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Houses of Parliament

Delve into British politics at this historic complex, the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The Palace of Westminster, more commonly known as Houses of Parliament, is at the heart of U.K. politics. Take a self-guided audio tour or a guide-led tour to view the many remarkable sections, chief among them the Norman-era Westminster Hall and its hammer-beam roof.

The first palace was erected here in the 11th century, though only a few small sections of that structure survived a devastating fire in 1834. Embark on a tour to get inside the vast Westminster Hall, one of the oldest surviving sections of Parliament. Most of the rest of the palace is neo-Gothic in style and dates back to the mid-19th century.

Step inside the red-benched House of Lords, home to more than 750 peers who debate and vote on various matters. The tours also includes entry to the lower house, the House of Commons, where the 650 Members of Parliament elected by the British public sit.

Explore the Robing Room where the queen dons here ceremonial gear before entering the House of Lords. Look for the exquisite artworks by distinguished Scottish artist William Dyce that adorn this space. Tours also lead guests to the Royal Gallery, the Prince’s Chamber and the Members’ Lobby among other spaces. Finish your tour in style with afternoon tea in a riverside terrace for an additional fee.

To the north end of the complex is Elizabeth Tower, which contains the massive bell popularly known as Big Ben. Limited tours of the tower are available to U.K. residents only, so overseas visitors will have to make do with admiring the iconic structure from outside. Return to take photographs of Big Ben at night when the clock faces are illuminated.

Find the spectacular Westminster Abbey just west of the complex. This building is noted for its exceptional stained-glass windows and imposing Gothic architecture.

The Houses of Parliament are on the northern bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster. To come here, ride the Tube to Westminster Station. Book and pay for your tour online in advance to ensure access.

Popular Activities at Houses of Parliament

Get the most out of your visit to Houses of Parliament. Here's a list of some of the best things to do:

Your next exciting adventure is right in front of you! You may want to try out a Fully-Guided Houses of Parliament & No Wait Westminster Tour or a Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament Tour.

Have a look at our London things to do page to discover even more activities in the area.


Guide to Exploring Houses of Parliament


Map

Top Houses of Parliament Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London NZ$290
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.

    Marlin Waterloo NZ$239
    Marlin Waterloo

    Marlin Waterloo

    111 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in London City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial War Museum, Westminster Bridge, and Sea Life London Aquarium. Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 8 minutes.

      The Strand Palace Hotel NZ$280
      The Strand Palace Hotel

      The Strand Palace Hotel

      372 The Strand, London, England
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus, and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.

        Park Plaza London Waterloo NZ$229
        Park Plaza London Waterloo

        Park Plaza London Waterloo

        6 Hercules Road, London, England
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Florence Nightingale Museum, Imperial War Museum, and The Vaults. Southbank Centre Book Market and Lambeth Palace are also within 10 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes by foot and Waterloo Underground Station is 11 minutes.

          DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster NZ$275
          DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster

          DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster

          30 John Islip Street, Westminster, London, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tate Britain and Houses of Parliament. Westminster Abbey and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Pimlico Underground Station is 10 minutes by foot and Westminster Underground Station is 13 minutes.

            Park Plaza County Hall London NZ$290
            Park Plaza County Hall London

            Park Plaza County Hall London

            1 Addington Street, London, England
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. Jubilee Gardens and The Vaults are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station and Lambeth North Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.

              The Grosvenor Hotel NZ$327
              The Grosvenor Hotel

              The Grosvenor Hotel

              101 Buckingham Palace Road, London, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Apollo Victoria Theatre and Victoria Palace Theatre. Buckingham Palace and Green Park are also within 15 minutes. Victoria Underground Station and London Victoria Rail Station are within a 2-minute walk.

                The Grand at Trafalgar Square NZ$266
                The Grand at Trafalgar Square

                The Grand at Trafalgar Square

                8 Northumberland Avenue, London, England
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in London City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps from Nelson's Column and The Strand. St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Trafalgar Square are also within 5 minutes. Charing Cross Underground Station and Embankment Station are within a 5-minute walk.