Getting Tower of London tickets is easier than you can imagine. Continue reading to find a way that suits you!
The Tower of London is one of the most popular attractions in the British capital, and easily one of my favorites in town. When my dad visited, I had no doubt he’d be wowed by the sight of the impressive building, and my the Crown Jewels inside.
Such popularity, however, means that the lines to get inside are actually long – which is ok if this is the only place you want to visit in town; but not quite so if you are on a roll to explore London in a short time. The key to save time when visiting the Tower of London is getting tickets in advance – there are plenty of options, with or without a tour attached. Whatever your needs, interests and even budget, you really will find something suitable.
In this post, I will explain everything you should know before visiting the Tower of London, including how to get tickets to the Tower of London. Before doing so, let me share some information about this incredible attraction.
Why You Must Visit The Tower Of London
Built in the 11th century upon wishes of William the Conqueror and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tower of London has served many purposes throughout history. Initially a royal palace, it was used as an armory, a treasury, a menagerie and as the Royal Mint. Processions for coronations used to start here. And it eventually became a prison – the one where notable people such as Anne Boleyn or Guy Fawkes were held and executed.
Nowadays, the Tower of London one of the symbols of the city, of the might and cruelty of the crown – though to be fair Henry VIII had “only” four people beheaded there (and many more right outside, on Tower Hill), and during WWI and WWII 12 men accused of espionage were executed there.
The last man to be executed there in 1941 was Josef Jakobs, a German spy.
The highlight of visiting the Tower of London usually includes admiring the prisoner graffiti in the Beauchamp and Salt Towers; visiting the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, which is located near the execution site and where the remains and heads of three queens (including Anne Boleyn) and two saints are located.
You will also enjoy seeing and the Norman Chapel of St John’s which is found in the White Tower wall; and admiring the Crown Jewels – my favorite piece is the Cullinan I, the biggest diamond on earth which is embedded in the royal sceptre.
The Tower of London is actually bigger than you may imagine, with several buildings and exhibits and it may take you up to 4 hours to visit.
Finally, continue reading to discover how you can get tickets to this amazing attractions.
How To Get Tower Of London Tickets
There are several ways to get tickets for the Tower of London. I will highlight the various solutions available so you can decide which one is more suitable for you.
Way N. 1: Buy your tickets on the official website
This is the official website of the Tower of London. Tickets bought via the official website cost £29.90 GBP for adults (around $36 USD) and £14.90 GBP ($18 USD) for kids from 5 to 15 years old. Concessions are £24 GBP (about $29 USD) and they are for full time students, visitors who are 65 and above, or 16 and 17, and for disabled visitors.
Tickets include the Crown Jewels exhibit, and access to all areas such as the White Tower, Bloody Tower and Battlements.
To buy your ticket, you will have to select a day and a time slot – the page will show you which days have availability, and the various time slots available. Once you pick a time slot you’ll have to select the number of tickets you wish to purchase, and will then be taken to another page where you will be prompted to purchase add-ons such as a guide book. That’s where you can also book your audioguide for an additional £5 (that’s about $6 USD).
After that, you’ll be taken to a new page where you will have to prompt your name, phone number, email address and full address. Finally, once you agree to the term and conditions, you’ll be prompted to pay.
You will then receive an email with your tickets, which you have to print. Alternatively, you can download a PDF version of the ticket on your cell phone and this will be scanned upon entering.
As per the official website, changes to the date and/or entry time of can be made – though you will have to pay a re-booking fee, and must give at least 24-hours notice is given. Tickets can’t be refunded or transferred.
Way N. 2: Buy your tickets on third party reseller sites
A better way of getting tickets is by going via third party sites such as GetYourGuide or Tiqets. Tickets bought via third party resellers aren’t necessarily more expensive – they usually cost just the same.
Getting tickets on third party sites is super easy. Pick the day and time slot of your visit, the number of tickets you want to purchase, pay and you will get the tickets in your mail. You can also download an app that will let you have the vouchers all in one place and you even get a reminder via email that your activity is coming up.
The bonus? You can cancel your tickets and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance.
I found these two options which are very good:
Tower of London and Crown Jewels exhibition ticket – sold on GetYourGuide.
Tower of London tickets – sold on Tiqets.
Make sure to read my post A Completely Honest GetYourGuide Review for more information on third party booking sites.
Way N. 3: Take a guided group tour
A place of historical relevance such as the Tower of London actually deserves an in depth visit with a guide that can share important information about the building and what went on inside.
Guided tours are obviously more expensive than just the plain admission ticket, but if the guide is a knowledgeable one, your experience will be much better. Besides, guides usually know which path to follow to avoid the crowds and in the end you will never feel overwhelmed by the presence of other people.
Guided tours of the Tower of London will include tickets and they last between 1.5 and 3 hours.
These are the best guided tours of the Tower of London:
Tower of London early access tour with opening ceremony – sold on Take Walks, this tour starts at 8:30 am and lasts up to 3 hours. It’s a great way of experiencing the attraction with lesser crowds.
Tower of London group tour with a Beefeater – one of the most interesting ways of experiencing the Tower of London is with one of its guardians. They are the ones that know all the secrets!
Tower of London and Tower Bridge VIP early access – another excellent option that also includes the Tower Bridge exhibit.
Way N. 4: Take a guided tour of London
This solution is particularly valid if you have limited time in town and want a completely hassle free solution. Tours are guided, they take you to a variety of attractions (obviously including the Tower of London) and are usually great value for money.
This London in a day: Tower, Westminster and Changing of the Guard sold on Take Walks takes you to the most popular landmarks in town. It lasts 8 full hours, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Way N. 5: Buy the London City Pass
City passes allow you to save a bit on attractions, but you have to book each of them separately. If this is something you want to consider, you will be happy to know that that London Passes always include the Tower of London among the attractions you can visit.
These are the 2 best London Pass options:
London explorer pass – You can pick up to 7 attractions and end up saving up to 35%. The list of included attractions is wider than the other options.
London pass – Perhaps the most comprehensive option, you get access to up to 85 attractions in the course of 10 days.
Other Useful Information For Visiting The Tower Of London
Book in advance
You are truly better off getting your tickets in advance. You don’t have to – there is a ticket office where you can get them. But considering the limitations on the number of people that are allowed to visit daily and that this is one of the most popular attractions in London, you really should do that or be prepared to stand in line.
What to do if tickets are sold out
Needless to say, tickets on the official website are the first to sell out. If you can’t get them there, head to the third party sites I have mentioned. Since they usually buy tickets in advance and in bulk, there often is something available and you may also count on their flexible cancellation policy and the fact that someone may have cancelled almost last minute.
One thing you may want to keep in mind is that you will stand better chances of getting tickets if you opt for a last minute guided tour.
Firstly, take a look at this site to see if there is anything available. If there’s nothing there, look at this one.
How to get to the Tower of London
The easiest way to get to the Tower of London is by metro. The nearest station is Tower Hill, which you can reach via District and Circle lines. Once you get out of the station, follow the signs to the Tower.
Another way of getting there is by hop-on hop-off bus. You can get it here or here.
The Tower of London is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (November 1 to February 28) or 5:30 pm (March 1 to October 31) and Sunday and Monday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (November 1 to February 28) or 5:30 pm (March 1 to October 31). Last admission is one hour before closing time. The site is closed on 1 January and on 24, 25 and 26 December.
Modifications to the reservation and refunds
Tickets bought on the official site can’t be cancelled or refunded. Modifications are allowed, pending payment of a fee.
The best time of day to avoid the crowds at the Tower of London
Some will tell you that the best time to visit the Tower of London is as soon as it opens to the public. Others will tell you to visit in the late afternoon. I can’t make predictions, really, but in doubt – knowing I am not an early bird – I’d recommend going in the late afternoon.
Prices for Tower of London tickets and free visits
Tickets bought via the official website cost £29.90 GBP for adults (around $36 USD) and £14.90 GBP ($18 USD) for kids from 5 to 15 years old. Concessions are £24 GBP (about $29 USD) and they are for full time students, visitors who are 65 and above, or 16 and 17, and for disabled visitors.
You will have to go through a security check when visiting the Tower of London. Don’t bring any prohibited items with you so as not to slow down the process. These are the things you should not include: weapons (including pocket knives); pepper spray; anything bulky. The website also suggests that fireworks are prohibited – but I’d doubt you go around with that in your bag.
Toilets and other facilities at the Tower of London
Inside the Tower of London you will find toilets, baby changing facilities, wifi access, 3 kiosks that serve quick bites, and a souvenir shop.
The site is accessible to wheelchair users and people with disabilities with a dedicated entrance, dedicated paths, facilities and even wheelchair hire.
There are no luggage storage facilities at the Tower of London.
Other nearby attractions
The closest nearby attraction is the Tower Bridge, which is quite a sight. You can even go inside and visit the exhibit and walk the glass walkway for incredible views. Make sure to also cross the bridge for beautiful views of the Tower of London.
If you are planning a trip to London, make sure to read my other posts:
- How To Make The Most Of London In A Day
- Where To Get The Most Impressive Views Of London
- 15 Amazing Day Trips From Paris
- The Best 5 Days London Itinerary
- An Easy To Follow Itinerary For 4 Days London
- A Perfect Itinerary To See London In 3 Days
- How To See London In 2 Days
- 15 Great Day Trips From London
- 5 Easy Ways Of Getting London Dungeon Tickets
- 7 Easy Ways Of Getting London Eye Tickets
- How To Get Madame Tussauds London Tickets And Skip The Lines
- The 20 Best Museums In London