See London’s famous landmarks with an open-top, hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. Choose from a Classic (1 day), Premium (2 day) or Deluxe (3 day)…
Combine an iconic sightseeing tour along the River Thames with a ticket for the world famous London Eye. The sightseeing cruise ticket is valid for…
Enjoy a full day tour of London. You will see Westminster Abbey before witnessing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Later, enjoy guided…
On the Grand London half-day bicycle tour you’ll see London in all its glory! Visit the city’s highlights such as Big Ben, the London Eye,…
Discover some of the most famous sights in London. Visit Buckingham Palace and see the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Walk through Trafalgar Square…
Discover the royal sights of London in this wonderful morning tour. Visit Kensington Palace, the Parliament Square, and Westminster Abbey, stroll…
The British capital is defined by its millions of lights, illuminated monuments and amazing nightlife. In this tour you will have the chance to…
This tour takes you through the heart of Westminster, revealing the stories behind the statues in Parliament Square. Discuss the history of…
The classic itinerary of London includes all the most important attractions of the city: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Trafalgar…
Top sights in London
No single landmark is as representative of London as the iconic Big Ben. Despite its fame, the monument is shrouded in mystery – even its name is a source of misunderstanding! Here are 5 fascinating facts to take with you when you visit the British capital.
Though most assume Big Ben to be the name of the beautiful bell tower, it's actually the nickname of the largest bell hidden inside. The entire structure is called Elizabeth Tower.
Officially, the 13-ton bell is called Great Bell. The monicker Big Ben was given to honor Sir Benjamin Hall, the Commissioner of Public Works whose name is inscribed on the bell.
Big Ben's accompanying bells chime every 15 minutes, whereas Big Ben only chimes on the hour. The sound can be heard as far as nine miles away!
Big Ben was cast on the 10th of April 1858, so it turned 157 in 2015. However, it only chimed for the first time on the 11th of July 1859, which some argue is its real birthday.
Incredibly, the clock tower's pendulum still depends on pennies for its accuracy. If a penny is added, the clock will run 40% of a second faster every day, and vice versa.
The exterior of the clock tower has countless beautiful details and ornate decorations, many of which are all but impossible to see with the naked eye from below considering the tower's height of 96 meters. To really admire the tower's beauty, it's a great idea to bring a pair of binoculars.
The favorite time to listen to Big Ben is at noon, when the large bell chimes 12 times. However, it's also the busiest time of day. To avoid the crowds, it's best to come in the early morning or at night, and weekdays are less busy than the weekend.
- When should I visit?Tours of the Big Ben tower are reserved to UK residents, however visits to the Houses of Parliament are available through the official website: www.parliament.uk/visiting/.
- Is it expensive?Free to check out the tower, but a tour of the Houses of Parliament building £25.00 for adults, more with added perks.
- Will I need a guide?Every hop-on-hop-off bus will pass by Big Ben, but you should look into getting a tour through Parliament in order to learn about Big Ben up close.
- How to get thereTake the District, Circle or Jubilee tube lines to Westminster, or check the bus schedules for other options.
- Additional information
- Photography, filming and mobile phone use are prohibited inside the Parliament buildings.
What people are saying about Big Ben
Gets u round London but does take a while to get through traffic so expect to cover 2 to 3 places a day at a push
Our guide Geoff was very passionate about his country and the city of London. He was friendly and personable, engaging with all the tour group members and answering all our questions.
We were greeted warmly by the staff and then guided to our bus, the bus tour was great (even with a little rain, ponchos were given). The information on the tour was fun to listen to for all ages. We also really enjoyed the bonus river cruise to Westminster, which was a welcome surprise! All in all a lovely tour at a reasonable price. Thanks!
The tour guide was very safe and took us at our own pace. We visited the well known sites but went around back ways which most tourists would not know or go down. Well worth the money.
Views were amazing from the eye. Great photo opportunities. Got there for 10am to try and avoid the bank holiday queues and was lucky not to wait to long to board. I am a londonder and this was my first time. Getting the tickets was easy enough at Westminster pier. Boarded the boat at the eye pier and braved the weather up top... great views of the bridges down to Greenwich. Highly recommend this to the tourists and the londonders like me that have never taken the time to see our city.