Saint Paul's Cathedral is a dominating building where you can get away from the hustle-bustle of the fast-moving pace of the capital. It is also a place where you can steep yourself in history and learn about the Cathedral and its role in the city. The iconic dome of the cathedral can be seen from spots all over the city and makes up an important part of the Thames River's skyline. The cathedral has been the venue for some important national events, including peace services, high profile funerals and royal weddings.
Here is an overview to the cathedral, a description of a visit there, links to detailed pages on ticketing and tours, photographs, advice on where to eat close to the cathedral, location details, contact details and opening times.
Whether you are religious or not, you will find aspects that interest you at Saint Paul's Cathedral. You can visit the building for various reasons:
Many come to the cathedral for the music that is on offer. Saint Paul's Cathedral Choir is world-renowned, and you can see them sing each day at the cathedral. Included in the price of your entrance ticket you can see the choir sing Evensong (the evening mass) each day.
Timetable for the Choir Singing
Monday - Saturday: 17:00
Sunday: 10:15, 11:30, 15:15
In terms of music you can also come to hear the Grand Organ being played. To check the daily times for organ concerts see the Official Saint Paul's Cathedral Grand Organ page.
If you would like to attend a mass at the Cathedral you can find the daily mass times on the Official Saint Paul's Cathedral Website worship page. You will not need to pay an entrance price if you would like to attend a mass.
If you are interested in the history of the cathedral you will enjoy Tours at Saint Paul's Cathedral. The guided tours and audio guides will lead you to important parts of the cathedral such as the history of the nation carved on the pillars of the cathedral, the crypt (where you will find effigies and fragments of stone that pre-date the current cathedral), the Whispering gallery, the mosaics added in the time of Queen Victoria (she complained that the cathedral's interior was 'most dreary, dingy and undevotional'!), the American Memorial chapel and the altar.
During the tour you will also learn about important events that have taken place throughout the cathedral's history. The first service at the cathedral took place in 1697. Following this, events including the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill have taken place. It has also been the site of Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations, memorial services for the first and second world wars, birthday celebrations for the Queen Mother and, of course, the unforgettable wedding of Charles and Diana.
Saint Paul's Cathedral has changed over the years, but there has been a cathedral on the current site for over 1400 years. The cathedral that now overlooks the city was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1675 and 1710. The cathedral that stood in its place was burnt down in the Great Fire of London. It is a place with a tremendous deal of history.
On arriving at the cathedral, take a walk around the outside of the cathedral as the exterior is well-designed and it is interesting to see the cathedral sitting in the modern surroundings of the city. As you enter the cathedral, be sure to remember that you are entering a place of worship - keep your voice down and cover your shoulders.
You will find the ticket desk immediately in front of you after you come through the main entrance. Once you have paid, you will be able to make your way around the expansive cathedral.
For a guide to buying tickets at Saint Paul's Cathedral you can check our Guide to Ticketing at Saint Paul's Cathedral. Here you will find information on ticket prices, different tickets available, how to buy tickets and contact details for tickets.
Opening times at Saint Paul's Cathedral can vary depending on special dates in their calendar. However, they do offer a general timetable of opening times in terms of sightseeing:
Monday - Saturday: 08:30 - 16:30
Sundays: The cathedral is not open for sightseeing, only for worship (see the link above for mass times)
If you want to check that the cathedral will definitely be open during your visit, it is worth checking the Saint Paul's Cathedral Official website's cathedral calendar. It is important to remember that the cathedral is, first and foremost, a place of worship. This means that during important days of worship the cathedral may not be fully open for tourist visits.
Saint Paul's Cathedral
Saint Paul's Churchyard
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7246 8350 (Saint Paul's Cathedral general enquiries)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7246 8357 (Visits Enquiries)
Saint Paul's Cathedral's closest tube stop is St Paul's. From the tube stop you can follow signs for the cathedral and you will reach it in about two minutes.
Tube: Saint Paul's (Red Line / Central Line)
Saint Paul's Cathedral has its own eateries on site. There is both a café and a restaurant, both of which are located in the crypt of the cathedral.
The Café at Saint Paul's
The café specialises in traditional British food. They offer a range of traditional baked goods including Chelsea buns, lardy cake and Victoria sponge cake. They also offer soups, sandwiches and a Ploughman's lunch.
Monday - Saturday: 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday: 10:00 - 16:00
The Restaurant at Saint Paul's
The cathedral's restaurant offers a fixed price lunch menu that changes on a regular basis. You can also come to the restaurant for afternoon tea.
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 09:00 - 17:00
Afternoon tea: Monday - Saturday: 10:30 - 16:30
If you don't fancy eating in the cathedral itself you will have a whole variety of eating options in the area surrounding the cathedral. You will be in the heart of the city and will find quick eating options such as Marks and Spencers Simply Food and Pret A Manger or more upmarket restaurant options.
There is a limited amount of parking in the Saint Paul's Cathedral coach park. However this is only available for travellers with a disabled badge.
There is a public car park on Queen Victoria Street that sits to the South of the cathedral. However the cathedral authorities advise that, whenever possible, you take public transport to the cathedral as on-street parking is minimal around the cathedral.
For details on hotels in the area surrounding Saint Paul's Cathedral, see our Guide to Hotels Near to Saint Paul's Cathedral
Whether you are interested in visiting Saint Paul's to see the architecture, learn about the history, listen to the music or worship at a mass, you will find the cathedral to be an enlightening experience. Make sure that, prior to your visit, you check whether the cathedral will be open for what you plan to go there for. There is something for the family to enjoy at Saint Paul's Cathedral. To gain as much knowledge of the cathedral as possible during your visit it is worth taking one of the guided tours or audio tours. For details, see our Guide to Tours at Saint Paul's Cathedral.