This was built during the reign of Henry the III in the 13th century, and much of what you see today is original from this period.

It consists of 13 towers (Bell, Beauchamp, Devereux, Flint, Bowyer, Brick, Martin, Constable, Broad Arrow, Salt, Lanthorn, Wakefield, and the Bloody Tower) which are linked by walls, and the whole construction is generally referred to today as the Battlements.

When built, this primarily served a defensive function. Today, you can walk along the majority of the battlements by taking the wall walk. This takes you through a number of the towers, with many of them setup to show mini exhibitions. In these, you’ll learn all sorts of things about the Tower’s history, from the time the walls were breached during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, the Tower’s time as a zoo (the Royal Menagerie), and what happened at the Tower during the World Wars.

One of the more intriguing exhibits for us was about the great fire here that took place in 1841 when Duke of Wellington was the Tower Constable. Another was a room devoted to the history of the animals that were kept at the Tower of London here which included lions, baboons, bears, alligators, zebras, and elephants. You’ll also see sculptures representing some of the animals that were kept here throughout the site.

The wall walk also take you through the next entry in our guide, the Medieval Palace.

Tower of London Battlements

The Medieval Palace

The wall walk along the Battlements starts with you entering St. Thomas’s Tower. This is part of the outer defences of the castle, added by Edward I in the late 13th century. As well as an additional defensive wall wrapping around the outside of the original curtain wall, this features a number of defensive emplacements as well as a large tower.

This tower, St. Thomas’s Tower, was built to serve two purposes. First, it had a river-level water gate entrance, offering direct access to the Thames. This came to be known as Traitors’ Gate, as this was where many Tudor-era prisoners would arrive prior to incarceration, often followed by torture and/or execution.

The upper floor of St. Thomas’s Tower was designed to provide luxurious lodging for the Royal family when they stayed at the Tower. Today, St. Thomas’s Tower along with the next two towers you pass through on the wall walk, The Wakefield Tower and the Lanthorn Tower, are collectively known as the Medieval Palace.

These towers are today set up to demonstrate what the interior would have been like for the visiting Royalty, with objects and furniture dating from the period.

tower of london average visit time

The Crown Jewels in the Waterloo Barracks

A highlight for many visitors to the Tower of London is a visit to see the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. This is a collection of royal ceremonial objects, which include the crown worn by the British monarch. It’s the most complete collection of Royal regalia in the world, and the only set still in active use today.

The Tower of London has traditionally been home to the Crown Jewels since the early 13th century. The Jewels on display and in use today primarily date from 1660 when Charles II ascended the throne and restablished the monarchy following the English Civil War.

A highlight of the collection is the Cullinan I diamond, which is the largest clear cut diamond in the world at 530 carats. There are however over 23,000 precious stones in the display, which consists of 142 objects, including plates, swords, sceptres, robes, rings and even a spoon.

My favourite object is the nautical themed silver-gilt Grand Punch Bowl, which can hold 144 bottles of wine, and which is still in regular use!

A visit to the Crown Jewels is a must when visiting the Tower of London. It’s one of the most popular attractions, and one of the only places where photography isn’t allowed. At busier times, there can be quite a queue to visit, so do plan accordingly.

tower of london average visit time

The White Tower

Right at the heart of the Tower of London is the White Tower, the oldest part of the Tower of London and one of the oldest buildings in London.

The building is a keep, which in medieval times was a central fortified tower that normally had the most protection of any building in a castle. It was built in stone in the late 11th century, and fulfilled the role of fortress, royal accommodation, prison and symbol of power. Over the years it’s use evolved, including during the 17th century when the whole tower was used, rather riskily, to store a vast quantity of gunpowder.

Since the 19th century, the White Tower has primarily been a visitor attraction, and a visit to this incredible 11th century medieval palace is a must when inside the Tower of London. Here you will see a number of exhibits including the Line of Kings, which has been on display at the Tower of London since around 1692! Today this historic exhibition is found on the entrance floor of the White Tower.

You’ll also find other interesting armor and weaponry on display, as well as a beautiful 11th century Romanesque chapel, the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist. Note that whilst photography is allowed almost everywhere in the White Tower, it is not permitted in the chapel.

There are also exhibits about the lesser known uses of the Tower of London here including as a jewel, house, records office, Board of Ordnance headquarters, royal mint, menagerie, and royal observatory.

Armoury at Tower of London

The Bloody Tower

Originally known as the Garden Tower, the Bloody Tower is one of the towers making up the battlements. It gained its rather gruesome name in the 16th century. Two young princes, one of whom was the deposed King and the other was his brother and therefore next in line, were effectively imprisoned in the tower by their uncle the Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III.

Following their imprisonment and subsequent mysterious disappearance, rumours abounded of their being murdered, and so the Bloody Tower got its name. In 1674, the bones of two children of similar ages were found beneath the staircase in the White Tower at the Tower of London.

Today, you can learn about the Princes and what may have happened to them with a visit to the Bloody Tower. You’ll also learn about other high profile prisoners who stayed here, including Sir Walter Raleigh, who was imprisoned here for 13 years.

tower of london average visit time

Lower Wakefield Tower

Next to the Bloody Tower is the Wakefield Tower, another of the towers along the inner curtain wall. In the lower part of this tower is the Torture at the Tower exhibit.

Over the centuries, and particularly in the 16th and 17th century, there was much political and religious change in the country. These changes resulted in many prisoners being held at the Tower. Often, it was suspected that they held information on co-conspirators, or where perhaps not forthcoming enough with a confession.

Interrogators at the Tower used a range of rather awful devices to extract information from their prisoners, and you can learn all about these at the Torture at the Tower exhibit.

Torture in the Tower

The Fusilier Museum

Formed in June 1685, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers were originally formed to guard the guns at the Tower of London. Since then, the regiment has seen service in conflicts around the Globe, from the American War of Independence through to the Napoleonic Wars and the Great Wars of the 20th century.

They still have their regimental headquarters inside the walls of the Tower of London, where on the ground floor you can visit the Fusilier Museum . This museum tells the story of the regiment from its formation right up to the present day via a series of objects and information panels, and is well worth the visit.

The Fusilier Museum Tower of London

Tower Green & Scaffold Site

To the west of the White Tower, near the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula you’ll find an expanse of grass as well as a memorial.

This area, known as Tower Green, was the site of some of the most high profile executions in British history. Only those of high rank had the privilege of being executed here. Ten people were beheaded on the green, including two of Henry VIII’s wives, Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

Today there is a memorial sculpture to those who lives were taken on the green.

Tower Green & Scaffold Site memorial Tower of London

Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula

Just to the north of Tower Green is the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula. “Ad Vincula” is Latin for “in chains”, so this is the Chapel of St. Peter in chains. The chapel is the parish church of the Tower of London, and whilst there has been a chapel on site for many centuries, the current building dates from 1520 and the reign of Henry VIII.

The chapel is perhaps most well known as the final resting place for many of the high profile prisoners who were executed at the Tower. These include Queen Anne Boleyn, Queen Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, and Sir Thomas More. There were many other people interred here, including a number of martyrs who went on to become Saints.

The Chapel Royal is open for visitors and also has prayer services. It’s one of the few places in the Tower of London where photography isn’t allowed.

tower of london average visit time

Beauchamp Tower

Another of the towers in the battlements, although not part of the wall walk, is the Beauchamp Tower. This 13th century tower was used as a prison for most of its history. It takes its name from Thomas Beauchamp, who was imprisoned here at the end of the 14th century.

Being imprisoned at the Tower was, for most prisoners, a very challenging experience. Many had already been condemned to death, and were passing time in fairly grim conditions. Not every prisoner had their own apartments, like Sir Walter Raleigh!

To pass the time and alleviate boredom, many prisoners took to carving graffiti into the walls of the castle. This is still visible today, and coming to see this graffiti has in fact long been a popular pastime amongst visitors to the Tower.

The Beauchamp Tower has a number of intricate carvings in the walls, along with more standard names and dates. These can all be visited and seen as part of the Imprisonment at the Tower Exhibition, found within the Beauchamp Tower.

tower of london average visit time

One of the most well known sights at the Tower of London are the Tower Ravens. These large black birds have been a common sight at the Tower of London for centuries. The history of the Ravens at the Tower is one of myth and legends, so it’s hard to know exactly what is fact and what is not.

One story goes that the ravens were first encouraged to take up residence at the Tower to enhance the atmosphere at the executions on Tower Hill. Large black birds flapping ominously overhead would certainly lend a certain something to any execution. This association with ravens at the Tower is then said to have led to a captive population being permanently installed by Charles II in the 17th century.

Other scholars disagree, and surmise that this is all a myth put about by romantic Victorians. Certainly, the first known reference of captive Tower Ravens is in an illustration of 1863.

Whichever version of events you choose to believe, the reality is that these days there are always at least six captive ravens who are resident at the Tower, and who are looked after by the Yeoman Warders. The legend goes that should the ravens leave the Tower of London, the Crown will fall, and Britain with it.

Rather than testing this theory, the ravens are kept and fed at the Tower, and you’ll no doubt encounter them on your visit. They are often to be found hopping around after the Yeoman Warders, because they are clever birds who know where their food comes from.

Beefeater and Raven Tower of London

The Yeoman Warders & Guided Tours

An iconic sight at the Tower of London are the Yeoman Warders, commonly known as Beefeaters. These men and women (to date there has only been one woman warder) have the full title Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign’s Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary.

The Yeoman Warders are the ceremonial guards of the Tower of London, with the responsibility of looking after the prisoners in the Tower as well as safeguarding the Crown Jewels. They are also the de facto guides at the Tower, and have been helping tourists find their way around the sight and sharing their knowledge since the 19th century.

Yeoman Warders are commonly known as Beefeaters, a term whose origin is shrouded in mystery, but likely has something to do with the quantities of beef that formed a part of their diet. They were formed in 1485, and are the oldest military corp still in existence.

Yeoman Warders are today all former members of the armed services with a minimum of 22 years service. They live within the grounds of the Tower of London with their families, and they lead free guided tours within the Tower. We highly recommend spending a bit of time chatting to a Warder, as they have some wonderful stories and knowledge to share.

They run free guided tours throughout the day which are included with your tickets, and these are well worth joining. The talks cover different topics, and you can find out more when you visit about what’s on that day.

Yeoman Warder Beefeater Tower of London

As well as the Yeoman Warders, the Tower of London also has a number of Guards on duty. These are active serving military personnel, responsible for guarding the Jewel House and the Queen’s House.

They are recognisable from their red uniforms and their large furry bearskin caps. As well as their guard role, they also take part in three daily ceremonies at the Tower of London: the Ceremonial Opening, the Ceremony of the Word, and the Ceremony of the Keys.

Whilst photography of the Guards is permitted, you should be aware that these are active military personnel performing an important task. When they are marching or otherwise moving around the site, it is important to stand clear and let them get on with their duties.

Unlike the Yeoman Warders, the Guards are not there to provide visitors with assistance and as such they won’t answer questions. So please be respectful and direct any questions you have to the Yeoman Warders, rather than the Guards.

tower of london average visit time

How Long to Visit the Tower of London For?

As you can see, there is a lot to see and do at the Tower of London. We recommend a minimum of two hours for your visit if you just want to see the highlights, but ideally we’d recommend planning to spend around three hours here. At busier times, attractions like the Crown Jewels can involve a queue time of up to an hour, so you will need to consider this as well.

But you can easily spend most of a day here as there is so much to do and see if you visit all the available attractions. In addition to visiting all the various parts of the Tower and attractions, there are also guided tours you can join (most are free with your ticket) as well as the restaurant, café, and gift shops.

Those visiting with children may want to make sure to take some time between visiting buildings and museums to eat and let the kids enjoy the green spaces.

Is the Tower of London Worth It?

Hopefully having read this guide so far, and seeing all that there is to see and do at the Tower of London, you will agree that the Tower of London is definitely worth it.

Whilst the entry price is relatively high, it is on par with other major attractions in London like the London Eye . You could also spend a full day just at the Tower of London if you wanted to as there is plenty to see and do.

We feel it offers great value for what you can see, which includes many things you just can’t see anywhere else like the Crown Jewels.

Practicalities for Visiting the Tower of London

Like any major tourist attraction, there are a few things to be aware of when visiting the Tower of London.

Facilities at the Tower of London

There are a number of toilets at the Tower of London, some of which offer accessible facilities and some of which offer baby changing facilities.

Buggies and push chairs are allowed at the Tower of London, but due to the ancient cobbled ground many parts of the Tower are not exactly pushchair friendly. There is a buggy park outside the White Tower.

There are first aid services at the Tower of London. If you are visiting with children, there is not a meeting point, but children should be instructed to talk with a Yeoman Warder if they need help.

Security at the Tower of London

Like most locations these days, there are security checks when visiting the Tower of London. If you have any kind of small backpack or bag, it will be searched on entry, and the Tower reserves the right to search visitors on entry as well. Large luggage is not permitted in the Tower.

There are a number of prohibited articles which seem fairly obvious to me. Weapons, including knives with a blade in excess of 3 inches are forbidden, as are fireworks, smoke bombs and pepper spray.

Accessibility at the Tower of London

The Tower of London strives to be an accessible venue, with a number of measures in place to make all visitors welcome. However, there are some limitations, as this is a very old building complex with cobbled areas, steep narrow staircases, and low doorways.

There is a full guide to accessibility at the Tower of London, with detailed information on each area of the Tower and accessibility features. You can download this here .

All visitors with disabilities are welcome to bring a carer free of charge. Tickets for carers can be obtained on the day, with presentation of proof of a registered disability.

Luggage storage Near the Tower of London

Whilst small daypacks are allowed, larger luggage and suitcases are not permitted at the Tower of London. There is also no on-site luggage storage. We suggest checking online luggage storage options here and here .

Photography at the Tower of London

As you can see from this guide, I’ve taken a lot of photos at the Tower of London. So I’m pleased to report that photography is allowed almost everywhere within the Tower. The main exceptions to this rule are:

  • the Crown Jewels exhibit and the entire inside of the Jewel House
  • the Martin Tower
  • the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula.
  • the Chapel of St. John in the White Tower

No photography or filming is allowed in these parts of the Tower.

You are also permitted to photograph the Guard and the Yeoman Warders. For the latter, it is always polite to ask permission. For the former, they don’t speak to people usually, but they do expect to have their photos taken. Just be respectful!

If you plan to do any commercial photography or wedding photography, or use photographic equipment such as tripods and selfie sticks, this needs to be arranged in advance. There are also rules in place to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Food and Drink at the Tower of London

If you get hungry whilst you are at the Tower of London, you have a few options.

First, you are allowed to bring your own food and drink to the Tower of London. However, do be aware that you are only allowed to consume it in designated areas.

There are also a number of options for eating and drinking at the Tower of London. The largest sit down option is the New Armouries Café. This includes a range of full size hot and cold meals, as well as drinks, snacks, sandwiches, cakes and pastries. This is the best option for a sit down meal.

There are also a number of food and drink kiosks, including an ice cream stand, at various locations around the Tower of London. So you won’t go hungry.

Internet Access at the Tower of London

There is full free WiFi access at the Tower of London. Just connect to the free WiFi network.

tower of london average visit time

Tours of the Tower of London

You can book a tour which includes the Tower of London. Some of these focus on the Tower itself, whilst others will include other sights and experiences across the city.

One thing to note is that the only external guides who are allowed to guide inside the Tower of London are Accredited Guides or Blue Badge guides.

Some tours you’ll find online will say that they include the Tower of London. However, if the tour is not operated by an accredited blue badge guide, the guide will not actually accompany you inside the Tower of London. So you would have to guide yourself for this part of the tour, or join one of the free tours after you enter with a Yeoman Warder.

Here are some options to consider.

  • This Tour of the Tower of London includes early access to the Tower and Crown Jewels. You’ll also get to see the opening ceremony, and have a fully guided experience inside the Tower of London
  • This full day tour of London includes many of the highlights of London, and finishes with a fully guided tour of the Tower of London
  • If you’d like a private tour, this tour with a blue badge guide focuses on the Tower of London, and the guide will accompany you inside throughout the experience
  • If you want to see the evening Ceremony of the Keys and also take a quick tour of the Tower, check out this tour . It includes an hour’s tour with a Yeoman Warder as well as the opportunity to watch the Ceremony of the Keys. I have done this tour and the experience is definitely interesting, however it is quite a quick tour and you don’t see inside the White Tower or the Crown Jewels. So for a more complete experience I would probably recommend this morning tour .

tower of london average visit time

Tips for Visiting the Tower of London

To help you get the most out of your Tower of London visit, we’ve put together these tips based on our multiple visits.

Consider a Guided Tour or Audio guide

As you have probably noticed, there’s a lot to see at the Tower of London, and the building itself has been witness to around a thousand years of history. As such, it can be a bit overwhelming!

For this reason, we usually recommend that visitors consider either taking a guided tour or using the on-site audio guide to enhance their visit. For guided tours, the Yeoman warder led tours which are included in your entry ticket are a great option. Alternatively, see our section on recommended tours for other ideas.

Chat with the Yeoman Warders

Whether or not you opt to take one of the free guided tours, we definitely recommend taking some time to talk with the Yeoman Warders. They’re easily recognisable from their uniforms, and they have a wealth of knowledge about the Tower of London.

So whether you have a question about what it’s like to actually live at the Tower of London, or want to know something about its history, these are the people to talk to!

What to Bring

You’ll be spending a few hours at the Tower of London, so we would recommend bringing comfortable clothes and walking shoes, as well as a refillable water bottle. We also recommend either an umbrella or lightweight rainproof coat, whatever time of year you visit. There are quite a few outdoor areas, and the weather in London can be unpredictable even in the summer time!

For more ideas on packing, see our guide to what to pack for London .

Plan your day in advance

There is a lot to see at the Tower of London, so having a general idea of the layout and what order you intend to visit things is a good idea. If you are not sure if you have the time to visit everything (there is a lot to see), you will want to prioritize the areas you really want to see by visiting them first.

Planning ahead can save you retracing your steps and walking further than you need to. As mentioned previously, the site spans 12 acres with two concentric walls surrounding the centre, and attractions found throughout.

The site is well signposted, and you’ll get a free map when you visit. You can also download this in digital form in advance of your visit from the official website here . If you need directions when you’re on site, just ask a Yeoman Warder.

We highly recommend planning to arrive as close to opening as you can, and to head straight for the Crown Jewels exhibition. This tends to be the busiest attraction on the site, and queues can be up to an hour long during peak visiting times. So if you can get this done first then you’ll be able to have a more relaxing time overall.

Attractions Near the Tower of London

The Tower of London is very close to a number of other London attractions. These include:

  • Tower Bridge (6 minute walk)
  • HMS Belfast (10 minute walk)
  • The Shard (20 minute walk)
  • Borough Market (20 minute walk)
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral (20 minute walk)
  • Shakespeare’s Globe (20 minute walk)

As you can see, it would be easy to incorporate a trip to the Tower of London with other sightseeing. See our suggested itineraries for 1 day in London , 2 days in London , 3 days in London and 6 days in London for some ideas.

The Tower of London is also very close to Borough Market, which is a popular spot for food tours. You could definitely combine a visit here with a food tour on the same day. See our gu ide to the best food tours in London for some options to choose from.

tower of london average visit time

Where to Stay Near the Tower of London

If you want to stay near the Tower of London, we’ve put together some options for you. It’s worth bearing in mind that The Tower of London is right next to the city of London, so this area is largely dominated by office buildings rather than hotels, however there are some options to choose from. We suggest the following.

  • Wombats Hostel – just 13 minutes walk from the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, this well reviewed hostel offers basic shared accommodation. There’s also a bar and shared kitchen facilities on site.
  • Clayton Hotel – well located for the city’s financial district and just 15 minutes walk from the Tower of London, this is a very well rated 4* hotel offering comfortably sized en-suite stylish rooms. There’s free WiFi throughout and an on-site restaurant and bar.
  • New Road Hotel – this excellent value and well reviewed boutique 4* hotel in Whitechapel is found in a former textile factory. It’s 25 minutes walk to the Tower of London. A wide range of rooms are available, from more budget oriented options through to higher end options with hot tubs and terraces. Rooms are all en-suite and air-conditioned, and there’s also an on-site bar and restaurant.
  • Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard – found between floors 34 and 52 of the Shard, rooms at the well reviewed 5* Shangri-La offer some of the most spectacular views of the city you’ll find in any hotel in London. Good sized rooms feature marble en-suite bathrooms with shower and separate bath tub. Rooms also feature air-conditioning, coffee machines and free WiFi, as well as a set of binoculars to enjoy the view! There are three dining and drinking menus on site, and it’s a 20 minute walk to the Tower of London

Of course, there are many more options for accommodation all across London. See our guide to where to stay in London for some more options and tips on which London neighborhoods might be the best place to stay depending on what you plan to visit.

Further Reading for Visiting London

That’s it for our complete guide to visiting the Tower of London! We hope you found it useful to help you decide on the best property for your trip to the city. We’ve also got a number of other resources to help you plan your trip to London and the UK in general which we think you’ll find useful.

  • We have detailed itineraries for  1 day in London ,  2 days in London ,  3 days in London  and  6 days in London
  • Another popular attraction in London is the London Eye. See our complete guide to visiting the London Eye for everything you need to know for the London Eye
  • You’ll need somewhere to stay in the city if you’re here for more than a day. See our guide to where to stay in London for some suggestions across all budgets.
  • If you plan on doing much sightseeing in the city, you will likely save money with a London Pass. See our complete  London Pass review here  to see if this might save you money on sightseeing.
  • We have a guide to  getting around London , and a guide to  using the Oyster card in London .
  • If you’re flying into one of London’s six airports, see our guide to  getting to London from the airport .
  • We have a detailed guide to  what to pack for London , to help you prepare for your trip to London.
  • We put together some tips on finding the  best Photography Locations in London
  • For the Harry Potter fans amongst you, take a look at our guide to finding  Harry Potter in London
  • 8 Things to Do in Kensington , London, in case you wanted to focus more on a specific region of the city
  • If you enjoy military museums, take a look at our guide to  London’s best military museums and memorial . Also see our  Winston Churchill in London guide .
  • Tips on  spending Two Weeks in the UK , should you want to have London as the start of a bigger adventure
  • For budget planning, see our guide to  how much it costs to travel in the UK
  • Our experience  taking a full day walking tour of London , in case you like the idea of a fully guided day
  • We have a complete guide to the best food tours in London , which also details all the food and drink you might consider trying when in the capital
  • Thoughts on  visiting Stonehenge from London as a day trip
  • Other good day trips from London include Oxford and Cambridge. See our guide to  Oxford in a day  as well as  things to do in Cambridge  for ideas.
  • Heading further north? We have loads of content on  Scotland , including a  2 Day Edinburgh itinerary , a guide to the  North Coast 500  and a  2 Day Glasgow itinerary
  • How about heading to Paris from London? We have a detailed guide to the  best way to get from London to Paris  to help you plan
  • The  Eyewitness Travel Guide to London , which has all sorts of information within, including more itineraries and ideas for your trip
  • Rick Steve’s London  guide, the #1 bestseller on Amazon for UK travel guides, and always an excellent source of relevant information

And that’s it! We hope you found our guide to visiting the Tower of London helpful, and as always, if you have any questions, just pop them in the comments and we’ll answer them as soon as we can!

tower of london average visit time

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There are 6 comments on this post

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Anne Clough says

8th July 2023 at 3:29 pm

Are there water fountains on site to be able to fill my bottles?

Laurence Norah says

8th July 2023 at 3:51 pm

Yes there are. I can also recommend getting a copy of the “Refill” app for your smartphone which has a map of all the water fountains as well as cafes and bars which offer free refills of water bottles 🙂

Have a great time in London!

Nichelle says

6th January 2023 at 6:48 pm

We will bein London April 2 and April 3rd, when can we purchase tickets for the Tower of London?

The website does not show any tickets available to purchase yet.

14th January 2023 at 10:22 am

Hi Nichelle,

Sorry about the slow response! I’m travelling with limited internet at the moment. You are correct, currently tickets beyond the 1st of March are not available. I contacted the Tower of London about this, and they were not able to give me an updated timeframe for when these tickets will go on sale, only to say that you should keep checking the website. Sorry to not be of more help! Have a great trip to London!

29th December 2021 at 11:18 pm

great site! do you know if beefeaters will be available in May 2022?

30th December 2021 at 10:12 am

Thanks Susan! Yes, the Beefeaters should be leading their tours in May and also be there for any photos or questions you have. They live on site so they are pretty much always there 🙂

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Honest Visitor’s Guide to the Tower of London (2024)

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Visiting the Tower of Londo n is one of the most important things on the list of many London tourists.

Not only is it a fortress in the middle of London with some pretty amazing views, but it’s also home to the Crown Jewels and thousands of years of history (including some pretty gnarly medieval torture!)

Tower of London

In this guide, I want to answer some of the main questions visitors have about visiting the Tower of London, an iconic London attraction , including the price, when to visit the Tower of London, and the different tour options.

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Where is the Tower of London?

You’ll find the Tower of London on the edge of the Thames River, near Tower Bridge .

The exact address is: Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB.

Tower of London

The Absolute Must-Knows (from a Londoner)

  • 😍 Cheapest Way to See it All: Get the London Pass here (yes, it’s worth it)
  • 🎭 Cheapest site for West End theatre tickets: London Theatre Direct
  • 🚕 Cheapest and most reliable airport transfer service: Welcome Pickups
  • 🚉 Cheapest Way to Book Train and Bus Tickets: Omio
  • 🔌 Most Reliable Adapter for UK Plugs: This one

Hey! Want more honest UK tips and planning advice? Click here to join my London and UK Travel Tips Facebook group , where I can answer more of your questions!

How to Get to the Tower of London

Tower of London

The easiest way to get to the Tower of London is by public transportation or Uber/London taxi.

If you’re traveling by taxi, they won’t need the address, just tell them where you’re going!

If you’re traveling by public transportation, take the London Underground to Tower Hill Station (which serves the Circle and District lines) and then you’ll see the Tower as soon as you walk out of the station, just across the road.

tower of london average visit time

⭐️ Top tip! ⭐️

To save yourself time, make sure to book your Tower of London tickets in advance here (and you’ll save some money!)

>>Click here to book in advance

Should I Visit the Tower of London?

Absolutely, yes!

This is a fan favorite amongst Londoners and London visitors alike.

One of the best things to do in London with kids , best things to do in London for couples , and best things to do in London overall.

Yes, it’s worth the money, yes it’s worth the time, and yes, if you can fit it in, you should definitely do it!

Tower of London

IMPORTANT: are you coming to the UK from abroad?

In case you’re reading this from outside the UK and will be a foreign visitor here, you need to know these 2 things to stay safe and save money.

  • Travel insurance – you need it when going overseas! I use this site to get the best quotes and purchase my packages from. Do not skip this – having medical coverage abroad as well as other coverage in case of missed flights, lost luggage, etc is essential. As I said, I have never gone wrong using this site .
  • International debit cards without fees – do not get stuck paying extortionate foreign fees when using your card abroad (and the UK is almost all card these days). I use the Wise debit and travel card which you can apply and learn more about here .

Buying Tickets to the Tower of London

You can buy tickets to the Tower of London on the day of try, but it’s a few pounds more than buying them online ahead of time.

I always recommend buying tickets online ahead of time if you can , though it is a massive place so you don’t need to buy them too far ahead of time to guarantee entry like some other London attractions.

The current prices for adults are £32.90 and starting at £16.40 for kids (with the online discount).

Kids under the age of 5 go free, and if you want an audio guide, they start at £4.00 extra.

You should also know that if you are buying tickets on the day, you need to go to the ticket office which is across the main entrance from the Tower of London.

It will be obvious if you’re walking from the tube station, but if you’re coming from a walk along the river, you’ll note that they do not sell tickets at the entrance directly facing the river.

tower of london average visit time

Can I Use the London Pass at the Tower of London?

Yes, you can use the London Pass at the Tower of London.

Simply show your pass and you’ll be let in (there may be a line to get to the entrance, but once you get in, you’re in).

The Tower of London at night

When Should I Visit the Tower of London?

As one of London’s most popular attractions, the Tower of London does get busy, particularly in the summer months.

London in August is very crowded, and this rings true for the Tower of London lines.

It’s always best to visit on a weekday for lower crowds, no matter the time of year, and if you’re really intent on getting in as fast as possible, try and arrange to be there at opening rather than mid-day.

Tower of London

Are there Tours at the Tower of London?

Tower of London

The Tower of London is, for the most part, a self-guided experience as you wander your away around the tower and the surrounding buildings to see what life was like for London residents (and prisoners) back in the day.

However, there are regular “beefeater” tours run by the yeoman warders throughout the day which are fantastic and worth doing.

Officially, they are “defenders of the tower,” but in reality they spend their time giving tours and educating visitors about the importance of what has and does go on at the Tower of London.

The regular beefeater tours are free with entry, you just need to get the daily guide that tells you the times and then meet at the starting point for the next tour.

As I mentioned, you can also get an audio guide to help you around the tower, particularly if you learn better listening to things rather than reading informational plaques.

If you want a more personalized experience with a smaller group than a standard Beefeater tour, you can also book onto a small group Beefeater tour with more opportunity to ask questions.

And, of course, if the Tower of London is even more important to you than that, you can take an exclusive pre-opening tour without the crowds and get to enjoy the opening ceremony, which is a truly special London experience .

Raven at Tower of London

Tower of London Touring Plan

Tower of London

Once you gain access into the Tower over the moat, you’ll have a ton of history, artifacts and displays at your fingertips.

The Tower of London is very much an entire day’s event if you are truly interested in seeing every nook and cranny, but if you don’t have that much time, you should start by lining up to see the Crown Jewels.

These are the real, authentic, actually-have-been-on-the-Kings-and-Queens heads crowns, jewelry, and other precious Royal Family heirlooms.

To see them, you go through an exhibit that shows Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on the screen, and then proceed into the Crown Jewels room which has two moving walkways on either side.

You are not allowed to take pictures, and while you can go back and get on the walkways again, you cannot walk “backwards” on yourself while on them – the point is to give people enough time to see them without there being huge crowds of people surrounding them, blocking the view.

The Crown Jewels exhibit can have long lines if you go in peak summer months, which is why I prefer to do it first to get it “out of the way,” as it were.

After that, you could go explore the Medieval Palace, decorated how it would have looked when it was used by medieval royal residents.

Head to the Raven area to learn about the influence of these precious birds on the Tower’s history and folklore.

Stop by the “Torture at the Tower” and Tower Imprisonment exhibits to learn more about prisoners in the Tower of London and how they were treated (it’s pretty gruesome, but it’s medieval torture, so what do you expect?).

There’s also a super cool room based around animals at the Tower, as it was used to house animals who were gifted from all over the world at one point (not today, mind you!).

And of course you’ve got the White Tower in the center of it all, keeping everyone under control and under a watchful eye!

There are also various museums throughout the tower, as well as green patches and monuments to important historic moments, though some rather horrifying ones like public executions.

Tower of London

How Long Should I Spend at the Tower of London?

You’ll want to set aside at least 2 hours for a visit to the Tower of London, but you can easily spend 3-4 here if you take the Beefeater tour and want to explore all of the nooks and crannies.

And if you’re really interested in the Tower history specifically, this could be a full day event including lunch at the café by the time you see all of the exhibits, immerse yourself in the museums, and enjoy the events and talks.

Planning this in advance can help you decide how many days to spend in London .

Is the Tower of London Good for Kids?

The Tower of London is amazing for kids.

First of all, it’s a fortress, so what’s not to love?

Secondly, there are plenty of kid-friendly exhibits, lots of big signs and interactive things to enjoy, and they’ve kid-proofed the place so you don’t fear they’re about to knock over some ancient artifact or something – the important stuff is all behind sturdy glass!

Is the Tower of London Accessible?

One thing to be aware of about visiting the Tower of London with mobility issues is that you will be able to gain entrance and there will be accessibility ramps in some areas, as well as staff members who can guide you, but sadly the Tower was not built with care for those with mobility issues in mind and there is a limit to how many modifications can be made because of its historic nature.

Make sure to enquire with the Tower of London ahead of time what support there will be for you if you require extra assistance.

What else should I not miss in London?

If you’re visiting London soon, here’s a very brief rundown of a few of my other favorites to make sure you don’t miss anything!

  • Hidden London Walking Tour – this tour is the absolute best if you want to see London in a different light and uncover hidden nooks, crannies, and histories that you won’t get on your normal, run-of-the-mill London walking tour. Click here to check prices and book.
  • Historical Westminster Walking Tour with Churchill War Rooms – if you’re a history buff or even mildly interested in all of the insane things that have happened in London, particular during the wars, you have to book this tour which is an absolute bargain for the tour + entry to the Churchill War Rooms (basically two must-dos in one). Click here to check prices and book .
  • Cutest London Afternoon Tea on a Bus – want to see the sights and enjoy afternoon tea at the same time on the upper deck? Yes, absolutely you do. This afternoon tea is a real delight and helps you get out and about while also putting your pinkies up. Click here to check prices and book.

UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs

🏥 Should I buy UK travel insurance?

Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here , a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.

🔌 Do I need travel adapters for the UK?

Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one , which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.

🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?

The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.

🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?

For UK hotels, Booking is the best site as it offers free cancellation on many properties. If you want an apartment, I always recommend VRBO over AirBnb.

📳 Will my phone work in the UK?

Yes – if you set it up right. Check out my guide on making your foreign phone work in the UK to ensure that you get the type of service you need.

🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?

Yes, UK water is great and perfectly safe. But drink out of taps in any kitchen or use water fountains. Double check before drinking out of the taps in hotel bathrooms, though, as they may be on a different system. London water is safe to drink .

Heading to London? Want the best tips?

Check out my Ultimate Guide to London for Visitors. Using text, images and video, this guide is packed full of tips, tricks, safety advice, knowledge on how to get around and what to do, and more!

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One Trip at a Time

Construction began on the Tower of London in 1066 by William the Conqueror as a means to keep hostile Londoners at bay, and since then it has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of London.

Over the past 1000 years it has been a prison, with its most famous inmates including  two young princes  (who were presumably murdered), Anne Boleyn (who was then beheaded on Tower Green), Lady Jane Grey (only queen for nine days and then she too was executed), Princess Elizabeth (who thankfully survived and went on to become Queen Elizabeth I), and  Guy Fawkes  who was tortured at the Tower following the failed Gunpowder Plot.

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tower of london average visit time

In addition to prison, the  Tower of London  has also been a palace, held a royal menagerie ( including a polar bear that was said to like to fish in the Thames! ), a munitions store during the Civil War (1642-49), and a recruitment and training site for troops during WWI.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOWER OF LONDON

With stories from over 1000 years of history, you can imagine there would be a lot to see at the Tower. And there is! Here are some of the highlights to get you started when planning your trip to the Tower of London.

tower of london average visit time

YEOMAN WARDER TOURS

To really understand the Tower and its history, we think a guided tour with one of the Yeoman Warders is a must-do. Sometimes called “Beefeaters” (due to the large rations of beef given to them in the past), they have been a part of the Tower’s history since 1485 and today their official role is to guard the Tower and the Crown Jewels.

To qualify for this role they must have served at least 22 years in the Armed Forces and have earned a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Once they have earned the role, they also earn a place to live within the Tower’s outer walls! Few people likely realise the Tower of London is like a miniature village and may be surprised to see the Yeoman Warder’s washing hanging out on the line beside the castle walls.

The Yeoman Warders lead daily hour-long tours which are included in the admission price. The tours leave from just inside the portcullis in the Middle Tower every 30 minutes. The tours are entertaining with lots of tales of beheadings and torture, but also they are informative so you will learn about the history of the Tower.

If you’d rather proceed at your own pace, you can also pick up an audio-guide for £4.00 (though try to get one early as they can run out during peak season), or there are official guidebooks for sale (£4.99) to read about the Tower and its history.

tower of london average visit time

THE WHITE TOWER

The most recognizable building in the complex, the White Tower is a Norman tower with a turret on each of its four corners and a golden weather vane that spins atop each turret. It is the original royal palace of the Tower of London, but it hasn’t been used as a royal residence since 1603.

The White Tower includes a few remnants of its Norman architecture, including a fireplace and a garderobe (toilet), but mainly the interior is now a museum. The exhibits from the Royal Armouries include a collection of cannons, guns, medieval weapons, and suits of armour – including a suit of armour that once belonged to Henry VIII.

The original moat was drained of disease-ridden sewage in the 19 th  century because of the persistent cholera outbreaks; today there is a dry moat in its place that is used for different events.

PLEASE NOTE : There are about 100 stairs to climb to tour the White Tower, some of which are quite steep and uneven.

CROWN JEWELS TREASURY

Visitors may think the Crown Jewels are the Queen’s personal collection, but they are actually the ceremonial regalia used during Coronation ceremonies. The collection also includes items other than jewellery, such as candlesticks, trumpets, swords, and the Grand Punch Bowl (which is the mother of all punch bowls!).

A very slow-moving travellator takes you past the exhibits including the Sceptre and the Imperial State Crown, which contains a famous diamond known as the Star of Africa. The Crown Jewels aren’t actually insured, because they could never be replaced.

TIP : Due to limited capacity and popularity, there is very frequently a line to enter the building to see the Crown Jewels. If you arrive early, check here first to see if there is a line and if not, grab your opportunity to get in with minimal wait time. Many people start with the Yeoman Warder tour since it is near the entrance, but you can easily come back to the entrance and join another tour later on your visit.

tower of london average visit time

TOWER GREEN AND THE RAVENS

Along the green, you can see a collection of black-and-white half-timbered Tudor houses (some with Yeoman Warders standing guard outside) that are home to the Tower of London staff.

The green is also where you will find the Scaffold Site, with a circular glass memorial, where seven people, including two of Henry VIII’s wives (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard), were executed by beheading in Tudor times. Most executions actually took place outside the Tower on Tower Hill and were attended by thousands of spectators, but to spare the monarch embarrassment these queens were beheaded behind the tower walls. Perhaps to save himself embarrassment Henry VIII shouldn’t have ordered their execution!

On the green, you’ll also see the famous ravens. They are believed to have first arrived at the Tower in the 1200s to feast on dripping corpses of the executed who had been taken from Tower Hill and hung outside the battlements as a warning. Legend states that if the resident ravens ever leave the Tower the monarchy would fall, so a royal decree states that there must be at least six ravens at the Tower at any time (with their wings clipped to ensure they don’t leave).

tower of london average visit time

BLOODY TOWER AND TRAITOR’S GATE

Just past the Bell Tower along the Water Lane between the walls, you’ll find the famous Traitor’s Gate. This is the gate where prisoners being brought by the River Thames entered the Tower.

Just a little further along inside the walls you’ll find the Bloody Tower. This tower got its nickname from the story about the “princes in the tower” (Edward V and his younger brother) who were murdered, likely by their uncle Richard III, to annul their claims to the throne. Sir Walter Raleigh, the Elizabethan adventurer, and Elizabeth I were also both imprisoned in this tower in the 1600s.

CEREMONY OF THE KEYS

There are three ceremonies that take place at the Tower each day.

The first is the Official Opening at 9:00 am, followed by the Ceremony of the Word which is when the day’s password is issued.

The last ceremony of the day is at 10:00 pm where visitors are welcome to attend the Ceremony of the Keys. This is when the gates are locked and the castle is closed to all but those who live within its walls. It is free to attend, but reservations must be done in advance (usually many months in advance).

HELPFUL LINK:

  • Click  here to make your reservation  for the Ceremony of the Keys. 

PLAN YOUR VISIT TO THE TOWER OF LONDON

Information last updated September 2019

HOW TO GET THERE

The address for the Tower of London is: Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB

The closest tube station is Tower Hill (District and Circle Lines) which is about a 5-minute walk away. Other nearby options are Fenchurch Street (National Rail) and Tower Gateway (DLR line).

Buses on routes 15, 42, 78, 199, and RV1 all stop near the Tower of London.

The Tower of London is also on many of the Hop-On/Hop-Off bus tour routes including the Yellow Route with the Original Tour (which we personally recommend).

There is no on-site parking and parking in the general area is limited as the Tower is in the Congestion Charge Zone .  The nearest public parking is at Tower Hill Coach and Car Park at 50 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6DT which is less than a 5-minute walk to the Tower and is fully accessible.

You can also travel to the Tower by boat! Tower Pier, right next to the Tower of London, is served by riverboats travelling from Westminster and North Greenwich Pier. This offers great views of the Tower from the water, which may even allow you to see Traitor’s Gate, depending on the direction you’re coming from.

Options for travelling by boat include the River Bus (run by Transport for London) which work on the same payment system as the tube or City Cruises . We’ve used both services on multiple occasions and like that they offer a different view of the city and a neat way to get between places. 

HELPFUL LINKS:

  • If you need an app that will navigate you around whether walking, driving or using public transport and even works offline then click for a guide about   how to use Here WeGo .
  • The Tube Map London Underground App  (Android) is very useful for getting around London. It’s free, has a route planner, and works offline.
  • Transport for London website’s “ Plan Your Journey” tool will give you results for trip time on the Tube, bus, or walking. Note the walking time as sometimes it is the quickest, easiest, option!

OPENING HOURS

  Summer Hours : Opening hours are Tuesday-Saturday 09:00-17:30 and Sunday-Monday 10:00-17:30 from March 1st -October 31st. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing time (17:00).

Winter Hours : Opening hours are Tuesday-Saturday 09:00-16:30 and Sunday-Monday 10:00-16:30 from November 1st through February 28th. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing time (16:00).

The Tower is closed on December 24-26th and January 1st.

Leave yourself about 3-4 hours for a visit. The Yeoman Warder tour takes about 1 hour and then you will still have a few hours to explore on your own.

TIP : During peak days (in the summer) it can be quieter after 3:00 pm when big groups have left for the day. During the winter it is far less crowded so you can visit any time of the day.

tower of london average visit time

HOW TO BUY TICKETS & SAVE MONEY ON ADMISSION

Admission prices for tickets purchased at the Ticket Office on-site are £27.50 adults (age 18-64), £13.10 children (age 5-15), £21.50 for students, disabled visitors and adults over 65 years. Children under 5 are free.

Your admission ticket gives you entry to the Crown Jewels, all public areas of the Tower of London (including the White Tower, Bloody Tower, and battlements), the Yeoman Warder tours, and children’s activities and trails.

Audio guides are priced from £4.00 and guidebooks are priced from £4.99.

If you purchase your tickets online you will save 10% and prices are as follows:

£24.70 adults (age 18-64), £11.70 children (age 5-15), £19.30 for students, disabled visitors and adults over 65 years. Children under 5 are free.

If you purchase your tickets online, you must present a physical ticket at the gate, as the ticket scanners can’t scan mobile phones. You can either print your tickets at home (which allows you to go straight to the entrance gate) or you can collect your tickets from the group ticket office where a member of staff will print your tickets for you.

They also offer “Family Saver” rates (both online and if purchase on-site) which can provide savings to families. For 1 adult and up to 3 children (age 5-15), the rate is £49.40 (on-site price) or £44.90 (online price). For 2 adults and up to 3 children (age 5-15), the rate is £69.90 (on-site price) or £62.90 (online price).

If you are travelling by train on the National Rail you may also be eligible for great savings with the  2 for 1 London offer by Days Out Guide . It’s not available all the time but is well worth a quick look on their website to see if it’s available for when you’d like to visit. The Tower of London is also included with the  London Pass  as another money-saving option.

ACCESSIBILITY

Because the Tower of London is a historic building with steep stairs, narrow passageways and low doorways, access may be difficult in some areas for those with limited mobility.

Please find their complete Access Guide here which includes detailed information for visitors.

IS THE TOWER OF LONDON WORTH THE VISIT?

The Tower of London is quietly likely my favourite attraction in all of London. It’s hard to believe I missed visiting it on my very first visit to the city, but I’ve more than made up for it since and it’s the one attraction I recommend to all friends, family, colleagues – everyone actually- to visit on their first visit to London.

Certainly it is one of the more expensive attractions in London but I believe it is worth the visit because of how much there is to see and do for anyone that is interested in history, the monarchy, or warfare. It’s also a great attraction to bring kids as they have put together Activity Trails and Digital Missions to help bring the Tower alive for young visitors. 

It’s also one of the busiest attractions in London, but the highlights outweigh the inconvenience of the queues. Once past the entrance line, you may end up queuing for the Crown Jewels, but otherwise, you can explore the site at your leisure. You’ll even find some places along the walls, or the lesser-known exhibits, to be quite quiet.

See what others think of this attraction on Trip Advisor .

tower of london average visit time

ADD TO YOUR ITINERARY

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” said Samuel Johnson, so it’s no surprise that there are a plethora of things to do in the UK’s capital city. Here are a few choice selections to whet your appetite.

IN THE AREA

  • Nearby Tower Bridge offers wonderful views of the city, including straight down to the road and river below through the glass floor!
  • Take a double-decker bus from the Tower Hill stop to the Monument stop ( line 15 ) on one of the old Routemaster buses . These are becoming quite rare so take your ride on one while they are still available.
  • See a portion of the old Roman Wall , that once enclosed the city, at the Tower Hill tube stop.
  • Visit the All Hallows-by-the-Tower church next door to the Tower which is the parish where the famous diarist, Samuel Pepys, recorded his observations of the Great Fire of London in 1666. The current church was rebuilt after WWII but a church has stood on this site since AD675.
  • While in a “medieval torture” mood, you can grab a bite to eat at the very aptly named pub called the “ Hung, Drawn, and Quartered ” that is just around the corner on Great Tower Street.

OTHER UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN LONDON

If you like to explore UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world, we think you’ll also like:

  • Visit the final resting place of kings, queens, writers, and scientists at Westminster Abbey , and then enjoy the neo-Gothic architecture of the Palace of Westminster while learning all about the parliamentary system of government.
  • Stand in two hemispheres at once on the Prime Meridian in the Meridian Courtyard, do a little star gazing in the Royal Observatory , learn about tales of exploration and endeavour at the National Maritime Museum , and take in a unique view of London from the hillside park. All this, and even more, is waiting to be discovered at Maritime Greenwich .
  • Wander through countless species of trees and flowers at the Arboretum, view 800 paintings from 19th-century artists in the Marianne North Gallery, tour the Royal Kew Palace , and visit a Japanese Garden at the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens .

RESOURCES | PLAN YOUR TRIP TO LONDON

To book flights, rental cars, accommodations, and activities for your trip, please check out our recommended travel providers, favourite apps and websites. 

These are a few tours that include the Tower of London that we would recommend for your trip to London.

Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission but this does not affect the price to you. Please read our   full disclosure policy here . 

tower of london average visit time

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UK Travel Planning

Visiting the Tower of London (FAQs + best tickets & tours)

By: Author Tracy Collins

Posted on Last updated: June 19, 2024

If you’re planning on visiting the Tower of London, then this article is for you! 

In this post we cover everything you need to know so you can plan the perfect visit, including why you must go, ticket and tour options, frequently asked questions and the passes you can purchase that include entrance to Tower of London.  

If you want to know about opening times for the Tower of London, what there is to see and how to get to the London Tower, stay right here for the full lowdown. 

The White Tower at the Tower of London.

Tower of London – Tickets & Tours Quick Picks

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Whether as part of a group or on a more independent basis, taking a London Tower tour is a must for just about anyone visiting the capital of England. 

The Tower of London history is a rich, varied and very royal one. Visitors to the Tower can see the crown jewels in all their noble glory, as well as the uniformed guards who protect them. 

You can also explore structures like the Bloody Tower, the Medieval Palace and the Norman style White Tower. 

During your visit you can also explore the Fusilier Museum, enjoy a hands-on armoury experience, see the armour of past Kings and learn lots of Tower of London facts about the tower’s ravens and how the site was used in the past for torture, execution and imprisonment.

Admission to the Tower of London opens the door to a fun-filled day packed with fascinating historical insights. Everything about the place is so quintessentially British that it really would be a crime to miss it off your list.

Beefeater at the Tower of London.

Visiting the Tower of London FAQs

So what are the Tower of London visiting hours – when can you go? Times actually vary according to the season, so it’s best to check the latest details here . 

At the time of writing, the cost of visiting the Tower of London varies according to when you go, your age and if you’re eligible for any concessions. 

You can buy two types of family ticket to the Tower of London, and kids under five go free. 

Booking the best Tower of London tours allows you to make the most of your day there, so you can spend your time wisely and learn from knowledgeable and enthusiastic history experts. 

A guided tour of the Tower of London costs extra, but this can be from just a few more pounds if you opt for an audio tour . 

Those wondering how to go to the Tower of London have several options, including the London Underground , mainline train and river or uber boat. 

The closest tube station is Tower Hill on the Circle and District lines. It’s also possible to walk from London Bridge station in 10-15 minutes, Liverpool Street in 20 or Charing Cross in 25. 

Transport for London’s journey planner can be accessed here .

Entry to the Tower of London can be quicker and easier during weekdays. Whichever day you go, arrive during the early morning if you can. 

The crowds will generally get smaller after about 3 pm on weekdays, but as the Tower sometimes closes as early as 4.30 pm this would leave you with very little time to see all the sights.  

Historic Royal Palaces, who operate Tower of London tickets and entry, are committed to accessibility. 

The Tower is, however, a historic building containing features like steep staircases, narrow passageways, low doorways and cobblestones. This does limit wheelchair access. 

Outdoor areas are open, and all registered disabled persons may bring a carer free of charge. Proof will be required to obtain this complimentary ticket. 

The most obvious place to see nearby is Tower Bridge. If you can, the walk from here to visit London Bridge is worthwhile – plus it’s free and you can get some fresh air by the river. 

There are some interesting sights to look out for along the way, such as the Shard, the city skyscrapers, Butler’s Wharf, HMS Belfast and St Katharine Docks.

Other London attractions that aren’t too far from the Tower include Borough Market and the Golden Hinde galleon, both of which are near London Bridge station. You could also cross the river to wander around the Tate Modern or to see Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. 

Or head west instead of east from Tower Bridge, looking out for iconic landmarks like the OXO tower, Westminster and the London Eye as you stroll along the riverbank. 

Ravens at the Tower of London with the Shard in the background.

How to visit the Tower of London – Best Tours and Tickets for the Tower of London 

There are various options open to you when it comes to purchasing Tower of London tickets, and each has its plus points. 

Factors to bear in mind include what is included, such as free cancellation, skipping the queue or a guided tour. Also how is the ticket delivered – will it be available as a download on your smartphone or printed on paper? 

These are the main options when you want to buy Tower of London tickets.

You can of course buy tickets from the official Tower of London website. 

You can book your tickets and see what there is to do while you’re there all in one place.

Tickets purchased via the site can only be amended or cancelled six weeks in advance. 

At the time of writing, standard adult ticket prices cost from £28.90 when booked directly.

You can buy tickets via Historic Royal Palaces here .  

Beefeater at the Tower of London.

Cancellations and amendments are permitted up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund, and you also get to skip the queue when buying via Get Your Guide. 

You may also need to visit the official Tower of London site for further information. 

Standard adult ticket prices also cost from £28.90 when booked via Get Your Guide – but unlike tickets purchased from the official site, these can be cancelled up to a day before if required. 

Due to the flexibility of this ticket – and the fact that you won’t need to wait in line – we recommend buying them, at no extra cost, from Get Your Guide here . 

View of Tower Bridge from the moat of the Tower of London.

Guided tours include extras as well as expert guidance. You can witness the opening ceremony,  tour the Tower with a Beefeater, take a two-hour private tour or gain exclusive early entry to the Crown Jewels.  

These options do cost more than a stand-alone entry ticket. 

The cost varies according to the option selected: click the links below for more info. 

  • Buy the Tower of London small group Beefeater tour here
  • Buy the Tower of London opening ceremony and early access tour here
  • Buy the Tower of London two-hour private guided tour here
  • Buy the Tower of London opening ceremony, early access and guided tour here ( read our review of this tour )

Statues of lions outside of the Tower of London.

Multi-venue tours are ideal for those with limited time in London, as you can pack more into a day than you otherwise would. These packages can also be good value for money. 

One day tour even includes visits to Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace as well as the Tower of London, and even includes a cruise on the Thames. 

You’ll have less time to spend at the Tower of London. 

Each tour is priced differently. To find out more, you can click the links below. 

>Buy the Tower of London and Tower Bridge tour here

>Buy the Tower of London and Westminster walking tour here

>Buy the Tower of London, Changing of the Guard and Westminster tour here

>Buy the Tower of London full day London sightseeing tour with river cruise here

Flowers in the moat at the Tower of London.

You can also buy London Tower admission as part of a multi-ticket such as the London Pass

This is delivered as a smartphone app , and can save money compared to buying separate tickets. You have 60 days to use it and can pick where to visit as you go. 

You’ll have to buy at least 2 credits, and it may end up costing you more if you don’t use them all. 

Prices start at £34 for an adult 2 choice pass, and go up to £118 for a 7 credit pass. 

Find out more about the London pass in our complete review here or the Go City London Explorer here .

When visiting the Tower of London you can get fantastic views of Tower Bridge like in this picture.

We hope these visiting the Tower of London tips, tricks and ticket options have helped you plan your trip. 

The Tower of London is one of those UK sights that you really cannot miss, and for most people, the memories will last a lifetime. Happy travels!

Related reading

  • How to purchase London attraction tickets
  • Guide to the best London bus tours
  • Best day trips and tours from London
  • 22 London landmarks to add to your itinerary

London Travel Guide and itinerary planner.

You in London

Itineraries and things to do in london, 10 tips for a perfect day at the tower of london.

Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the most visited attraction in London and every year it attracts 3 million visitors. It surely can get crowded!

But is visiting the Tower of London really worth it? Absolutely, but it can also turn into a bad day if you don’t follow a few tips. These are my suggestions for a perfect day at the Tower of London

1) Choose the day well 2) Arrive early 3) Buy a membership 4) Visit the Crown Jewels first 5) Visit the White Tower next 6) Follow a Yeoman tour 7) Visit the Bloody Tower and learn the story of the two princes 8) Make a tour of the ramparts 9) Arrive at the Tower by boat 10) Take a walk on the Tower Bridge

Choose the day well

The Tower of London is a very popular destination for Londoners and tourists alike, so it can get very very busy. The summer months and the school holidays are the times of the year when it gets incredibly crowded, so you’d better avoid them, if you want to have a pleasant day out. If you can make your visit during the week, that would save you the hordes of the weekend, but again try to avoid half terms or other school breaks. Even if you manage to choose the best day of the calendar to visit the Tower of London, don’t forget my second tip…

Arrive Early

Buy a membership.

This might sound like a weird suggestion, especially for those who don’t live in London. A membership costs a whopping £53 – £82 if you choose a joint membership. However, the entry ticket costs £30, so two visits will amply cover the entry costs. Plus, a membership allows you to visit other royal palaces for free, like the beautiful Kensington Palace and the magnificent Hampton Court Palace. You also have a free entry to other interesting places in London, like the Banqueting House on Whitehall and reduced tickets for Kew Gardens (and a free entry to Kew Palace). If you live in London, or if you happen to come to London fairly often, a membership is surely advisable.

For tourists a membership might not seem the most economical solution, but if you have 2 of these palaces in your list of things to do in London , the cost will be amply covered . Those tourists who really want to see more attractions during their stay, could consider a London Pass instead. I will talk a bit more about this in a separate post.

Visit The Crown Jewels first

If you have followed my first 2 tips, probably you have spent a minimum time queuing before entering the Tower, but you’ll risk to ruin your day if you don’t go and see the Crown Jewels before anything else. If you don’t want to take my word for it, look at the images below: this is the empty entrance to the Crown House even on a busy Sunday in June

And this is what it looked like only 30 minutes later: the queue is building up

And an hour later this is what you get:

Convinced? Go straight to the Crown Jewels as soon as you get in! You’ll have more time to wonder around after you have ticked this box. And trust me: the Crown Jewels are really magnificent!

Visit the White Tower next

Inside the White Tower there is also an interesting short film showing the history of the Tower of London, and there’s an area for kids to play (although I don’t think the Tower of London is the ideal place to visit with young children: too many queues and not much space to play, and a lot of steps. I have written a specific post on what to do in London with your children ).

Follow a Yeoman tour

The yeomen are the guardian of the Tower of London, the crows keepers and also the official guides of the Tower. They are a group of very dedicated people, extremely friendly and knowledgeable on everything about the Tower. They also live inside the Tower of London with their own families, which I think make them even more specially attached to it.

They simply know every story and legend, every ghost and gruesome anecdote about the Tower, and following one of their tours will give you a more complete experience.

Visit the Bloody Tower and learn the story of the two princes

The Bloody Tower owes is name to the unfortunate experience of those who were kept prisoner there. However, the imprisonment in the Tower was not always as bad as it is sounds. Inside the Bloody Tower, for instance, you’ll see the living quarters of Sir Walter Raleigh, who was imprisoned here, but lived in relative comfort with his family, was allowed to attend a garden and to follow his botanical interests. Clearly, he was not a free man, so he had is moment of depression, but still was able to conduct a decent life.

The story of the two princes is one of the saddest of the Tower: the young Edward V and his younger brother Richard were transferred to the Tower of London in 1483, before Edward’s coronation. While they were kept here – allegedly for security reasons – the were declared illegitimate, thus losing their right to the throne. Initially they were left free to play around the castle and its grounds – after all they were just two 9 and 12 year old kids – but later they were seen less and less until they disappeared. Apparently, they were murdered by their own uncle, the future King Richard III, and their bodies hidden.

As we all (probably) know, King Richard III did not have a long and peaceful reign, and soon after having removed the young princes from his path to the throne, he was defeated in the battle of Bosworth – the last King of England to die on a battlefield (how many things you learn from a Yeoman…)

In 1674, during the some work in the White Tower, a box was found under a staircase, containing some human bones. An analysis revealed that they were two young children. Many think that these were the remains of the two unfortunate princes, whose ghosts are still spotted in the grounds… Ask a Yeoman for confirmation!

Make a tour of the ramparts

A walk on the ramparts of the Tower of London will offer amazing views on the Thames, the Tower Bridge and the City of London. Along the rampart you can also see the reconstruction of the medieval palace and you’ll be able to learn more interesting stories about the Tower and its inhabitants. Images speak more than words…

Arrive at the Tower of London by boat

Take a walk on the tower bridge.

If you have visited the Tower of London and would like to leave your own suggestions for a perfect day out, you can use the space for your comments below.

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How long does it take to go around the tower?

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Tower of London Questions & Answers

tower of london average visit time

Longer than the 2 hours I put aside.

Can be waiting in the queue to see the Crown Jewels for 20 minutes but well worth seeing- a must.

Aim for 3-4 hours so much to see. The beefeaters guided free tour takes over 45 mins but also a must for the info they tell.

tower of london average visit time

Suggest 3-4 hours. First, there might be a line to get tickets. Second, there are some attractions inside that are more popular hence another line, ie. Crown Jewels. Third, if you want to see everything, two hours will not be enough. I went for 2 hours and I only got to see the Crown Jewels and the Tower where they do the tortures. Lots of other areas that I was not able to see. Lastly, if you are the type who takes a lot of photos -- then you need to allocate taking time to get the best photos. When I was there, the Poppy Flowers Art installation was still there (not sure how long it will be there) -- but that was already 20mins just taking photos.

Oh, almost forgot --- also allocate time to eat the fish n'chips they sell by the ticket booth! Yummy!

Enjoy your trip!

tower of london average visit time

Suggest you plan for the day though time can be saved by purchasing your tickets online in advance. Just have a 'plan B' in case you leave early - tower bridge is nearby.

tower of london average visit time

we were there with two little kids (so we were on kid time) we spent 5 hours there and still didn't see it all!

tower of london average visit time

Just like most major attractions, if you go during school holidays or weekends, expect some long queues. It can take several hours to see the major features of The Tower if you go at the weekend during peak hours. My advice would be to get up early and arrive at opening time, to get the major spectacles such as the Crown Jewels and the Bloody Tower under your belt.

tower of london average visit time

Depends on how thorough you want to make your visit & whether or not its in school holidays. My wife and I spent 2 days there - about 5 hours each day - and pretty much saw everything. That was in term time....

tower of london average visit time

How long is a piece of string? You could easily spend the day there but I would agree that 3-4 hours would be about average depending on how much you want to see and how leisurely you want to go round.

tower of london average visit time

When I went round with children we spent about 4 hours. This didn't include queuing time as we had overbooked tickets, and also we did not eat there. You could quite easily spend all day, it depends how interested you are in the history of the place.

tower of london average visit time

The longer you can allow the better. We just said lets go for the day as length of queues can take quite some time to get into the various attractions. Also if it is busy, some of the rampart walkways are narrow and of course people stop and take photos, which all takes extra time. If it's a nice day, take a picnic - at least then you don't have to queue for refreshments

tower of london average visit time

Thank depends on your interest, but allow 2 hours at least

tower of london average visit time

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Is Visiting the TOWER OF LONDON Worth it?

Lillian Cespedes Gonzalez Last Updated: June 25, 2024

Deciding what to see in London can be hard. The tower of London is one of the most iconic monuments in the UK. Considered one of the best preserved medieval castles in history, as well as being a UNESCO site, the monument is visited by millions every year. If you’re planning to visit and wondering if its worth it, you’re in the right place. Keep reading, and we will help you make up your mind.

Is a Trip to the Tower of London Worth it?

Short answer: Absolutely! If you’re a fan of castles and enjoy uncovering the secrets of its former residents, then it’s a must-see!

Set in banks of the river Thames, the UNESCO-protected Tower of London is a renown monument in the city of London and often considered one of the most important European landmarks of the middle ages.

This building marks the beginning of a new era in Britain, the Norman Conquest of 1066, and the fascination we seem to have in this country with castles everywhere. However, the tower is much more than just a castle. From keeping the crown jewels to its role as a prison, much history has seen the walls of this incredible fortress.

So, let’s dive in!

Best Way to Visit the Tower of London

Not ready to book a tour? Check out our article on the best London tours to take and why .

How Much Time Do you Need?

The tower of London is a huge site that, on average, if you see everything without skipping even major sites, will take between 2 to 3h . Depending on your schedule and your interests you will have to prioritise certain areas of this monument.

Must-See Spots

Exploring the Tower of London’s complex of buildings requires some planning to make the most of your visit and avoid getting lost. We can divide the areas of interest into three main categories: fortress structures, specific exhibits like museums and galleries, and various experiences available.

Here’s our curated selection of must-see spots at the Tower of London:

The Fortress

tower of london average visit time

Short on time? You can stroll along most of the fortress’s perimeter from the outside without purchasing a ticket. You’ll still marvel at its grandeur, architecture, and catch glimpses of its history through informative panels.

However, we highly recommend venturing inside, as that’s where the real treasures lie. While you can explore most of the battlements within the tower, doing so can be time-consuming. Instead, we suggest prioritizing key locations. Don’t miss out on the White Tower, an iconic symbol of power and history within the fortress. And be sure to explore the Bloody Tower, where chilling stories of past prisoners will send shivers down your spine. Not for the faint of heart!

The Exhibits

Armor Tower of London

A must see in the tower of London is the exhibits for the crown jewels. This is a great way to experience the history of the British monarchy. Besides you will get to see some truly beautiful artefacts unlike any other in the world. You also should stop by the line of Kings exhibit which includes historic royal armour from the kings of England. Finally, a popular attraction for those not squeamish is the torture at the Tower exhibition, located at the lower Wakefield Tower.

Not ready to book a tour? Check out our  London Guide for more resources.

The Experiences

Person taking a tour of the Tower of London.

There are a lot of seasonal events in the tower. From jousting demonstrations, re-enactment events, gun salutes and much more. These events change with the season and day of the week and are subjected to a timetable. But of course the most common experience most people want to see at the tower are any of the guard ceremonies.

Every day the guards take place in the ceremonial opening, the ceremony of the word and ceremony of the keys. For those eagerly anticipating the Changing of the Guard, our London walking tour is your golden ticket to securing that coveted front-row seat you’ve been dreaming of!

Is A Guided Tour Of The Tower of London Worth It?

tower of london average visit time

Short answer : certainly!

Navigating the Tower of London can feel overwhelming with its vast size and bustling crowds. A guided tour offers a practical solution, ensuring you don’t miss any key elements and can explore efficiently. Plus, it often includes skip-the-line access, saving you from long queues, which can be quite lengthy even with pre-booked tickets.

Most importantly, a guided tour enhances your connection with the site’s rich history.With over 1000 years of captivating tales waiting to be discovered within these walls, you’ll explore military history, royal intrigue, daring escapes, and fascinating legends. From knights to kings, prisoners to palaces, your expert guide will share all the intriguing details, ensuring your visit is well worth it.

So why settle for a basic walk when you can embark on an immersive journey through time with a guide who makes history come alive?

Here are a few more reasons why you’ll love going on a tour of this site:

Great Tour Guides

Seeing the castle with a knowledgeable guide who’s passionate about what they do and sharing this historical site with you will make all the difference. Great tour guides want you to know the facts but they also want to share interesting stories with you that really bring the place to life.

It’s all about the experience, and the best guides know how to keep things interesting and fun. You’re on vacation after all! They’ll also love answering your questions and will try to tailor the tour to your interests wherever possible.

Small Groups

Small group tours are the way to go. You don’t want to get lost in large groups unable to hear your guide or even see what they’re talking about in the attraction.

In small groups, you’ll be able to enjoy the conversation with your guide and fellow travellers. It’s a more intimate experience and you’re much more likely to make some new friends along the way.

Combine Attractions

Combination tours save you money, time, and the stress of sorting out transportation logistics.

Most Popular Tours Of the Tower of London

By now you are probably wondering which are the best tours to visit this monument. Well, that is what we are here for! This is our list of most popular tours where you can visit the Tower of London and enjoy fun and rich cultural experiences.

Legends and Lore Tour of the Tower of London

Want to see the famous Beefeaters and Britain’s crown jewels while you’re in London? Wouldn’t it be great to glide down the Thames by boat, too? This Tower of London tour takes you to one of the city’s most intriguing attractions in style, as you travel along the river to this 11th century castle that became a prison for many of England’s most infamous characters. With your engaging local guide, you’ll climb the towers and learn all about the often-grisly history of this fascinating place.

See tour photos, itinerary, price, and description

London in a Day Tour with Westminster Abbey and Tower of London

Want to see London’s most iconic attractions in just one day? This jam-packed London day tour makes the most of your time in this historic city, taking you from Westminster to the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and beyond! With an expert local guide, your in-depth city tour lets you skip the line to see London’s best sites without the long wait, and you’ll even take a ride along the River Thames by boat for a unique perspective on the city. It’s the ultimate day tour in London!

tower of london average visit time

Exclusive Meet & Greet Tour with the Tower of London Beefeaters

Are you the kind of traveller who only books the most exclusive tours? Then we have you covered. No one tells the stories of the Tower of London better than a Beefeater, so you’ll get a private meeting with one inside a room in the Bloody Tower that most people miss! Afterwards, your expert guide will give you an in-depth tour to discover more about Tower Green, the Bloody Tower, Traitor’s Gate, and so much more. And of course, you have early entrance to the crown jewels too!

beefeater talking with crowd

Find the best places to stay

Where To Stay in London

Deciding where to stay at a great hotel in London can take some effort since it’s a massive city. Make your decision easier with our list of the best neighborhoods and hotels in London.

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About Lillian Cespedes Gonzalez

Dr. Lillian Cespedes Gonzalez is a historian and published author. She specialises in medievalism, the Vikings, popular culture, and cultural identity. She is an educator and has worked at the University of Winchester teaching the Golden Age of Spain as well as working on different research projects.

Her academic work has also taken her to the world of publishing and editorial work. She used to be the director for Revista Medieval and the image editor at the Royal Studies Journal and has contributed to other publications as an ad hoc copyeditor.

She is also de CEO at Travelusion Tours, a tour guiding company that specialises in affordable and accessible guided tours in the UK and Europe. The tours are virtual or face to face.

She is also the host of several podcasts (Nu History, ManaBurnt & Tour Guide Central). Some examples of her published work are:

"Motherhood in Vikings", Vikings and The Vikings: essays on Television's History Channel Series, 2019

"Jessica Jones: Gender and the Marvel Phenomenon", Jessica Jones, Scarred Superhero: Essays on gender, Trauma and Addiction in the Netflix Series, 2018

"Some Reflections on Danes in Wessex Today, pp. 250-262", Danes in Wessex The Scandinavian Impact on Southern England, c.800–c.1100, 2016

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A Visitor's Guide to the Tower of London

TripSavvy / Gautier Houba

The Tower of London is a must-see attraction that will take at least several hours to visit. This isn't just a single tower! Get ready for acres of towers, ramparts, Queen's house buildings, armories, Crown Jewels displays, and more.

Here Are Some Planning Tips

  • Visit the Tower of London site, for the latest info about visiting, and for helpful tips like Top Ten Things to See.
  • Tickets can be purchased online at the Tower of London site.
  • The Tower of London is stroller-friendly and has baby-changing facilities
  • The Tower of London is easily reached by the London Underground and is a short walk from the Tower Hill station on the Circle/District lines.
  • Check at the Welcome Center for brochures for visitors with kids, such as "family trails" with quizzes and activities, facts and illustrations designed for family visits.
  • Allow two to three hours for a visit. Better still, allow extra time to take a Yeoman Warder's tour (Beefeater's tour.) These hour-long tours by the Tower's special guards are usually offered every half-hour during the day.
  • The Yeoman Warders also give Short Talks about the history of the Tower of London. Inquire when you visit or check at the Lower Lanthorn Tower
  • Recorded audio tours are available, as are Tower Guide Books (at several shops).
  • The Tower of London (no surprise) has a great gift shop if you're interested in anything about knights
  • Itinerary suggestion: After your visit to the Tower of London, step onto one of the tour boats that are an excellent way to view the historic buildings on the banks of the Thames. You can disembark near the Houses of Parliament and London Eye.
  • Itinerary suggestion : the " Ceremony of the Keys " -- the traditional lock-up of the Tower of London at night-- takes place nightly, at seven minutes to ten. The Chief Warder emerges from the Byward Tower in colorful dress, carrying a lantern and the Queen's Keys, for a brief ceremony that's been much the same for 700 years.

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Plan Your Visit to Tower of London | A Complete Guide

The Tower of London is a historic and fascinating castle in London, founded in the 11th century. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of London’s popular attractions. Before you visit the tower, make sure to read the complete guide that would help you plan your visit better!

Tower of London at a glance

Tower of London Plan Your Visit

  • What are the Tower of London's opening hours? The Tower of London’s opening hours vary according to the month. It is generally open from 9am to 5:30pm daily.
  • Where is the Tower of London located? The Tower of London is located at London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom. Get Directions
  • How many entrances does the Tower of London have? The Tower of London has two entrances: the West Gate Entrance and the Middle Drawbridge Entrance.
  • How many visitors does the Tower of London see per year? The Tower of London attracts over two million visitors yearly.

What are the Tower of London's opening hours?

General timings: 9am to 5:30pm (On some Sundays and Mondays, the tower opens at 10am)

Closed on: 24-26 December and 1 January

Best time to visit the Tower of London

The Tower of London is a popular attraction in the English capital. It guarded royal possessions and families for centuries and emerged as a luxurious place with time. The Tower of London also served various functions, like a prison and a place for execution in the past, making it even more famous among tourists.

While you can visit the Tower of London throughout the year, September to October is a good time for visiting. The weather is mild and less taxing, and the rush is less. You can explore the Tower of London peacefully without affecting your health.

Coming to the best time to visit the Tower of London, try visiting early in the morning on weekdays. Fewer tourists are around in the morning, allowing you to enter the Tower quickly and explore its various sections. Weekends are not recommended because tourists arrive in London from nearby cities, making it crowded.

Where is the Tower of London Located?

Address: London EC3N 4AB, UK

Find On Map

The Tower of London lies on the north bank of the River Thames. It is on the western end of the Tower Hamlets borough and borders Central London.

Closest Landmark: Tower Bridge (0.3 km)

Getting to the Tower of London

By public transportation.

  • By tube: The Tower Hill Underground Station is closest and served by the District and Circle lines. Monument, Bank, Aldgate, and Aldgate East London Underground stations are nearby.
  • By train: The London Bridge or Fenchurch Street stations are closest. They're both within 10-15 minutes from the Tower of London. Alternatively, you can alight at Liverpool Street or London Charing Cross station.
  • By bus: Buses covering routes 15, 42, 78, 100, 343, and RV1 stop near the Tower of London. Sightseeing bus tours also pass by the attraction and are a popular option for exploring London.
  • By boat: River boats from Westminster, London Eye, and other piers reach the Tower of London. Tower Millenium Pier is the closest stop near the Tower of London.

Tower of London Plan Your Visit

You can drive to the Tower of London if you have time. Beginning from Kings Cross Station, take Pentonville Rd, A1 and Cannon St to Eastcheap in the City of London. Continue on Eastcheap to Byward St/A100 before turning left onto Byward St/A100. You can park at the Tower Hill Coach and Car Park , which is two minutes from the Tower of London.

Nearest parking spot: Tower Hill Car and Coach Park (0.1 km)

How To Skip the Line at the Tower of London?

Over three million visitors are attracted to the Tower of London. It is busy throughout the year, but you can skip the line tickets in several ways.

Tower of London Plan Your Visit

Arrive Early

The Tower of London is usually open from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. You can visit early in the morning to avoid long queues. Fewer people visit the attraction in the morning, making it the best time to visit the Tower of London. You can quickly enter the attraction due to fewer queues and explore it at your convenience.

Tower of London Plan Your Visit

Book a Guided Tour

Guided tours are an excellent way to visit the Tower of London. Guided tours provide skip-the-line access to the Tower of London, meaning you can enter the attraction without standing in queues. Guided tours also provide insight into various facets of the Tower of London, including its history and importance to the United Kingdom.

Tower of London Plan Your Visit

Choose Weekdays

You can visit the Tower of London whenever you want to, but weekdays are better. Fewer locals and tourists visit the attraction on weekdays, making it the best time to visit the Tower of London during the week.

Visitor tips

  • Your footwear is extremely important when visiting the Tower of London. It has many uneven surfaces, like cobbles and worn steps. Wear the right footwear for a pleasant experience.
  • Avoid visiting when London experiences heavy rains. Some surfaces of the Tower of London might become too slippery, making it dangerous to walk.
  • The light intensity is low at certain places. Hence, ensure you’re careful, especially when using stairs.
  • Kids are welcome inside the Tower of London. However, they must be accompanied by adults. Some areas have steep slopes and drops from heights.
  • The Tower of London’s staff is available to make your experiences pleasant. Seek their advice if you need help with anything and follow their safety signs.
  • Ensure you book your Tower of London tickets online. You’ll get discounts and deals.

Frequently Asked Questions about visiting the Tower of London

Weekdays and early mornings are the best time to visit the Tower of London.

Yes. You can enter anytime during the operating hours.

You’ll need 2-3 hours to explore the Tower of London.

Check with the staff to know if you can enter the Tower of London after exiting.

No. You cannot enter the Tower of London for free.

The Tower of London is located at London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom..

The Tube is the best way to reach the Tower of London.

No. There is no dress code to follow at the Tower of London.

No. Luggage isn’t allowed inside the Tower of London.

Tower of London Plan Your Visit

Tower of London Opening Hours

Tower of London Plan Your Visit

Tower of London Location

Tower of London Plan Your Visit

About Tower of London

The Geographical Cure

The Ultimate Guide To The Historic Tower Of London

“Always there have been six ravens at the Tower. If the ravens fly away, the kingdom will fall.” ― John Owen Theobald, These Dark Wings

Nerds of the world, rejoice. I have here the ultimate guide to the ancient Tower of London. If you are a history nerd like me, this UNESCO-listed is a must visit attraction in London. 

The moat surrounding the Tower of London

The Tower is history. 900 years of history. And blood.

It has served as a royal palace, a fortress, an infamous prison, a mint, a military storehouse, a treasury, home to the Crown Jewels, an armory, a public records office, a royal observatory, and a royal zoo. Even as a place of execution.

Today, the tower is one of the UK’s most visited landmarks — with black ravens, scarlet clad Beefeaters, and the glittering Crown Jewels.

On a visit, you will be blissfully immersed in the various successions of the Edwards, the Richards, and the Henrys.

Pinterest pin for guide to the Tower of London

Tickets & Tours For The Tower of London

I’ve visited the tower many times. Off season (November to February) you may be able to walk in without pre-booked tickets. In season, you can wait in line up to 2 hours.

If you loathe queues, purchase a ticket online in advance . The Tower is also free with the London Pass , which you will likely want to purchase if you’re in London for two or more days.

You can begin your visit with one of the tower’s free Yeoman Warder tours . They begin near the main entrance to the tower. They leave every 30 minutes and give you a quick overview of the site.

model of an elephant sent by the King of France in 1255

For a more in depth experience, you may want to book your own tour with an expert. I’ve taken this 3 hour guided tour and it was excellent.

If you want to beat the crowds, you can take this 3 hour early access guided tour to the tower and the Crown Jewels.

If you’re traveling with your family, you may want to book a special 3 hour guided tour that’s dedicated to keeping the kids entertained.

You can also book a combo tour that includes entry to the tower plus a 3 hour guided walking tour of the famous landmarks on the south bank.

The Byword Tower, entrance to the Tower of London

History of the Tower of London

William the Conqueror was a bastard. As a kid he suffered from bastard bullying. This inauspicious beginning colored much of his life.

Still, he rose above adversity to become England’s first Norman king in 1066, the architect of the Norman conquest, and the builder of the Tower of London.

London was then a feudal society and a large walled city. Fresh from victory but nervous about rebellion, William decided to build forts to protect and control London.

Pretty soon, he coveted a real palace. In 1078, he authorized construction of what is now known as the White Tower, which took almost 20 years to build.

William the Conquerer, first Norman king of England and builder of the Tower of London

Over the centuries, Henry III and Edward I expanded William’s fortress. They added huge curtain walls with a series of smaller towers and enlarged the moat.

Medieval kings and queens lived in luxurious apartments at the Tower. They worshipped in the Royal Chapel.

A Royal menagerie was established at the Tower in the 13th century, possibly as early as 1204 during the reign of King John. Henry I reportedly had lions, leopards, lynxes, and camels. The animals were housed in the Lion Tower.

polar bear statue at the Tower of London

When the Tower of London was later developed as a tourist attraction, the first stop on the tour was the menagerie.

Your admission ticket? Bring a live cat or dog as a snack for the animals. Later, the animals were transferred to the London Zoo.

Today, animal sculptures are dotted around the Tower grounds.

Wakefield Tower -- once the kings' apartments and the site of Henry VI's murder

Then came the bloody years of the 15th-17th centuries. The Tower was first used as a prison and execution ground by Henry VII, the first Tudor king. Anyone who was a threat to the throne (small or large, real or imagined) was beheaded.

In the reign of Henry VII’s infamous son, Henry VIII, the Tower became notorious as a prison for those who fell out of Henry’s favor. Henry was a mercurial and narcissistic sort, as evidenced by his ferocious temper and frequent marriages.

Prisoners would enter the Tower through the Traitor’s Gate and be held until handed over for their execution on the Tower Green.

Henry VIII was especially inclined to axe advisors and queens who thwarted him. He sent Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, and two wives to the gallows with little or no “evidence” of crimes.

Holbein's portrait of Henry VIII in Windsor Castle

Henry VIII’s reign also featured torture, though it was not as prevalent as you may have heard. The favorite instrument of torture was the rack, and you’ll find a reproduction of one in Wakefield Tower.

The Gunpowder plotter Guy Fawkes is probably the most famous prisoner tortured in the Tower of London. It’s not known whether he was subjected to the rack. However, he was likely suspended from manacles.

Torture was finally declared illegal in 1628.

Henry VIII was the last king to make use of the Tower as a royal residence. After he left for posher digs, the Tower reverted to being a prison, arms warehouse, royal mint, and home of the royal menagerie.

Henry VII’s daughter, Queen Mary proved as savage and bloodthirsty as her father. Dubbed “Bloody Mary,” she executed and burned anyone who did not bend to her will. Her will being to restore Catholicism.

a reproduction of the rack in the Wakefield Tower

By the 18th century, the Tower forged a new personality. It was no longer a prison. It became relatively humdrum.

Eventually, the tower was developed as a tourist attraction. The armories were reorganized. King George IV refurbished the Crown Jewels.

In 1864, the first ghost was discovered. A sentry abandoned his post after seeing a white figure heading toward the Queen’s House.

A bayonet through the figure proved fruitless. He was arrested, but acquitted when two others confirmed his sighting of the ghost.

The Tower now has 22 different towers covering 18 acres.

the White Tower at the Tower of London

Yeoman Warders

You can begin your tower visit with the 45 minute free Yeoman Warder tour .

The Yeoman Warders, also called Beefeaters, first appeared during the reign of Henry VII. They were his personal bodyguards.

They also guarded the gates and tended to the prisoners. The derivation of the term “beefeater” is unclear. It may be a derogatory term, stemming from the warders’ voracious consumption of beef.

In 2007, the first woman, Moira Cameron, was appointed to the post of Yeoman Warder, busting up the glass ceiling. The warders now guide visitors around the Tower. It’s a fairly prestigious gig, and they get to live on the Tower grounds.

Yeoman Warders

These ceremonial guards are great storytellers. They bring a touch of drama and theatrics to the place.

With booming voices and bawdy jokes, they will gleefully regale you with sinister bits about torture, beheadings, and executions.

You’ll learn about the the Tower’s ghosts, the story of the murdered princes, and the tale of Anne Boleyn’s disembodied head slowly gazing across the crowd as the executioner held it up. Who can resist such ghastly tidbits?

canon outside the White Castle

The warders portray the Tower as an enticing blend of history, magic, and horror.

Among the warders’ duties is the ceremonial closing of the gates each evening. It’s known as the Ceremony of the Keys.

This 700 year old tradition sees the Chief Warder present the tower keys to the Resident Governor. (Special passes are required to view the ceremony and must be obtained in advance.) The ceremony begins nightly at 9:40 pm.

tower of london average visit time

The warders also take care of the Tower’s seven ravens . The black eyed ravens with the fierce pointy beaks are believed to be magical. Legend holds that if they ever leave the Tower, the Tower and the Kingdom will collapse.

Charles II is thought to have been the first monarch to insist that the ravens of the Tower be protected, fearing the mythical threat to his crown. There are seven ravens at the Tower today — the required six, plus one spare.

Guide To The Tower of London: What to See

Here are some of the highlights of the tower that you can’t miss.

1. Bloody Tower And The Mystery of the Two Princes

The Bloody Tower was built by Henry III between 1238-72. It’s a Normanesque-Gothic affair.

entrance to the Bloody Tower

The purpose of the tower was defensive. But it was also used as a prison. It’s the site of some legendary murders, from which it derives its graphic name.

One of the Bloody Tower’s most famous prisoners was Sir Walter Raleigh . He spent nearly 13 years there.

You can see his cell. His quarters don’t look terribly prison-like to me.

There, making good use of his time, he wrote his renowned the History of the World and created a herbal garden. Raleigh was eventually released, re-arrested, and then executed.

cell of Sir Walter Raleigh, accused of conspiring against King James I

During the War of the Roses, a series of civil wars between the houses of Lancaster and York, Henry VI was murdered there in 1471.

Then, there’s the tale of the “two princes.”

For aficionados of true crime cold cases, the Bloody Tower is the site of the greatest unsolved murder mystery in English history — the disappearance of the sons of King Edward IV in 1483.

Paul Delaroche, The Children of Edward IV, 1830 -- at the Louvre

I always love a good medieval mystery. And I especially adore the haunting Paul Delaroche painting of the two princes at the Louvre . In it, the children are pale, melancholy, and look anxious that something is about to happen.

The two princes, Edward V and Richard, were placed in the Tower by their uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester. He later became Richard III and was made infamous as a murdering hunchback by Shakespeare.

The princes were moved to the tower after their father King Edward IV’s untimely death. Some say they were imprisoned, not just relocated to the royal apartments.

room dedicated to the two murdered princes in the Bloody Tower

The young princes mysteriously vanished (most historians agree they were whacked) after Richard was declared king.

In 1674, two skeletons were unearthed in the White Tower’s spiral stairway during renovations. The bones were re-examined in 1933 and found to be children’s bones.

They were placed in a funerary urn and housed in the Henry VII Chapel of Westminster Abbey.

funerary urn of the lost princes

Unfortunately, the bones prove nothing because they haven’t been tested by modern technology or subject to a DNA comparison with the bones of Richard III.

Having read various accounts of the infamous tale, I searched out the spot where the possible remains of the two Plantagenet princes were found. There’s also a room dedicated to them upstairs.

I am of the minority view that Richard III was not their murderer, despite him being the chief suspect and having an obvious motive to kill the princes. Here’s my article analyzing whodunit .

St. John's Chapel in the White Tower

2. The White Tower

In the center of the complex lies the White Tower. It was the first tower on the grounds, built by Abbot Gundulf of Bec between 1078-97.

It’s rather massive with square turrets. It was constructed out of Kentish ragstone, but limestone was added to strengthen the corners.

In 1240, it was whitewashed, giving it its current name. In the 17th century, Christopher Wren restored the tower and added cupolas.

The White Tower has two floors and a basement. The upper floor contains the Chapel of St. John, which dates from 1080.

the spiral stairs in the White Tower

It’s austerely atmospheric, lined with limestone and 12 massive round columns. It viewed as the most complete surviving examples of early Anglo-Norman ecclesiastical architecture.

On the same floor as the chapel are great rooms. One contains a Norman fireplace, quite rare in England.

Before this hearth was built, most fireplaces were put in the center of the room and they vented through a hole in the roof.  Chimneys were unknown. This was one of the first fireplaces to vent through holes in the wall. 

Norman fireplace in the White Tower

The White Tower is where you’ll find the Royal Armouries and the famous “Line of Kings.” The Royal Armouries became a museum in 1661.

The Line of Kings consists of wooden horses and figures with historic armor. The figures represent most of the kings of England from William the Conqueror to Charles II.

Queens and unpopular kings (like Richard III) were left out. Only Henry VIII and Charles I had their own specially designed armor.

For centuries, the Line of Kings contained many historical inaccuracies (such as William the Conqueror carrying a 17th century musket). It’s been re-arranged countless times over the centuries at the whims of monarchs and curators.

the 1540 armor of Henry VIII, which weighed 80 pounds

But back to the Armouries. The sheer quantity of the exhibits is overwhelming. Swords and muskets abound.

Most of the surviving armor of the Tudor and Stuart kings is on display here. The Armouries tour starts on the top floor with the armor and swords of the 16th century and then descends to the rifles and small arms on the 2nd floor. 

Henry VIII’s 1540 armor, made after his jousting accident, is the most famous piece. It’s a work of art really, with engravings by Hans Holbein the younger, Henry VIII’s court artist.

It was made when Henry was 49 and rather portly. It has a chest circumference of 54 inches and weighs 80 pounds.

After the thousandth sword, I staggered out, ready for some different stimulation.

displays of gunpowder in the armory of the White Tower

3. The Middle Tower

One of the finest looking of the complex’s many towers is the Middle Tower.

It was built in the reign of Henry III between 1275-81. It was once accessible only by two drawbridges.

It’s a fortification made of two circular towers paired with a square building. Above its main gate of the square building is a stone carving of the royal coat of arms. In 1717-19, the structure was refaced in Portland stone.

This is the official entrance to the Tower of London.

carving of the Royal Crest on the Middle Tower

Right beyond Middle Tower stands its twin tower, Byward Tower.

Byward Tower contains guard rooms and the machinery for the portcullis, which can still be seen in the upper rooms.

There’s a magnificent medieval mural on the first floor of the Byward Tower, which is the only surviving medieval decoration in the Tower of London.

Edward I's recreated bed chamber

4. St. Thomas’ Tower : Medieval Palace

This tower was built by Edward I and his father Henry III in the 1270s. It houses the former royal apartments. You can see a recreation of Edward I’s bedroom.

Later, Henry VIII lavishly restored the apartments, in anticipation of his marriage to Ann Boleyn. He added timber framed walls and huge ceiling beams.

Beginning in the 17th century, the tower was used by soldiers and Yeoman Warders.

Architect Anthony Salvin restored the tower in the mid 1860s and added medieval style windows. At that time, the tower became the home of the Deputy Governor, who was responsible for the Crown Jewels.

Salt Tower

5. Graffiti in the Salt Tower & Beauchamp Tower

The Salt Tower was also built by Henry III, in the late 1230s. It has a nice view overlooking the Thames.

Its purpose was initially residential. It was initially known as Caesar’s Tower.

It’s unclear why the name changed. Possibly to signify that salt was an extremely expensive delicacy, served up to the royals and aristocracy during their dinners in the Salt Tower.

In the Salt Tower, you can see prisoner graffiti — some moving and some desperate. Hugh Draper’s carving is on the wall near a window of his cell in the Salt Tower at The Tower of London. It’s one of the best known of the 300 surviving examples of prisoners’ graffiti at the Tower.

Hugh Draper's graffiti carving in the Salt Tower

Of them, 74 are known to be from people incarcerated in the 16th Century. Draper’s scratching is remarkable not just for being elaborate, but also for being defiant. Accused of witchcraft, he carved an astrological sphere.

Another tower famous for graffiti (shown above) is the Beauchamp Tower, built by Edward I in 1281.

The tower was home to the Tower’s most famous prisoners. There’s an inscription dedicated to Lady Jane Grey. And an elaborate one in memorial to the five Dudley brothers.

Paul Delaroche, The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, 1833 -- painting in the National Gallery of London

When Edward VI died in 1553, Lord Guildford Dudley plotted to put Lady Jane on the throne.

However, Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, and his divorced and discarded wife Katherine of Aragon, had more popular support.

She made a triumphant entrance into London. Within nine days, Mary ascended as Queen and Lady Jane Grey and her Dudley supporters were tossed into the Tower and executed.

Lanthorn Tower

6. Lanthorn Tower

The Lanthorn tower was built between 1238-72. It’s the second largest tower in the complex.

It was commissioned by Henry III. Lantern was one of the many towers that were built at that time for defensive purposes. It was named for the lantern that hung in a small turret on top.

The Lanthorn Tower served as a royal apartment for the Queen, while the King was at the Wakefield Tower. Edward I chose to live at the St. Thomas Tower, which he had built for that purpose.

At his death, his successors moved to the Lanthorn Tower, depriving the Queen of these apartments.

Tower Green and the Queen's House

7. The Queen’s House

The Queen’s House was the titular residence of the sovereign. Built around 1540 during the reign of Henry VIII, it’s a jaunty Tudor half timber with a red coated guard on duty. It was known as the King’s House if a king was on the throne.

It was there, in 1608, that Guy Fawkes confess his plot to blow up James I and the Houses of Parliament with gunpowder.

Now, it’s the home of the Governor of the Tower.

The Queens House sits next to the Bell Tower, thought to have been built in the late twelfth century. It is one of the Tower’s earliest buildings.

It was a mural tower defending the outer southwest corner of the castle. It was later used as a prison for high ranking prisoners

Tower Green and the village

8. Tower Green

Next to the Queen’s House is the Tower Green. Many of the Tower of London’s executions took place on Tower Green.

There’s a memorial on the site of the execution block, where condemned prisoners were beheaded.

“Private” executions, away from the crowds, were a privilege reserved for those of high rank or for those who had strong popular support.

The best-known of those executed on or near the Green are the three Queens of England: Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Howard, Henry’s fifth wife, and Lady Jane Grey, the nine day queen.

This glass sculpture marks the site of the Tower's inner scaffold, where the axe fell on Tudor queens and bishops.

Anne Boleyn was executed by the clean stroke of an expert swordsman specially imported from France.

Another victim, Margaret Pole, was less lucky. A blundering executioner hacked her head and shoulders to pieces. The lower class were usually just hung.

9. The Jewel House: Home of the Crown Jewels

Ah, now we come to what some think it the Tower’s main attraction: the Crown Jewels.

The Crown Jewels are significant because they symbolize the passing of authority from one monarch to another during the coronation ceremony. It’s said that 23,500 jewels are kept under lock, vault, and key inside the Martin Tower (aka the Jewel House).

grand entrance to the Crown Jewels, kept in the Martin Tower called The Jewel House

And they’re invaluable. At the heart of the collection is the Coronation Regalia itself, a group of precious and highly symbolic objects used since 1661 to crown sovereigns of England.

The prize item is a the world largest diamond, named Cullinan I. Its value is estimated at 80 million pounds.

The most sacred item is the St. Edward’s Crown. It’s made of pure gold and worn only at coronation.

Other highlights of the collection include the Prince of Wales Crown, the Imperial State Crown with its blue Stewart Sapphire (with 2800 diamonds made for Queen Victoria), the Hanoverian pearls, and the Sovereign’s Orb.

Most visitors seem besotted with the Crown Jewels. To me, they’re beautiful in their extravagance, but somewhat boring.

Be prepared to wait in a long queue if you’re not there off season. You cannot take photos inside.

The Chapel Royal of St Peter and Vincula

10. The Chapel Royal of St Peter and Vincula

The Chapel is where the most famous Tower prisoners ultimately landed. You’ll find the tombs of three queens of England: Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, and Jane Grey.

To get rid of his wives in his quest for a male heir, Henry VIII accused them of adultery and treason.

interior of the chapel

After their execution, the headless bodies of the queens were buried quickly and carelessly under the Chapel without any memorial.

The chapel was restored in 1870, to its original Henry VIII style. During renovation, the stone floor had to be replaced. 1500 bodies were found beneath it.

A laborious process of identification and reburial commenced. In 1970, a memorial to Thomas More was placed in the crypt. The queens were reinterred.

Queen Ann Boleyn, executed on the Tower Green in 1563

11. Tower of London Ghosts

No 900 year old edifice would be complete without a ghost story. And the Tower’s reputed to have quite a few, in keeping with its grisly Tudor history.

The headless figure of Anne Boleyn is said to stalk the site of her execution on Tower Green and her burial place in the Vicuna Chapel.

Arbella Stuart, the cousin of Elizabeth I who starved while under arrest for marrying without royal permission, is said to frequent the Queen’s House. Henry VI is said to appear pacing at his murder spot in Wakefield Tower.

Two smaller ghosts dressed in nightshirts are thought to be the two princes in the Tower. The Yeomen Warders even tell a chilling tale of a huge bear who occasionally appears to frighten visitors to death.

an interesting juxtaposition of old and new -- a view of the Shard from the Tower of London

How Long Should You Spend At The Tower Of London?

You should budget approximately 3-4 hours to see everything at the Tower of London. Less time would be a rush, especially in season with more tourists and queues.

It’s a large complex with many exhibits. You could ideally spend the whole day there, meandering and poking through all the exhibits.

the White Tower and the remains of the Wardrobe Tower

Practical Guide: Tips for Visiting the Tower of London:

Address: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB, UK

Entry fee: Adult £ 29.99. Entry free with London Pass . Click here to pre-book a ticket.

Tube stop: Tower Hill or London Bridge

  • Opening Hours
  • Map of the Tower

monkey sculptures on the walls of the Tower of London

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to the Tower of London. You may enjoy these other London travel guides and resources:

  • 3 Day Itinerary for London
  • 5 Day Itinerary for London
  • Tourist Traps To Skip in London
  • Guide To the National Gallery of Art
  • Free Museums in London
  • Guide To The Wallace Collection
  • Guide To the Churchill War Rooms
  • Virtual Tours of London
  • Guide To Free Museums in London
  • Guide To Hampton Court Palace
  • Guide To Hatfield House

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Last Updated on February 28, 2023 by Leslie Livingston

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The Best Tips for Visiting the Tower Of London

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The best tips for visiting The Tower of London

Ravens, beefeaters and bloody history – it’s easy to see why the Tower of London is such an iconic building, which attracts nearly three million visitors per year.

Officially called, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, this historic castle is a must-visit when in London.

Here are the best tips for visiting the Tower of London to help ensure that you make the most of your trip.

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The best tips for visiting The Tower of London

Table of Contents

Getting to the Tower of London

London Underground and Trains – It’s a 5 minute walk from the Tower Hill Underground station . This is served by the District and Circle lines.

Other stations that are within a 10-15 minute walk from the Tower of London include Monument, Bank, Aldgate, Aldgate East London Underground , London Bridge and Fenchurch Street stations .

Sightseeing Bus Tour – You can also take the  Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour  which stops right at the Tower of London.

River Boat – You can also arrive here by river boat. Tower Pier is the closest river boat stop.

Buses – London’s public bus routes 15, 42, 78, 100, 343 and RV1 stop nearby the Tower of London.

tower of london tips

Buy your tickets in advance

The Tower of London is the #1 thing to do in the city, according to TripAdvisor . Due to its popularity, you’ll want to make sure to buy your tickets in advance.

You don’t want to waste your vacation time waiting in a long line, especially if you’re visiting during peak season (June, July, August, Easter, Christmas, and bank holidays).

You can purchase your tickets through GetYourGuide . They offer free cancelation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund just in case your plans change.

Alternatively, if you’re planning to visit a few of London’s paid attractions, consider buying the London Pass or the London Explorer Pass , which offers free entry to the Tower.

The London Pass is a pre-paid sightseeing card which gives you FREE fast-track entry to the city’s top tourist attractions, including the Tower of London , Westminster Abbey , and a  Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour .

Plus, you can use the London Pass to get free entry to 80+ other attractions , museums and tours in the city.

My husband and I used the London Pass for our summer trip to London. It was SO easy and convenient for sightseeing.

You just have to purchase your pass online, then you’ll show your pass on your phone when entering the Tower of London. There’s no need to wait in long ticket lines, just head to the ticket holder entrance and you’re ready to enjoy!

PRO TIP:  Buy the pass online to  save extra money off the retail price. To buy the London Pass, click here to go to the official website.

How to get your London Pass:

Step 1: Choose which pass duration you want to buy (1, 2, 3, 6, or 10 day). You can click here to purchase your London Pass from the official website.

Step 2: Download your mobile pass instantly using the London Pass App. If you prefer a physical pass, simply opt for delivery (they deliver worldwide) or collect on arrival in London.

Step 3: You now have FREE access to any of the 80+ top London attractions included for the duration of your pass. You can activate your pass anytime within 12 months from the date of purchase.

Step 4: Download the free guide book , which is included with your purchase. Use this book to help you easily plan your itinerary.

Skip the line

When visiting the Tower of London, there are two lines:

  • A line for those who need to purchase tickets.
  • A line for those who have already purchased tickets.

The second line is shorter and will guarantee quicker entry into the Tower of London.

You can purchase your tickets online or use a tourism pass, such as the London Pass or London Explorer Pass .

And if you really want to skip the line and avoid the crowds, consider booking an early access tour .

With an early access tour, you can enter the Tower of London before the long queues to see the Crown of Jewels.

One of the legendary Beefeater guardsmen will take you around to explore the palace so you can learn the history of the Yeoman Warders, the Royal Castle, and other landmarks.

Get there early to avoid the crowds

The best time to visit the Tower of London is in the early morning, just after it opens, to avoid long lines and crowds.

Summer and bank holidays will be busy, but you can still beat the crowds by visiting first thing in the morning on a weekday. Weekends are always busier than visiting on a weekday.

If you can, avoid visiting during Easter, Christmas, and school holidays.

Visiting in the fall – I went to the Tower of London when it first opened on a weekday morning in November and it felt like we had the place to ourselves. 

We headed straight to the Crown Jewels and were the only people inside (other than the security guards). I felt like a VIP!

Visiting in the summer – We arrived 15 minutes before the Tower of London opened on a weekday morning. There was already a line up outside the main entrance for people who have already purchased their tickets.

But once the Tower opened, it only took a few minutes to get inside. Once inside, it was quiet for the first couple of hours before school tours and more people arrived.

This is why it’s SO important to buy your tickets before you visit. You can grab your tickets here or purchase the London Pass or London Explorer Pass .

tower of london tips

There are two entrances

Another way to skip the lines is by knowing your entrances. There are two main ways to enter the Tower of London: West Gate Entrance or the Middle Drawbridge Entrance .

The West Gate Entrance is the main entrance, opposite the Tower Shop. It’s often the most crowded because on-site tickets are available only at this entrance.

The Middle Drawbridge Entrance is where groups enter, but if you have pre-booked your tickets online or you’re using the London Pass, you can enter through here. 

No matter which entrance you choose, everyone will have to go through a security check where bags will be searched on entry. Also keep in mind that luggage and large bags are not allowed.

Grab a free map at the entrance

The Tower of London is quite large and there are many interiors, walkways, buildings, and exhibitions to explore once you’re inside.

I highly recommend grabbing a free map at the entrance so you can easily navigate where you want to go and to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Try to visit on a weekday

tower of london tips

The weekend is the busiest time to visit the Tower of London. If you can, try to visit on a weekday morning to avoid the crowds.

You’ll have a more enjoyable visit without having to wait in a long line or pushing through crowds to see the Crown of Jewels.

Head to the Crown of Jewels first

The Crown of Jewels is the most popular thing to see at the Tower of London. No matter what time of year you visit, make sure to head there as your first stop.

Early morning or lunchtime are usually the quietest times to visit the Crown of Jewels.

During peak travel season, it’s not unusual to wait in line for up to an hour to see the collection since they limit the amount of people that can be in the exhibit at any time.

The best tips for visiting The Tower of London

What is the Crown of Jewels?

These are the nation’s most precious treasures which are under armed guard in the Jewel House inside the Tower of London.

Here you can see the sacred objects used in the coronation ceremony, the Imperial State Crown, the Black Prince’s Ruby, the Koh-i-Noor diamond, the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, and many more items.

Once inside the Jewel House, there are no photos allowed and the lighting is low. But you’ll still be able to see other people around.

The first section of the display shows close-ups of the crown jewels. There second section has a moving walkway along the side of the main display of the Crown Jewels. This allows you to easily see the crowns, orbs, and sceptres at slow pace.

Join a Yeoman Warder tour

tower of london tips

Included in your ticket is a free guided tour led by a Yeoman Warder (Beefeater). These tours start from the West Gate entrance (opposite the Tower Shop) and last for about an hour.

They run every 30 minutes and you can enjoy walking around the outside of the buildings and into the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula.

These entertaining tours are popular and can get very crowded, so I recommend trying to aim for a morning tour. 

Yeoman Warders have protected the palace for over 600 years. They need to have at least 22 years’ military service and received a long service and good conduct medal. Most of them live within the palace walls.

Visit the Tower of London when the Tower Bridge lifts

tower of london tips

There’s an excellent view of the Tower Bridge from the Tower of London.

The Tower Bridge is a drawbridge, which means that the middle section of the bridge can be raised to allow tall boat and other river traffic to pass through.

You can check the schedule here to see when the bridge will lift.

Don’t feed the ravens

tower of london tips

The ravens are some of the most famous residents at the Tower of London. You can see them at over four different territories within the Tower’s walls.

They are well taken care of and fed twice a day by the Tower’s Ravenmaster. They enjoy a special diet of mice, chicks, rats and assorted raw meats.

Since they are wild birds, it’s important to not touch or feed them, as they can bite if they feel their territory is being threatened.

Experience the Ceremony of the Keys

Every night the Guards and Chief Yeoman Warder participate in the Ceremony of the Keys, when the Tower of London is locked up for the night.

This is a 700-year-old ancient tradition where the sentry says, ‘Halt, who comes there?’. The Yeoman Warder then replies, ‘The keys.’  ‘Whose keys?’  ‘King Charles’ keys.’  ‘Pass then, all’s well.’

If you want to see this ceremony, you must pre-book tickets online in advance. It becomes fully booked quickly and there is no waitlist for this event. So check the website regularly for up-to-date availability.

Visit the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula

The Chapel existed before the 12 th century and has been demolished and rebuilt a few times since then.

It’s also the final resting place for many of the Tower’s executed prisoners under Henry VIII, including Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Thomas More, and Thomas Cromwell.

You can visit this unique chapel as part of a Yeoman Warder tour. It is still a place of worship so it’s not usually open to visitors on Sunday mornings.

Wear comfortable shoes

The best tips for visiting The Tower of London

You could easily spend half a day exploring the Tower of London. During your time here, you’ll be walking on cobbled areas, climbing stairs, and standing in line (if you have to wait to get inside or see the Crown of Jewels). 

To make your experience more comfortable, please wear appropriate shoes. Leave the heels at home and dress comfortably.

Bring and umbrella, snacks, and water

London weather can be unpredictable. Since there are many outdoors areas to explore within the Tower’s walls, I recommend bringing an umbrella or packing a rain jacket just in case.

There are cafes and kiosks selling drinks and food in the Tower, but it’s a good idea to bring your own snacks and a bottle of water to stay hydrated.

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tower of london average visit time

12 interesting facts about the Tower of London

The best tips for visiting The Tower of London

1. The Tower of London is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

It is one of the few intact medieval buildings in the world.

2. At least six ravens are kept at the Tower of London at all times

Legend says, “If the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall…” . According to the stories, Charles II was the first one who insisted that the ravens of the Tower should be protected.

3. The tower was originally built as a royal palace and defense system

Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066, the tower was never supposed to be a prison. It was used a Prisoner of War Camp during World War II.

4. The total value of the jewels is said to exceed £20 billion

There are 23,500+ jewels there today and their actual value is priceless.

5. There are 32 Yeoman Warders (‘beefeaters’) at the tower

To qualify as a candidate, they must have completed at least 22 years in the Armed Forces and have received the “Long Service and Good Conduct” medal during their years of service.

6. Only 22 executions took place within the Tower of London

Lord Lovat was the last man to be beheaded on Tower Hill, in 1747 for treason.

7. During the 1200s, there was a royal zoo at the Tower of London

The zoo was filled with exotic animals before being transferred in 1835 to the London Zoo in Regent Park.

8. The tower is haunted by several ghosts

These include Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey, the Princes in the Tower and even a grizzly bear!

9. Someone has a spare key

The key to the internal lock was stolen in November 2012. The locks however were immediately replaced.

10. The tower was damaged during World War II

The Tower of London was bombed in 1940 during the Blitz, which damaged several building in the castle grounds, but didn’t hit the White Tower.

11. The basement of the White Tower is where torture was practiced

This mainly took place during the 16th and 17th centuries in order to extract information about plots against the government. One of the methods used was the rack, where the victim was stretched using ropes and levers.

12. The sons of King Edward IV were sent to the Tower by their uncle

Their uncle is Duke of Gloucester and his sons were never seen again. The sons were declared illegitimate and the Duke was crowned King Richard III. He is considered the most likely culprit for their disappearance, and in 1674, two skeleton remains were found which were identified as the two Princes.

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London of Tower FAQs

When is the best time to visit tower of london.

The early morning on a weekday is the best time to visit Tower of London. This is when you can avoid long queues and beat the crowds.

What is the busiest day at the Tower of London?

Weekends and public holidays are the busiest days to visit the Tower. Mid-mornings on a weekday can also be busy with school groups. The best time to go is in the early morning on a weekday.

How long should I allow to visit the Tower of London?

Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours at the Tower of London (or more if it’s busy). There is so much to see and learn about here that you should try and get as much value out of your ticket as you can.

Is it worth entering the Tower of London?

Yes, it’s rated the top tourist attraction is London. This historic castle has over 1,000 years of history and is perfect for all ages to enjoy. You can check out the Crown of Jewels, the “Beefeater” Yeoman Warders, and the famous ravens that have kept the palace from falling.

Can you see Tower of London for free?

No. To go inside the Tower, you will need to purchase a ticket. You can buy your tickets online before you visit (recommended), or you can buy tickets from the ticket office near the main entrance.

How to avoid lines at the Tower of London?

The best way to avoid lines is to visit early in the morning on a weekday and to purchase your tickets online in advance.

Do you have to pay extra to see the Crown Jewels at Tower of London?

No. Your admission ticket includes entry to the Crown Jewels, a tour with one of the Yeoman Warders, the White Tower, Battlements, Medieval Palace, Bloody Tower, Fusiliers Museum, Royal Mint exhibition, and Torture at the Tower exhibition.

Can you bring a backpack to the Tower of London?

You can bring small backpacks and bags, but there are no left luggage facilities and large bags are not permitted in the Tower.

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About Eden Ashley

Eden has an MBA and a degree in Psychology. As a new mom (and homeowner), she knows the importance of having a budget that works. She's helped thousands of women get good with money using the same strategies she used to save $100,000 by age 25. Click here to learn how to create a better budget!

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COMMENTS

  1. How much time for The Tower of London?

    17 years ago. Depends on how much time you want. You can go through the entire Tower but definitely take the Yeoman's tour as that is the only way you can get into the Chapel. That tour takes about 30-45 minutes. I have spent anywhere from 3 hours at the Tower to one hour depending on what I want to see.

  2. Visiting the Tower of London 2024: Everything You Need to Know!

    Our advice is to visit the Tower of London as close to opening time as possible so the line isn't so long. The only way to ensure faster access is to book one of the early entry tours, which get you in before the main ticket line opens. While you will still have to go through security, it will only be you and the other members of your group ...

  3. Honest Visitor's Guide to the Tower of London (2024)

    The exact address is: Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB. The Absolute Must-Knows (from a Londoner) Cheapest Way to See it All: Get the London Pass here (yes, it's worth it) Cheapest site for West End theatre tickets: London Theatre Direct. Cheapest and most reliable airport transfer service: Welcome Pickups.

  4. How To Visit the Tower of London in 2024: Tickets, Hours, Tours, And More

    The Tower of London is open seven days a week but admission times change according to the season. During the summer season (March 1 - October 30) the visiting hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 9 am to 5:30 pm; Mondays and Sundays, 10 am to 5:30 pm. Final entry is at 4.30 pm.

  5. Guide to Visiting the Tower of London

    Winter Hours: Opening hours are Tuesday-Saturday 09:00-16:30 and Sunday-Monday 10:00-16:30 from November 1st through February 28th. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing time (16:00). The Tower is closed on December 24-26th and January 1st. Leave yourself about 3-4 hours for a visit.

  6. Visiting the Tower of London (FAQs + best tickets & tours)

    Cons. You may also need to visit the official Tower of London site for further information. Cost. Standard adult ticket prices also cost from £28.90 when booked via Get Your Guide - but unlike tickets purchased from the official site, these can be cancelled up to a day before if required. How to buy.

  7. Visit the Tower of London

    Mondays and Sundays: 10:00-17:30. Last admission: 15:30. Tuesday to Saturday: 09:00-17:30. Last admission: 15:30. Wharf Opening times: Daily: 07:00-19:00. Check upcoming Wharf closures. Please check for full opening hours and information on closures and notices.

  8. The best time to visit the Tower of London

    January to March is the quietest time to visit the Tower, as tourist numbers are low, the weather is cold and wet and the evenings are dark. Any school holidays are busy times, and they last for two weeks at Easter and Christmas and for one week three times a year at half term. By far the busiest time is during summer holidays, from the end of ...

  9. 10 tips for a perfect day at the Tower of London

    These are my suggestions for a perfect day at the Tower of London. 1) Choose the day well. 2) Arrive early. 3) Buy a membership. 4) Visit the Crown Jewels first. 5) Visit the White Tower next. 6) Follow a Yeoman tour. 7) Visit the Bloody Tower and learn the story of the two princes. 8) Make a tour of the ramparts.

  10. How long does it take to go around the tower?

    Votes. Suggest 3-4 hours. First, there might be a line to get tickets. Second, there are some attractions inside that are more popular hence another line, ie. Crown Jewels. Third, if you want to see everything, two hours will not be enough. I went for 2 hours and I only got to see the Crown Jewels and the Tower where they do the tortures.

  11. Visiting The Tower of London: All you need to know

    Tower of London at a glance Suggested duration: Around three hours is recommended, as there is much to see. Best time of day to visit: If you want to miss the crowds, go early in the morning as soon as The Tower of London opens. It's best to pre-book a ticket even though there's no time slot (except on certain occasions). Opening hours:

  12. How long does it take to go around the tower?

    Votes. Suggest 3-4 hours. First, there might be a line to get tickets. Second, there are some attractions inside that are more popular hence another line, ie. Crown Jewels. Third, if you want to see everything, two hours will not be enough. I went for 2 hours and I only got to see the Crown Jewels and the Tower where they do the tortures.

  13. Is Visiting the TOWER OF LONDON Worth it?

    The tower of London is a huge site that, on average, ... This is our list of most popular tours where you can visit the Tower of London and enjoy fun and rich cultural experiences. ... This jam-packed London day tour makes the most of your time in this historic city, taking you from Westminster to the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and ...

  14. A Visitor's Guide to the Tower of London

    Here Are Some Planning Tips . Visit the Tower of London site, for the latest info about visiting, and for helpful tips like Top Ten Things to See.; Tickets can be purchased online at the Tower of London site. The Tower of London is stroller-friendly and has baby-changing facilities; The Tower of London is easily reached by the London Underground and is a short walk from the Tower Hill station ...

  15. Visiting the Tower of London: A Complete Guide for 2024

    As of this post's last update (Summer of 2023), you'll pay the following to visit the Tower of London: £33.60 for adults; £1 for Tower Hamlet residents (adults and kids) £27.70 for groups of 15 or more; £26.80 for disabled visitors (and free for their carer or companion) £26.80 for full-time students or kids, aged 16-17; £16.80 for ...

  16. 16 Insider Tips for Visiting the Tower of London

    7. Don't underestimate the time it will take to visit the Tower of London. This is one of my top Tower of London tips. Don't be tempted to just give the site a cursory tick on your checklist of things to do in London. The Tower of London is a big site with many historical buildings to explore, each with its own stories to tell.

  17. Plan Your Visit to Tower of London

    The Tower of London is usually open from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. You can visit early in the morning to avoid long queues. Fewer people visit the attraction in the morning, making it the best time to visit the Tower of London. You can quickly enter the attraction due to fewer queues and explore it at your convenience.

  18. How much time for Tower of London and Tower Bridge?

    8 years ago. I'd suggest at least three hours for the Tower of London and one hour for the Tower Bridge if you go up top to walk across the sky deck. It's at least half a day for both, but I recommend you go in the morning to the Tower of London first to try and get in to see the Crown Jewels before the masses and then take your time. Then go ...

  19. The Ultimate Guide To The Historic Tower Of London

    You should budget approximately 3-4 hours to see everything at the Tower of London. Less time would be a rush, especially in season with more tourists and queues. ... If you'd like to visit the Tower of London, pin it for later. Categories London, UNESCO, United Kingdom Tags london, Museums in london, UNESCO, united kingdom.

  20. Best day/time to visit Tower of London

    Re: Best day/time to visit Tower of London. 7 years ago. There's truly no way of telling for sure but a wet Monday morning in May is likely to be a lot quieter than the middle of a sunny day during the school holidays. Getting there early does allow you to visit the Crown Jewels before the line get long and there are parts of the Tower that are ...

  21. The Best Tips for Visiting the Tower Of London

    The best time to visit the Tower of London is in the early morning, just after it opens, to avoid long lines and crowds. Summer and bank holidays will be busy, but you can still beat the crowds by visiting first thing in the morning on a weekday. Weekends are always busier than visiting on a weekday.

  22. Tower of London

    Closed now. 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM. Write a review. About. The Tower of London is a 1,000 year old castle that protects the Crown Jewels. Throughout its long history, it was a secure fortress, a royal palace, and an infamous prison. Kings and queens demonstrated their power from here, shaping society and influencing our world.

  23. How much time should I allow to do the tower...

    3h is good enough. We went on a weekday at around midday and there was no line for the crown jewels. This seemed to be a good time when we were there. 3 hours is ample time. The beefeater tour is only 40 minutes-1hr. 3 hours is sufficient to take your time and see the whole attraction.