The phrase “Send him to the tower” struck terror in England centuries ago.
With centuries of ghastly stories about execution and imprisonment, the Tower of London offers insights into London’s rich yet complex history.
The Tower, built as a Royal residence, has been a political prison, a royal mint, a royal menagerie and most importantly, a place of execution.
Today, The Tower serves as home to the Crown Jewels of England.
Tower of London location
The Tower of London is officially known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London.
It is in London on the North bank of the River Thames, right next to Tower Bridge.
Tower of London connectivity
The Tower of London is well connected by multiple transportation systems.
Closest tube to Tower of London
Tower Hill is the closest tube station to the Tower of London.
The Tower is connected to the station with a concrete underpass.
However, you must keep in mind that the station becomes extremely busy during rush hours.
Nearest Overground Station
You can reach the Tower of London by taking an Overground as well.
Take the train till Fenchurch Street and walk the last five minutes.
You can also take the Overground to London Bridge station and enjoy a 15 minutes walk to Tower of London.
The Tower of London is well connected by the bus routes from around the city.
Bus routes 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1 can get you to your destination.
This London attraction is always a stop on the route of major sightseeing buses.
Apart from the regular mode of transportation, the Tower of London can also be reached by boat and bicycle.
The nearest river boat access point to The Tower is the Tower Pier.
Note: The Tower of London has no parking spots because it is a car-free zone. However, you can park at the Tower Hill Station.
Tower of London opening hours
From Tuesday to Saturday, the Tower of London opens at 9 am and from Sunday to Monday they open at 10 am.
During the summer months of March to October they close at 5.30 pm and during the rest of the year, they close one hour early – at 4.30 pm.
The last entry is always half hour before closing time.
When is Tower of London closed?
The Tower of London is open every day of the year except from 24th to 26th December and 1 January.
Best time to visit the Tower of London
The best time to visit The Tower of London is early on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Reaching early has four distinct advantages – you get to skip the long queues, have a relaxed tour of the fortress, see the Crown Jewels before the room gets crowded, witness the Opening Ceremony.
During the Opening Ceremony, you get to see the Yeoman carrying Queen’s keys accompanied by the guards.
Large queues form outside the Jewel House between 12 noon to 3 pm (the peak hours).
Yet another advantage of planning an early visit is the splendid views the Tower of London offers.
If you can’t make it on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, try out other weekdays.
Saturday and Sundays get really crowded.
After all, Tripadvisor rates Tower of London as a top ten attraction.
Duration of Tower of London tour
If you are visiting with kids or elders you will need at least three hours to explore Tower of London.
Visitors in a hurry are known to rush through the London attraction in 90 minutes as well.
However long you plan on exploring, don’t miss out on the tour offered by the Yeoman Warders group.
These free tours last 30 to 40 minutes and start every 30 minutes from the entrance of the Tower of London.
The Yeoman’s tour is the only way you can get into the St. John’s Chapel in The Tower of London.
The London Pass helps you enter more than 60 tourist attractions for free. Save time and money. Buy The London Pass
Tower of London tickets
The Tower of London permits free entry to children below the age of 4 years.
All other visitors must buy tickets to enter the London attraction.
These Tower of London tickets can be canceled 24 hours before your planned visit, for a full refund.
Tower of London ticket inclusions
Your ticket to The Tower of London gives you access to all the public areas of the Tower.
The price of the tickets includes entry to the Crown Jewels display, Line of Kings display and the iconic Yeoman Warder guided tours.
The ticket cost also includes all the children’s activities and trails.
However, a child must be accompanied by an adult.
The ticket also allows admission to the White Tower, Bloody Tower, and battlements.
Tower of London ticket prices
The price of Tower of London tickets depends on many factors.
The cost of the tickets also depends on how and where you buy them.
For instance, you can buy a ticket online at a much cheaper price than from the ticket office.
If you buy Tower of London tickets online, you save 15% of your ticket cost.
Adult ticket (16-59 years): 26.80 Pounds
Senior ticket (60+ years): 20.90 Pounds
Student ticket (16-26 years, with ID): 20.90 Pounds
Children ticket (5-15 years): 12.70 Pounds
*Family ticket (two adults & up to 3 kids): 68.10 Pounds
*You will find the option to book the Tower of London Family ticket, on the ticket booking page.
Tower of London guided tours
Guided tours of the Tower of London guarantee that while walking in the corridors of the Fortress you also understand the Tower’s significance.
We highly recommend that you take a guided tour to absorb the elaborate history and stories surrounding the Tower.
All the guided tour tickets are smartphone tickets. Meaning, you don’t need to print them.
Immediately after purchase, the tickets get emailed to you and on the day of your visit, you can show the ticket on your smartphone and walk in.
1. Tower of London small group guided tour
To start with, you skip the long lines at the entrance of the Tower of London and see the Crown Jewels without anybody rushing you.
You get a chance to enjoy your tour in a small group accompanied by an expert tour guide – one of the legendary Beefeater guardsmen.
The duration of this tour is 1 hour after which you can hang around in the Tower for as long as you want.
Adult Ticket (15+ years): 57 Pounds
Child Ticket (4-15 years): 52 Pounds
Infant Ticket (0-3 years): Free Entry
2. Tower of London private guided tour
With this tour, you get a chance to explore the iconic Tower of London at your own pace. Like a King and Queen.
The 2-3-hour private tour ensures that you absorb every minor detail about the Tower of London.
From learning about the exotic animals kept in the Royal Menagerie to the secrets behind the oldest parts of the castle, this tour covers everything.
The tour also ensures that you learn about the infamous tortures and beheadings that took place at this attraction.
This private tour is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Russian.
On the booking page, you will find the option to book a 2-hour or a 3-hour private guided tour.
2-hour tour for 2 tourists: 145 Pounds
3-hour tour for 3 tourists: 150 Pounds
Tower of London combo tours
Combo tours are a great way to save money (sometimes up to 25% of the ticket cost).
Experience London and its life on a walking tour, cruise down the Thames River and hop on classic Double-decker Bus around the London – do whatever you want with these combo tickets.
1. Tower of London and Tower Bridge tour
The tour helps you experience the Tower of London and Tower Bridge at the same time.
On this 3-hour guided tour, you also witness the official opening ceremony of the Tower.
This is a VIP, early access tour. That’s why with a Skip The Line ticket in hand, you will skip the queues and enter the Tower.
You also get to admire the Crown Jewels before the crowds arrive.
The live guide ensures your trip is not only about exploring the Tower of London but also learning about it.
Adult Ticket (16+ years): 85 Pounds
Child Ticket (4-15 years): 74 Pounds
Infant Ticket (0-3 years): Free Entry
2. Tower of London and London walking tour
This extra-special tour offers you a one-time experience of royal landmarks on a 4-hour walking tour.
You discover special, hidden sites only known to the locals and experience London in a way regular tourists don’t.
Starting with an early visit to the Tower of London to witness the complicated and dark history of London. In the Tower of London, see the famous ‘Beefeaters’ and iconic ravens.
Not to mention the Opening Ceremony, which you witness from up close.
Later, be amused by the cruise down the River Thames towards the Buckingham Palace. At the Palace, you witness the Change of Guard ceremony.
Your guide enhances your Guard of Ceremony experience by guiding you to a prime spot and giving you a colorful commentary as the ceremony unfolds.
Adult Ticket (16+ years): 74 Pounds
Child Ticket (4-15 years): 69.50 Pounds
Infant Ticket (0-3 years): Free Entry
3. London HOHO Bus tour + London Bridge tour
Merge the classical London Sightseeing Bus tour with discounted admission to the Tower of London.
Walk through the historic dark castle called Tower of London with a guide, to explain everything.
The guide also narrates the stories of execution and Tower’s ravens.
At the Tower, you also meet the famous ‘Beefeaters’ and see the Crown Jewels.
Once you are done with the Tower of London, go around the city on the legendary Double-decker bus. Hop on and hop off the bus as often as you wish and get the city sights in.
The special tour is also wheelchair accessible with no further charges.
Adult Ticket (16+ years): 52.50 Pounds
Child Ticket (4-15 years): 25.50 Pounds
Infant Ticket (0-3 years): Free Entry
Tip: Since Tower of London is close to both the bridges, tourists add London Bridge or Tower Bridge (sometimes both!) as the next item on their itinerary.
Tower of London with London Pass
As a tourist in London, you must know about the London Pass.
With London Pass in your hand, you get free entry to the Tower of London.
With the London Pass in hand, you skip long queues for the tickets and save yourself from the wait and stress while also saving money.
The pass gives you full access to all that the Tower offers.
Besides the Tower, this London Pass covers over 60 other attractions in and around the city of London.
If you are in the city on 3-days plus holiday, this is a must purchase.
While purchasing the London Pass, you have the option of going from a 1-day Pass to 10-day Pass.
The cost of London Pass depends on the number of days you have opted for. Check out some of the London Pass prices –
1-day London Pass
Adult Pass (16+ years): 69 Pounds
Children Pass (5-15 years): 49 Pounds
5-days London Pass
Adult Pass (16+ years): 135 Pounds
Children Pass (5-15 years): 105 Pounds
10-days London Pass
Adult Pass (16+ years): 179 Pounds
Children Pass (5-15 years): 134 Pounds
What to see at the Tower of London
If you plan to spend only an hour to 90 minutes at the Tower of London, check out our first three recommendations.
If you have a full three hours on your hand, you must try and explore everything we have listed below.
1. Jewel House
This is a world-famous collection of 23,578 gemstones, some of which are still in use.
The Crown Jewels, which are part of the Royal Collection, are the most powerful symbols of the British Monarchy.
From 12 noon to 3 pm, this part of the Tower of London sees long queues.
2. The Ravens at South Lawn
Charles II believed that if the six Ravens living in the Tower leave, both the Fortress and Britain will be in trouble.
So he ordered them to be kept safe in the Tower.
Today one of their wings is clipped, so they can’t fly away. There is even a back-up raven – so there are seven in total.
The ravens are free to roam the Tower of London and respond only to the Ravenmaster.
3. Tour with Yeoman Warders Group
Go on the 30-minute tour with the Yeoman Warders group, for a quick tour of the Fortress. Meet them at the entrance.
Also known as ‘Beefeaters’, narrate stories from the thousand-year history of the Fortress.
Note: Parts of the Yeoman Warder tour may be scary to young children.
4. White Tower
The White Tower is one of the most impressive 11th-century buildings in Europe. Construction of the Tower got started by William the Conqueror around 1075-9 and was completed by 1100.
5. Medieval Palace
Medieval Palace is a combination of three Towers – St Thomas’ Tower, the Wakefield Tower, and the Lanthorn Tower.
It is at the center of the Tower of London’s residential area.
These Towers got built in the 13th century by Henry III, and his son Edward I and today are re-presented so that visitors can see how 13th-century life used to be in the London Tower.
6. The Execution Site
This area is a green space stretching to the west of the White Tower.
It is difficult to imagine today that it was once an execution site, that saw ten people getting beheaded, including three queens.
The three English queens were:
- Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII (suspected adultery)
- Catherine Howard, Henry’s fifth wife (suspected adultery)
- Lady Jane Grey, Queen for only nine days (pawn in a failed coup attempt)
Don’t miss out on the memorial.
7. Wall Walk
Wall Walk is a walk on the massive stone encirclement that forms the Tower’s walls built in the mid-13th century.
This walk is the best way to explore the Medieval Palace and the seven towers – the Salt, Broad Arrow, Constable, Martin, Royal Beasts, Bowyer, and Flint Tower.
8. Bloody Tower
Before being called the Bloody Tower, it used to be called the Garden Tower.
It is believed that it was in the Bloody Tower that the future Richard III killed 12-year-old Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, in 1483.
It is said that they were staying in this Tower on their uncle’s orders, and then one beautiful day they disappeared.
9. Traitors’ Gate
Traitors’ Gate was initially called Water Gate.
King Edward I and other royals would use this Gate to get into St. Thomas’ Tower by water.
With time, it got used for bringing in prisoners accused of treason.
Even Queen Elizabeth I (before she was queen) entered the Tower through Traitors’ Gate.
10. Fusilier Museum
The Fusilier Museum narrates the story of the British infantry regiment from its formation at the Tower in 1685 to the present day.
The Museum resides in a building originally built as army Officers’ quarters.
11. Exhibitions to explore
There are many ongoing exhibitions at the Tower of London, and visitors highly recommend them.
We list them below –
Line of Kings
This 300 years old exhibition is the world’s longest-running visitor attraction.
This historic display featuring arms and royal armor, wooden horses and figures of kings, etc. is on the entrance floor of the White Tower.
The Tower of London had to come up with a space for its collection of wild animals (menagerie) because back in those days, Kings exchanged rare and strange animals as gifts.
The three lions gifted by Roman Emperor Frederick III to Henry III of England were the inspiration for the three lions that appear on the England football teams’ shirts.
This exhibition is on Duke of Wellington, one of Britain’s greatest military leaders, who became the Constable of the Tower in 1826.
He is known for adapting the Fortress for modern warfare and making the Army more professional.
After several vicious attacks by the animals, he also closed down the Royal Menagerie at the Tower.
The Tower of London remembers
Here, one gets to see how in 1914, the Tower of London once again got used in the recruitment, deployment, and training of soldiers.
To mark the centenary of the First World War this exhibition was further expanded with past and present photos to compare the Fortress then and now.
Coins and Kings
Royal Mint has operated from the Tower of London for the last 500 years.
At this exhibition, you get to know exciting stories about British money.
Don’t miss out on how Isaac Newton tried to get London rid of counterfeiters, how Elizabeth l attempted to restore the currency following her father’s meddling, etc.
Torture at the Tower
At the bottom of the Wakefield Tower, you get to explore an exhibition on prisoners and the torture they had to experience.
You get to see the torture methods used at the Tower of London, complete with replicas of the instruments.
Most of these instruments are from the 1500s and 1600s when both political and religious upheavals dominated the timeline.
Crowns through History
This exhibition is housed in Martin Tower and tells the story of English royal crowns and their famous stones.
Across three Towers – Salt, Lower Bowyer, and Beauchamp – you get to see where ‘bad guys’ got imprisoned and the graffiti they left behind.
In here, you get to witness 900 years of prisoner history.
This exhibition narrates stories about how the Tower of London doubled up as a Fortress.
Don’t miss out on the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, where a bunch of peasants managed to invade the Tower successfully.
Tower of London audio guide
Uncover the Tower of London with the audio guide. Choose from the multiple tours present and enjoy the tour at your own personal speed.
Track down the Tower’s origin, Medieval Palace and true hair-raising stories of imprisonment and execution.
Meet the famous Yeoman Warders and listen to the mystery behind the Ravens of the Tower. Learn more about the Crown Jewels and have a look at the Line of the Kings.
Tower of London audio guide is available in English, Dutch, French. German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Once you have the Tower of London audio guide, you can choose from the tours present below –
1. Fortress tour
Discover the oldest history related to the Tower and learn about the priceless collection of treasures.
The tour includes the Tower’s beginnings and The Crown Jewels.
2. Palace Tour
Uncover the ancient royal rooms and learn about the daily life of today’s Tower residents. Also, witness the ancient ceremonies still performed today.
This tour includes the Medieval Palace and glimpses into Life at the Tower.
3. Prison Tour
Get a load of the true ghastly stories about some of the most famous prisoners and executions.
Learn how the Tower got its infamous image.
This audio tour includes stories about imprisonment and executions. You also learn about the Traitor’s Gate on this audio tour.
4. Family Tour
The family tour of the Tower familiarizes you about the story of Rocky the Raven and his friends.
You can also make use of a special feature ‘Plan your day’ to make the most out of your visit.
This section helps you find out the special activities and events on the day of your visit.
Tower of London map
The Tower of London is a fortress situated in the heart of London.
The Tower is built of three “wards” or enclosures. Within every enclosure, there are many passages. Each one carries its own importance.
With the complex structure, the Tower has a long list of buildings and establishments to be seen.
It is very easy to get lost or miss out when walking through such an intricate piece of architecture.
The buildings mentioned in the Tower of London map above are –
|1. White Tower||2. Chapel Royal|
|3. Waterloo Barracks||4. HQ of Fusillers|
|5. Hospital||6. Workshop|
|7. Line of Roman city wall||8. Wardrobe tower|
|9. Wall of the |
|10. Coldharbour gate|
|11. Scaffold site||12. Tower Green|
|13. Queen’s house||14. Beauchamp tower|
|15. Devereux tower||16. Flint tower|
|17. Bowyer tower||18. Brick Tower|
|19. Martin Tower||20. Constable Tower|
|21. Broad arrow tower||22. Salt Tower|
|23. Lanthorn tower||24. Wakefield tower|
|25. Bloody Tower||26. Bell Tower|
|27. Mint Street||28. Casemates|
|29. Legge’s Mount||30. Brass Mount|
|31. Develin tower||32. Well Tower|
|33. Cradle tower||34. Henry III watergate|
|35. St Thomas’s tower||36. Traitors gate|
|37. Water Line||38. Byward tower|
|39. Middle Tower||40. Lions Tower|
|41. Tower Wharf|
With so many things to see, a Tower of London map can be really useful during your visit.
Or better still, book a guided tour of the Tower of London.
Tower of London FAQs
Here are some questions often asked by tourists planning a visit to the Tower of London.
- Why was Tower of London built?
The Tower is an intricate structure of several towers and structures. It is famous as one of the oldest prisons in the world.
The actual purpose behind the construction was to protect London, the capital of the British Empire.
However, soon enough the Tower of London became famous (or infamous) for other brutal uses.
- When was the Tower of London built?
The Tower of London is a 900-year-old castle and fortress.
The foundation of the Tower was laid by the William the Conqueror around 1066 AD.
According to historian Geoffrey Parnell, the Fortress expanded for about 250 years after William the Conqueror’s time.
Today, what we see is a series of buildings laid out on over 12 acres of land.
- What are Tower of London Crown Jewels?
The Jewel House situated within the Tower of London displays The Crown Jewels, which are part of Royal Collection still regularly used by the Queen.
The Collection includes the 800-year-old Coronation Spoon and St. Edward’s Crown.
The Crown is worn when the Monarch is crowned at the Westminster Abbey.
The Tower of London is also home to The Imperial State Crown which is actively used by The Queen.
- Who are Tower of London Crown Guards?
The guards at the Tower of London are known as The Yeoman Warders.
At the Tower of London, there are 12 such Yeomen Warders.
Dating back to the time, the actual responsibility of these guards was to look after the prisoners in the Tower of London.
However, today the Yeoman Warders have become tour guides at the Tower of London. Their home is the Tower itself.
These Yeoman Warders are nicknamed ‘Beefeaters’.
- What are Tower of London Ravens?
The ravens of the Tower of London are a group of at least six ravens.
The group of six ravens is kept captive at the Tower itself.
These Ravens are associated with the Tower and the Crown by a superstition.
The superstition says that “if the Tower of London ravens are lost or they fly away, the Crown will fall and so will Britain with it.”
These ravens are fed by specific Raven Masters.
As of today, the Tower of London plays host to seven Ravens (six as per the superstition and one as back up).