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Houses of Parliament

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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: River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

2. 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: River Thames Speedboat Ride

3. London: River Thames Speedboat Ride

Explore London from the Thames River on a thrilling speedboat cruise that combines sightseeing, speed, and fun. See iconic landmarks, including Big Ben, the Shard, and Tower Bridge from a unique perspective. On arrival, you will meet a member of the team in the waiting room, who will take you through your safety briefing and supply you with life jackets and waterproof clothing. When it's time to depart your crew will arrive and take you to the boarding platform to embark the boat. See various iconic sights such as the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower that houses the world-famous Big Ben, the London Eye, Shard and HMS Belfast to name a few. Sit back and enjoy the view as you pass under some of the ccapital's great bridges including the most modern, Millennium Bridge, as well as the world-renowned majestic Tower Bridge on the way to the fast zone.   Once past Tower Bridge, it’s all about speed, experienced skippers will give you an aquatic ride of your life of twists and turns, wave jumps and speed on the way to Canary Wharf. After all the adrenaline-fuelled fun, it’s back to Westminster Pier with time to admire the view, catch a breath and take in the great experience of speeding along the Thames and maybe even get those sightseeing pictures or the must-have selfie. For safety reasons, the minimum height requirement to travel on Thamesjet is 1.35 metres (4 ft. 5in.).

London: Westminster and Changing of the Guard Tour

4. London: Westminster and Changing of the Guard Tour

The Royal Westminster and Changing of the Guard guided walking tour offers you the ability to get up close and personal with London’s most famous and impressive sights. Beginning with Buckingham Palace, the most famous residence of the Queen, we will explore the iconic buildings, parks, and monuments of Royal London. We will witness parades by the world-famous Queen's Guards before continuing along the corridor of power which includes Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and 10 Downing Street. Along the way, you will be entertained and enthralled by your tour guide’s in-depth knowledge, memorable anecdotes, and unique look on the history of London. What truly makes our tour so impressive is the quality of our tour guides. With years of professional experience in the touring industry, you will be led by an expert in London’s political, royal, and cultural history. In addition, the experience of our guides means they know the best places to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, allowing you the best views and photo opportunities away from the crowds. Suitable for all ages and encompassing multiple different experiences in a single two-and-a-quarter-hour period, our Westminster and Changing of the Guard Walking Tour is the best way to experience Royal Westminster all in one day. Discover the Kings, Queens, rogues and villains behind this incredible city, and witness iconic buildings and mesmerising parades along the way.

London: River Thames Dinner Cruise

5. 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: Landmarks and Secret Gems Bike Tour

6. London: Landmarks and Secret Gems Bike Tour

Saddle up for a fun, small group bike tour of London and see the city like a slightly eccentric local. Ride a fabulous classic-style, traditional English Pashley bicycles, pedaling across the capital using riverside paths, dedicated bicycle lanes, and quiet back streets. Cruise at an easy pace to ensure your comfort and safety at all times, the tour is ideal even for those who haven't ridden a bicycle in years. Frequent stops are made to give you a chance to soak in the sights, take photos, and listen to your guide recount interesting facts and strange historical tales of landmarks like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and the London Eye. You will also visit lesser-known spots, including a bizarre stone nose, wartime bunkers, legal graffiti zones, and the best spots for food and drink. Take a break at the best-rated ale and cider pub in town, and learn about traditional brewing techniques, taste samples, and enjoy a pint with your group.

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.

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

8. 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: River Thames Speed Boat Tour

9. 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

10. 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.  

Other Sightseeing Options in Houses of Parliament

Want to discover all there is to do in Houses of Parliament? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Houses of Parliament

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 14,007 reviews

Great trip and loved the commentary finding out all sort of history about the buildings that line the river. Would recommend. Definitely start from Westminster - great view of Houses of Parliament and London Eye from a different perspective.

We had a wonderful time and Alan , our guide was amazing . He gave us lots of information , took us to the right spots at the right time . Totally recommended

What a great way to spend an evening!! The service & food we’re fabulous, and the sights unbeatable!! I would HIGHLY recommend this dinner cruise to anyone!

Heard lots of interesting facts we didn't know about the Queen and London. Wasn't too long a walk for our kids.

Joe was an excellent guide. Lots of fun stories and insights.