Westminster
Westminster
4.5
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Top ways to experience Westminster
The area
Neighborhood: Westminster
If you only had an afternoon to experience London on a grand scale, Westminster would be a wise place to start. The ornate Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey sit adjacent at a corner of Parliament Square, and a short stroll along The Mall leads to Buckingham Palace. Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column are just up the road as well. As captivating as the architecture is, the wonders of Mother Nature are highlights of the area too. St James's Park (arguably London's loveliest), the expansive Green Park, and pedestrian friendly tree lined paths along the river showcase the exquisite manicure provided by English gardeners. Just beyond the landmarks and the gorgeous outdoor spaces, quiet residential squares and age old local pubs offer a more subdued take on this global seat of power in the heart of London.
How to get there
  • Embankment • 9 min walk
  • Charing Cross • 9 min walk
Best nearby
Restaurants
10,000 within 3 miles
Attractions
2,191 within 6 miles
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
4,548 reviews
Excellent
3,103
Very good
1,203
Average
203
Poor
32
Terrible
7

01agency
Orlando, FL2 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
All the major places we visited where wonderful! We took the underground from Heathrow Airport to our hotel..it was a good experience, but our heavy luggage made it somewhat tedious.

We decided to take an uber on our way back $50 vs $100 for a taxi.

Heathrow was a zoo yesterday. We had to wait 4 hours for passengers to make tge flight because all the delays at the airport.
Written July 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

teenabeena
lancashire94 contributions
Dec 2021 • Couples
Stayed in the Westminster area over New Year. It was extremely clean and looked amazing as lots of buildings were lit up. Fantastic historical buildings to visit or just walk by. Get your comfy walking shoes on as you will be doing lots of it.
Written February 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lucretia2017
United Kingdom246 contributions
Sep 2021 • Family
If you want to go on a historic walk, you should definitely go here. The city of Westminster is full of history. You can see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, which I would recommend. There are many ways to get there.
Written September 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

IrishRover
Pittsburgh, PA2,764 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
City inside a City. Take the Tube to the Westminster Station and as your walk out you are in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Westminster. Plenty to see and do within a few blocks and the views of the Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abby and Parliament are all with in view from a single spot
Written July 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paul Brown
London, UK2,377 contributions
Jun 2018 • Family
Very old and large therefore some couldn't be design for wheelchair
Mind you that you only allow to enter some hour + some fee
Written June 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dimitris L
Sydney, Australia41,309 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
Westminster is the centre of London. There are numerous important sites to visit and see. The Parliament House, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, to name a few. There are numerous cafes, restaurants and other types of shops in the area. And there are thousands of people that give life to the city. During our visit there was also a public demonstration against Brexit outside Parliament House. Lots of fun!
Written December 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Malarchy
Vienna, Austria844 contributions
Feb 2020
The Westminster district of London in the City of Westminster is one of the most famous districts in the world. It has been the home of English and then British democratic traditions for more than 800 years. The whole place is synonymous with the projection of those values and of British power. It is an awe-inspiring part of the world which has witnessed so many world-turning events.

Westminster's boundaries to the south are formed by the River Thames. It is of course always a pleasure to look at but in this case it is better to be on the southern bank to be able to look back at the Westminster frontage which is among the most remarkable seen anywhere on a riverbank.

Taking centre stage of course is the Palace of Westminster which dates from only 1876 after rebuild following fire but the history of the building reaches back as far as 1016 or 50 years before the arrival of the Normans. There is no doubt this place is history and is so well-known for its values that the phrase Westminster Democracy is a widely used substitute for Parliamentary sovereignty representing distinct units throughout the country as a whole.

The Palace of Westminster is just incredible. The Elizabeth Tower holding Big Ben is the most famous aspect but actually the rest of the building is much more imposing and exceptional. It is possibly best viewed from afar but close up there is so much to be amazed by with the incredibly ornate detail.

The area around the Palace of Westminsters matters. This is also the real home of power in the UK. Parliamentary democracy is one aspect but the bulk of the civil service's key decision making bodies sit close by along Whitehall. Those buildings are themselves simply gorgeous including 100 Parliament Street and King Charles Street in particular. Downing Street is exceptionally famous but not especially beautiful. Whitehall itself contains numerous statues and representations of various phases of history, many of them rightly displaying the grandeur of a place that once ran the largest Empire ever known to man.

Westminster Square is a slightly strange place with various statues that have little if anything to do with the UK. The statues are to be honest overlooked and probably would be more appreciated somewhere else. The Square is also a location for protest and celebration. Frequently the febrile political atmosphere adds to the experience whether that be the vibrant anti-war campaigners or the jubilance of the successful Brexit supporters.

The amazing buildings just keep on coming. Westminster and Lambeth bridges are both pleasant places though the necessary protective barriers are an unfortunate reminder of our times.

Other must-see parts of the district include of course Westminster Abbey, the location of Royal coronations for England and Britain. It is a magnificent experience to see and feel the atmosphere. The Abbey's history is barely believable stretching back to 940 and having so many stories to tell.

Some of the age of the area can be seen by a stretch of the ancient wall which still stands. It is rarely noticed but what an incredible piece of history it is.

Westminster's influence stretches into the Royal domain through Horse Guards Parade which is one of the great squares anywhere. The square looks on to St James Park which is a lovely green space with plenty of birds but really quite busy. Buckingham Palace is nowhere near as impressive as many of the other buildings in the area but its significance is what matters.

On top of these structures is the history of place. There are hardly any other places if any that have seen so much. The development of democratic values and the competition between Royal and popular power played out here. As did much of the planning and decision making for the great competitions against European nations as England merged with Scotland then went on to become the pre-eminent country of the world.

As time went on the various social impacts of quests such as womens rights played out here. As did the birth of the blitz spirit then the era of protest as well as celebration. The number of stories this place has to tell is mind-blowing.

Westinster stretches out towards the smaller district of Victoria and there is so much social history there. Much of this is Grosvernor land or at least was. Still, the people who lived here are also pretty remarkable and some of that is retained in some of the residential buildings that identify in particular the medical workers of this location. The communal living spaces with small flats that make up most of the residential part of Westminster continue to tell new and exciting stories that are often unheard by those who only see the the tourist areas.

The watering holes of the area are at times legendary. This is a place for mixing and mingling. None lack in atmosphere and all have their place, many with Division Bells proudly displayed.

There is maybe nowhere in the world like Westminster. It is quite possibly the most remarkable district to be found anywhere because of its history, its grandeur, its people, and the memories that are obvious everywhere. Westminster is one of the world's great wonders.
Written April 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

James_Kelly
Vancouver, Canada2 contributions
Jun 2019 • Family
Just wanted to thank the people on here who were saying to download the Vidi Guides audio guide app for the Westminster area (Big Ben, Churchill War rooms, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament). Such a great app. Content was super engaging and fun and not overly long (which I hate). Really added to the whole experience!
Written June 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dcmou
Murphy, NC210 contributions
Jan 2015 • Friends
Magnificent! Not to be missed. Do check ahead for closing times as they close at 1:30 on certain days or for special events. It is well worth waiting in line for and not to be missed. Amazing what was built without modern equipment and technology. Breathtaking. I've been to Westminster Abbey many times before and never tire of seeing the splendor of this cathedral. Amazing the famous people who are buried here. Love the *Tomb of the Unknown Soldier* and that the Queen Mother placed flowers there after the war as did Queen Elizabeth who placed flowers there after the Queen Mothers funeral. So touching. Just a beautiful and spiritual place to visit. Light a candle there and say a special prayer. Very spiritual.

I recommend buying the London Pass if you are visiting London for a few days or a week as it saves time and money and avoids having to stand in additional lines once you get inside to purchase tickets. Found it to be well worth the money and we also bought the tube option (tube option *must be bought before arriving in London*). It saved a lot on the tube. Some attractions have a special London Pass express line. Westminster Abbey does not others do and it does help to save some time.

Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament Buildings and the London Eye are all very close together and you will want walk out on the bridge to see the Thames River, the Parliament Buildings, Big Ben and for some great photos opportunities. Do make sure you go to Westminster Abbey first so you will be able to get in as they will stop allowing people in when the cut off time comes - even if you have been waiting in line for awhile. But don't miss it! One of the highlights of London!
Written February 21, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

desito07
Portsmouth, UK1,621 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
Beautiful building no question! Beside of seeing in so many times, this visit was because of one of the HP movie locations...the flight of the Order of the Phoenix
Written August 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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