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Reviewed 23 July 2018

You can spend an entire day at the Tower of London and still not see everything. It's huge and there are many different things to see and do.

But first you have to get in. You can buy tickets ahead of time and queue up for the bag check and wait. Or, you can take one of the tours such as the one run by London Walks which meet outside the Tower and then use the group entrance to skip most of the queue. We paid 10 pounds each for the tour but got 12 pounds off admission to the Tower.

Once you're inside, here are some of the highlights.

Beefeater tour. These guards are a symbol of London and the tower and give regular tours but with as many as 100 or more people at a time. It's your decision whether to take one or not, but in my experience it's difficult to hear what they are saying. If you're lucky to get on a smaller tour they are a great way to see the Tower. They are extremely knowledgeable and tell their stories with humor, humility and compassion.

The White Tower. Dominating the middle of the Tower property, the White Tower was the original building. Today it houses a museum on several floors showing historic suits of armor as well as many other artifacts and weapons. Typically there is no queue to enter the building, but you should be prepared to climb steps as you ascend. At the end of the tour you used to walk down a steep spiral staircase but when we visited in June it had been replaced temporarily with a work staircase while repairs are being completed. The work staircase is actually nicer than the spiral stair although it makes a lot of noise.

The Crown Jewels. This is probably one of the biggest reasons you came to the Tower. The queue (and there is nearly always a queue) is usually pretty long, but moves fast. Expect to wait about 30 minutes. Once you're in the building you'll still have to queue for an additional 15 minutes but there are audiovisual displays to help keep you involved. When you finally get to the jewel vault there is a moving belt that takes you past the jewel cases. Photographs are not permitted but you are allowed to go back and ride the conveyor as many times as you like.

Wall walks and towers. These vary from time to time, and this summer there were at least three different ones. One includes a look at some medieval torture devices. I suggest watching the queues and when they get short you take those when time permits.

Beuchamp Tower. A personal favorite and often overlooked, this tower was a prison for more than 100 years and some very interesting graffitti was carved into its walls. It will only take you 15 minutes, but well worth the stop. It's up near Tower Green.

Tower Green. This was the site of the private executions. Today a sculpture of a pillow marks the site.

The Ravens. Don't miss the spiritual guardians of the Tower. They can't fy because their wings have been clipped but they still manage to climb to many points in the Tower and squawk at tourists. Don't feed them your fingers, and if you go to the raven cages, ignore the squawking noises which are a recording.

Toilets. There are toilets near Traitor's Gate, down by the Thames exit, but they are very small and there is almost always a queue. The better choice is when you're exiting the Jewel House - those toilets are larger and more modern. There is a third choice if you dine at the Armory Cafe, they have toilets there as well.

Food. The Armory Cafe has reasonable prices and a good selection of healthy food.

Exiting. The exit is NOT where the entrance is. It's down by the water gate and exits onto a promenade along the Thames. You can have your hand stamped in case you want to leave and get lunch nearby and return.

Have a great visit to this iconic structure known around the world.

4  Thank copperdragon66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2018

My wife, Mother and I went in early June of 2018. You just cant beat the History here. From the Crown Jewels to the Tower itself it is awe inspiring. You could really spend a whole day here. Can not recommend it enough it is a must see if in London.

Thank marshmitchell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2018

I am a history buff so the Tower was my thing. The guides were superb and happy to share their knowledge. Of course, one must visit the Crown Jewels, they are quite impressive. The Tower is even better after hours. Do try to get passes to the Key Ceremony, which takes place at 9:30 pm. There is something special about the Ceremony and being in the Tower after hours. The night view are spectacular.

1  Thank cathyhutch2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2018

London is full of fantastic modern architecture and it stands side by side with the likes of the ''Tower of London'' but the ToL will still be standing when the Shard and the like are dust. The Tower is full of mystery and magic, what an atmosphere in the place. Better to spend your money here than the £30 to get you up the Shard.

1  Thank Ewen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2018 via mobile

I always have thought of the Tower of London as the tortuous prison that housed many queens and famous people. There is so much more to know about this palace! We rented the head set which is a must and gives you lots of historical info. There are 1/2 tours given by the yeomen? however they were very crowded so we skipped that. The only area that was super crowded was where the crowd jewels are located. Otherwise you can take your time wandering around this beautiful site. Make sure you don’t miss the ravens!

1  Thank 156gillianf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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