Things to do in
Houses of Parliament

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Houses of Parliament: Our most recommended tours and activities

London: Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise

1. London: Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise

Admire the views of London's most iconic sights with a cruise on the River Thames. Cruise to Greenwich to see London's historical sights from the River Thames. Journey past iconic sights such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, and the Tate Modern. Choose between either a one-way or round-trip journey, with skip-the-line entry. Listen to the live audio commentary as you enjoy the comfort of a modern but traditional vessel. Admire the pyramid-structure of The Shard and see other monuments from London's historic waterway. Head to the open deck for panoramic views of London's landmarks. Stop at Embankment Pier, Festival Pier, and Tower Bridge Quay before arriving at Greenwich Pier. Feel free to explore the charms of Greenwich on your own terms, and see sights such as Greenwich Market, the Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Park, and the Royal Observatory which are all within easy walking distance from the pier.

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London: River Thames Dinner Cruise

2. London: River Thames Dinner Cruise

Take a leisurely evening cruise through the heart of London to see its famous sights illuminated at night. In the summer, there is the added delight of watching the sun set from the water before the lights come alive! The 3-hour cruise from Westminster to the Thames Barrier and back starts with a welcome drink when you board. Follow your cocktail with a delicious 4-course dinner, plus entertainment from a live singer. This dinner cruise from the heart of London combines a great meal with cabaret and dancing. Sail past the modern landmarks of the O2 Arena, Canary Wharf, and City Hall, and continue as far as the monumental Thames Barrier flood defense before turning back to the Houses of Parliament. By the time darkness falls, dinner gives way to a cabaret singer performing tunes from West End Shows both past and present, along with other popular music. Although dancing is encouraged during and after the cabaret performance, if you prefer you can sit back and simply enjoy the music and floodlit sights. The cruise ends at the original starting point. Menu • Scottish Smoked Salmon Mousse with Mustard and Dill Center, King Prawns with Lemon and Mesclun Salad • Tomato, Roast Pepper, and Basil Soup • Roasted Supreme of Chicken Wrapped in Parma Ham, served with Dauphinoise Potatoes and Mushrooms with Thyme and Red Wine Sauce, along with Seasonal Vegetables • White, Dark, and Milk Chocolate Truffle Cake with Raspberry Sauce • Tea or Coffee, Mints Vegetarian Menu • Salad with Feta, Walnuts, Green Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Roast Peppers, Pumpkin, and Olives with Honey Dressing • Tomato, Roast Pepper, and Basil Soup • Lasagne with Artichokes, Spinach, Sauté of Mixed Mushrooms, and Goat's Cheese, along with Seasonal Vegetables • White, Dark, and Milk Chocolate Truffle Cake with Raspberry Sauce • Tea or Coffee, Mints

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River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

3. River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

Explore the River Thames as it weaves through the heart of London and discover fascinating history around every bend. Today, you can experience the splendor of this great city from the relaxed comfort of a modern, all-weather and wheelchair-friendly sightseeing boat. Informative commentary interlaced with colorful tales of the city's past will keep your mind engaged as you cruise down the Thames! Cruises depart frequently from Westminster Pier, Greenwich Pier, London Eye Pier, and Tower Pier, sailing every day of the year except Christmas Day. With a regular timetable, and evening cruises all summer, you can enjoy a full-day on the river in comfort. Hop on and off the boat as many times as you wish to explore sights such as the Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Borough Market, South Bank Centre, and the London Eye. Or grab a refreshment from the on-board bar and relax as you sail past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, the Royal Festival Hall, Cleopatra's Needle, Somerset House, the Millennium Footbridge, Shakespeare's Globe, Monument, H.M.S.Belfast, and much more.

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Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

4. Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

Discover the best of London with a hop-on, hop-off tour on-board an open-top, double-decker bus and enjoy a trip on the London Eye as part of your ticket. A hop-on, hop-off tour is the ideal way to discover the best sights, landmarks and attractions of London at your own pace. The tour gives you unlimited use, with stops strategically placed at all the places you would like to visit including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge and St Pauls Cathedral. Hop off the bus at Westminster Bridge to take an unforgettable ride on the London Eye. From the top, you can take in the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city's impressive skyline. See the city's most famous sights including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from an unrivalled bird's eye view. You can start your tour at any of the Big Bus stops. Popular starting points include the London Eye, Marble Arch, Victoria Station and Trafalgar Square. With all ticket types you can enjoy a boat cruise along the River Thames. A Classic ticket includes a single river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London (in either direction) whilst the Premium and Premium Plus tickets include a return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich with the option to break the journey at the Tower of London. Departure times vary for the river cruise. You can board the river cruise at Tower Pier (near stop 16), Greenwich Pier, Westminster Pier (near stop 18) and the London Eye Pier (near stop 11). Big Bus route highlights include Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, London Dungeon, Sea Life London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Covent Garden, Bank of England, Monument, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The Shard, City Hall, Lambeth Palace, British Museum, Marble Arch, Mayfair, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Harrods, South Kensington Museums, Kensington Palace and Notting Hill.

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Westminster Abbey Tour with Optional Houses of Parliament

5. Westminster Abbey Tour with Optional Houses of Parliament

Meet your guide at the entrance to Westminster Abbey at 09:15 AM, and then look inside the historic monument to stand in the footsteps of kings and queens. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been held in the abbey, as have many royal weddings, including that of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011. Then, take a panoramic tour around the Houses of Parliament and pass the Elizabeth Tower where the famous Big Ben bell chimes every quarter hour. Learn about the role of MPs who sit in the House of Commons and the function of the House of Lords. Hear how, and why, the Elizabeth Tower and its great clock and iconic bell were built. For a more complete experience, select the option that includes the ticket to the Parliament and get an audio guided tour inside the building.  Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace of Westminster (the official name of the Houses of Parliament) boasts an ostentatious façade with golden spires and statues of kings that reflect in the River Thames. Listen as your guide explains the history of the building, from the first medieval clock tower built in the old Palace of Westminster, to the design and construction of the present Elizabeth Tower.  

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London: Westminster Walking Tour & The Tower of London Entry

6. London: Westminster Walking Tour & The Tower of London Entry

Start with a walking tour of the Westminster area, where your tour guide will escort you to 20 different historical and cultural sights. Head through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, admiring the well-manicured trees and flowers along the way. At the palace, watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard Ceremony. Afterward, see 17 other iconic London sights such as Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. Then, step into the Tower of London, where there is an abundance of history, stories, and ghosts to be found. Marvel at the Crown Jewels and other fascinating historical artifacts including the suits of armor worn by the Kings of England. See the cells where prisoners were once kept. Journey back in time and take an exciting trip into England's past.

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London: Tootbus Must See Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Cruise

7. London: Tootbus Must See Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Cruise

Hop on board the Must See London tour, sit back, relax, and (re)discover the city from a whole new perspective. See the best bits of London on this tour designed to see the most famous sights and incredible views of the city. Enjoy a tour past London's top attractions and landmarks including; Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, and Downing Street. Start the tour at any of the bus stops. Be welcome on board whether you are a first-time visitor with just a few hours in town and want to get a taste of London or a Londoner who wants to experience the city differently. Download the Tootbus app to easily find your way around, follow the buses in real-time, and enjoy self-guided walking tours to help you explore more of London.

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London: Westminster Walking Tour with Churchill’s War Rooms

8. London: Westminster Walking Tour with Churchill’s War Rooms

Explore the World War II history of London’s Westminster district and discover the secret bunker that Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his government used during the German bombing campaigns. Home to undercover and often underground bases for governments in exile, Westminster suffered especially badly during the blitz and was awash with espionage. Your unique tour starts with a walk around some of London’s most historic sites, such as 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. End at the Cenotaph, built as a memorial to the First World War and now the UK’s primary national war memorial. Along the way, see the statue of Sir Winston Churchill and the monument to the Women of World War II, hear about governments and monarchs that were forced into exile in London as Germany overtook the nations of Europe and more. Then, it’s time to head to the wartime bunker of the Churchill War Rooms. Tour the Churchill Museum and learn about the maze of underground rooms that were used to plot and plan war strategies. Although your guide will not accompany you inside, you'll be able to browse the War Rooms at your leisure and hear fascinating facts from your audio guide as you wander round. Experience what life was like for those that worked in the dark rooms and how they deciphered enemy communications and created maps of the army’s movements. Learn about the primitive sun lamps that were used to get sufficient levels of vitamin D and how even the families of those that worked there couldn't know what they did for a living. Explore the legacy of Sir Winston Churchill and hear authentic audio of his inspiring wartime speeches. Discover fascinating stories about Churchill’s private and public life, from his love of his wife to his special relationship with President Roosevelt. You’ll even see the original door to 10 Downing Street that he walked through after becoming prime minister. The war rooms have been preserved exactly as they were on the day the lights were switched off in 1945, with signs that indicated the weather outside. As you venture deeper into the labyrinth, discover how life continued underground, from top-secret conversations between Churchill and Roosevelt in the Transatlantic Telephone Room, to simple domestic concerns in Churchill’s kitchen.

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London: 6-Course Luxury Dinner Bus Tour

9. London: 6-Course Luxury Dinner Bus Tour

After meeting your bus at the Victoria Embankment bus stop 40B, you will be greeted personally and seated at your own table aboard the top deck of the glass-roofed, luxury coach. During the 3-hour tour, a full 6-course meal, all prepared and cooked fresh on-board, will be served whilst traveling past London's most famous sights. You will encounter St. Paul's, the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Shard, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and many more. Enhance your experience by adding a wine pairing option, carefully chosen to bring out the best in each flavorful dish. At the conclusion of this gourmet sightseeing experience, you will be returned to your starting point at the Victoria Embankment.

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London Vintage Bus Tour and Cream Tea at Harrods

10. London Vintage Bus Tour and Cream Tea at Harrods

London Vintage Bus & Boat Tour See the highlights of London via 2 classic modes of transport on this half-day adventure. First, you will enjoy great views of Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye as you meander through the historic streets on board a vintage double-decker bus. Continue on and see St. Paul’s Cathedral - Sir Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece, where Admirals Nelson and Wellington are buried, and where Princess Diana and Prince Charles got married. Proceed to the Tower of London, built nearly 1,000 years ago during the reign of William the Conqueror. Home to the Crown Jewels, the Tower is protected by the famous Beefeaters, and the imposing palace has been used as a fortress and a prison throughout its history. Your guide will take you to Traitors' Gate, where prisoners entered the Tower for the last time. Next, take a short river cruise along the Thames, passing Shakespeare’s Globe, Cleopatra’s Needle, and London Bridge, before arriving at Westminster Pier. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Houses of Parliament

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What people are saying about Houses of Parliament

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 6,078 reviews

It was a great day. The tour guide is informative, fun and friendly. It was a great way to sight see around London. In case you're worried about London traffic - you don't cycle anywhere dangerous. I would and have been recommending this activity to others.

every visitor who wants to experience something unforgettable should definitely have a dinner at Bustro Nome. everything was special. the food was incredibly tasty. purity was at the highest level

A great, safe way to explore London and learn loads of different/fun facts. Wrap up warm if it’s winter - although there’s plenty of cycling, it gets quite cold with all the stops.

It was a great trip down the Thames. The commentary was informative and funny. The ship was nice and spacious with roof viewing too. Definitely worth it!

Great day on the Thames boat. Easy to book and a great app that took care of everything including finding the dock and all the tickets.