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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
Although we didn’t really need these tickets as it wasn’t at all busy it certainly put my mind at ease. I imagine the queues could at times be long. We joined the free 90 minute tour which was conducted by a very nice elderly knowledgeable gentleman. He really was an excellent guide. After our tour we climbed to the top of the dome 500+ steps some very steep and scary. But worth the effort. I personally love the cathedral. The tour included the crypt where you saw some famous people buried in their tombs ie Horatio Nelson, Duke of Wellington and Christopher Wren. Highly recommend St. Paul’s Cathedral.
We (the family) had an enjoyable tour around the Harry Potter sites of London. The only disappointment was the scaffolding around the inspiration for Diagon Alley. However, this wasn't the fault of the tour organisers. Cate explained the stories passionately and was great with the kids. My daughter immediately attached herself to Cate. A great activity for Harry Potter fans looking for something different in the capital.
We had an exceptional tour with Caroline. She had great knowledge of both the history behind different parts of London as well how this played into the different locations in the Harry Potter films/books. I would recommend this to any Harry Potter fanatic who is in London. I’ve seen parts of London I’ve never seen before and this tour had a really fun element of answering questions to score house points!
Me and my granddaughter had an amazing bonding time whilst seeing our favourite films in real life, right in front of us! We definitely recommend this tour as it is enjoyable for all of the family! We also recommend having Ryan as your tour guide as he explained everything in detail about the films and places we saw!
Our guide Nic was great! Very knowledgable about both the films and London. It was great to be standing in some of the film locations. Also loved that we were all split into houses, it was great to see both kids and adults answering the quiz questions. I would definitely recommend this tour.