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Taking a trip to London, with its countless number of great things to do, is always a good idea. One attraction you won’t want to miss for its sublime architecture and incredible importance as the venue for every coronation of the British monarchy since 1066 is Westminster Abbey.
As the abbey is an immensely popular tourist attraction, doing your research before visiting Westminster Abbey is the key to getting the most from the experience. You’ll want to know all sorts of things to plan your visit properly, from how to buy tickets for Westminster Abbey to when it’s open and how to get there. The good news is that you can find all the information below in our detailed Westminster Abbey ticket guide.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to Westminster Abbey: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you book your admission ticket to Westminster Abbey in advance here. Or, if you would like to learn a little bit more about the history of the abbey, book a guided tour here.
- 1 Best Ways to Get Westminster Abbey Tickets
- 2 Useful Information for Visiting Westminster Abbey
- 2.1 What’s the Best Time to Visit Westminster Abbey?
- 2.2 Westminster Abbey Hours of Operation
- 2.3 How to Get to Westminster Abbey
- 2.4 How Do Westminster Abbey Tickets Work?
- 2.5 How Much Do Tickets for Westminster Abbey Cost?
- 2.6 Best Hotels for Westminster Abbey
- 2.7 Ongoing Exhibitions at Westminster Abbey
- 2.8 Security Process at Westminster Abbey
- 2.9 Visiting Westminster Abbey With a Disability
- 2.10 FAQ – Facts About Westminster Abbey
Best Ways to Get Westminster Abbey Tickets
With its reputation as one of London’s most iconic landmarks, Westminster Abbey sees a lot of tourists through its doors and understandably offers a range of different ways for people to get tickets. It’s important to understand each of these options as they can affect your overall experience at the attraction, which is why below we cover where to buy tickets for Westminster Abbey and what is included.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
In contrast to some other London attractions, it is still possible to buy tickets to Westminster Abbey in person the day you want to visit. However, we don’t recommend taking this approach because of the unnecessary drawbacks. Not only will you have to wait in line to get your tickets, which is a bad use of your precious time in London, but you also may run the risk of having to wait for the next available scheduled entry time. There are only a limited number of tickets to this popular attraction, so waiting until the last minute to get your tickets is inherently risky.
2. Book Online
Rather than waiting until you arrive, we instead recommend booking tickets to Westminster Abbey online in advance. Booking tickets is easy and allows you to choose the exact timing of your visit, allowing you to plan the rest of your sightseeing around it.
Skip-the-line Westminster Abbey tickets can be purchased through the official website for the abbey. However, these tickets are nonrefundable. It’s for that reason that we recommend booking your tickets through this link, as these can be canceled up to 24 hours in advance with a full refund for the same price. Plans change when you travel, and knowing you have that flexibility offers peace of mind.
3. Book a Guided Tour (Recommended)
Visitors hoping to get the most out of their time at Westminster Abbey will be delighted to hear there are several options for booking a guided tour.
There are two guided tours of Westminster Abbey offered by the abbey, the Highlights Tour and the Verger-guided tour. Both feature behind-the-scenes areas that are usually off-limits to general visitors. The Highlights Tour which can be booked through the official website, while the Verger-guided tour must be booked in person on the day. Both have limited spots and run only on select days.
However, there is another option that runs far more frequently, which is to book this guided tour. With this tour, a professional tour guide will show you around the abbey and you’ll also benefit from skip-the-line tickets for Westminster Abbey for a more seamless visit.
4. Purchase a Tourist Pass
If you are planning to fill your time in London with lots of sightseeing, you might want to consider getting a London Pass. Like other tourist passes, this city pass is an excellent way to save money when sightseeing as it provides free entry to a long list of iconic London tourist attractions.
Besides entry to Westminster Abbey, passholders get access to highlights like Buckingham Palace and the View from the Shard. It also comes with a day ticket for the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, which you can use for your transport on the day.
Useful Information for Visiting Westminster Abbey
What’s the Best Time to Visit Westminster Abbey?
Popular tourist attractions like Westminster Abbey can get quite busy, even with scheduled entry times. It’s for that reason that it’s worth giving some extra thought to when you plan on going if you want an enjoyable and quieter visiting experience.
First thing in the morning is generally the best time to visit the abbey as you arrive before the majority of other visitors. It can also be worthwhile visiting in the afternoon just before the last entry, as the number of people inside tends to fall off at this point.
As for working out which day to visit, you shouldn’t see much difference in visitor numbers between the weekdays. Saturdays are understandably the busiest day at the abbey, and the abbey is closed Sundays.
Westminster Abbey Hours of Operation
Westminster Abbey is open every day of the week except for Sundays. However, the abbey is also closed on certain days throughout the year, so it’s important that you check the calendar on the official website to ensure it is open on the day you wish to visit.
Opening hours for Westminster Abbey are typically from 9:30 to 15:30 for general admittance. However, they too are rather inconsistent, and there are days when entry ends at 13:30 or 14:00, so be sure to check online. Regardless of the closing time, last entry is always one hour before. Opening hours for other parts of the complex, such as the café, kiosk, and gift shop, are independent from general admittance and can be found on the official website.
How to Get to Westminster Abbey
Tourists have a wealth of options for getting to Westminster Abbey on the day of their visit. Thanks to its central location close to other notable London landmarks, you may not even have to go far to reach the abbey.
However, it’s just as likely you’ll need to take public transport to get there, so we’ll show you those options. The exact route to reach Westminster Abbey will depend on where you’re coming from in this vast city, so we’ll just highlight the most useful options.
You can get to Westminster Abbey on the metro by taking the Circle, Jubilee, or District lines and alighting at Westminster station. Another option is to take the RB1, RB2, or RB6 ferry routes for the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers and get off at the Westminster Pier. Finally, there are many city buses that pass through this part of London, but the 11, 24, 88, 148, and 211 buses all stop at the Westminster Abbey bus stops.
How Do Westminster Abbey Tickets Work?
Often tickets to major tourist attractions can be overly complex and confusing, but luckily that isn’t the case with tickets to Westminster Abbey. There’s only one ticket type for visiting the abbey, meaning you won’t need to pick and choose what parts you get to see.
That said, you can choose certain add-ons when booking Westminster Abbey tickets, such as a guided tour or guidebook. During the booking process you’ll need to select a day for your visit and an entry time from the available time slots. Please note that children under five do not require a ticket.
Once you’ve confirmed your tickets, you will receive them via email and can present them on the day either on your smartphone or printed out. A multimedia guide is included in the price of admission and provided upon entry.
How Much Do Tickets for Westminster Abbey Cost?
Cost is usually a main concern for those hoping to visit the abbey, so let’s talk about the prices for tickets to Westminster Abbey.
For general admission, adult tickets cost £25, tickets for students and seniors over 65 cost £22, and tickets for children aged 6 to 17 cost £11. As previously mentioned, children five and under enter free. It is also possible to purchase a family-style ticket that covers one adult and one child and also costs £25.
There are also two different tours offered by the abbey, the Highlights Tour and the Verger-guided tour, each with their own costs. The Highlights Tour costs £19 for adults, students and seniors over 65, and children’s tickets cost £8. Verger tours are a flat £10 per person.
Best Hotels for Westminster Abbey
Choosing to stay close to Westminster Abbey in London is an excellent decision if you’re looking to do lots of sightseeing during your trip. By staying in this area of Inner London, you make it easy to get to major city landmarks on foot while also enjoying great public transport options for exploring the rest of the city. While there are lots of fantastic accommodation options, allow us to recommend a few to make your search a little easier.
The Guardsman is a fantastic new luxury design hotel in the Westminster area for travelers seeking somewhere special to stay. Rooms and suites at this five-star hotel feature gorgeous lux styling and lots of high-end amenities, while guests are also sure to enjoy the hotel’s in-house restaurant.
A welcome option for those travelers looking for both comfort and value for money is the Sanctuary House Hotel, less than a five-minute walk from Westminster Abbey. Staying at this three-star hotel, guests will find cozy and elegant rooms, and a traditional pub on its ground floor.
It’s always hard to find budget accommodation in central London, which is why the Walrus Bar and Hostel is such a useful option. Located across the Thames by Waterloo Station, this hostel is 15-minute walk from the abbey and offers clean and welcoming dorm rooms at a great price. For more affordable accommodation, check out our guide to the best hostels in London.
Ongoing Exhibitions at Westminster Abbey
Throughout the year, Westminster Abbey hosts many different events, services, and special exhibitions that may interest visitors. Very few of these events are included in regular tickets, so you’ll usually need to organize separate tickets if you wish to attend one. There are too many different activities in a year to list below, but you can find them all on the official website.
One major exhibition that is taking place in 2022 is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, a temporary exhibition with the abbey’s most prized possessions from its thousand-year history.
Security Process at Westminster Abbey
To ensure you have no problems when you arrive at Westminster Abbey, it helps to know the rules and security process in place for visitors. Before entering the abbey, all visitors must go through an airport-style security check, during which bags will be searched.
Visitors cannot bring large items, such as luggage, backpacks, or bags with wheels, into the abbey. This is important to know as there are no luggage storage facilities there, so make sure to store them before you arrive.
While personal photography is permitted inside the church during regular visits, it is not allowed during services. Video recording, flash photography, selfie sticks, and tripods are prohibited.
Finally, as it is a place of worship, make sure to dress respectfully during your visit.
Visiting Westminster Abbey With a Disability
Westminster Abbey has introduced measures to make the site more accessible for visitors with disabilities and mobility concerns. However, it is important to remember that this is a historical landmark, which explains why there are some sections of the abbey with poor accessibility for visitors with reduced mobility.
Visitors with disabilities are eligible for a reduced price ticket, while one carer or guardian can receive free entry to Westminster Abbey.
It is recommended that people with reduced mobility take the North Door entrance as it features a small ramped step. There is also elevator access inside the abbey to reach the State Apartments. Only motorized wheelchairs and mobility scooters compatible with the elevators are permitted inside. Wheelchairs are available on-site for visitors who require them.
Multimedia guides come with descriptive audio tours for visitors with visual impairments, while printed transcripts and British sign language video tours are offered for those with hearing impairments. A hearing loop system is also installed throughout the abbey building. Guide dogs and service dogs are the only animals permitted inside the abbey.
FAQ – Facts About Westminster Abbey
What Is Westminster Abbey?
Westminster Abbey is an abbey church that hosts the coronations of British monarchs and is the burial site for thousands of prominent British figures.
When Was Westminster Abbey Built?
The current Gothic design of Westminster Abbey began construction in 1245 and continued in various phases until the end of the 14th century.
How Old Is Westminster Abbey?
Since the origins of the abbey date back to the 960s, Westminster Abbey is now over 1,000 years old.
Who Built Westminster Abbey?
The original abbey at Westminster was built under the reign of King Edgar, but the current Gothic version was initiated by King Henry III.
Why Was Westminster Abbey Built?
Westminster Abbey was originally built to house a community of Benedictine monks but was repurposed by King Edward the Confessor as a royal burial church.
Where Is Westminster Abbey Located?
The abbey is located in Dean’s Yard in the City of Westminster within Central London.
You should now be well prepared to tour Westminster Abbey and admire this important and beautiful London landmark. From all this information, you hopefully see how beneficial it can be to organize your tickets to Westminster Abbey before going and find the right option that suits you.