Big Ben

Big Ben showing heritage architecture, a city and a monument
One of London’s most resounding landmarks is a treasured emblem of England.

Catch a glimpse of Big Ben across the River Thames and you’ll know you have truly arrived in London. Featured in British films, such as “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Notting Hill” and “Love Actually,” Big Ben is best viewed from the Thames’ east bank or while strolling along Westminster Bridge, on route to see the Houses of Parliament.

Big Ben was the name originally given to the largest of the clock tower’s bells. The Great Bell, as it is otherwise known, weighs 13 tons (13,760 kilograms). Listen for its deep knell as it strikes on the hour, peeling high across the rooftops and rush of London’s traffic. Nowadays, the name Big Ben is synonymous with the bells, the clock and the tower.

Since first sounding in July 1859, the clock’s reliability and reassuring chime have become a national symbol of British resilience. When the sun sets, its four ivory-tinted faces are illuminated so the clock can still be seen from miles away. The faces have only ever been dimmed in times of national crisis: for two years during World War I, to avoid German zeppelin attacks, and at night during World War II to disorient German Blitz pilots. 

Completed in 1858, the clock tower was supposedly named after London’s Commissioner of Works, a large man called Benjamin Hall. Designed by architects Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin in classic Gothic Revivalist style, the brick and limestone tower rests atop Britain’s Houses of Parliament. The clock is the largest four-faced chiming clock in Great Britain. Each face is 23 feet (seven meters) in diameter and contains 312 pieces of opal glass. 

Despite its status as a popular landmark, Big Ben only opens its doors to British citizens who can schedule a tour through their parliamentary representatives. Still, this exclusivity won’t stop it from giving you a little rush of excitement the first time you see and hear it.

In June 2012, Big Ben was officially renamed Elizabeth Tower, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee, but it is still known colloquially as Big Ben. 

Big Ben is located in central London. The nearest Underground station is Waterloo. 

Top Hotels Close to Big Ben

The Royal National Hotel
The Royal National Hotel
4 out of 5
38-51 Bedford Way, London, England, WC1H 0DG
The price is ¥18,626 per night from Jul 21 to Jul 22
Stay at this 4-star eco-friendly hotel in London. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the WiFi and the clean rooms in our reviews. ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,078 reviews)
"If you see the staff member named Mustack avoid him at all costs. I arrived on time for my check in and due to how many students use this hotel he was too busy to answer my question. Extremely rude I said excuse me he flashed his hand in my face and said “not now too busy” and went to proceed to ..."

Reviewed on Jun 29, 2022

The Royal National Hotel
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
4 out of 5
200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England, SE1 7UT
The price is ¥39,874 per night from Jul 24 to Jul 25
Stay at this 4-star spa hotel in London. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants, and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in our ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (2,133 reviews)
"This property is in a good location and walking distance to many sights. The staff and services are lovely. Highly recommend."

Reviewed on Jun 26, 2022

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Zedwell Piccadilly
Zedwell Piccadilly
3 out of 5
Great Windmill Street, London, England, W1D 7DH
The price is ¥19,730 per night from Jul 31 to Aug 1
Stay at this 3-star hotel in London. Enjoy free WiFi, a 24-hour front desk, and daily housekeeping. Our guests praise the clean rooms and the overall value in ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (1,072 reviews)
"Extremely expensive for the size of the room. Just a bed and toilet/shower. No privacy besides a sliding glass door."

Reviewed on Jun 29, 2022

Zedwell Piccadilly
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Big Ben

The Royal National Hotel
The Royal National Hotel
4 out of 5
38-51 Bedford Way, London, England, WC1H 0DG
The price is ¥18,626 per night from Jul 21 to Jul 22
The Royal National Hotel
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
4 out of 5
200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England, SE1 7UT
The price is ¥39,874 per night from Jul 24 to Jul 25
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Zedwell Piccadilly
Zedwell Piccadilly
3 out of 5
Great Windmill Street, London, England, W1D 7DH
The price is ¥19,730 per night from Jul 31 to Aug 1
Zedwell Piccadilly
The Strand Palace Hotel
The Strand Palace Hotel
4 out of 5
372 The Strand, London, England, WC2R 0JJ
The price is ¥35,873 per night from Jul 24 to Jul 25
The Strand Palace Hotel
The Westminster London, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Westminster London, Curio Collection by Hilton
4 out of 5
30 John Islip Street, Westminster, London, England, SW1P 4QP
The price is ¥25,981 per night from Jul 24 to Jul 25
The Westminster London, Curio Collection by Hilton
Assembly House Hotel
Assembly House Hotel
3.5 out of 5
27 - 31 Charing Cross Road, London, England, WC2H 0LS
The price is ¥31,044 per night from Jul 24 to Jul 25
Assembly House Hotel
Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square
Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square
4 out of 5
8 Northumberland Ave, (adjacent to Trafalgar Square), London, England, WC2N 5BY
The price is ¥34,123 per night from Jul 24 to Jul 25
Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square
Park Plaza County Hall London
Park Plaza County Hall London
4 out of 5
1 Addington Street, London, England, SE1 7RY
The price is ¥32,976 per night from Jul 31 to Aug 1
Park Plaza County Hall London
The President Hotel
The President Hotel
3.5 out of 5
56-60 Guildford Street, London, England, WC1N 1DB
The price is ¥20,558 per night from Jul 28 to Jul 29
The President Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.