How to get a FREE tour to visit the Big Ben Tower

UPDATE: Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower tours are now suspended due to refurbishment. Tours are scheduled to resume in 2021 once the work is complete.

For millions of visitors around the world, London is represented by the most iconic building in the city, the Big Ben.
Most believe that their access is restricted and just a few know this tour and the possibility to visit the inside, climb the steps of the tower and surround the clock.

This is a free tour with a total duration of approximately 75 minutes.
If you are a UK resident you are lucky because you have the opportunity to visit the Big Ben Tower and the Elizabeth Tower with a tour that includes the guide with explanations about the history of the tower and its clock.

This tour is offered by the British Parliament and generally, the waiting list can go from 6 months to a year. You’d better have patience!

Requirements to apply

#1 All visitors allowed on tours of Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben must be UK residents. There are no exceptions to this.
#2 Visitors should be able to climb the 334 steps without assistance
#3 Visitors with heart-related illness or who are in the later stages of pregnancy are not allowed

Visitors must be over 11 years old

How to apply

You should contact your MP in the area where you live, here is a list of all constitutions filtered by the city. You must write to the person in charge of the area where you reside requesting a visit to ‘Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower tour’.
Here is an example of how to write the email:

Dear Sirs,

I write this email in order to arrange a visit for the Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower tour. Hereby you can find the following visitors details:
Pepe Pérez, ID: 457988D
María Antonia, ID: 346974U
Jesús Cristo, ID: 3546876E

Kind Regards.

And now you just need to wait. After the time (months) if you do not have already desperate you will receive a confirmation with an excel form where to complete the visitor info like full name, date of birth, address, etc. In that confirmation, will appear the day and time for the tour.
This is an example of the one I received:

Visit conditions

#1 All visitors over the age of 18 must provide identification on the day of the tour
#2 You must arrive at the meeting point no later than 15 minutes at the time listed.
#3 Open sandals, flip-flops, and high-heeled shoes are not allowed.
#4 The use of cameras or mobile phones during tour is not permitted

Now you only have to enjoy the clock tower and its history, it is a lifetime opportunity.

If you are planning a trip to London, these articles might be interesting for you:
Top 10 best restaurants where to eat great and affordable in central London
3-day tour in London from the rooftop

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I write for curious and independent travelers that would like to maximise their time and costs, even having a full time job and not "so many holidays".

One Comment

  1. All visitors allowed on Elizabeth Tower/Big Ben tours must be UK residents. There are no exceptions to this..
    I am a Australian citizen and part of the commonwealth and I was refused an entry to the Elizabeth Tower…. What a ancient type of rule. Quite discriminatory.

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