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Tower of London, London

4.5
#1 of 2,581 in Historic Sites in United Kingdom
Explore one of the world's most famous castles and immerse yourself in British history at Tower of London. William the Conqueror originally built the castle in 1066, and today it stands perfectly preserved on the north bank of the River Thames. Start your visit in the White Tower. Frequently mentioned in Shakespeare's plays, the main tower features smaller projecting corner towers that lend it a distinctive medieval appearance. Inside, you'll encounter the 11th-century Chapel of St. John the Evangelist and the Royal Armouries collection of medieval weapons. Next, head for the crown jewels exhibit, which houses 23,578 royal gems. Here you can discover how the British coronation ceremony employs specific jewels--such as the Coronation Spoon--and the symbolism of each item. The tower includes a handful of other notable exhibits, including one showing how prisoners were kept and another detailing the history of the Royal Mint. The price of your ticket includes a free tour with a Beefeater, a retired sergeant major from the British Army, so make sure you take this opportunity to hear entertaining stories from the site's history. Each evening you can watch the 800-year-old Ceremony of the Keys, when guards lock the site. If you visit in winter, you can ice-skate on the moat. By using our London vacation builder, you can arrange your visit to Tower of London and other attractions in London.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
47,866 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • August 21, 2017
    Loved this place. I was so impressed. We had a guided tour with one of the warders. He was very funny and very knowledgeable. I went with my husband and would love to go back and take our daughter. It...  more »
  • August 21, 2017
    It's not often you get to see a castle in the middle of a major city that is almost 1000 years old. Many people associate this with a prison, but it actually housed the royal family for centuries as i...  more »
  • August 21, 2017
    Great day out. If you have a buggy park it in the special area and carry small kids. It will be a tiring day but worth it. It can get crowded but still good. Ticket quite high but you get a lot.  more »
Google
  • Very interesting place for a day visit. As expected it is bristling with tourists, but actually really well done the actual site is very clean and well presented. A highlight of the trip were the actor's dressed in old English garb reliving some of the history. The White Tower had some impressive interactive displays and games. There was an enviable queue to see the crown jewels but worth the wait this has been improved by introducing a travelator that carries everyone past the jewels this stop crowds blocking the view. You can go past as often as you like but no blocking.... An excellent solution.
  • This was the highlight of my London trip! It's an impressive and truly medieval castle with a varied and rich history. We took a Yeoman Warder tour which was SO worth it! Most of the castle grounds are accessible to the public (you can go up towers or on the ramparts), it's clean and well kept, and while the gift shop has the typical, touristy junk, they also carry relevant history books and decor. Going in the morning is the best time (lighter crowds): then you avoid the really large crowds. If you are a fan of medieval, royalist, or British history, then visiting the Tower of London is a MUST!
  • Well worth a visit when in London. I recommend buying your tickets online, since it's both cheaper and more convenient. Just make sure you go to the correct queue if you collect them on site. I did not. I would also recommend the audio tour. It's worth the extra pounds and it's probably difficult to fully experience The Tower just by looking around. If you are going to see the crown jewels, start there, as I experienced that the queue just got longer as the morning progressed.
  • We had a great day, just ahead of the impressive thunderstorms with hail! Yeoman Dave did a great job at giving us the overview of the tower, in spite of the large group. My third or fourth time here and you see new things all the time. The cafe was very peaceful and the Cumberland sausage with apple chutney was inexpensive and wonderful. Crowds were large, but everyone moved well through the multitude of displays. Overall a very historic and well preserved British national treasure!
  • Great way to spend an afternoon. If the queues to buy tickets seem long it is actually cheaper and quicker to buy the tickets online on your phone and then walk to the group ticket booth to collect them! Saved us at least half an hour today and a bit of cash. We really enjoyed the exhibits in the white tower and just walking around the battlements. Prepare for slow moving crowds though but can't be helped! Enjoy

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Where to stay in London

Many of London's main attractions are spread out, so nearby public transportation is key. There is no downtown area as such in London, and some of the least expensive hotels have more convenient access to tourist sites than the costlier ones. For a quintessential London experience, consider staying in the West End. This part of town offers excellent theaters, historical sites, and eating and shopping options for every taste. Lodging won’t be cheap, but you’ll have the colorful variety of London life right at your doorstep. Look at Notting Hill or Chelsea for charming and less expensive boutique hotels and B&Bs.
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