Visiting the Tower of London: is it worth it ?

por Postcards from IvI

 The Tower of London is one of the most popular sites to visit in this fantastic city. Not only it is one of the oldest and historic buildings in England’s capital city but also the site where the Crown Jewels are stored. The Tower of London is the heart of London.

Is the Tower of London worth it?

With most museums being completely free in London some people doubt about visiting the tower because of its high admission price. Is the Tower of London worth visiting? In my opinion, it is.

 Visiting the Tower of London is a great way to learn a lot about the history of the city. If you are interested in history and you like learning about the places you travel then it is definitely worth it. I highly suggest you give a chance to it, especially if you’ve travelled from a great distance to visit London.

Tower of London tickets prices (updated June 2020)

 Tower of London tickets can be bought at the entrance of the Tower or online. You can either print your tickets at home or download a PDF ticket to your mobile for scanning at the entrance. Prices are lower online than at the entrance of the Tower.

Tower of London tickets prices:

  • Adults: £28.90
  • Age 65+ or 16-17, full-time student, disabled visitor: £23.10
  • Child age 5-15: £14.40 

Prices updated in June 2020. Check out all ticket prices at the Tower of London website.

Tower of London admission ticket gives you entry to all public areas of the Tower of London, including the Crown Jewels, White Tower, Bloody Tower, battlements and the Yeoman Warder tours.

Buy discount tickets for The Tower of London and avoid long lines

 

If you want to know if the London Pass is worth it read: London Pass vs London Explorer Pass

Tower of London tours

If you want to get more in depth information about the Tower of London the best option is to book a tour. There are several options to choose from like this 4 hour walking tour including a River Thames Cruise, this early access tour including the opening ceremony at the Tower, or this pass including the entrance to the Tower of London and Kensington Palace.

 

Tower of London History

 The Tower of London is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.  It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The official name is: Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London.

The Tower of London has been used as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of England. The tower was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952. Some of the executions that took place here were the ones from: Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Catherine Howard.

 Today the Tower of London is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What to see in the Tower of London

  • Yeoman Warder Tours

 The Yeoman Warders were responsible for looking after any prisoners in the Tower and safeguarding the British crown jewels.

Yeoman Warder tours are perfect for beggining your visit to the Tower of London. You will see some guards wearing black and red uniforms wandering around the castle. They offer tours around the castle daily every 30 minutes. Tours begin near the main entrance to the Tower of London.

Of course you can skip their tour and guide yourself through the castle but I highly recommend the Yeoman Warder Tour to start your visit. Not only they have plenty of stories and information to share but also a great sense of humor.

Tours leave regularly from the main entrance of the Tower and are included as a part of your entry ticket.

The Tower of London

Photo Credits: Laura Bittner

  • The White Tower

 The white tower gives the entire castle its name. It was built as a symbol of oppression used to display power and intimidate invaders. Nowadays it houses a chapel and many exhibits including armors and swords, including the 350-year-old exhibition Line of Kings.

Is the Tower of London worth visiting?

  • The Crown Jewels

 The highlight of the visit is definitely seeing the crown jewels, a unique collection that is still used by the Queen in important ceremonies. Unfortunately you’re not allowed to take photos. In fact you’re not even allowed to LOOK at the jewels for more than some seconds as there are people movers which guide you through the collection. But it is impressive to see them even for some secs!

Tower of London is it worth it?

  • The ravens

 Legend states that if there are no ravens, the Tower and the Kingdom will fall. So the ravens are the most important members of the Tower of London and under Royal Decree there must always be at least 6 ravens on site. 

  • Guards at the Tower of London

 Outside the Jewel House and The Queen’s House you can spot the guards protecting the Crown Jewels. There are three daily ceremonies: the Ceremonial Opening, the Ceremony of the Word and the Ceremony of the Keys. The Ceremony of the Keys is a 700-year-old ancient ceremony that occurs daily from 21:30 to 22:05 hs. Tickets are free but must be pre-booked online. The event is really popular so make sure you book your tickets months in advance. 

  • The Walls

 The inner walls of the castle were used for defense purposes centuries ago and are now one of the best attractions in the tower. They offer stunning views of London where you can neatly see the contrast between the medieval and modern city.

The Tower of LondonThe Tower of London

There are more activities and exhibits included in The Tower of London which make the visit really worth it. You can read more about the tours and special events at the Tower of London official website.

Useful tips for visiting The Tower of London:

  • The Tower of London opening times:

Summer (01 March – 31 October): Tuesday – Saturday: 09:00 -17:30, Sunday – Monday: 10:00 – 17:30

Winter (01 November – 28 February): Tuesday – Saturday: 09:00-16:30, Sunday-Monday: 10:00 – 16:30

  • Make sure you take the Yeoman War Tour to get an introduction of the complex.
  • Try to go there early in the morning as the latest hours tend to be the most crowded
  • Audio tour is not included with the entrance ticket but can be booked for £5.00
  • You can take photos within most of the palace with the exception of: the Jewel House, the Martin Tower, the Chapel of St. John (in the White Tower), inside the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula and some temporary exhibitions. 
  • There are no left luggage facilities at the Tower of London so make sure you only bring what you need for the day.

Other things to do in London near the Tower of London: 

    • Tower Bridge: The Tower of London is located just in front the Tower Bridge so you can visit it on the same day as the Tower. The Tower Bridge exhibition gives you the opportunity of seeing London from the high-level walkways. More information about Tower Bridge.
    • Sky Garden: London’s highest public garden offers some of the best views of London and it’s located just 10 minutes away from the Tower of London. The entrance is free but you need to book your ticket in advance at Sky Garden website
    • The Shard: The Shard is the tallest building in United Kingdom with 309.6 metres (1,016 ft) high.  Its observation deck, The View from The Shard, offers 360-degree panoramic views of the city. Book View from the Shard Entrance Ticket here.
 

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47 comments

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The Jetset Boyz July 8, 2019 - 3:30 pm

If you happen to live in London borough of Tower Hamlets you can visit the Tower of London for just £1. Yes, you read that right… £1.

To take advantage of this special offer all you need to do is take along your Idea Store or Tower Hamlets Library card along with your proof of name and address. That’s a brilliant discount and means you can experience the Tower of London whenever you want. Especially handy if you’re playing tour guide to friends visiting London.

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[…] London, most of the museums are free. Going up the Eiffel Tower will cost between 7-17 EUR and the Tower of London is about […]

Reply
Brian January 4, 2017 - 9:56 pm

Wow, tickets really are expensive. Last time I was in London was 2012 and I had limited time. I just remember thinking that Tower of London was not really worth seeing since I only had 4 days. Although it looks interesting, your post reminded me why I went other places.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:10 pm

Yeah tickets are a bit expensive and you can visit other places if you’re short on time

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Jitaditya Narzary January 4, 2017 - 3:20 pm

It surely is. I have heard so much about it and tehre is so much history buried down there that it is overwhelming, especially for those who love history. And you have taken great photographs too in order to make it even more alluring.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:11 pm

Thank you Jitaditya! It certainly is an interesting place for those who love history

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Stefano uTravelShare.com January 4, 2017 - 10:29 am

I visited London twice, and I really in love with this city. But shame on me 🙂 I went to many places, but I couldn’t visit the Tower of London, because the price was prohibitive while all the museums were free… But I was younger so I tried to save money hehe…Anyway I’ll follow your suggestions, and I’ll go to visit it next time in London :).

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:15 pm

I love London too! Yes with all the free museums, you can avoid the Tower of London if you’re on a budget. Hope you can make it next time 🙂

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Indrani January 3, 2017 - 3:44 am

I had a post recently almost on similar lines! London Tower is in my list of dream destination. The crown jewels particularly.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:20 pm

Thanks Indrani! Yes the crown jewels are one of the best things to see in the tower

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Travelpeppy January 3, 2017 - 1:32 am

London is always on top of our list. Adding it to our itinerary of London, thanks for sharing.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:32 pm

London is amazing! You’ll love it

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Jennifer McCallum January 2, 2017 - 5:21 pm

We were the first visitors (and only tourists for about the first 30 mins) when it opened in the morning and went straight to the jewels. They hadn’t turned on the moving floors yet so we could linger (and there might have been a little drooling). And I totally agree, the tours are fantastic.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:36 pm

Ohh I would have loved to see the jewels without the moving floors! Good for you Jennifer

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Brown Gal Trekker January 2, 2017 - 4:02 pm

I’ve been to London a few times as a stopover. Never thought about this option. The tour price isn’t so bad considering how expensive the city is. And you learn history so that’s great.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:38 pm

Yes! A lot of people don’t consider visiting because there are so many museums for free but it really isn’t so pricey if you consider how great the place is

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Abhinav Singh January 2, 2017 - 2:51 pm

Wow, I did not even know about this place. I think most of the time the more popular icons of a city overshadows the great hidden destinations. I always make sure to travel and see beyond the obvious. So good of you to write about this.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:40 pm

Thanks Abhinav! The Tower of London is definitely one of its historic icons and it is really a good site to visit

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Sudipto January 2, 2017 - 8:58 am

The Tower of London is just so majestic. Isn’t it at the end of the London Bridge? There is also a small fish n chips kiosk nearby.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:41 pm

Yes Sudipto! It is just at the end of the bridge 🙂

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Adam, Bite of Iceland January 2, 2017 - 6:57 am

Cool post 🙂 I’ve been there two years ago and in my opinion, it’s really worth to see! Amazing experience, but in the fact a bit pricey 🙂

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:42 pm

Thanks Adam! As you say, it’s a bit pricey but worth seeing.

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Jure January 2, 2017 - 5:15 am

Never been to London, but this does look like a place I’d most likely want to visit.

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Wanderlust Vegans December 29, 2016 - 9:49 pm

We loved visiting the tower of London and walking along the walls. We would definitely recommend it. Another tip to point out is that you can find two for one entry coupons in the newspapers or on cereal boxes.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:44 pm

Wow I didn’t know about that! It’s definitely worth the visit then. I also loved walking along the walls, the views are amazing.

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Kristina December 29, 2016 - 10:58 am

People always complain about the price of The Tower, but like you said, it is REALLY worth it. The tours are fascinatinf and funny and there is just SO much history there. Plus the jewels are so sparkly haha

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:46 pm

Yes! I know a lot of people that have been to London and didn’t go to the Tower because it was the only museum where there was an entry price! But it really is worth it

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Dane December 29, 2016 - 8:29 am

I remember being dragged around here when I was 10 years old and hating every single moment of it haha. I said I would never go back. My opinion has changed slightly over the last decade or so. This helps convince me to actually go back. Next time I am visiting family there I will have to check it out for sure! 🙂

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:48 pm

Hahah yeah maybe it’s not the most interesting place for a 10 year old! But you should give it a second chance next time you’re in London 🙂

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Anthony December 29, 2016 - 3:21 am

No doubt pricey but looks more than worth it. Love any of those old buildings and London towers is a place I would to visit to learn about a bit of history. Nice post.

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:49 pm

Thanks Anthony!

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neha December 29, 2016 - 1:05 am

There is so much to see in the tower of london. I would definitely not miss, I love these kind of historical places. And yes, if I visit here, I would take a guided tour because I really love to go through the historical places alongside understanding their past and hearing the interesting stories

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:30 pm

The guided tour is specially interesting because the Yeoman Warders actually live there! They tell you a lot of stories during the tour

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Carrie @ Two Small Potatoes December 28, 2016 - 11:31 am

We were a bit surprised at the high price of admission for the Tower of London, but I completely agree that it’s worth it! It ended up being the highlight of our trip to London. We weren’t sure what to expect since we also visited sights like Buckingham Palace, which we thought wasn’t worth the high price. Like you, we bought our tickets for the Tower online to save a couple bucks. We actually used their free WiFi right in the ticket office to buy our tickets!

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:27 pm

It’s great that you visited Carrie! A lot of my friends have been to London and don’t even know what the Tower of London is…

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Tatum Skipper December 28, 2016 - 11:05 am

I am heading to London as we speak! Honestly for something that big I don’t think $25 pounds is too much! Maybe my boyfriend and I will check it out while we are there! It looks incredible!!

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:24 pm

That’s great Tatum! Have a nice time

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Jesper, The Biveros Effect December 28, 2016 - 7:54 am

As you said, it is a bit pricey. We decided against visiting when in London a few months ago due to that. Instead we walked around the castle. Might have missed some of the history, but we had the opportunity to see it from the outside at least. In my opinion castles and other great buildings are usually better viewed from a distance. 🙂

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:23 pm

It’s true that it is pricey and you can avoid it when you’re on a budget. But its really interesting to see the tower from inside! Of course it is also a beautiful architecture piece when viewed from a distance 🙂

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Joe December 28, 2016 - 7:54 am

I live in London, and I always say to all who visit here that if you only go to one place, make it the Tower of London. I haven’t been for ages – classic ‘it’s on my doorstep so I can visit any time’ syndrome – and this is making me want to fork out the money and go there again. Good write up! 🙂

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Postcards from IvI January 10, 2017 - 4:17 pm

Thank you Joe! It’s great that you tell them to visit the Tower. A lot of people I know went to London but don’t even know what the tower is!

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