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Top sights in London
Sir Christopher Wren's architectural masterpiece is one of London's most celebrated landmarks, and the perfect backdrop to your vacation photos! Before you climb the 528 steps up to its spectacular dome, here are a few things to know about its history.
The current St Paul's is the fifth to have been built on or near the site. Little is known about the pre-Norman ones, but the third burned down in a widespread fire in 1087.
The fourth cathedral was also destroyed by fire. After the most famous fire in London's history, Sir Christopher Wren was tasked with building the current cathedral.
Wren was working on repairs to the old cathedral before the Great Fire broke out. He had grand plans for its replacement and used the burned out frame to stabilize the construction.
By 1716 the price of the finished building had reached £1,095,556, financed by a tax on coal. That's £143 million in today's money!
It was no miracle that the Blitz caused minimal damage. For the sake of national morale, Winston Churchill had the capital's fire-fighters prioritize saving the iconic monument!
St Paul's Cathedral is open to sightseers between the hours of 8:30AM and 4:30PM from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays it is only open for worship.
Note that the galleries – including the Golden Gallery in the cathedral's dome – don't open until 9:30AM. Admission tickets include multimedia guides and group tours (subject to guide availability). Book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
Touring the cathedral at a relaxed pace should take approximately 2 hours.
The best tube station for St Paul's Cathedral is on the Central Line and is also called St Paul's, which should be nice and easy to remember! The bus stop of the same name can be reached via the 4, 11, 15, 17, 23, 26, 76, and 172 bus routes.
- When should I visit?
- 8:30AM to 4:30PM Monday through Saturday, worship only on Sundays.
- Is it expensive?
- Adult tickets are £18.00.
- Will I need a guide?
- Admission includes multimedia guides and guided tours, but check our our best-selling tours around the area.
- How to get there
- Take the Central Line to St Paul's, or the 4, 11, 15, 17, 23, 26, 76 or 172 bus to St Paul's.
- Additional information
*Buy tickets online to get a cheaper price, and fast-track entry! |
Filming and photography are not allowed inside the Cathedral. |
Special events may close the Cathedral, so double-check online before your visit! *
What people are saying about St Paul's Cathedral
We did enjoy the tour, but thought for a 3-hour tour @ $50 we could have seen more sites. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and personable. He used a small iPad to show scenes from the films that correlated with the sites we visited, but visibility was poor and fumbling with bringing the pictures used up time. Frankly, I got as much out of the 2-hour HP tour I took last year with Free Tours on Foot, who are very well organized and use much better printed visuals.
We went to a walking tour with and took in so many incredible sights in the city. Made new friends from far and wide!! Thank you for the fantastic tour, John and GetYourGuide, and thank you for providing some of the coolest facts about London. We had the best tour guide in the whole city, hands down. Competition... Psssh, looks like Ed Sheeran and smells like Delores Umbridge. We got #swagrid/#hagrid!!
The tour is interesting for Harry Potter experts and newbies alike. I don't want to spoil the surprises, so just book it and try. It's worth the money and the time! Die Tour ist sowohl fuer Harry Potter Experten wie fuer Banausen interessant. Ich moechte nicht zu viel verraten; am besten einfach buchen und versuchen. Es ist das Geld und die Zeit wert!
Tom was a great tour guide, who had great enthusiasm about Harry Potter, but also the other sights of London. He pointed out other things that we might be interested in seeing while here. The inclusion of the sorting hat and quizzes kept the tour entertaining and encouraged the fan’s competitiveness while keeping it lighthearted and fun. Go Ravenclaw!
I booked this tour and it was the most amazing Harry Potter experience ever. If you are a true potter fan, you will definitely live this. The guides are so nice and the sights are so interesting. An added bonus is where you get sorted into hogwarts houses and do a trivia as you go. Absolutely amazing. I definitely recommend it.