Houses of Parliament
Houses of Parliament
4.5
Historic SitesArchitectural BuildingsGovernment Buildings
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Most of this iconic building was built in the mid-19th century following a devastating fire in 1834. Westminster Hall survived the fire and dates from 1097. All visits are currently suspended. For the latest updates and online content, please go to the website and sign-up to the e-newsletter.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Westminster
If you only had an afternoon to experience London on a grand scale, Westminster would be a wise place to start. The ornate Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey sit adjacent at a corner of Parliament Square, and a short stroll along The Mall leads to Buckingham Palace. Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column are just up the road as well. As captivating as the architecture is, the wonders of Mother Nature are highlights of the area too. St James's Park (arguably London's loveliest), the expansive Green Park, and pedestrian friendly tree lined paths along the river showcase the exquisite manicure provided by English gardeners. Just beyond the landmarks and the gorgeous outdoor spaces, quiet residential squares and age old local pubs offer a more subdued take on this global seat of power in the heart of London.
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See what travellers are saying
  • wendyjpen
    Canterbury, United Kingdom13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    As entertaining as it was informative
    What an informative and fun 90 minute tour we had around the Houses of Parliament. Our tour guide was Phil and he was brilliant. So knowledgeable and entertaining. We had the best time and would do it again in an instant. It was strange to walk along the corridors that you see on the television and to stand in the House of Commons and the House of Lords and to hear of many of the old customs and traditions that live on in our modern government, like the sword room where members of parliament can hang up their swords and one or two still do.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 7 March 2023
  • algreaves1@gmail.com
    Palm Coast, Florida4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A look into UK history and governance
    This was a highlight of our 8 day stay in London. The well organized media tour allowed us to view at our own pace and enjoy the amazing architecture and history, ancient and modern, of these buildings. Particularly touching was to spend time in Westminster Hall where Queen Elizabeth lay in state prior to her funeral.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 13 March 2023
  • StaciH147
    San Francisco, California19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Building, Great Lesson on History and UK Government
    We visited Parliament on our third trip to London and I only wish we had seen it sooner. What an amazing place! Kudos to the Victorians who were able to save the 11th century Westminster Hall from the fire in 1834 and made the decision to rebuild the rest in the Gothic style. We booked the 90-minute guided tour and it was well worth the £32.00. There is so much to see and learn, I think it might have been overwhelming to rely on the multi-media guide. Note that this is a working government building and the guards are serious about security, so it's best to follow directions and only walk in the permitted areas. Also note that there is no coat check, so be prepared to wear or carry your jacket the whole time.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 15 March 2023
  • Jeffry b
    Essendon, Australia14,066 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Houses of Parliament are really spectacular
    The Houses of Parliament consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is quite small, in fact it won't accommodate all Members of Parliament at the one time. The House is green and functional. The House of Lords is quite spectacular, it is here that the Sovereign delivers the speech to open the Parliament. Red is the predominant color in the House of Lords. Visitors can undertake a self-guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. However, the best view of the Houses of Parliament is from the London Eye, where the building is laid out in front of you and you can get o sense of the structure of governance.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 21 March 2023
  • Marc G
    Redhill, United Kingdom14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth visiting
    We where very fortunate to have a tour of the House of parliament and watch the prime minister’s questions time last Wednesday. Definitely recommended if you are ever visiting london. One more of my bucket list. You can go to the visitor section of the Palace of Westminster and get a ticket. Excellent tour. Impressive.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 1 April 2023
  • Gill P
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom92 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highly Recommend Guided Tour
    Best tour of our trip to London. Very interesting, funny and informative (tour guide was Paul ???). Beautiful architecture and the usual quintessential British traditions. We were lucky enough to see both the Lords and the Commons - both much smaller in real life than on the TV.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 April 2023
  • Christina
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania71 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great, educational tour; worth the money
    Melissa was our fabulous tour guide for a crowd of 5 Americans and my British husband. We learned a lot, were entertained and were so impressed with how much our guide knew. A true expert. Glad we spent the money on the tour.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 April 2023
  • KB91
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing trip and tour with Phil
    Amazing trip, the tour was fantastic and our tour guide Phil was absolutely fantastic. Phil really helped bring history to life for us and made the tour engaging and interesting. The building itself is a wonder and really needs to be seen. Ask for Phil as your tour guide!
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 17 April 2023
  • mattfrost216
    Ipswich, United Kingdom489 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent self guided tour
    We did the self guided multimedia tour here, and saw far more than we were expecting to see! From Westminster hall to actually in both the lords and commons chambers, the tour covered far more than we were expecting and got us far closer than we’d imagined. Well worth a visit
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 April 2023
  • Gr9999
    Albany, New York141 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highly recommend
    Probably the best tour/attraction we visited in London. The history, architecture,and experience is very memorable. It's so amazing to have access to the floor of the House of Lords and Commons where governmental decisions have been made for centuries. The pre-recorded virtual tour was excellent, and I usually do not like that sort of presentation. You can go at your own pace. There are even options in the program to go deeper and get more in areas that interest you and to gloss over areas that don't. You definitely do not need a private tour or guide here. I do wish we could take pictures in more areas of the building but I i that it is a working governmental building.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 23 April 2023
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles16,808 reviews
Excellent
12,010
Very good
3,966
Average
688
Poor
92
Terrible
52

pab
Peak District National Park, UK216 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Excellent tour of the HOP.
Really enjoyable and a must do for any person interested in how it all works at the Palace of Westminster. Paul was very informative and amusing (he reminded me of Simon le Bon). So do it if you can…fab experience of approx 1.5 hrs
Written 16 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LHoffman1978
Sylvania, OH263 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Wonderful history and very informative about an entirely different form of government. We were able to visit the gift shop and purchase an original tile from the floor which is being renovated.
Written 15 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ShaunH290
London, UK2,329 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
We had been on an educational tour with the children years ago and went back for a "normal" adult tour. There is a lot to be seen - but the photographic restrictions are over the top. The contrast with the Budapest parliament building is stark. You can photograph so much more there - the only restriction was around the crown jewels.

The authorities should reconsider the photographic restrictions in the Mother of Parliaments as the tour is much better than we can show here. Hence 4 stars, not 5!
Written 14 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AJ
Austin, TX1,051 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Book online ahead of time, and be prepared to queue for at least 30 minutes standing on a hard metal ramp to go through security, all while people walk past you with “fast track” passes. Signage is minimal to find the multimedia guides. Lighting seems to have been converted to cold LED in quite a few historic places.
Written 10 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Solo
PROS
* One of the most iconic and easily recognizable buildings in the world
* Tremendous outstanding demonstration of architecture
* The location of so many world-changing historical events in the past until today
* One of the most "British" places that there are
* Easy close immediate proximity to the perimeter fence
* Free and unfettered access (after strict security screening) on many days to St. Stephen's Hall and to the viewing galleries of the House of Commons and House of Lords

CONS
Guided tours are expensive

"I VISITED THIS PLACE"...
... as one of the for-sure certain activities that I would do on my visit. I had done the same exact thing in November 2016 and was determined to repeat it.

I asked the friendly guards who were on the other side of the perimeter fence when entry would be allowed. I was told the day of the (re) opening session and ceremony and at what time to queue at St. Stephen's Gate (Cromwell Entrance). And so it was- easy entry after strict security screening.

The inside is tremendous and breathtaking! So elegant and so stately. I love the vast massive hall and the many statues and wall murals.

It was thrilling to stand on the very spot where King George III was informed that the American colonists had revolted. As I was reveling in being on the spot of that historical event, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walked directly past me (see my three photos). It was also exciting to stand in the spot where British slavery was abolished and also more recently, events such as the lying-in-state of Queen Elizabeth II.

I had the chance to go into the foyer hallway as the procession with the speaker and the legislative mace were carried into the House of Commons but I didn't want to lose my place in line to enter the two galleries so i stood at the top of the steps and watched through the throngs inside from the other side of the large glass plated doors.

I sat in the galleries of both the House of Lords (red velvet plush benches) and the House of Commons (green padded benches) and I enjoyed both of those very much.

On my departure from the House of Commons, I photographed the plaque about the Kindertransport (see that one of my many photos) because it has a personal family connection for me.

I also enjoyed looking at the gigantic stately gilded carriage which is on display.

After exiting, I saw one individual who was non stop screaming and yelling at those inside about the "corona conspiracy" and the purported deaths of millions from the vaccine. I watched at a safe distance for a long time and took many photos which are posted here. I was impressed with the tolerance and patience of the uniformed guards who bore the main brunt of his non-stop abuse and cries of "shame" and "blood on your hands." Finally, after at lesat ten-15 minutes, an armed uniformed guard came out of the closed locked and fortified compound, approached the loan protest and said in typical British, "Go on now. That's quite enough."

WAS IT WORTH THE COST?
What I did was free

WOULD "I VISIT THIS PLACE" AGAIN?
For sure

ADVICE
* For sure see and encircle the building, since it is so quintessentially British- amazing photographic opportunities from up at the perimeter fence, on Westminster Bridge, on the south shore of the River Thames and from Parliament Square
* If the timing is good, go inside as I did and visit the galleries of the two chambers when the House of Commons and the House of Lords are in session- an unforgettable experience, but the climb to the chambers is the equivalent of three or four floors of steps.
* Many people will ask about and/or do the guided or self-audio tour. I did neither on my two visits

FULL DISCLOSURE
"I visited this place" with the plan to write a "helpful" review and to attach "helpful" photos here on tripadvisor, so if these did "help" you, please indicate that by tikking the "thumbs up" 👍 symbol. Thanks
Written 5 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Georgiana B
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
The views were amazing ! We had a great guide which gave us all the informations possible and moreover replied to our questions with so much charisma and decency.
Written 5 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

simon p
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Nick has been a very active and supportive guide advisor. Recommend if you come as tourist. (Guided 23 students) been very cautious with detailing!
Written 5 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

glennharrold
Scotland, UK3,169 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Book in advance and not cheap, however interesting and with a visit. The multi media audio guides died theee times on us so not reliable - we were there I. The morning so surely battery charging should have been done. No photos within the actual interesting areas - very disappointing - and as a UK tax payer don’t see why not!
Written 4 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travel529
New York City, NY294 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
Knowledgeable guided tour, good experience. You will have to book in advance, pay online. Book directly from their website. You will experience House of Lords, House of Commons etc. We found furniture to be worn out and needs repair.
Written 2 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carlo H
Nijmegen, The Netherlands92 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
On Saturday we did a Media Tour. Listening to comments in museums is not my favorite, but here it works fine. Not only does it point towards the paintings and sculptures, but it gives room to members of both of the Houses, and other people who work in the building. And give you a special insight into this marvellous castle of democracy.
Written 23 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Houses of Parliament, London

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