St Paul's Cathedral
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St Paul's Cathedral: Tours & Tickets

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5 historical facts about St Paul's Cathedral

Sir Christopher Wren's architectural masterpiece is one of London's most celebrated landmarks, and the perfect backdrop to your vacation photos! Before you climb the 528 steps up to its spectacular dome, here are a few things to know about its history.

It was predated by several cathedrals for St Paul

The current St Paul's is the fifth to have been built on or near the site. Little is known about the pre-Norman ones, but the third burned down in a widespread fire in 1087.

It was built after the Great Fire of London in 1666

The fourth cathedral was also destroyed by fire. After the most famous fire in London's history, Sir Christopher Wren was tasked with building the current cathedral.

The Old St Paul's was used as a scaffold

Wren was working on repairs to the old cathedral before the Great Fire broke out. He had grand plans for its replacement and used the burned out frame to stabilize the construction.

It wasn't cheap!

By 1716 the price of the finished building had reached £1,095,556, financed by a tax on coal. That's £143 million in today's money!

It survived German air raids in 1940 and 1941

It was no miracle that the Blitz caused minimal damage. For the sake of national morale, Winston Churchill had the capital's fire-fighters prioritize saving the iconic monument!

St Paul's Cathedral: Our Tips

What are the opening times?

St Paul's Cathedral is open to sightseers between the hours of 8:30AM and 4:30PM from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays it is only open for worship. Note that the galleries – including the Golden Gallery in the cathedral's dome – don't open until 9:30AM. Admission tickets include multimedia guides and group tours (subject to guide availability). Book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

How long to visit?

Touring the cathedral at a relaxed pace should take approximately 2 hours.

How to get there?

The best tube station for St Paul's Cathedral is on the Central Line and is also called St Paul's, which should be nice and easy to remember! The bus stop of the same name can be reached via the 4, 11, 15, 17, 23, 26, 76, and 172 bus routes.

Good to Know

  • When to visit
    8:30AM to 4:30PM Monday through Saturday, worship only on Sundays.
  • What is the price?
    Adult tickets are £18.00.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Admission includes multimedia guides and guided tours, but check our our best-selling tours around the area.
  • How to get there
    Take the Central Line to St Paul's, or the 4, 11, 15, 17, 23, 26, 76 or 172 bus to St Paul's.
  • Additional tips
    *Buy tickets online to get a cheaper price, and fast-track entry! | Filming and photography are not allowed inside the Cathedral. | Special events may close the Cathedral, so double-check online before your visit! *

What People Are Saying About St Paul's Cathedral

Masterpiece of architecture display very quitely.

Cathedral closes at 4pm, but even though we came 3,15 pm there was lovely guide with brilliant inside, who gave us 20 min tour, which normally take 2 hours. Getting up to the top of St Paul's copule gave us rewarded view to surrounding city, especially view at Tate moder gallery with Millenium bridge.
St Paul's Cathedral: Skip the Line Entrance Reviewed by Ivan, 10/05/2016

A thoroughly well organised, informative trip.

My young grandson and I thoroughly enjoyed our circular cruise. We particularly liked the friendly and informative staff. It was all very well organised and enjoyable, thank you.
Thames River 50-Minute Circular Cruise Reviewed by Lyn, 09/08/2016

My wife an me enjoyed the trip with Andy

Our guide Andy was very knowledgeable and offered us unforgettable sights of London. We had been five visitors in our group, and we Germans (i.e. my wife and me) could understand Andy´s explanations very well. Thank you so much, Andy, it was a wonderful trip for us!
London's Modern Architecture Walking Tour Reviewed by Heinz, 09/06/2016

Beautiful Catherdal, wished it was sunny!!

It was a nice cathedral, wished we were allowed to take pictures. It was pouring outside, so we only went to the top of one level. It was a nice place though
St Paul's Cathedral: Skip the Line Entrance Reviewed by Heather, 07/13/2016

Splendid place:) would recommend everyone to visit it:))

Great:) especially the paintings:) and the views from the top of the cathedral:))
St Paul's Cathedral: Skip the Line Entrance Reviewed by Andrey, 05/04/2016

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St Paul's Cathedral
Based on 170 reviews by GetYourGuide customers