Big Ben Updated: about 1 months ago

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Big Ben proudly stands next to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, overlooking the River Thames, as a beacon of London’s rich history.

Recognised globally, Big Ben represents the very soul of London and remains a top destination for travellers. While many refer to the entire tower as “Big Ben,” it’s crucial to note the distinction: the tower’s official name is the Elizabeth Tower, renamed in 2012 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. The moniker “Big Ben” is reserved for the Great Bell housed within. A striking example of Gothic Revival architecture, the tower is aesthetically pleasing and historically significant.

Symbol of London

Boasting the title of the world’s grandest four-faced chiming clock, Big Ben crowns the Palace of Westminster. Since its completion in 1859, this majestic clock tower has not only marked hours with its unique chimes but also fortified its stature as a symbol of both London and England.

Big Ben Tour

For an immersive dive into London’s legacy, a tour of Big Ben stands unmatched. Venture up the tower via a 334-step spiral staircase, revealing the intricacies of the clock’s inner mechanics. Though the ascent might be daunting for some due to its height and narrow passage, the reward is unparalleled. Be prepared for the clock’s resounding chime; ear protection is provided. Tickets become available three months in advance on the second Wednesday of the month on the parliament website and will get sold out quickly so it’s best to be prepared and ready to buy. Note: this unique experience is available to visitors aged 11 and up.

Photo Opportunity

For a picture-perfect moment with Big Ben, position yourself on the Westminster Bridge or gaze upon it from the Thames’ opposite bank. Under the night sky, the clock’s face is beautifully highlighted by floodlights, beckoning photographers from near and far.

Getting there

The closest underground station to Big Ben is Westminster (Circle, District, Jubilee). Along with the underground, you can conveniently get to Westminster using the Thames Clipper.


London Eye is on the other side of the Thames, approximately a 10 minute walk away. Westminster Abbey is on the corner of the same square, so you should pay it a visit when you come to Big Ben.

Nearest Stations

Westminster - 1 min

District Circle Jubilee London Underground Zone: 1

St James's Park - 8 min

District Circle London Underground Zone: 1

Charing Cross - 10 min

Bakerloo Northern London Underground Zone: 1

Activities from Get Your Guide