Getting Tower of London tickets is easier than you can imagine. Continue reading to find a way that suits you!
You have finally arrived in London and immediately decide to go on a walk. You have worked out a list of places you want to visit, and the first one that comes to mind is the Tower of London. You eagerly jump on the metro to get there, looking forward to visiting one of the places you have read so much about.
But the minute you arrive, you realize that there is a massive line to get tickets, and it doesn’t look like you’ll be getting in any time soon. You are ready to settle for a photo from the outside (the view from the South Bank is incredible, after all).
Don’t give up, I say! I promise you there are ways of visiting the Tower of London that don’t require standing in line for hours and that there are tickets and tours that will save you from any of the hassle.
In this post, I will explain everything you should know before visiting the Tower of London. Before doing so, let me share some information about this incredible attraction.
Why You Must Visit The Tower Of London
London is an incredible city. I have lived there for years and even after leaving, I enjoy visiting at any chance I have. I guess many people feel the same way about it, as this is one of the most visited cities in the world.
Whenever I am in town, the first place I head to is the Tower of London. I don’t always go in, but I simply love looking at it. This is one of the main landmarks of the city, and a favorite of travelers.
Built in the 11th century upon wishes of William the Conqueror and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it 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.
This is all to say that you really shouldn’t be dreaming of traveling all the way to the British Capital without planning to visit the Tower of London, even less so if it is your first time in town – if anything to verify if the rumors about the presence of ghosts inside is actually true!
The Tower of London is actually bigger than you may imagine, with several buildings and exhibits (the most famous one is that of the Crown Jewels) and it may take you up to 4 hours to visit.
The highlight of visiting the Tower of London usually include 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.
With so much to see in just one place, it’s easy to see why this is a favorite of travelers and why they are ready to stand in line for it.
But let’s be honest: nobody enjoys a line, especially when there are easy ways to avoid it! Continue reading, and I’ll tell you how you can avoid that!
6 Smart Ways Of Getting 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.
In general, I recommend getting them via third party sites as they are significantly more straightforward to use (I am all for no-hassle!) and allow very flexible cancellation policies. They also sell very good guided tours.
Now, without any further ado, let me share some cool hacks.
Way N. 1: Buy your Tower of London Tickets on the official website
This is the official website of the Tower of London. Tickets bought via the official website cost £28.90 for adults (around $36) and include the Crown Jewels exhibit, and access to all areas such as the White Tower, Bloody Tower and Battlements. You can get an audioguide on the site for an additional £5.
Once you decide which ticket you want, you just click buy and will 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 or you can decide to collect the tickets from the ticket office (but you’ll have to show the booking reference number and the credit or debit card used to purchase the ticket. You can even decide to have the tickets sent via mail – provided you buy them well in advance.
The official website doesn’t say whether the tickets can be reimbursed or the date changed once purchased.
I must say, this is my least favorite way of getting tickets: there isn’t all the information to make an informed purchase.
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. You’d imagine that getting tickets via a third party site will be more expensive but here’s a piece of news for you: it is not. In fact, tickets bought via third party sites cost just the same.
What I love about this method is that getting tickets is super easy. Pick the day 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 – a very good ticket option on GetYourGuide that gives you access to all areas. It costs $36 USD so the exact same price you pay on the official website.
- Tower of London tickets – similar to the option above, but sold on another booking site called 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
I am a massive fan of guided tours, and I believe that a place of such historical relevance as the Tower of London actually deserves a more in depth visit with a guide that can share important information about the building and what went on inside.
The issue with guided tours is that they are obviously more expensive than just the plain ticket, but if you are asking me, it is a small investment to make for a better experience. 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 are obviously inclusive of Tower of London tickets. The only issue then is picking the best tour for your needs. Tour starts at $70 and 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 GetYourGuide, 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! The tour costs $71 and lasts 1.5 hours.
- Tower of London and Tower Bridge VIP early access – another excellent option that costs $105 but keep in mind it 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 GetYourGuide for $160 US 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
I must admit I am not a massive fan of city passes. You don’t really save much on attractions, and you have to book each of them separately anyways. Having said so, if this is something you want to consider, you may opt for one and the good news is that London Passes always include the Tower of London among the attractions you can visit.
These are the 2 best London Pass options:
- The London Pass with access to over 80 attractions – it starts at $98 USD for the shortest length of time.
- London 5 attractions pass – at $87 US you only get to pick up to 5 places to visit.
Other Useful Information For Visiting The Tower Of London
Book in advance
I have said it before, and will say it again: you are truly better off getting Tower of London tickets in advance. You don’t have to – there is a ticket office where you can get them. But considering that 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 official website tickets are the first to sell out. If you can’t get them there, head to the third party sites I have mentioned above. Since they usually buy tickets in advance and in bulks, 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 guided tour.
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, you just have to 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 30 minutes before closing time.
Modifications to the reservation and refunds
The official website isn’t clear on whether you can modify your ticket or cancel it. For this reason, you may want to purchase tickets on third party sites which have clear cancellation policies.
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
Tower of London tickets cost £28.90 (around $32) for adults, and £23.10 ($29 USD) for senior citizens (65 years old and above), full time students, disabled visitors and people ages 16 and 17. Children between 5 and 14 pay £14.40 (around $18 USD) and children up to 4 years old get in for free.
You will have to go through a security check in order to visit the Tower of London. Make sure not to 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, so I recommend bringing only the essentials with you and avoid carrying around any bulky items.
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