Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament, which are also known as the Palace of Westminster, combine the House of Commons and House of Lords. Parliament has met on this site for over 900 years, although the majority of the Medieval part of the building was destroyed by fire in 1834. The iconic building you see today was built to house modern government, though it is now in need of extensive restoration and plans are in place to temporarily move business to a different location to enable it to be carried out.

Indeed the Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben, will be closed until 2021 as it undergoes extensive repairs.

In the meantime, there are opportunities to visit the building by joining one of the guided tours.

Visitor information

Regular events:

  • Behind the scenes tours
  • Public talks
  • The opportunity to watch Parliamentary debates from the public gallery


Address: Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA

Nearest pier: Westminster (Pink Route and Blue Route)

Nearest tube: Westminster

  • District Line
  • Circle Line
  • Jubilee Line

Useful to know:

  • Tours include a tactile tour for the blind and partially sighted.
  • Tours of the Queen Elizabeth Tower (where Big Ben is housed) are suspended until the completion of renovation works.
  • If you want a taster of what’s in store on the tours, there’s a virtual tour online –
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