The Tower of London is a historic castle that is part of the World Heritage Site and is located on the north bank of the River Thames in London, and is one of the most visited places in the United Kingdom.
Its walls have more than 1,000 years of history, as it was founded in 1066 as part of the Norman conquest of England. The Tower of London is a complex of several buildings located within two defensive walls, and which was expanded in different phases. It has been a key player in English history, serving as an armory, treasury, menagerie, prison, Royal Mint, home of the United Kingdom’s crown jewels and Royal accommodation.
It was known as the Tower of Terror for years, as its prisoners were often destined for execution. In total, 119 people were executed, 7 of whom were executed inside the Tower itself, while the rest were executed on top of the neighboring hill known as Tower Hill.
What to see in the Tower of London
A visit to the Tower of London can last half a day. We recommend joining one of the free tours offered by the Yeoman Warders, also known as beefeaters. A tour leaves every 30 minutes at the same entrance, and lasts approximately 60 minutes.
- White Tower: The White Tower is the oldest building and the one that gives its name to the fortification. This building has been a prison, armory and royal residence. Here you can enjoy an impressive armor exhibition.
- Bloody Tower: Tower that got its name after the disappearance of two princes who were in it, possibly killed by their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, to ascend to the throne.
- More towers: Wakefield, Santo Tomás, Martin, Lanthorn, Beauchamp among others.
- Crown Jewels: The collection of the Crown Jewels is one of the reasons many people visit the Tower of London. It is a collection of jewels, swords and scepters that have incalculable historical value.
- Royal Chapel of San Pedro y Vincula: In this chapel is where the remains of the most famous prisoners who were executed in the Tower of London are found.
- Medieval Palace: The Medieval Palace tells us and recreates how kings lived in medieval times.
- Wall Walk: Walk along one of the walls of the Tower of London, and enjoy the fantastic views over the British capital and especially over the wonderful Tower Bridge in London.
- And of course, do not forget to look for the famous Ravens of the Tower. The legend of the ravens of the Tower of London tells that the day they leave the Tower, the Tower will fall.
- Ceremony of the Keys: The ceremony of the keys of the Tower of London is one of the oldest historical ceremonies that are still celebrated, and it is free to attend. Further information: Tower of London Keys Ceremony.
Hours and prices to visit the Tower of London
- Hours: The Tower of London is open on Sundays and holidays, except on December 24, 25, 26 and January 1, when it will be closed.
Summer hours: March 1 – October 31Winter hours: November 1 – February 28
- Adults: £22.00
- Children (5 – 15 years): £11.00
- Children under 5 years free
Buy Tickets for the Tower of London
We definitely recommend buying your ticket in advance online, as this way you can avoid the queues and you can find tickets for about 8 euros cheaper than at the box office.
Don’t forget that if you have a London Pass, you can enter the Tower of London for free. Find out here: London Pass.
Eat near the Tower of London
If you are going to visit the Tower of London, we would recommend you to try the restaurant that is inside the Tower itself, called New Armeries Restaurant. It is a self-service restaurant but it offers a good quality British menu at a good price. We liked it a lot, it is possible to try typical things like sausage and mash, or a good fish and chips.
If you want to get out of the Tower, we recommend you walk to the St Katharine’s Dock area where there are numerous restaurants, and if you want to eat in a typical English restaurant, we recommend the Dickens Inn.
What to do after seeing the Tower of London
After seeing the Tower of London, we recommend crossing the famous Tower Bridge in London (which you can also visit inside) and strolling along the banks of the Thames, passing in front of London City Hall, HMS Belfast, London Bridge…