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Big Ben

One of the main London landmarks. Clock Tower with 4 clock faces, a part of Westminster Palace.

Palace of Westminster, House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA, UK

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More information about Big Ben

The most famous bell in Europe, perhaps even the world, Big Ben is one of the iconic landmarks of London. The tower is the third largest bell tower in the world and is over 150 years old. It was recently renamed Elizabeth Tower as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth's 60 y­ears’ of reign.

Part of Westminster Palace, it was designed in the Neo-Gothic style. There is no elevator, but 334 steps lead to the top; however tours are only available to British nationals who organize a trip through their Member of Parliament.

Despite having been constructed by an amateur clockmaker, it is known for its accuracy. The numbers on its face are about 60 centimeters tall and the minute hand is over 3.28 ft (4 m) long. The main bell weighs over 13.5 tons. During both World Wars, its face became darkened and in 1976 it had its largest breakdown.

The skyline in this part of London is spectacular, so taking pictures of Big Ben with the London Eye in the background is very popular.

The nearest London Underground station is Westminster, so you just can't get lost. There are also several bus stops around, such as Westminster, Parliament Square (stop TB) and Parliament Square (stop H).

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: Tours take place at set times of 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., except Bank Holidays.

Additional tour available at 4 p.m. from May to Sep. No tours available from Dec 24 to Jan 2.

Open to UK permanent residents only. Booking essential.

Admission

Clock Tower tours are currently free of charge but the demand is very high - the tour must be arranged months ahead.

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Attractions near to Big Ben

  • Buckingham Palace

    The majestic palace is the official residence of British monarchs. A must-see – do not miss the Changing the Guard ceremony!

  • Trafalgar Square

    Trafalgar Square is the largest square in London. With all the cultural events taking place here, it is often considered the heart of the city.

  • Tower Bridge

    This fascinating bridge is one of London's icons. The views from top are amazing and it's quite a sight to see the bridge open for ships, too.

  • London Eye

    Come for a ride on Europe's largest Ferris wheel. The views from the top are simply fabulous, especially at night.

  • Tower of London

    Also known as Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, the former prison complex is now home to the Crown Jewels.

  • Houses of Parliament

    The elaborate Palace of Westminster is home to the House of Commons and House of Lords. Come see the political life of the UK.

  • Westminster Abbey

    A magnificent sight and an important commemoration site. More impressive from outside than within.

  • St. Paul's Cathedral

    An enormous white cathedral and London's highest point. Do not miss this famous sight with its elaborate interiors and crypts.

  • The British Museum

    Home to one of the largest collections of works and artefacts coming from all over the world. Dedicated to human history, art, and culture.

  • Covent Garden

    A popular shopping district where tourists swarm in crowds. Enjoy the special atmosphere of the place!

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