Discover the inner workings of the UK's political system at the Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster is where the House of Commons and the House of Lords are located, representing the two halves of the United Kingdom's Parliament. Admire its stunning Gothic Revival exterior before taking a fascinating tour inside.
Useful information for your visit to the Palace of Westminster
Take a walk through the corridors of power, on a visit to the Houses of Parliament.
Take the Tour
Book a tour to see the historic chambers of the Palace of Westminster and to find out why the two Houses exist and how they function differently. As well as offering a fascinating insight into the workings of modern Parliament, it's a fantastic chance to explore one of the world's most iconic buildings. Note that tours take place on Saturdays throughout the year, as well as most weekdays when Parliament is not in session. What's more, you also have the option to round off your tour with a traditional afternoon tea.
The Palace of Westminster is an excellent place to take children and give them an early introduction to politics. Special family tours are adapted to be engaging for pre-teens and younger children, and as a bonus kids under 15 can go for free. The friendly guides are always happy to answer questions and keep the kids enthused.
See the Exterior
Even if you're not interested in touring the inside, be sure to visit the Palace of Westminster to see it with your own eyes. The site has existed since the 11th century and, following a fire, was rebuilt from 1840 to create the building we see today.
Best things to do near the Palace of Westminster
Choosing from the many hotels near the Houses of Parliament places you close to many of London's premier attractions.
Of course, when you visit the Palace of Westminster you can't miss Big Ben. Did you know that that is actually the popular name for the bell inside, and not the tower, which is named the Elizabeth Tower? It's easily the most recognisable landmark in the whole of the UK, often being used as an emblem for the entire country.
Another outstanding London attraction, Buckingham Palace is famed for being the Queen's official London residence. Visit at 11:00 am Monday to Saturday, or 10:00 am on Sundays to see the changing of the guard ceremony. During the summer, the palace opens its doors for public visits.
The biggest shopping avenue in the country, this is the best place to splurge on high-street brands and to refuel with some lunch or dinner. It's home to Selfridges department store, while on nearby Regent Street and Bond Street you'll find an array of exclusive fashion and jewellery boutiques.
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