Houses of Parliament

Attractions, Historic buildings and sites Westminster
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Houses of Parliament

The centre of political life in the UK, housed in the Thames-side Palace of Westminster.

Tours of the Houses of Parliament offer a unique combination of one thousand years of history, modern day politics and stunning art and architecture. A highly recommended audio tour brings this to life through the House of Lords and House of Commons and takes around 60 to 75 minutes, featuring leading Parliamentary figures such as Mr Speaker and Black Rod.

Most of what is seen on the tour was built in the mid-19th century following a devastating fire in 1834, but the route also incorporates the magnificent Westminster Hall dating from 1097. Other highlights include the Queen’s Robing Room, Royal Gallery, Lords Chamber, Central Lobby and the Commons Chamber, scene of many lively debates. A family version of the audio tour, aimed at children aged 7 to 12, is in the style of a ‘live’ news broadcast with time travelling reporters ‘reporting from the scene’ on the many historical events associated with Parliament. 

For those not able to visit the Houses of Parliament in person, a new 360-degree virtual tour is now available on the website, allowing jazzy panoramic views into some of the most famous rooms, with clickable facts and historical stories as you virtually snoop around. 

These new virtual tours, the ticketed guide-led tours and solo-audio tours are all in addition to the free tours that continue to be available to UK residents via local MPs or members of the House of Lords.

See more of the capital's best attractions


Venue name: Houses of Parliament
Address: Palace of Westminster
Opening hours: Saturdays throughout the year and most weekdays during holiday periods including Christmas, Easter and the summer. See venue website for full details.
Transport: Tube: Westminster
Price: Adults £18, Concessions £15.50, Under 16s one child free with each paying adult, otherwise £7.20
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4.7 / 5

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Kritt N

The Houses of Parliament: we’ve all seen it from the outside and Instagrammed it, but did you know that you can actually go inside? Yes, really.

You can’t just walk-in, however, You must book yourself onto one of the tours run daily and believe me, it’s brilliant. With your incredibly knowledgeable tour guide, you’re taken through the many rooms in this maze of a building including The Queen’s Robing Room, Central Gallery, the House of Commons, the House of Lords (obvs) and so much more. Your guide will tell you all you need to know about the buildings history, tradition, and quirkiness. You’ll find out answers to questions like where did the world ‘parliament’ come from? Why a monarch cannot enter the House of Commons? Why the building is sometimes referred to as the Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament? Why someone always checks the cellars of parliament at every state opening? Why the symbol for parliament is a portcullis. It’s absolutely fascinating.

Over one thousand years of history, stunning art and architecture all to be explored in this grandest of buildings. Every corner you turn, from the paintings of royal monarchs whom parliament has acted under, to paintings depicting pivotal moments in English parliamentary history, you can actually feel history and tradition everywhere you turn.

Sadly, no photography allowed but you can unapologetically snap the hell out of Westminster Hall and St. Stephen’s Hall, both mightily impressive and guaranteed to give you loads of ‘likes’.

The only downside? The guided tour is pricey. However, I feel it offers a lot more value than the other attractions say, The London Eye. 

If you have a must-do list when in London, then a trip to Parliament must be there. It's one of the best tours in London.

Top tip: if you’re UK citizen, you can book yourself on these tours completely free if you contact your local MP. Your welcome.

NakedPRGirl Claire

I only went to Westminster Hall on Open House weekend but it was fantastic! I didn't realise you can take guided tours and I will be booking as soon as possible. It was easy to get into and so amazing to be close to such a historic and iconic building. Even if you decide not to take a tour, just looking at the architecture is so special!


One of the best tours I have done ever, it was so fascinating learning about the history of the building and what acts of Parliament and legislation were passed. You gut a free audio tour as part of the package. I recommend it for all age groups, I would actually go again and take my friends and family

Mei M

I feel like the tour of the Houses of Parliament is very underrated, people seem to think it's not interesting but I'm here to recommend it with all my passion!

The first time I've been there I was fourteen, during a school trip, and I wasn't that enthusiastic with the idea of going. I was so wrong! I enjoyed my visit so much, our guide was super nice and the history - as well as the present - of the Houses of Parliament was so interesting to listen to. It's one of the best memories I have of my first time in London.

I have been a second time a couple of weeks ago with a friend who really wanted to go, and once again it was such a great tour. You are given a free audio guide and I promise you won't be bored at all. The building is beautiful and the history is amazing!

Shona R

Cannot recommend this tour enough! I'm not a huge fan of historical tours, but the guided tour was well worth the amount we paid!  I've actually been back with everybody that comes to visit me and always learn a new bit of information.  Leave yourself a couple of hours to see both past and present of British history in the making

Also, if you get a chance, it's worth going early for a VERY cheap full English breakfast and this spectacular view!


One of the best tours you can have...Even if the tickets seem a bit expensive, it definitely worth it. You are given an audio guide (free of charge) that provides you all the useful information about the history of this impressive building. You will have the chance to wander around the parliament's halls (House of Lords and House of Commons) and see the place where all decisions for country's future are taken! Recommended!


I've done this tour 3 times and each time is different and enlightening.  Very interesting and well organised tour of our seat of government.  Last time I went they were trialling the  audio and though I was a bit apprehensive, it was actually very good.  If the news that the building is crumbling and Parliament may need to be moved to a new building, I suggest everyone books a tour of this historic building before it's too late!

Victoria A

I really enjoyed the tour. It was great fun to see the House of Lords and house of common. It was just wonderful to have a look on the inside of the Westminster.


If you get the chance, do it for all means. It is as british as it gets and lot`s of fun ;)