TOP 10 London Tourist Attractions by Queue Time and Price, revealed

Are you also tired of waiting in the queue but do not know which London attraction is the best and easiest to visit? We have the answer! We have tested and ranked attractions in the British capital based on 3 criteria: wait time, price and TripAdvisor rating.

Is your favourite attraction on our list? Great! Now, you can check how long you would have to wait to get in, how many Sterling Pounds would set you back and how likely your fellow travellers are to recommend this attraction. Find our rating under each of the famous sights alongside other interesting information! Also, at the end of the article, we announce the winner based on the mentioned criteria.

Overview of Findings

Even the most patient traveller can be pushed over the edge having to wait hour after hour in a queue, pressed up against other restless travellers. Especially in these times with Corona” – Tourist Morten from Denmark

Are you a student or a budget traveller? Then you might also be interested in the ticket price for each of these attractions. No worries, we’ve got all the information for you!

What do other travellers say about our top 10 listed popular tourist attractions?

Take a look!

1. Westminster Abbey

TripAdvisor rating: #11 of 2,318 things to do in London

Average wait time: 5 minutes

Westminster Abbey has thousands of stories to tell. It has witnessed wars, scientific discoveries, coronations, royal weddings and it is a place of burial of English royals, consorts and other notable Englishmen (and women), such as Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin or Stephen Hawking.

This beautiful church was built in 960 and later rebuilt in Gothic style between 1245 and 1517.

When to visit:

  • Arrive on Wednesday! Not a lot of people know that on Wednesday Westminster Abbey closes late, at 6 pm. Only individuals are allowed in at this time of the day, which means no large groups and that means no long lines waiting in front
  • Visit during off-peak hours – arrive at the opening time or 20 minutes before opening. Tourist groups arrive approx. 1 hour after opening, that’s when it gets crowded

When to avoid visiting:

  • In the summer time (July and August)
  • During religious holidays, school and public holidays
  • On Mondays and during the weekend

Good to know:

  • London Pass gives you free access, but not a fast lane entry
  • No photo or video can be taken inside
  • You can join a 90 minute guided tour for a £5.00 additional charge
  • If you are exploring Westminster Abbey by yourself, you can pick up a free audio guide

Our rating: 😊😊

2. The British Museum

Tripadvisor rating: #4 of 2,318 things to do in London

Average wait time: 5 minutes

London’s British Museum used to be the most popular attraction in the UK, with around 5.8 million visitors each year, only to be overtaken by Tate Modern in 2019.

Several objects in the museum attract visitors at all times and the rooms hosting them tend to be busier than others, especially the “Living and Dying” gallery with an Easter Island statue, the Ancient Egypt collection with its mummies or the Rosetta Stone.

British Museum

When to visit:

  • Tuesdays are generally the best for visits without crowds
  • Mondays or Fridays
  • Early in the morning or late in the afternoon

What to avoid:

  • Saturdays
  • UK school holidays
  • Peak hours (10 am to 3 pm)

Good to know:

  • The entrance is free
  • If you arrive in the morning, see the big sights first, then explore the galleries that interest you more than others and head to the lesser-known ones when the British Museum becomes overcrowded. If you arrive in the afternoon – leave the big sights for last when there will be less people around
  • The museum tends to get crowded when it’s raining outdoors

Our rating: 😊😊😊

3. The Tate Modern

Tripadvisor rating: #254 of 2,318 things to do in London

Average wait time: 5 minutes

The Tate Modern is the most visited UK tourist attraction as of 2019, with approx. 5.9 million visitors annually. Being one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art, it attracts visitors from all around the world.

When to visit:

  • Wednesdays
  • Early in the morning or late in the afternoon
  • Fridays and Saturdays due to extended closing time (10 pm)

What to avoid:

  • Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Openings and closings of exhibitions
  • The museum tends to be crowded around lunch time

Good to know:

  • The entrance is free, only special exhibitions require ticket purchases
  • To avoid family groups, visit after 6 pm on Fridays and Saturdays

Our rating: 😊

4. St. Paul’s Cathedral

Tripadvisor rating: #13 of 2,318 things to do in London

Average wait time: 10 minutes

St. Paul’s Cathedral is definitely one of the most recognisable buildings in London. Built in an Anglican style, it once used to be the tallest building in the city.

St Paul's Cathedral, London

When to visit:

  • As early as you can – the cathedral opens at 7.30 or 8 am for worshippers and at 8:30 am for tourists

What to avoid:

  • Sundays, as the cathedral is closed for tourists
  • Summer time and weekends
  • During the services (7:30 am, 8 am, 12:30 pm and 5 pm) the viewing of the cathedral may be not be permitted

Good to know:

  • Buy a a ticket here to skip the line – it is cheaper than buying it at the door and you’re already ahead of the line
  • Tickets at the door cost £18 for adults, £16 for students and seniors, and £8 for children (ages six to 17).
  • Pick up a multimedia guide or book a free guided tour

Our rating: 😊😊

5. The National Gallery

Tripadvisor rating: #1 of 2,318 things to do in London

Average wait time: 10 minutes

The National Gallery is a very distinctive building in the heart of Trafalgar Square. Founded in 1824, it is home to over 2300 paintings.

When to visit:

  • First thing in the morning
  • Friday evening – the gallery is open until 9 pm
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Come on a sunny day – rainy days tend to attract more visitors

What to avoid:

  • English school holidays
  • August is the busiest month
  • Weekends
  • The first and last two weeks of exhibitions

Good to know:

  • The entrance is free
  • Rooms 45 and 46, where you can admire Impressionist art or Van Gogh, are particularly busy
  • Timed entrance for popular exhibitions should be booked in advance

Our rating: 😊😊😊

6. The Tower of London

Tripadvisor rating: #8 of 2,318 things to do in London

Average wait time: 20-30 minutes

No trip to London would be complete without visiting the famous Tower of London with its Crown Jewels. The building itself has been through various stages; serving as a fortress, a prison, a royal palace and now a museum.

When to visit:

  • Weekday mornings – head to Crown Jewels first, then queue for the Beefeater’s tour
  • Late afternoons in the low season

What to avoid:

  • School holidays
  • Weekends and Fridays
  • The Tower is closed from December 24th to the 26th, and also on the January 1st

Good to know:

  • Buy your ticket online here and skip the line!
  • Ticket prices: £28.90 (adult), £14.40 (child 5-15), £23.10 (students and seniors).

Our rating: ☹️

7. The London Dungeon

Tripadvisor rating: #79 of 632 Fun & Games in London

Average wait time: 20-40 minutes

Do you want to meet Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd or Guy Fawkes? If so, then this is the right place! The London Dungeon offers fun and thrilling experience where you get to relive some of the darkest times in London’s history in a fun way. Being so popular, it can of course get pretty crowded…

When to visit:

  • If possible, book your ticket here in advance. Chances are, some of the time slots are unavailable when you show up without a ticket and you might end up waiting for a long time
  • Come as early as possible if you don’t have a pre-booked time slot

What to avoid:

  • School holidays, bank holidays
  • The whole month of August
  • Halloween

Good to know:

  • Price at the door: £30.00 (adult)
  • An average tour takes about 90 minutes (keep 2 hours in mind when preparing for the visit)
  • There are usually discounts and vouchers for the visit available; your hotel might sell discounted tickets combined with the tour of Madame Tussauds

Our rating: ☹️☹️

8. The London Eye

Tripadvisor rating: #20 of 2,318 things to do in London

Average wait time: 30 minutes

If you haven’t visited the London Eye, a beautiful ferris wheel offering 360-degree view of London over the Thames river, were you even in London? The London Eye is the tallest ferris wheel in Europe. Being one of the most iconic landmarks of the city, there’s a high chance that you will get stuck in a queue (up to a 2 hour wait).

The London Eye

When to visit:

  • At the opening time (10:00 am)
  • In the evening (after sunset)

What to avoid:

  • Weekends
  • Bank holidays
  • UK school holidays
  • April – May, August, October
  • Large events taking place in London

Good to know:

  • The sunset, surprisingly, doesn’t attract many visitors – visit for amazing views over the Thames
  • Buy your ticket online to skip the line – however, the tickets are non-refundable and the weather in London might be unpredictable
  • Standard ticket price: £31.00

Our rating: ☹️☹️

9. Buckingham Palace

Tripadvisor rating: #19 of 2,318 things to do in London

Average wait time: 1 hour

Are you hoping to see Queen Elisabeth during your visit to London? Well, we don’t want to disappoint you, but the chances for this to happen are quite slim. However, the Buckingham Palace is definitely something you should see when in London, no matter what! The Royal Guard attracts hundreds of tourists every day. If you wish to see the inside of the palace, that is also possible. You can always visit the Queen’s Gallery and most days out of the year you’ll also be able to visit the Royal Mews, where the royal stables are located. During the months when the Queen is away, which is roughly two months of each year, you can also visit the State Rooms.

Good to know:

  • It is necessary to book your tickets in advance and you may do that here for the specific part of the Palace you want to visit. If you want to see the State Rooms where the Queen lives and works, you need to check when this is possible beforehand
  • The State Rooms ticket prices are: £26.50 (adult), £24.00 (for those over 60 years of age and for students), £14.50 (under 17), free for children under 5

Our rating: ☹️

10. Madame Tussauds

Tripadvisor rating: #95 of 2,318 things to do in London

Average wait time: 1 hour

Everyone knows Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum. Do you want to take a picture with the Queen, your favourite actors or sportsmen? You can do it here!

However, without a ticket bought in advance, you are likely to get stuck in a long queue and it can easily take an hour to get in. That’s why we definitely recommend to pre-book your ticket here and get access to the Fast Lane.

When to visit:

  • In case you didn’t buy an online ticket, it’s recommended to arrive at first admission or towards the late afternoon

What to avoid:

  • Weekends
  • School holidays

Good to know:

  • When planning your visit, keep in mind that it takes about two hours to go around and see everything
  • If you want to go on some rides besides seeing all the exponents, it can take more than two hours
  • Ticket price: £36.00.

Our rating: ☹️☹️☹️

And the winner is…

Both The British Museum and The National Gallery!! Both of these worldwide-known art museums are free to enter, the wait time is almost non-existent and fellow travellers rate these as the absolute top places to see in London!

We hope that you find our travel tips useful and that you will not get stuck in an unnecessary queue while in London! If you want to read more about attractions in London, we have already written a post about it here. And in case you end up roaming the streets of this beautiful city with your bags after you have already checked out from the hotel, why not store them in one of the many luggage storage locations around the city, close to all the famous attractions? We recommend LuggageHero.

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