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Tower of London Tickets and Tours

Vicky Del Moral

Vicky Del Moral

Jun 12, 2021 • 10 min read

Tower of London Tickets and Tours

©Joseph Gilbey

On the banks of the Thames, the Tower of London is one of the most famous monuments in the United Kingdom. Nearly 3 million tourists visit this exceptionally preserved medieval Norman fortress every year.

1. How to visit the Tower of London

Panoramic view of the Tower of London
Panoramic view of the Tower of London

There are several ways to see the Tower of London: if you prefer to see it at your leisure, you can buy a ticket without queues and if you prefer to learn more about its history and understand every corner, there are guided tours.

2. Skip the line entrance to the Tower of London

Tower of London facade
Tower of London facade

This ticket includes access to the Crown Jewels and Beefeater Tour. As the name suggests, the no-queue ticket to the Tower of London is the one that will allow you to avoid the long queues that always build up at the entrance. It also gives you the chance to see the glittering collection of the Crown Jewels in one day or explore the site on your own at your own pace.

You can also tour inside with a free guided tour by an authentic 'Beefeater' guard. If you feel like joining this tour, they start every half hour and last for 60 minutes. You'll tour the interior of the Tower through the intriguing tales told by these 'Yeomen Warders', guides dressed as the guards who once guarded the Tower's prisoners and guarded the safety of its royal jewels.

What does the skip-the-line ticket to the Tower of London include?

  • Queue-free access
  • Access to the Tower and exhibition of the Crown Jewels
  • Dramatized guided tour and 1-hour talk by a Yeoman Warder 'Beefeater'.

What is not included in the skip-the-line ticket for the Tower of London?

  • Transportation to and from the Tower
  • Gratuities
  • Audioguide (you can buy it there for about 4 pounds)

3. Private tour to visit the Tower of London

Part of the Crown Jewels exhibition
Part of the Crown Jewels exhibition
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If you really want to soak up the history that emanates from the walls of the Tower of London and it is the first time you visit it, the best way to do it is with this private tour of the Tower of London:. With this option you would have a guide dedicated exclusively to you and your group, which allows you to focus on the points of interest or information that interests you the most, make a much more personalized tour, etc.

With a duration of 2 to 3 hours, this guided tour will give you the best route to see the most essential of this immense architectural complex, including the Crown Jewels exhibition, and will explain step by step everything there is to know about the 'Tower of London'. In addition, if you wish, this tour includes the transfer to the attraction, picking you up at the accommodation where you are staying.

What does the Tower of London Private Tour include?

  • Private guide in your language, with 15 available, to tour the attraction and learn all about its history in a guided tour.
  • Access to the Crown Jewels Exhibit
  • Pick up, if you wish, from the accommodation where you are staying to get to the attraction.

What is not included in the Tower of London Private Tour?

  • Entrance to the attraction
  • Private transportation
  • Food and beverage
  • Return to the accommodation where you are staying (if desired)

Tourist Passes that include entrance to the Tower of London

Entrance to the Tower of London
Entrance to the Tower of London

Another way to visit the Tower of London (the most economical if you are going to visit several of the attractions of the city), is to do it with one of the various London Tourist Passes, which you can learn more about in this other article I have published about London Pass:.

As one of London's most important attractions, the Tower of London is included in several of the existing London sightseeing passes.

London Pass

It includes everything you can visit in London in terms of cultural and historical tourism. With this card you will have access to more than 80 attractions, the Tower of London among them, and a day tour bus. With this pass you will save time by skipping the queue at the attractions and money by not having to pay the individual ticket for each one. It also gives you access to special offers in restaurants, stores and theaters.

The price of the London Pass varies according to the number of days of use. The maximum duration is 10 days, but you can customize it and pay only for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 days. To visualize its convenience: for example, with a 6-day London Pass for adults, priced at approximately 171 pounds, you can visit a number of attractions that if paid separately would add up to more than 600 pounds.

London Explorer Pass

If you want to see the must-see London in a minimum of 4 days, but would also like to spice up your trip with other leisure activities, such as a visit to Madame Tussauds, the London Dungeon or the London Eye, the London Explorer Pass: will be your best option.

In this pass you choose by number of attractions to visit, avoiding long queues at each tourist attraction and with a saving of up to 35% on tickets. In addition, you can tour the city in one day by tourist bus and guide you on your tour with the useful digital guide included.

Royal Palaces Pass: Kensington Palace, Hampton Court and the Tower of London.
If you are a lover of royal life, this Royal Palaces Pass will give you access, in addition to the Tower of London, to two other outstanding palaces in the city: the Kensington Palace, royal residence of monarchs since the 17th century and home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate); and the fortress-like palace of Hampton Court, which holds the title of being the best preserved Tudor-style building in England.

5. What to see at the Tower of London

Classic crows around the Tower of London
Classic crows around the Tower of London
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The monumental complex that encompasses the 'Tower of London' can be overwhelming if you do not have much time for your visit, so I want to recommend some of its essential areas.

  • The White Tower is the main tower of the complex, which is said to have been used as the king's lodging and houses the best collection of royal armor and another of its watchtowers, the Beauchamp Tower, on whose walls can still be seen writings of several of the prisoners who passed through there.

  • The Crown Jewels: You will be dazzled by the unique collection comprising its House of Jewels, some of which are still worn by Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Wakefield Tower: at the bottom, you can see an exhibition of how prisoners were tortured with replicas of the objects used by their executioners and around which lives the most famous colony of crows on the planet. These birds were known at the time as the guardians of the Tower of London.

6. Tower of London Opening Hours

Tower of London ©Francesco Gasparetti
Tower of London ©Francesco Gasparetti

The Tower of London is open every day of the year, except December 24, 25, 26 and January 1.

The opening hours of the 'Tower of London' vary at different times of the year, opening sometimes from 9.00 to 16.30 and sometimes from 10.00 to 17.30, so I recommend you check them on their official website, depending on the dates of the calendar in which you travel.

7. How to get to the Tower of London

The walls of the Tower of London
The walls of the Tower of London

The Tower of London stands in St Katharine's & Wapping (Tower Hamlets district), on the historic and financial center of London, the famous 'City', so it is perfectly connected with the public transport of the city. On your arrival, get an Oyster Card, which you can buy at any of its subway stations, to move in a more agile and economical way around the capital:

Metro

The nearest tube stop to the 'Tower of London' is, about 5 minutes walk away, Tower Hill (District Line, Circle Line) You can also approach it on its light rail, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), as right next to Tower Hill tube station is DLR's Tower Gateway Station.

Bus

Most of London's sightseeing buses, to which you will have access if you choose a London Pass or a London Explorer Pass, stop at the Tower of London. As for the city bus, you can get there by taking lines 15, 42, 78, 100 and RV1.

Train

You can also reach the Tower of London by getting off at Fenchurch Street train stop, a 5-minute walk away, or from London Bridge stop, a 15-minute walk away.

Boat

Several cruises on the River Thames, including the London Pass and the London Explorer Pass, make stops to visit the Tower of London. The nearest pier is Tower Pier, which can be reached by taking Charing Cross, Westminster and Greenwich.

In general, to move from one end of the city to the other, I recommend you to consider taking a cruise on the Thames. There are different types of cruises, I explain everything in this article on Thames River Cruises:.

8. Other details of interest about the Tower of London

Entrance to the Tower of London
Entrance to the Tower of London

I must make an important note when visiting the Tower of London since, although it is an accessible place that will interest any type of traveler, you should be aware that access is not possible with certain needs such as a wheelchair.

It does, however, have several volunteers (subject to availability) to help visitors with special needs. For these there is also the possibility of access with an assistance animal and information in Braille, in most of the attraction, for the blind or visually impaired, as well as the possibility of hiring a sign language interpreter for the deaf or hearing impaired.

There are also audioguides for a fee to enrich your visit (about 4 pounds), an elevator to access one of the most mythical places of the attraction, 'The White Tower', and seats to rest your legs at various points of the fortress, as well as several bathrooms, some of them adapted (mainly those on the outside of the Tower).

9. A little history about the Tower of London

Views of Tower Bridge from around the Tower of London
Views of Tower Bridge from around the Tower of London
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Built in 1066, this fortress that dominates the center of London has been really 'amortized' during its more than nine centuries of life. It was once a terrifying prison of inhumane conditions, a place of execution of famous traitors to the Crown and later became a Royal residence.

During its history, it has also been used as an armory, Royal Mint and treasury and even as a place of custody of the Crown Jewels and as a zoo for wild animals. There is plenty of history to be discovered within its walls. In fact, the tour of the entire architectural complex will take you no less than 3 hours.

For all these reasons, the Tower of London was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

10. What to visit around the Tower of London

Beefeater at the Tower of London | ©Paul Hudson
Beefeater at the Tower of London | ©Paul Hudson

Thanks to the exceptional location of the Tower of London, you can take advantage of your visit to discover other important places in the city. Just 293 meters from the Tower of London you will discover the City Hall, the futuristic style building that houses the City Hall of London and, a little further, 343 meters, walk across the most famous bridge in the city, the Tower Bridge.

Nearby, 569 meters from the Tower of London, you can admire the Great Fire Monument, a 61-meter Doric stone column representing the great fire that ravaged London in 1666 and its subsequent reconstruction.

If you are interested in naval history you will really enjoy (244 m from the 'Tower of London') the HMS Belfast, a floating museum that was the flagship of the British Naval Navy. Within this area you will also have the opportunity to cross the London Bridge, the bridge over the River Thames that connects the City of London with the Southwark district.

Vicky's Traveller Tip

Take advantage of being in the area to go up to the incredible viewpoint of The View from the Shard, on the other side of the river.

11. If you are interested in the Tower of London, you will also be interested in...

If in addition to the history and architecture of the famous Tower of London you are interested in visiting other key places in the history of England, I invite you to read this other article I wrote about Westminster Abbey Tickets:, one of the most emblematic places in the city.

A smart way to get around the big city is the free-stop bus. Don't be swayed by the opinion that it's too touristy, because after all, it will allow you to move quickly between the sights of the city while still enjoying the sights. I tell you all about it in the Hop on Hop off Bus Tours: guide.

Frequently asked questions

  • How long does a Tower of London tour usually take?

    You should expect to spend about 2-3 hours at the Tower. The Crown Jewels queue can take about 20 minutes and a tour around the Tower will be about 1hr 30min.

  • What is the best time to visit the Tower of London?

    As a general rule, it's best to visit during the morning mid-week, to try and avoid longer queues due to school visits. For the same reasons, you might want to avoid visiting the Tower during English school holidays.

  • Where can I go after I visit the Tower of London?

    There's plenty of things to do around the Tower of London, such as crossing the Tower Bridge, admiring The Shard, visiting the beautiful Southwark Cathedral or wandering around Borough Market.

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