Tourist Information Guide

Visitor's Guide To Westminster in London

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Big Ben in Westminster
Big Ben in Westminster
Westminster is home to the Houses of Parliament. It is within the walls of these old and regal institutions that important national and international decisions are made. On exiting Westminster tube station you will emerge into the light and find the impressive Big Ben and Houses of Parliament buildings standing directly in front of you.

This page will provide you with a guide to what to expect on a visit to Westminster. You will also an overview to Westminster's main attractions. We provide links to detailed pages on the bars and restaurants in the area.

Westminster: what to expect and what makes the area special

As soon as you arrive into Westminster you will feel the buzz and energy of the area. The famous tourist attractions in the area are the following:

However, even if there is not one particular attraction that you are coming to Westminster to visit, the area is worth a visit to simply take a stroll around and soak up the atmosphere. It is an affluent part of town, so you will find a wide selection of high quality bars and restaurants.

How to get to Westminster

Westminster is in the heart of London, just north of the River Thames. It is easiest to use public transport to travel to the city centre - driving in central London is not for the faint hearted and parking can be hard to find (however, if driving into Westminster is essential, see the information below on where to park in the area).

Westminster has its own tube stop by the same name. Once you arrive at the Westminster underground stop, simply leave the station following signs for the Houses of Parliament. You will emerge from the underground and see the stunning Big Ben and Houses of Parliament directly in front of you.

Tube Tube: Westminster (Grey Line / Jubilee Line and Yellow Line / Circle Line and Green Line / District Line)

The Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament are home to Britain's polital parties and the country's political decision makers. They are also historical old buildings that are stunning to take a look around from both the exterior and the interior. To get a real sense of what the Houses of Parliament is like is to visit a speech or debate in the building - this is something that you will need to plan in advance.

One of the main attractions at the Houses of Parliament is Big Ben. This is the large clock tower that sits on the edges of the Parliament buildings and directly on the River Thames. Another popular place to check out is where the Prime Minister lives - 10 Downing Street.

To find out about organising a trip to the Houses of Parliament, including information on Big Ben, 10 Downing Street and tours of the parliament buildings, see our page on the Houses of Parliament.

A memorial in Westminster
A memorial in Westminster

Westminster Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral is a beautiful place of worship. Smaller than the likes of Westminster Abbey or Saint Paul's Cathedral, it offers a serene and intimate space to take time away from the hustle bustle of the city. You can visit the cathedral to worship, to enjoy the architecture, listen to some choral music, get views of London from on high or simply enjoy some quiet reflection.

To find out about the masses, opening times, history and location of Westminster Cathedral, see our page on Westminster Cathedral.

Places to eat nearby

Saint Stephen's Tavern in Westminster
Saint Stephen's Tavern in Westminster

Westminster is not an obvious choice of area to head to for a meal out (it is more famous for its tourist attractions than its restaurants). However, it is an affluent and popular area, ensuring that it is home to a wide range of restaurants. Whether you are in search of some pub grub, an affordable meal, a relaxed café or an upmarket dining experience, you will find what you're after in Westminster.

For listings of some of Westminster's best eateries, including addresses, contact details and what to expect, see our page on Restaurants in Westminster.

Bars in the area

Westminster is not necessarily the sort of area that you would head to for a night out of cocktails and clubbing. However, it is a ideal place to head to if you would like to experience a real taste of British pub culture. In and around Westminster you will find a wide selection of places where you can enjoy a pint of traditional British beer or "real ale" as its known here, and a chat with some locals.

To find out more about the places to go to for a pint to drink in Westminster, including descriptions and contact details, see our page on Bars in Westminster.

Westminster underground station

The tube station in Westminster brings you into the heart of Westminster. It is a convenient tube station as it is on three different tube lines: the Jubilee line (grey line), the Circle line (yellow line) and the District line (green line).

Westminster Underground Station
London Underground Ltd
Bridge Street

Website: Official Website for Westminster underground station

Parking in the area

It is best to travel to Westminster using public transport due to the heavy traffic and lack of places to park. However, if you do need to come in a car, there are a few car parks in the area that you can head to. To check out details of the car parks that sit close to where you are heading, it is worth heading to the Official NCP Car Parks Website.

Westminster is the political home for British political system. If you are interested in politics, it is worth planning in advance if you would like to see a tour or debate in the Houses of Parliament. Alternatively you can simply take a stroll around the area, presided over by Big Ben and soaking up the atmosphere of central London. Make sure to follow our links to the detailed information pages on Westminster before you visit to make sure you make the most of your visit.

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