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Westminster Abbey, London

4.5
Ever since William the Conqueror's coronation here in 1066, Westminster Abbey has remained one of England's most important religious and ceremonial sites. Every English and British monarch after William also received his or her crown here. More than 600 monuments and memorials in the abbey honor famous Britons. The current building is over 700 years old. Note the many intricate details, including stained-glass windows, tapestries, monumental sculptures, and flying buttresses. Spend extra time in Poets' Corner, where poets and writers such as Rudyard Kipling and Charles Dickens are buried. After you finish walking around the abbey, head down to its museum. The oldest part of the complex, it contains many royal and religious artifacts and displays wax effigies of past monarchs. You can use a complimentary audio guide you or hire a verger (a layperson providing services to the church) as a guide for a small extra fee, an option which can provide rich context to your visit. For travelers who use our international travel planner, London holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Westminster Abbey and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
16,675 reviews
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4.5
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  • It started with young Aldrich, a fisherman, who had a vision of St. Peter. And so a monastery or minster was built by Benedictine monks and known locally as west minster. Westminster Abbey is not a ca...  more »
  • Westminster Abbey really is stunning and the architecture is fantastic. There was a lot more history inside than I was anticipating as this is where past kings and queens as well as Isaac Newton are b...  more »
  • We did not actually visit the interior of Westminster Abbey as (a) the queues were very long and (b) an entry fee of £ 22 per person to visit a church appears excessive. As it is, it is nice to walk i...  more »
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  • I do not usually enjoy walking through a church, but this was different. The architecture and history is incredible. The fact that soo many different monarchs and individuals have had a design influence on the construction of various parts of the building was most interesting to me. Different parts of the church and abbey were constructed or reconstructed in different architectural periods. There are so many tombs, burials and memorials in the church that it seems more a historical memorial site rather than a religious ground.
  • I'm not usually one for visiting a lot of churches, but wanted to see and appreciate Westminster Abbey as a cultural and historical landmark. The self-guided tour definitely exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed my visit much more than I had anticipated. Even if you aren't into the religious history, finding the graves of famous scientists (Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton) was amazing, as was simply staring at the grand architecture of the building.
  • Westminster Abbey is a church. If you don't want to pay to see it, attend one of the many services offered each day. You will experience the Abbey as it was intended. The choir is one of the best in England. The organ is magnificent. Line up for the service outside the gate by the Abbey shop. You will walk by many of the Abbey monuments on your way in and out. You can't dawdle. But, if it is money you want to save, then take a chance and attend one of the most wonderful religious services offered in the world.
  • The Westminster Abbey is a delight for history/architecture buffs. Situated close to the Houses of Parliament, it is an elegant monument which has stood through the test of time over nearly 1000 years. There is a ridiculously high entry fee of £22 per adult. You also get an audio guide, which I found to be below par and not quite detailed. Photography is not permitted inside, which is also very annoying as this building has such a rich history and is the final resting place for great people such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, David Livingstone, Chaucer, Rudyard Kipling and many royals. There is generally a waiting of about an hour during morning hours, so come in early. The entire visit takes about 2-3 hours depending on your pace. You can also see what is supposedly Britain's oldest door towards the end. I highly recommend visiting this Abbey as it's an integral part of Britain's history and will leave you spellbound.
  • Just experienced this amazing piece of history for the second time this week. This abbey is awe inspiring. So much history in this building. This time we took our children who loved the audio tour and family trails books they were given with activities to do on the tour. They earned a pin at the end. Definitely a must stop for anyone coming to London.

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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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