10 Tips for Visiting Westminster Abbey

By Harshitha Jagathiesh

With 1.5 million guests visiting Westminster Abbey every year, Westminster Abbey is one of London’s most famous landmarks.

Westminster Abbey is a renowned church that hosts services, memorials and events.

Here are some tips for visiting Westminster Abbey for an easy and memorable visit. 

[ez-toc]

1. Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead
Image: Facebook.com

Westminster Abbey is a popular tourist attraction, so planning your visit in advance is advisable. 

Check the official opening hours, special events, and any closures that may affect your visit.

2. Buy Tickets Online

Consider purchasing your tickets online in advance to save time and avoid long queues. 

This allows you to choose a preferred entry time and ensures a smooth entry into the abbey.

3. Respect the Dress Code

Westminster Abbey is a place of worship, and visitors are expected to dress modestly. 

Avoid wearing revealing clothing and ensure your shoulders and knees are covered.

Read more about the dress code while you plan your visit to Westminster Abbey.

4. Join a Guided Tour

Westminster Abbey offers guided tours that provide deeper insights into its history and architecture. 

Consider joining a tour to fully appreciate the significance of the abbey and its notable features.

5. Audio Guide

If you prefer exploring at your own pace, Westminster Abbey offers audio guides in multiple languages. 

With an audio guide to Westminster Abbey, you will learn about its history and points of interest as you wander through its magnificent halls.

6. Photography Restrictions

Photography is not permitted inside Westminster Abbey. 

Respect the abbey’s guidelines and refrain from taking photos or videos during your visit. 

7. Quiet Reflection

Westminster Abbey is an active place of worship.

Show respect for those engaged in prayer or contemplation by maintaining a quiet and reverent demeanor during your visit.

8. Allow Ample Time

Westminster Abbey is a vast complex with numerous chapels, tombs, and points of interest. 

Allocate sufficient time to explore the abbey leisurely, ensuring you don’t rush through its remarkable features.

9. Visit the Cloisters and Gardens

Take a stroll in the tranquil Cloisters and Gardens surrounding Westminster Abbey. 

These peaceful areas offer a break from the bustling city and provide an opportunity for reflection.

10. Check for Special Events

Keep an eye out for special events or services taking place at Westminster Abbey. 

These occasions can enhance your visit and provide unique cultural experiences.

Guide to Westminster Abbey: How to avoid the queues

Guide to Westminster Abbey How to avoid the queues
Image: Queuerage.com

Beyond tips for visiting Westminster Abbey, here is a bonus section that acts as a guide for visiting Westminister Abbey without being stuck in a queue!

1. Arrive during off-peak hours

To avoid the crowds at Westminster Abbey, arriving at the opening time or approximately 20 minutes beforehand is recommended.

During popular summer months(July or August), arriving early might be disheartening as there could already be a long line extending outside the abbey. 

The busiest time of the day is usually around lunchtime, particularly after the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. 

Late afternoons tend to be less crowded but during busy.

2. Arrive on Wednesday’s extended hours

Arrive on Wednesday’s extended hours
Image: Twitter.com

One of the biggest tips for visiting Westminster Abbey would be to utilize extended timings. 

Westminster Abbey has extended hours on Wednesdays, closing at 6 pm. 

The advantage is that only individual visitors are permitted during this time, and no groups or tours are allowed inside. 

Consequently, this period tends to have the fewest crowds. 

If you arrive around 4 pm, you’ll have ample time to explore one of London’s most popular attractions leisurely.

3. Come as a worshipper

During church services at Westminster Abbey, the public can enter for worship free of charge. 

You won’t have access to the tombs and monuments during these times.

Worship services are held daily at the abbey, typically consisting of four services at 7.30 am, 8 am, 12.30 pm, and 5 pm. 

Six services are available on Sundays at 8 am, 10 am, and 11. 15 am, 3 pm, 5.45 pm, and 6.30 pm.

4. Come on the right day

Come on the right day
Image: Blipfoto.com

Avoid visiting Westminster Abbey during the busy summer months of July and August, as queues can last up to an hour. 

Opting for a winter visit is preferable, as visitor numbers are typically at their lowest, and the average wait time is around 5 minutes.

It is best to avoid religious holidays, like Easter and Christmas, since the abbey is crowded and closed to tourists. 

School holidays and public holidays attract more visitors as well. 

Mondays should be avoided on weekdays, while Wednesdays are recommended for scheduling your visit as they tend to be less crowded.

Lastly, Saturdays tend to be the busiest day overall.

FAQs

1. How much time do you need for Westminster Abbey? 

On average, visitors spend approximately 1.5 to 2 hours exploring the abbey. 

However, if you’re interested in delving deeper into its history, admiring the intricate details, or attending a service, you should allocate more time.

2. Can normal people visit Westminster Abbey?

Yes, normal people can visit Westminster Abbey. 

Westminster Abbey is open to the public and welcomes visitors from all walks of life. 

3. Is Westminster Abbey Good for Kids?

Westminster Abbey can be an educational and enriching experience for children, although it may depend on their age and interests.


Are you looking for the best tickets to explore Westminster Abbey?

Here are some of the best tickets for visiting Westminster Abbey and London. 

Entry ticket: Get the opportunity to tour around the cathedral, bell tower, tombs and more with the Westminster Abbey entry ticket.

Guided tour: Tour the famous Westminster Abbey with an expert guide and gain insights about the famous attraction

St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey: Enjoy St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey with one ticket.

Westminster Abbey and Afternoon Tea: Tour the Cathedral and visit the Cellarium Cafe for an English afternoon tea. 

Westminster Abbey and House of Parliament guided tour: Get a tour of the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. 

London Pass: Enjoy access to over 85 attractions, including Westminster Abbey, with just one pass. 

Go City London explorer pass: Visit Westminster Abbey along with 1 to 6 other attractions with this pass. 

Featured Image: Twitter.com

Harshita
About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore