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Last updated: 06 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Sarah Barrell

Instantly recognisable, and one of London’s best-loved monuments, St Paul’s Cathedral was the greatest achievement of 17th-century architect Sir Christopher Wren. Taking 33 years to build, it was declared officially complete on Christmas Day 1711 (although work continued for some time after) and remained the tallest building in London until 1967. Through astonishing luck – or perhaps divine intervention – St Paul’s survived (virtually unscathed) the 1940 World War II bombing blitz – and the ensuing fire – that flattened or destroyed almost every other building for miles around it.

Still the second largest cathedral in the UK, the church is famed for the height of its vast dome (111m) and the incredible acoustics of the Whispering Gallery. Legend has it that if you stand on one side of the gallery and whisper along the wall, someone listening on the opposite side (33m away) will be able to hear you.

Don't miss

The Whispering Gallery sits 30m above the nave, but the Golden Gallery – some 55m higher – offers the greatest treat. An outdoor walkway that wraps around the highest point of the dome, the views across London are spectacular.

Down below, the crypt is the final resting place of Wellington, Nelson, and Wren himself. A daily pattern of prayer and evensong are at the heart of Cathedral life, with all-comers welcome.

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Price from: £17
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The nearest Underground station is St Paul’s (Central Line). There are free, daily guided tours of the cathedral, plus self-guided audio tours, which give a bit of extra background.

When to do it

It’s open to visitors all year round, usually Monday to Saturday. It’s open Sunday for religious services only.

The Christian holidays – notably Easter and Christmas – are marked by beautiful services. The advent season at St Paul’s attracts thousands for its programme of carols and concerts.

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

St Paul's Cathedral Admission Ticket

St Paul's Cathedral Admission Ticket


Receive entry into St Paul's Cathedral - Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece. Explore the vast Cathedral Floor with its exquisite decor of mo...

£20 | Rating 4.50 / 5 [603 ratings]

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Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Sea Containers London

London, United Kingdom (UK)[0.9 miles]

Right on the Thames, with views of St Pauls across the water, this cleverly-converted former shipping office has become one of the capital’s grandest and most glam hotels.

Official star rating:

Zetter Townhouse Clerkenwell

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.1 miles]

This quietly cool bolthole hotel is stacked with personality, luxurious amenities and a fabulous cocktail lounge.

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Shangri-La at the Shard

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.3 miles]

Housed in London’s newest landmark, the Shangri-La offers the best views in town, along with fine dining, innovative cocktails and a lofty infinity pool.

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CitizenM Tower of London

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.6 miles]

An affordable design hotel overlooking the Tower of London, with pod-style rooms and a hip bar and restaurant.

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