Tower of London

The Tower of London is an unmissable sight in the city, a former fortress, royal residence, and prison with immense historical significance.

The Tower of London, whose official name is His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a prominent historic landmark and castle in central London, built between 1066 and 1399.

The castle takes its common name (the Tower) from the keep known as the White Tower, an 11th-century keep in pristine condition. Although the White Tower is the main building, the complex is made up of several constructions laid in two concentric rings of defensive walls. These buildings include several other towers, the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, the gates, and the Waterloo Block, which houses the Crown Jewels.

Tower of London
The White Tower is surrounded by two rings of defensive walls and several other buildings.

Throughout its history, the Tower of London has served as a royal residence, prison, armoury, treasury, menagerie, public record office, and home of the Crown Jewels - which it still is to this day.

You might be surprised to discover that the Tower of London actually has residents. The Resident Governor, the soldiers, and the Yeoman Warders all live in the Tower of London. This latter group, whom you might have heard being referred to as the Beefeaters, has become somewhat of a tourist attraction of its own.

The 37 Warders are all retired members of the British Armed Forces, who live within the walls of the Tower of London with their families. Originally, their role was to guard the Tower and protect the Crown Jewels, but today they mainly act as tour guides. You won’t have trouble spotting them, considering their colour uniforms.

The other far less colourful inhabitants of the Tower of London are the famous ravens, who are also regarded as guardians of the Tower in their own right (and have names!). According to a Victorian legend, the Tower of London and the Crown itself would fall if the ravens left the Tower.

To keep them fed and cared for, the Tower of London has a Ravenmaster, who also trims the ravens’ flight feathers, thus discouraging them from flying out. Still, some ravens have escaped in the past. Anyway, as long as there are at least six at the Tower of London, the Kingdom seems to be safe.


Tower Hill, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London.

The Tower of London is located in the Borough of Tower Hamlets, in St Katharine’s & Wapping area. You will the fortress right in front of Tower Bridge, overlooking the River Thames. Among the numerous nearby attractions, you’ll surely recognise The Monument and The Shard. Close to it is also London’s financial district, the City of London.

How can you visit the Tower of London?

Most people who visit the Tower of London do so by getting a general pass admission. This ticket includes access to the White Tower, the Crown Jewels, the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, the Battlements, the Medieval Palace, the Bloody Tower, the Torture at the Tower exhibition, the Fusiliers Museum, and the Royal Mint exhibition.

Additionally, you can also book a separate ticket for additional tours and talks. Some of the most popular are the Tower Twilight Tour, the Queer Lives at the Tower Tour, and the Ceremony of the Keys. You can see what is available and book it on the Historic Royal Palaces website .

The best time to visit the Tower of London is during the week, preferably early in the morning, since a lot of visitors start coming in around and right after midday. This is particularly important if you want to avoid the long lines that tend to form outside some exhibitions like the Crown Jewels. Another way to avoid queues is to book online rather than at the ticket office.

Visiting the Tower of London on your own will take approximately 2 hours, even though you could easily spend 3 hours on your visit. Of course, if you’re in a rush, you could complete the visit in 1 hour, but we recommend taking your time with it. A guided tour around the grounds takes around 45 minutes.

Entries and price

You can either pre-book your tickets for the Tower of London online or purchase them on the day at the ticket office. The price for online tickets and in-person ones is the same. We still recommend you buy your tickets in advance. This will save you time - you won’t have to queue - and you won’t run the risk of finding the tickets are sold out on the day.

A full-price adult ticket is £33.60, but remember that there are discounts for visitors over 65 years of age or under 17 and for visitors with disabilities. Children under 5 years of age and essential companions enter for free. The Tower of London is also included in the London Pass and in the 2FOR1 offers, so remember to check those out. You can find a summary of the prices in the table below.

Adult Young visitors (5-15) Senior (65+), student (16-17), visitors with disabilities Child under 5 & carers/companions
£33.60 £16.80 £26.60 free

General entry tickets include: White Tower, Crown Jewels, Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, Battlements, Medieval Palace, Bloody Tower, Torture at the Tower exhibition, Fusiliers Museum, and Royal Mint exhibition.

The Tower of London is also included in the 2FOR1 Offers. You won’t be able to get the discounted price when booking online, so you’ll have to redeem your offer on the day. Make sure to bring a printed copy of the Days Out voucher and your National Railways ticket.

Members of the Historic Royal Palaces can enter the Tower of London for free. Residents of the borough of Tower Hamlets can enter the Tower of London for £1.00. To get the discounted ticket, you must have an Idea Store card or Tower Hamlets library card.

If you want to participate in a tour or talk that is not included in the general ticket, you can check the calendar and book your ticket to the event on the Historic Royal Palaces website . Prices go from £5.00 to £30.00, depending on the event.


The Tower of London’s opening times vary depending on the season and day of the week. From Tuesday to Saturday, the opening time is always 9:00 am. On Sundays and Mondays, the opening time is always pushed back one hour, at 10:00 am.

During the winter period (1st November to 28th February), the Tower of London closes at 4:30 pm, while in the summer (1st March to 31st October), it closes at 5:30 pm. You can find a summary of the schedule in the following table.

Day Opening time Last admission Closing time
Tue-Sat(Winter) 9:00 am 3:30 pm 4:30 pm
Sun-Mon(Winter) 10:00 am 3:30 pm 4:30 pm
Tue-Sat(Summer) 9:00 am 3:30 pm 5:30 pm
Sun-Mon(Summer) 10:00 am 3:30 pm 5:30 pm

*The last Yeoman Warder guided tours (which are included with a general entry ticket) start at 2:30 pm in winter, and 3:30 pm in the summer.


Thanks to its central position, the Tower of London is quite easy to reach. The easiest way, as usual, is to take the Underground. You can take the Tube lines Circle or District and get off at Tower Hill or take the DLR and get off at Tower Hill.

If you prefer buses, the lines you can take are 15, 42, 78, 100, 343, or 734. They will all leave you behind the complex, on the other side of the building from the Traitor’s Gate.

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

Method Underground Bus
Lines Circle, District, DLR 15, 42, 78, 100, 343, 734
Stops Tower Hill -

If you want, you can reach the Tower of London by taxi, but we don’t recommend it, considering the traffic conditions in central London.

Nearby sights

Tower Bridge - just to the eastern side of the Tower of London.

London City Hall - 700 m (0.4 miles) across the river, 8-minute walk.

The Monument - 800 m (0.5 miles) west, 10-minute walk.

HMS Belfast - 900 m (0.6 miles) across the river, 11-minute walk.

City of London (neighbourhood) - 1.2 km (0.7 miles) west, 15-minute walk.

The Shard - 1.4 km (0.9 miles) across the river, 17-minute walk.

You might also be interested in...

Tower of London