Definitive guide

St Paul's Cathedral

One of the most important and biggest church buildings in the UK, St Paul’s Cathedral, offers breathtaking views over London

St Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican church in London that acts as the mother church of the local Diocese and seat of the London Bishop. The building is the second-largest cathedral in the UK and among some of the largest in the world.

St Paul's Cathedral
Author Loco Steve: Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Ever since its construction, St Paul's Cathedral has been considered an iconic London landmark. You'll find it represented in countless paintings and works of art.

Aside from its size and institutional importance, the Cathedral is known for its imposing architecture and style, a restrained and more classical-leaning Baroque. Another famous feature of St Paul’s Cathedral is the dome, ribbed and supported by a cylindrical colonnade.

This dome was inspired by Michelangelo’s one in St Peter’s Basilica, and although smaller than the inspiring piece, it still offers an impressive view over London, thanks to its Stone Gallery and Golden Gallery. The two stand at 173 feet (53.4 metres) and 280 feet (85.4 metres) respectively.

Other prominent features appreciated by visitors of the Cathedral are the Whispering Gallery, an internal passageway with such good acoustic resonance that the sound of a whisper can be heard clearly from one side of the gallery to the other.

The interior is bright and spacious, decorated with paintings that give the illusion of real architectural features. The crypt also attracts tourists, thanks to its many notable tombs and memorials. Among them are Florence Nightingale, J. M. W. Turner, Lawrence of Arabia, William Blake, Alexander Fleming, and John Donne.

St Paul’s Cathedral history

The site has a long history of being occupied by religious buildings as early as the 7th century AD. However, the church buildings about which we have the most information are the current one and the previous one, commonly referred to as Old St Paul’s.

The old - back then Catholic - cathedral was built between the 11th and 13th centuries in a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles. The building was expanded with works that lasted until the early 14th century.

In the 16th century, with the English Reformation, many elements were taken down and destroyed. Finally, during the Great Fire of London in 1666, Old St Paul’s was irreparably destroyed, mostly due to the fact that it employed lots of wood rather than stone.

Construction work on the new cathedral began in 1669 and the church was finally declared complete in 1711, although finalising works continued until the 1720s. Until 1963, St Paul’s Cathedral was the tallest building in the city.

Throughout the years, it has become known for hosting several national events. Among some of the most famous were Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding and the funerals of Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher.


St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD.

St. Paul’s Cathedral is located on Ludgate Hill, the highest point of the financial district, the City of London. In the same district, you can find the Museum of London, the Guildhall (both north of the Cathedral), and The Monument to the Great Fire of London (southeast).

Moving south, towards the River Thames, you’ll find the Millennium Bridge and just across the water are the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.


To visit St Paul’s Cathedral, you can either book in advance on the church’s website or turn up on the day without a booking. Keep in mind that entries are slightly more expensive without an online booking. For example, each adult ticket for St Paul’s Cathedral is £20.50 when booked online and £23.00 when bought in person. Several discounts are available for young visitors, students, the elderly, families, and visitors with disabilities. You can find all prices in the table below.

This regular ticket includes the Cathedral Floor, the Crypt, and the Dome (including the Stone Gallery and the Golden Galleries). Tours are also available to book on the Cathedral’s website for £12.50 .

Remember that St Paul’s Cathedral is also included in the London Pass and the 2FOR1 offers. These will grant you free entry to the church and two tickets for the price of one regular adult ticket respectively. You can check on the cathedral’s website for any instructions regarding booking requirements and voucher validity .

Advance online
In person
Type Adult Students & over 65 Young visitors 6-17 Children 0-5, visitors w/ disabilities & carers Family (2 adults + 2/3 children) Family (1 adult + 2/3 children)
Advance online £20.50 £18.40 £9.00 n/a £50.00 £29.50
In person £23.00 £20.50 £10.00 free £56.00 £33.00


The usual opening times at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral go from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm from Monday to Saturday, with the exception of Wednesdays, when the church opens at 10:00 am. On Sundays, sightseeing visits are not permitted, and the cathedral remains open for religious services only.

Day Opening time Last admittance Closing time
Mon-Sat 8:30 am 4:00 pm 4:30 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am 4:00 pm 4:30 pm

St Paul’s Cathedral remains open on Sundays for prayer only.


St Paul’s Cathedral is in a well-connected area of London, so you won’t find it hard to reach it. The closest Tube stop is, obviously, St. Paul’s, along the Central line. If that line is not convenient for you, you can also get off at Mansion House, which is found on the Circle and District lines.

If you prefer taking the bus, there routes we recommend the most are the ones that drop you off the closest - right in front of the Cathedral. They are lines 4, 11, 15, 17, 26, and 76. If you find it hard to catch any of these, lines 8, 26, and 521 also drop you off not too far from the church.

You can find a summary of the public transport options in the table below.

Method Underground Bus
Lines Central, Circle, District 4, 8, 11, 15, 17, 25, 26, 76, 521
Stops St. Paul’s, Mansion House -

Of course, you could also go to St Paul’s Cathedral by taxi, but this is likely to be unnecessarily expensive and time-consuming, considering the traffic in central London.

Nearby sights

City of London district - all around St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Millennium Bridge - 300 m (0.2 miles) south, 4-minute walk.

Museum of London - 550 m (0.3 miles) north, 9-minute walk.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre - 800 m (0.5 miles) south, 10-minute walk-

Tate Modern - 1 km (0.6 miles) south, 12-minute walk.

The Monument - 1 km (0.6 miles) east, 13-minute walk.

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St Paul's Cathedral