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Royal Observatory Greenwich

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Royal Observatory Greenwich: Our most recommended tours and activities

London: River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

1. London: River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

Explore the River Thames as it weaves through the heart of London and discover fascinating history around every bend. Today, you can experience the splendor of this great city from the relaxed comfort of a modern, all-weather and wheelchair-friendly sightseeing boat. Informative commentary interlaced with colorful tales of the city's past will keep your mind engaged as you cruise down the Thames! Cruises depart frequently from Westminster Pier, Greenwich Pier, London Eye Pier, and Tower Pier, sailing every day of the year except Christmas Day. With a regular timetable, and evening cruises all summer, you can enjoy a full-day on the river in comfort. Hop on and off the boat as many times as you wish to explore sights such as the Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Borough Market, South Bank Centre, and the London Eye. Or grab a refreshment from the on-board bar and relax as you sail past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, the Royal Festival Hall, Cleopatra's Needle, Somerset House, the Millennium Footbridge, Shakespeare's Globe, Monument, H.M.S.Belfast, and much more.

London: Royal Observatory Greenwich Entrance Ticket

2. London: Royal Observatory Greenwich Entrance Ticket

Experience 2 of the world's hemispheres in a single day on a visit to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and visit the historic home of British astronomy. See the world-famous Meridian Line, and stand with one foot in the eastern hemisphere and one in the west. Established in the 17th century, it was at the Royal Observatory where the great scientists of the time precisely mapped the stars to help navigate the seas. The Greenwich Meridian was chosen as the Prime Meridian of the world in 1884, forever putting Greenwich on the map! Learn about the discoveries of great scientists and inventors based at, or associated with, the Royal Observatory, including Harrison, Newton, Halley, Bradley and Airy. See the Octagon Room, the centrepiece of Flamsteed House, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and one of his best-preserved interiors in London. Take in one of the most loved views of London and gaze across royal Greenwich Park, the City of London and the River Thames. You can also visit the modern Astronomy Centre and touch a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite from outer space, or take an awe-inspiring journey through the wonders of space at the Peter Harrison Planetarium.

London: The London Pass with access to 80+ Attractions

3. London: The London Pass with access to 80+ Attractions

See all that London has to offer with the London Pass. With its wealth of history and culture, London always has plenty to offer visitors. The London Pass is a complete sightseer credits package allowing you access to more than 80 top attractions, tours, and museums.  Access a huge range of the top landmarks and attractions including the Tower of London, London Zoo, Windsor Castle, and many more.  Enjoy a 1-Day Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus tour with over 60 stops across London including Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus. The pass is valid for a full working day across 3 routes. You'll also get access to special London Pass holder perks including discounts at gift shops at select attractions.  The London Pass allows access to over 80 attractions including: POPULAR ATTRACTIONS • The View from the Shard • Tower of London • 1-Day Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour • Thames River Boat (Uber Boat by Thames Clippers - 1-day Hop-on Hop-off) • Windsor Castle • Westminster Abbey • London Bridge Experience • Tower Bridge Exhibition • ZSL London Zoo • Kensington Palace PLACES OF INTEREST • Shakespeare's Globe Theatre • Royal Albert Hall • Royal Observatory Greenwich • Old Royal Naval College • The Painted Hall • Cutty Sark • Kew Gardens • Hampton Court Palace • Apsley House • Benjamin Franklin House • The Royal Mews • Eltham Palace • Jewel Tower • The Monument to The Great Fire of London • Golden Hinde • Wellington Arch • Chelsea Physic Garden MUSEUMS & GALLERIES • London Transport Museum • Foundling Museum • Household Cavalry Museum • Charles Dickens Museum • Guards Museum • Cartoon Museum • Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art • Wernher Collection at Ranger's House • Fan Museum • London Canal Museum • London Museum of Water and Steam • Garden Museum • Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising • Queen's Gallery • Pollocks Toy Museum • The Postal Museum TOURS & EXPERIENCES • ArcelorMittal Orbit • Arsenal FC Stadium (Emirates Stadium) • Chelsea FC Stadium Tour • Tottenham Hotspur FC Stadium Tour • Curzon Bloomsbury • Curzon Mayfair Cinema • Curzon Soho Cinema • Swingers Crazy Golf (City and West End venues) • Sherlock: The Official Live Game • Fuller's Brewery Tour • 20+ London Sights and enoy Fish & Chips - Top Sights Tours • 30+ London Sights Tour - Top Sights Tours • Palaces and Parliament Tour - Top Sights Tours • Jason's Original Canal Boat Trip • Kia Oval Ground Tour • London Bicycle Tour • London Bicycle Hire • Brit Movie Tours • QUEENS Skate, Dine & Bowl • Twickenham Stadium Tour & Rugby Museum • Wembley Stadium Tours & more! Please note attractions and tours are subject to change. Please check the digital guide included on your confirmation voucher for the full list of inclusions, opening times, and reservations instructions, when applicable, before you go.

London: Royal Museums Greenwich Day Pass

4. London: Royal Museums Greenwich Day Pass

Make your way to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, which is located in Greenwich Royal Park. As you do, enjoy dramatic views of London across Greenwich Royal Park, the City of London, and the River Thames. Once inside, pick up an audio guide with ten languages available.  Your visit will begin in the Meridian Courtyard. Stand astride the Prime Meridian Line with one foot in the east and the other in the west at the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The tour will take you through Flamsteed House, where you will walk in the footsteps of the Astronomers Royal. Visit the Octagon Room, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is one of the best preserved Wren interiors in London. See Harrison’s clocks, the inventions that changed the world. Discover the Shepherd Gate Clock mounted outside, which was the first clock to show Greenwich Mean Time to the public. Learn about the discoveries of great scientists and inventors based at, or associated with, the Royal Observatory including Harrison, Newton, Halley, Bradley, Maunder, Harrison, Airy, and Einstein. The bright red Time Ball on top of Flamsteed House is one of the world’s earliest public time signals and was first used in 1833 and still operates today. Do not miss the Great Equatorial Telescope in the huge iconic onion dome, which gave astronomers new views of the universe over 100 years ago Head down the hill towards Cutty Sark, the world’s sole surviving tea clipper, which was celebrated for her record-breaking passages around the globe. Come aboard and experience what it was like to sail this much-loved national icon. Initially built for the China tea trade and launched in 1869, Cutty Sark’s original wooden planks and iron frames have been meticulously conserved. As part of an ambitious six-year conservation project, the ship was raised over three meters, giving visitors the unique opportunity to stand directly underneath this world wonder and see her elegant lines and ground-breaking design. It has now been developed into an award-winning museum and visitor experience. Your entrance ticket will allow you to explore her in full. Discover what life was like on board a true survivor of the seas. See the sailors' quarters and take the helm at the ship's wheel. Stand on the main deck and marvel at the towering masts and 11 miles of rigging and enjoy fabulous views of the River Thames. Continue to The Queen's House, a pioneering piece of 17th-century architecture designed by Inigo Jones. View the spectacular art, architecture, and history of this beautiful royal villa. Be sure to stop by The National Maritime Museum, the largest museum of its type in the world. There you'll discover epic stories of exploration and endeavour that helped shaped the world.

From London: Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral & Dover

5. From London: Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral & Dover

Escape the bustle of London on a full-day sightseeing tour of the English countryside. You will head to the Garden of England, with visits to Kent’s Leeds Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover, and Canterbury Cathedral. The journey takes you over the Greenwich Meridian and past the London district that is home to the famous Cutty Sark tea clipper, and the Royal Observatory. Then see Leeds Castle, described by Lord Conway as “the loveliest castle in the world.” Set in the middle of a lake, and surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and gardens, enter the castle before the doors open to the public, and experience its magic in an atmosphere of still tranquility. Have time to explore the castle grounds and find the Lady Baillie Garden, with views over the lake. Next, make your way to Canterbury and visit the historic Canterbury Cathedral. The most important Anglican church in the world, the central Bell Harry Tower dates back to 1498, and the crypt is from the 11th-Century. Your guide will tell the story of the shocking murder of Archbishop Thomas Beckett in 1170, and there will also be time to explore the narrow streets of Canterbury, with an opportunity to stop for lunch. Continue your tour through the picturesque landscape of Kent, dotted with unusual buildings and quaint villages. Arrive at Dover, to see the famous White Cliffs, standing 400 feet above sea level. Brooding above the cliffs is the sprawling Dover Castle, still watching over the town after 800 years.

Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

6. Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

Walk in the footsteps of the “Sun King”, Louis XIV, on a guided tour of his opulent residence, the Palace of Versailles. You will also visit the château of Petit Trianon, located on the grounds of the Palace, which was once the private retreat of Marie Antoinette. Skip the long lines with your priority access ticket and discover the opulence, beauty, and history of the Palace of Versailles on a guided tour. During the 90-minute tour of the main palace, see King and Queen's State Apartments, the King's Bedroom, and the emblematic Hall of Mirrors. Learn about the main figures of the French monarchy throughout the centuries. Hear about the fascinating historical events that took place in many of the palace’s rooms. Then, step out into the lush gardens surrounding the palace. Enjoy a guided tour through the beautiful grounds and feel like a member of past royalty as you marvel at the gardens' grandeur, bronze statues, and ornamental basins accompanied by rows of large trees. Afterward, meet up with your guide and visit Marie Antoinette’s private estate of the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and the Queen's Hamlet. Explore the building which was designed for her to escape from her royal duties. Learn about her private life away from the pomp and ceremony of the Palace.

Greenwich Highlights Half Day Tour

7. Greenwich Highlights Half Day Tour

Starting at the Greenwich Visitor Centre, you'll walk along the River Thames towards the nearby Old Royal Naval College, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. See the famous Painted Hall, with its magnificent murals and painted ceiling, and other important sites of the Old Royal Naval College. From there you will walk up to the world famous Greenwich Royal Observatory, site of the Prime Meridian. Here visitors will see the line that divides the Western and Eastern hemispheres of the globe. Another highlight here are the unique clocks that occupy the Observatory museum, designed by Harrison, which eventually solved the "longitude" problem for seafarers. Following the visit to the Observatory, walk down to the largest maritime museum in the world: the National Maritime Museum. Britain's seafaring past and history as a naval power is on showcase here. You'll have the opportunity to rest your feet and enjoy a tea or coffee here. From here, your guide will take you aboard the world-famous clipper ship Cutty Sark. In her time, at the very end of the Age of Sail, she was the fastest ship on water. Newly restored for a staggering price tag of 50 million pounds, she was reopened to the public on May 1st, 2012. The tour ends at the historic Greenwich Market, home to art galleries, antiques and amazing street food.

London: Thames Cruise to Greenwich with Private Guide

8. London: Thames Cruise to Greenwich with Private Guide

Enjoy unique views of London on 1 hour cruise down the River Thames, and see historic attractions such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, and HMS Belfast. Depart from the pier by Westminster, and head east towards Greenwich. Marvel at some of the most iconic monuments en route, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and towering pyramid of The Shard. Upon arrival in Greenwich, take a walk in Greenwich Park and enjoy panoramic views over London. Go to the Royal Observatory and see the Prime Meridian Line that divides the world into its eastern and western hemispheres. Alternatively, visit the National Maritime Museum and learn more about Britain’s maritime history. Return to central London on the driverless Docklands Light Railway (DLR), passing the contemporary buildings and converted warehouses of the Docklands, now one of London’s most luxurious neighborhoods. See the space-ship like Millennium Dome and the original Canary Wharf tower, one of the tallest towers in the United Kingdom.

London: Greenwich & Thames Bike Tour

9. London: Greenwich & Thames Bike Tour

The meeting point of the tour is at the Sir Walter Raleigh statue, which is located just outside of the Greenwich Tourism Information Centre - about a 2 minute walk from the teaclipper Cutty Sark. Your tour guide will make sure your seat height is just right and your bike helmet is adjusted. To begin, we head up through beautiful Greenwich Park (originally established by King Henry VIII) in order to reach the world famous Greenwich Observatory. The view is amazing, taking in all of maritime Greenwich, Canary Wharf and the City including St. Paul's Cathedral. From here we cycle down through the park, towards the River Thames. We skirt the elegant Queen's House on our way to the Thames bike pathway. We pass the old Greenwich power station, built by the Edwardians in 1903. We are now heading east along the river, towards the O2. Along the way, there is much to see including the busy and ever - changing Thames River itself. The bike path hugs the river and there are lots of scenic pullovers. We reach the famous O2, now in the top 5 globally for entertainment events and concerts. Also, we can stand directly under the Emirates gondola that crosses the Thames, built just in time for the London Olympics of 2012. As we head back along the river towards Greenwich, we will take a much deserved coffee/tea break beside the river. On our way towards Greenwich, we are able to cycle through the historic Old Royal Naval College, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. We see the teaclipper Cutty Sark up close, the only surviving teaclipper in the world. Which brings us back to our starting point - all within about 3 hours.

From Brighton: Greenwich and Cambridge Day Trip

10. From Brighton: Greenwich and Cambridge Day Trip

Start your day with a guided walking tour of Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover breathtaking views from Greenwich Park, stand on the Prime Meridian of the World, where eastern and western hemispheres meet, and learn why Greenwich became the home of time (GMT). Learn why Greenwich is also a hugely popular TV and film location. Netflix filmed scenes from "The Crown" and "Bridgerton" here. Greenwich is also featured in the films "Les Miserables," "Pirates of the Caribbean", and "Thor: The Dark World." Finish your guided walk at the Cutty Sark. Enjoy free time to discover the many culinary options at Greenwich Market, also famous for its arts and crafts. Set off to Cambridge, home to the second oldest university in the English-speaking world. Take a guided tour and discover why people like Sir Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking have made Cambridge famous for its contributions to mathematics and science. Select the additional option to enjoy a 45-minute Punting boat tour on the River Cam.

Other Sightseeing Options in Royal Observatory Greenwich

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What people are saying about Royal Observatory Greenwich

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 1,399 reviews

Laura was an amazing tour guide for our trip to Greenwich and Cambridge! I’m a student at the University of Sussex and my mom, and a family friend, had travelled from Canada to visit for my graduation. Despite the trip including 25 international summer school students, Laura kept everyone on track and engaged. She was incredibly informative with personal stories and about life in Greenwich! She knew a lot about Cambridge and directed us around the city. Her walking tours were a fantastic pace and not to difficult for my adult travellers! The punting was an amazing experience and I’m glad Laura encouraged us to take the trip. It was another mini tour and super relaxing! We will definitely be signing up to another Discovery Tour if we’re back in the UK one day.

If you’re staying in London and you’re short on time you should definitely consider taking the London Pass. If you plan your trip properly and you have that explorer’s zeal in you, you can extract much more value from it than what you pay for in the pass! Even though it doesn’t include some popular attractions like London Eye, Madam Tussaud’s and Sea Life, this pass will definitely help you in simplifying how you should plan your trip in and around London. PS - The availability of the Uber Boat and Hop on Hop off Bus through the pass is a very underrated feature and if used properly can impart great saving value to your trip!

This was a last minute decision and we couldn’t have been happier. Our guide, Kevin was so knowledgeable and friendly. His energy was the difference in this tour. We highly recommend.

Simple and practical, we only had to get the passport for the things we looked at and were able to get in or received an entrance ticket.

We enjoyed this trip very much. All the activities were great .