If you visit London, you won’t have to look far for countless different things to do there. But one attraction that you simply can’t miss, with its dramatic history and priceless treasures, is the Tower of London. This classic London attraction is best known for the Crown Jewels of the British Monarchy but is also known for the extravagant attire of the Royal Beefeaters who guard the tower.
Since visiting the Tower of London is such an essential experience for visitors to the city, you’ll want to do your fair share of planning before you go to make the most of your time there. A key step in that planning is organizing tickets to the Tower of London, which is why we’ve put together this guide on how to buy tickets for the Tower of London.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Tower of London: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you either book your skip-the-line Tower of London tickets in advance here or book a VIP early access tour of the Tower of London. The second option allows you to tour the Tower of London before the regular opening hours, meaning you don’t have to deal with the crowds.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the Tower of London
Are you wondering where to buy tickets for the Tower of London? Well, the good news is that you have a few options open to you depending on how organized you are and how you’d prefer to visit. Below we’ll take you through the different options for Tower of London tickets, where we recommend you get them, and why.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
Let’s just get this out there: Waiting until you arrive to buy tickets to the Tower of London is the worst way to get them unless you decide to visit at the last minute. Yes, you can get tickets from the ticket office on Tower Hill, but doing so comes with considerable downside. The problem is that you’ll have to wait in line at the ticket office to purchase tickets, which is time better spent exploring London and its many sights.
2. Book Online (Recommended)
A much better option that will save you time is booking tickets to the Tower of London online. By spending a little time doing this ahead of your visit, you’ll save yourself the hassle of having to sort it out when you get there.
The best thing is that by booking online, you’ll get skip-the-line tickets for the Tower of London, allowing you to bypass the line at the ticket office and head straight to the entrance. Booking in advance is also helpful during busy periods when the castle has scheduled time slots for entry because you’ll be able to decide exactly when during the day you want to visit.
It is worth noting that even with skip-the-line Tower of London tickets, you won’t be able to avoid the line outside the Crown Jewels exhibit; that line is one that every visitor needs to contend with.
While it’s possible to book your tickets through the official website for the Tower of London, they are strictly nonrefundable. That is why we recommend purchasing your tickets through this link, as they cost almost the same price and allow you to cancel up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full refund.
3. Book a Guided Tour
Normally, taking a guided tour of a tourist attraction is an experience that you actively need to seek out. Not so at the Tower of London. Here, a guided tour by the castle’s iconic Yeoman Warders is included in the price of admission. Guided tours of the Tower of London begin by the main entrance and leave every 30 minutes.
However, there is another option if you want to give your visit the special treatment. By booking this VIP early access tour of the castle, you’ll be able to visit before opening hours begin, see the Crown Jewels without the crowds, and experience the Ceremony of the Keys performed at the opening of the castle by the Royal Beefeaters.
4. Purchase the London Pass
Tourists hoping to spend their time in London doing lots of sightseeing may want to investigate getting a London Pass for their trip. This tourist pass works similar to those found in other popular tourist destinations by providing access to a whole host of city attractions at a competitive price. Not only will the London pass allow you to tour the Tower of London, it also includes entry to other London highlights like Westminster Abbey and the View From the Shard, plus use of the Hop-on Hop-off Bus for a day.
Useful Information for Visiting the Tower of London
Best Time to Visit the Tower of London
As the Tower of London is one of the most popular attractions in the city, it should come as no surprise that some times are better to visit than others. If you’re able to plan your visit with this in mind, you should be able to nab yourself a quieter, more enjoyable experience.
London is full of tourists most of the year, so you’re unlikely to find a time when there are no other tourists about. That said, the peak season for tourism in London is the summer months of May through September, so it’s best to avoid those months if you want to beat the crowds. Instead, try coming in the shoulder season around March and April. While it can be quite rainy at that time of year, winter is in the rearview mirror and tourist attractions shouldn’t be too busy quite yet.
The Tower of London is usually at its quietest midweek, with Saturdays and public holidays typically the busiest times to go. For the best possible experience, try to plan to visit first thing in the morning, but if you can’t, it’s best to aim for the midafternoon to allow enough time to see everything before the castle closes.
Tower of London Hours of Operation
Opening hours for the Tower of London operate on a summer/winter schedule, with the tower open every day of the week. Last admission into the tower is always one hour before closing time.
From March 1 to October 30, 2022, the tower is open from 9:00 to 17:30 Tuesday through Saturday and from 10:00 to 17:30 on Sundays and Mondays. On select Mondays, namely April 18, May 2, and May 30, opening hours are extended from 9:00 to 17:30.
From November 1, 2021, to February 28, 2022, the tower is open from 9:00 to 16:30 Tuesday through Saturday and from 10:00 to 16:30 on Sundays and Mondays. However, during the school half-term holidays from February 14 to February 20, opening hours are from 9:00 to 16:30 every day of the week.
How to Get to the Tower of London?
Getting to the Tower of London won’t be a problem for a number of reasons. For one, the tower is located in Central London close to several other attractions that you’ll no doubt also want to see. But there’s also the benefit of London’s convenient public transport, which makes getting anywhere in the city center quite easy.
The exact route will depend on where you’re coming from in this big city, but you’re most likely to reach the tower by either the London Underground or a ferry along the Thames.
Tower Hill station on the Circle and District lines is the closest stop to the tower. There are also several railway stations within 20 minutes of the tower by foot, including London Bridge Station and Liverpool Street Station. As for arriving by water, you’ll want to head for Tower Pier, which lies on the RB1, RB2, and RB6 service routes of Uber Boat by Thames Clippers.
How Do Tower of London Tickets Work?
It helps to understand a few things about how tickets to the Tower of London work to get the most out of your time there. By understanding the process for getting your ticket and knowing what’s included, you’ll know exactly what’s in store for you when you arrive for your visit.
General admission tickets to the Tower of London allow entry to the Crown Jewels exhibit, the White Tower, 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.
Normally when booking a ticket online, your ticket will allow you to enter any time during the day that it’s valid. However, during certain busy periods like school holidays, you may need to choose a time slot for your visit. Time slots cover each hour and begin on the hour, with visitors allowed to begin their visit any time during their chosen time slot.
Once you have purchased your tickets online, you will receive an email with your ticket information. When arriving at the tower, visitors can present their ticket either on their smartphone or print it out.
How Much Do Tickets for the Tower of London Cost?
Another thing that’s useful to understand about Tower of London tickets is how the prices work. While there’s only one type of general admission ticket, the cost of this ticket depends on a few factors.
The most important factor to be aware of is that tickets have different prices for peak and off-peak periods. During the summer season, all tickets are peak tickets; however, in the winter season, off-peak prices apply Monday to Thursday and peak prices apply Friday to Sunday and on school holidays.
During the peak period, an adult general admission ticket costs £29.90, a concession ticket costs £24, and a children’s ticket costs £14.90. There are also family tickets available, with a ticket for a parent and three children costing £52.20 and a ticket for two parents and three children costing £82.10.
In the off-peak period, an adult general admission ticket costs £28.90, a concession ticket costs £23.20, and a children’s ticket costs £14.40. A ticket for a parent and three children costs £50.50, and a ticket for two parents and three children costs £79.40.
Concession tickets are available to children aged 16 to 17, full-time students, seniors over 65 years of age, and visitors with a registered disability. Students will need to show a current student card, while seniors will need to provide ID to prove their age. Children’s tickets are available to children aged 5 to 15, while children under five years of age enter free.
Best Hotels for the Tower of London
London is such a large and well-connected city that it’s not truly necessary to stay close to the sights you want to see during your visit. Attractions are spread out across the city, and public transport makes getting from one to the next relatively easy. Still, you may want to stay close to the Tower of London to visit it and the other attractions in the area. If that’s the case, here are a few of our recommendations for accommodation in this pocket of the city.
For the ideal luxury accommodation close to the Tower of London, treat yourself to a stay at the Cheval Three Quays. This sublime five-star aparthotel sits directly next to the castle overlooking the River Thames and offers guests spacious, modern apartments and access to an on-site fitness center.
Those seeking somewhere to stay in London that provides both comfort and good value for money will want to take a long look at Buckle Street Studios. The rooms and studios at this four-star aparthotel in Whitechapel have a gentle, calming feel and all the essential amenities for a stress-free getaway.
Budget travelers will be delighted to learn that Wombat’s the City Hostel London is an excellent low-cost place to stay less than a 10 minutes’ walk from the Tower of London. With spacious dorms and rooms and a welcoming, pristine atmosphere, you couldn’t ask for a better option in central London. However, if you do want to look at other hostels in the city, we recommend checking out our guide to hostels in London.
Ongoing Events at the Tower of London
At various times during the year, the Tower of London hosts events and special exhibitions that visitors can attend. Entry to these events and exhibitions require a separate ticket that must be booked in advance of your visit. Upcoming events and exhibitions at the Tower of London include:
- Superbloom: Flower Celebrating the Platinum Jubilee (June 1 to September 18, 2022)
- Platinum Jubilee Concert (April 28, 2022)
- The Gunpowder Plot: Immersive Experience (From May 2022)
Security Process at the Tower of London
To ensure your visit to the Tower of London goes smoothly, there are a few things worth knowing about the rules for visitors. The most important thing to keep in mind is that large bags or suitcases are not permitted inside and there are no luggage storage facilities available for you to store them in.
While personal photography without flash is permitted inside the castle except where signposted, the use of tripods and selfie sticks is prohibited and all professional photography requires advanced permission.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all visitors must wear masks when inside the castle unless exempt and follow social distancing guidelines.
Visiting the Tower of London With a Disability
While the Tower of London has put in place some measures to assist visitors with disabilities, it does have some shortcomings in this respect.
The main shortcoming is that because of the tower’s historic nature, it is not possible to provide mobility access throughout the castle. Special mention is made of several spaces that feature difficult stairs and passageways not designed for wheelchair access. However, wheelchairs are available for hire free of charge at the castle should you require one.
For visitors with a hearing impairment, induction loops are available throughout the tower. Although they are not currently available, the tower does have programs that provide BSL tours for those with a hearing impairment and descriptive tours for those with a visual impairment.
Carers for visitors with a registered disability are able to apply for free entry to the site.
FAQ – Facts About the Tower of London
What Is the Tower of London?
Officially titled Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, the Tower of London is a castle in the city of London that, among other things, serves as the treasury for the Crown Jewels of England.
When Was the Tower of London Built?
Construction of the Tower of London began in the 1070s, with additions made over the following few centuries.
How Old Is the Tower of London?
The oldest part of the Tower of London is the White Tower, after which the castle is named. It is over 900 years old, having been completed in the 11th century.
Who Built the Tower of London?
William the Conqueror had the Tower of London built after the Norman conquest of England.
Why Was the Tower of London Built?
Determined to solidify his control of England, William the Conqueror built the Tower of London to intimidate the local people and defend his royal claim.
Where Is the Tower of London Located?
The Tower of London is located by the River Thames in the central London borough of Tower Hamlets.
With this guide in hand, you should have all the information you need for getting Tower of London tickets and organizing your visit there. Knowing all this before you go will no doubt make for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.