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Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament: Our most recommended tours and activities

London: Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise

1. London: Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise

Admire the views of London's most iconic sights with a cruise on the River Thames. Cruise to Greenwich to see London's historical sights from the River Thames. Journey past iconic sights such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, and the Tate Modern. Choose between either a one-way or round-trip journey, with skip-the-line entry, and avoid the queues at the ticket office as you go straight to board the boat. Listen to the live audio commentary as you enjoy the comfort of a modern but traditional vessel. Admire the pyramid structure of The Shard and see other monuments from London's historic waterway. Head to the open deck for panoramic views of London's landmarks. Stop at Embankment Pier, Festival Pier, and Tower Bridge Quay before arriving at Greenwich Pier. Feel free to explore the charms of Greenwich on your own terms, and see sights such as Greenwich Market, the Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Park, and the Royal Observatory which are all within easy walking distance from the pier.

London: London by Night Sightseeing Open-Top Bus Tour

2. London: London by Night Sightseeing Open-Top Bus Tour

Experience London’s grand architecture and vibrant atmosphere which are impressive by day, and which truly come alive at night. Add a spark to your London trip and enjoy this city tour aboard an open-top bus. See the famous landmarks lit up against the night sky. Witness the Tower of London and Tower Bridge standing proud amongst the skyline and feel a thrill as you glide past the monumental Big Ben. Witnessthe fountains of Trafalgar Square dance with joy from the light that shines within them, and let the neon screens of Piccadilly Circus dazzle and thrill. As you pass Harrods, witness the exquisite lights which are evocative of Christmas, even in summer. Learn about the history of landmarks like St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey from your guide and hear fascinating stories about the city. Embark on a fun and informative tour suitable for families and groups of friends.

London: River Thames Dinner Cruise

3. London: River Thames Dinner Cruise

Take a leisurely evening cruise through the heart of London to see its famous sights illuminated at night. In the summer, there is the added delight of watching the sun set from the water before the lights come alive! The 3-hour cruise from Westminster to the Thames Barrier and back starts with a welcome drink when you board. Follow your cocktail with a delicious 4-course dinner, plus entertainment from a live singer. This dinner cruise from the heart of London combines a great meal with cabaret and dancing. Sail past the modern landmarks of the O2 Arena, Canary Wharf, and City Hall, and continue as far as the monumental Thames Barrier flood defense before turning back to the Houses of Parliament. By the time darkness falls, dinner gives way to a cabaret singer performing tunes from West End Shows both past and present, along with other popular music. Although dancing is encouraged during and after the cabaret performance, if you prefer you can sit back and simply enjoy the music and floodlit sights. The cruise ends at the original starting point. Menu • Scottish Smoked Salmon Mousse with Mustard and Dill Center, King Prawns with Lemon and Mesclun Salad • Tomato, Roast Pepper, and Basil Soup • Roasted Supreme of Chicken Wrapped in Parma Ham, served with Dauphinoise Potatoes and Mushrooms with Thyme and Red Wine Sauce, along with Seasonal Vegetables • White, Dark, and Milk Chocolate Truffle Cake with Raspberry Sauce • Tea or Coffee, Mints Vegetarian Menu • Salad with Feta, Walnuts, Green Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Roast Peppers, Pumpkin, and Olives with Honey Dressing • Tomato, Roast Pepper, and Basil Soup • Lasagne with Artichokes, Spinach, Sauté of Mixed Mushrooms, and Goat's Cheese, along with Seasonal Vegetables • White, Dark, and Milk Chocolate Truffle Cake with Raspberry Sauce • Tea or Coffee, Mints

London: River Thames Speed Boat Tour

4. London: River Thames Speed Boat Tour

Experience a wild and fantastic River Thames boat cruise that is fun for all ages. You will climb aboard a high-speed vessel that offers non-traditional views of England's capital at speeds of up to 30 knots. You will be given a full safety briefing and a life jacket - just in case! Named by leading listings magazine Time Out as a "must-do" experience, both visitors and residents of London will be thrilled with this outing. Speed under the capital’s bridges, and marvel at landmarks such as the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and South Bank from an exclusive vantage point. Music floats through the air via the onboard sound system, as you power out toward the Docklands. High-brow banter is provided by an award-winning comedian guide, whose cheery anecdotes include narration about the headquarters of MI5 and the modern skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.

Westminster Abbey Tour with Optional Houses of Parliament

5. Westminster Abbey Tour with Optional Houses of Parliament

Meet your guide at the entrance to Westminster Abbey at 09:15 AM, and then look inside the historic monument to stand in the footsteps of kings and queens. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been held in the abbey, as have many royal weddings, including that of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011. Then, take a panoramic tour around the Houses of Parliament and pass the Elizabeth Tower where the famous Big Ben bell chimes every quarter hour. Learn about the role of MPs who sit in the House of Commons and the function of the House of Lords. Hear how, and why, the Elizabeth Tower and its great clock and iconic bell were built. For a more complete experience, select the option that includes the ticket to the Parliament and get an audio-guided tour inside the building.  Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace of Westminster (the official name of the Houses of Parliament) boasts an ostentatious façade with golden spires and statues of kings that reflect in the River Thames. Listen as your guide explains the history of the building, from the first medieval clock tower built in the old Palace of Westminster, to the design and construction of the present Elizabeth Tower.  

London: River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

6. London: River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

Explore the River Thames as it weaves through the heart of London and discover fascinating history around every bend. Today, you can experience the splendor of this great city from the relaxed comfort of a modern, all-weather and wheelchair-friendly sightseeing boat. Informative commentary interlaced with colorful tales of the city's past will keep your mind engaged as you cruise down the Thames! Cruises depart frequently from Westminster Pier, Greenwich Pier, London Eye Pier, and Tower Pier, sailing every day of the year except Christmas Day. With a regular timetable, and evening cruises all summer, you can enjoy a full-day on the river in comfort. Hop on and off the boat as many times as you wish to explore sights such as the Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Borough Market, South Bank Centre, and the London Eye. Or grab a refreshment from the on-board bar and relax as you sail past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, the Royal Festival Hall, Cleopatra's Needle, Somerset House, the Millennium Footbridge, Shakespeare's Globe, Monument, H.M.S.Belfast, and much more.

London: Nighttime Open-Top Bus Sightseeing Tour

7. London: Nighttime Open-Top Bus Sightseeing Tour

Experience London at night on an open-top bus tour and see the city lit up. Enjoy panoramic views and audio commentary of the most iconic and lively areas in the capital, including Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and the financial district of the City. Enjoy commentary from an English-speaking guide as you drive, with audio guides available in French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. Glide past eminent and elegant attractions, such as the renowned London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, the formidable Tower of London, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament, giving you an enchanting illuminated view of one of the world’s greatest cities.

London: Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

8. London: Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Capture the heart of the city’s culture, landmarks and history on this London bus tour, while sipping a lovely cup of tea and enjoying the exquisite tastes of England. Indulge in High Tea, which is accompanied by an array of tasty sandwiches and delicious cakes and pastries. Your London bus driver will take you round several iconic sites, such as Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall, Marble Arch, Nelson’s Column, Downing Street and more. This sightseeing tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes depending on traffic. Nothing beats a good cuppa, so experience the beating heart of England like a local!

Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

9. Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

Discover the best of London with a hop-on, hop-off tour on-board an open-top, double-decker bus and enjoy a trip on the London Eye as part of your ticket. A hop-on, hop-off tour is the ideal way to discover the best sights, landmarks and attractions of London at your own pace. The tour gives you unlimited use, with stops strategically placed at all the places you would like to visit including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge and St Pauls Cathedral. Hop off the bus at Westminster Bridge to take an unforgettable ride on the London Eye. From the top, you can take in the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city's impressive skyline. See the city's most famous sights including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from an unrivaled bird's eye view. You can start your tour at any of the Big Bus stops. Popular starting points include the London Eye, Marble Arch, Victoria Station and Trafalgar Square. With all ticket types you can enjoy a boat cruise along the River Thames. A Classic ticket includes a single river cruise from the Tower of London to Westminster Pier (in either direction). Departure times vary for the river cruise. You can board the river cruise at Tower Pier (near stop 16) or Westminster Pier (near stop 18). Big Bus route highlights include Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, London Dungeon, Sea Life London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Covent Garden, Bank of England, Monument, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The Shard, City Hall, Lambeth Palace, British Museum, Marble Arch, Mayfair, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Harrods, South Kensington Museums, Kensington Palace and Notting Hill.

London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

10. London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

Discover what London has to offer on a hop-on hop-off tour of the English capital. Pass iconic landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, London Eye, and Big Ben with audio commentary available on board. Choose from a selection of tickets and routes. You can also explore London on foot with a live guide with a choice of 3 daily walking tours (included in Premium & Deluxe tickets). Walking Tours last about 1.5-2 hours. Changing of the Guard Walking Tour – 10 AM – Stop 7 (Trafalgar Square) City of London Past to Present– 1 PM – Stop 15 (St Paul's Cathedral) Jack the Ripper – 4 PM – Stop 17 (Tower of London) Classic Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 1 day (24 hours from time of redemption) Single river cruise between Tower of London and Westminster – either direction A choice of 3 live guided walking tours Premium Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 2 days (48 hours from time of redemption) Single river cruise between Tower of London and Westminster – either direction Panoramic evening tour A choice of 3 live guided walking tours Deluxe Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 3 days (72 hours from time of redemption) Single river cruise between Tower of London and Westminster – either direction Panoramic evening tour A choice of 3 live guided walking tours Discover London via 3 specially-designed routes covering over 45 stops: Red Route The Red route takes in the best of historic London including Big Ben, the London Eye, and St Paul’s Cathedral. Frequency: approx. every 10-20 minutes. Blue Route The Blue Route is a comprehensive route covering all of central London from Kensington Palace in the West to the Tower of London in the East. Stops include Harrods, the South Kensington Museums, and Madame Tussauds. Frequency: approx. every 10-20 minutes. Green Route The Green Route links the beautiful, regenerated area of St Pancras and King’s Cross with the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden making its way through Bloomsbury en route. Departure time is every 20 minutes. River Cruise Classic, Premium & Deluxe tickets includes a river cruise from Tower of London to Westminster in either direction. The river cruise includes live commentary in 8 languages. See top London attractions lining the Thames, including Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare's Globe, and the Tate Modern. Departure times for the river cruise are approximately every 45 minutes. Panoramic Evening Tour The panoramic evening tour is included in the Premium & Premium Plus ticket types. Discover the magic of London as the city becomes illuminated in the evening. Hop on for a one-round panoramic tour past London's top landmarks as the sun begins to set. The tour departs daily at 06:00 PM from bus stop 12 at The London Eye.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Houses of Parliament

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What people are saying about Houses of Parliament

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 17,893 reviews

Me and my partner on our last night did the tour. We thought we had already walked and seen everywhere needed but we were wrong. I’ve did tours in NYC and other major cities but this one was the best and it was down to the workers. I can’t remember there names but the three who were involved were great. They were so helpful and informative it was just 10/10. They really educated everyone about London and it was amazing. If you’re here short term or long term it’s still a must!

We had a beautiful hot day and sat on the top open level and just relaxed admiring the view and listening to the crew describe what we were seeing. He was also funny. We got off at Greenwich and had a delicious lunch of boar bangers and mash on the patio if the tavern and then we walked along the River path and had ice cream and met many people. Nice ride back to Westminster bridge afterwards

The guide really knew his stuff, providing interesting insights into the various places we visited. Due to the Queen's death and the plans for the funeral, Tim had to improvise a bit. I strongly wearing comfortable shoes with thick soles and bring water. You will learn a great deal.

The site-seeing commentary was informative but at times a little too politically biased.

Very nice Crew, made efforts to explain lot of things in a funny way