Free Entry to St. Paul’s Cathedral
This post covers how to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, including getting tickets, what discounts are available (including free entry), tours you can take (both free and paid) and what you will see on your visit.
Included in your ticket are admission to St Paul’s, an introductory talk, an audio tour, a multimedia tour, and a guided tour (limited availability).
We explain these in 0ur Tours of St Paul’s section below.
Tickets (online price)
- Adult – £17
- Concession – £15
- Children (age 6 – 17) – £7.20
- Families (2 adult + 2 child) – £41.20
- Under 5’s – Free
- Click here to purchase skip-the-line tickets.
Be sure to see our Discounts section to find out how you can save money on tickets.
Also, check out our post on how to save on popular London tourist attractions.
There are a couple of discounts available on tickets for St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
If you plan on seeing more than one attraction in London (and you most likely do), you should consider purchasing a tourist pass, as just about all include St. Paul’s.
These passes bundle together tickets to popular London attractions and tours all for one price. They can save you between 20-55% off the retail prices.
They can also save you time with skip-the-ticket-privileges, including at St. Paul’s.
See our post on London Tourist Passes to see which pass, if any, is right for you.
National Railways 2 for 1 Deal
Entrance to St. Paul’s Cathedral is included in this great deal which saves you money on hundreds of attractions. You get 2 tickets for the price of 1.
It’s a bit tricky to get the deal, but it may be worth it. Find out how here.
Free Annual Pass
When buying admission tickets at the gate or in advance at the online rates, you can opt-in to have your ticket valid for a year as opposed to that one day, and it’s at no additional cost.
In essence, at present, an adult could pay £17.00 online and have a whole year’s worth of sightseeing entry.
TIP: Be sure to also read our post on the 50+ free things to do in London for visitors.
HOURS AND DIRECTIONS
- Monday to Saturday 8:30– 16:00 (last entry). This is subject to change for special events or services.
- Sunday – closed to visitors, except for worshippers.
How to Get Here
St. Paul’s Cathedral is located within the City of London. Its central location means that you can reach it by various London Underground stations as well as bus lines.
Regardless of how you get here, we recommend using this Google Maps link for directions to the cathedral.
The nearest Underground station is St. Paul’s (Central line).
The cathedral is also within walking distance from Mansion House (Circle + District lines) and Barbican (Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines).
Be sure to read our tips on navigating the London Underground.
Public bus #’s: 4, 11, 15, 23, 25, 26, 100, 242 all stop at or near the cathedral.
Also, all major hop-on-hop-off bus tours make stops at the cathedral.
We also come here on several of our walking tours, including the following:
- City of London Tour
- Harry Potter Tour
- World War 2 Blitz Tour
See our full schedule of tours.
For those who wish to use the church for worship purposes, there is no fee to enter, providing guests arrive in time for the service.
Attending service at St. Paul’s means you will not be allowed to explore the building, tombs, memorials, and domes. These areas are blocked off during hours of worship.
However, you will get to sit inside the church and enjoy its majesty, size, and beauty, all whilst taking in services steeped in centuries of historic tradition.
- Daily Services at 7:30, 8:00, 12:30 and 17:00
- Sunday Services at 8:00, 11:00, 15:15, 16:45, 18:00
TIP: 17:00-weekday services and the 15:15 Sunday service contain the Choral Evensong performed the exquisite boys’ and gentlemen’s’ choirs.
This section will cover all of the free tours available at St. Paul’s Cathedral and what is included with each experience.
All of these services are included with the price of admission.
Use high-resolution touch screens to fly through the galleries and get a close-up view of the more intricate details in the domes.
Also included are interviews and commentary from experts who have studied the Cathedral and members of the congregation.
These guides are available in 9 languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.
There are also family multimedia guides which include quizzes, interactive games and other activities for children and their parents.
Audio Description Guides
These audio tours are only available in English currently, but they are an excellent opportunity to get closer to some of the artwork.
Listeners are encouraged to touch sculptures and carvings while listening to wonderful music from the St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir.
There will also be commentary and interviews from experts with a lot of knowledge about the landmark.
This is a 15-20 minute introduction to both the architecture and historical significance of St. Paul’s Cathedral provided by a professional tour guide.
Introductory Talks are offered regularly throughout the day – all you have to do is ask about it at the guiding desk when you arrive.
If you want to learn the basics about this location from a live guide, this is one of the quickest and most readily available options.
Free Guided Tours
Take a free 90-minute tour with a professional guide who will cover all the significant areas of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
This tour includes details about the Cathedral Floor, the Crypt, the Chapel of St. Michael & St. George, the Geometric Staircase and the Quire – some of which are not usually open to visitors.
Tours are available at 10:00, 11:00, 13:00 (1 pm) and 14:00 (2 pm) each day.
Note that you are not guaranteed a place on the guided tour as there is limited availability. Advance reservations are not available.
If you want to ensure a place, go straight to the guiding desk when you arrive at the cathedral and let them know you want to take the tour.
Below are tours offered by St. Paul’s Cathedral for an additional fee.
These tours are only £5-£10 extra, and it may be worth it to you to have an extra special experience
Private Group Guided Tours
If you want to avoid missing out on a free public tour, cathedral guides are willing to provide the same tour to private groups for only £5 per person.
You will require a minimum of at least 10 people in your group in order to qualify for this option.
All private group guided tours must be booked ahead of time, and they usually start at 10:15, 11:15, 13:15 (1:15 pm) and 14:15 (2:15 pm)
It is recommended to contact email@example.com at least two weeks in advance to secure the next available private group guided tour.
This one hour tour covers several locations that are usually off limits to visitors, and it’s only available publicly on specific days each year.
A professional guide will introduce you to areas such as the library, the Geometric Staircase, the Great Model and more.
The Triforium Tour also features a great view down the nave from over the Great West Doors.
You should contact firstname.lastname@example.org well ahead of time to book your spot in this otherwise rare tour. Tickets are £8 per person.
This tour can also be booked privately for a party of at least 5 people, with a maximum of 20 guests admitted. Tickets for the private tour are still only £8 per person.
In this section, we will provide details about each of the galleries you can visit at St. Paul’s Cathedral, as well as some of the more notable attractions in the church.
To learn about the history of the building itself, see below.
You’ll find this gallery by climbing 259 narrow steps to the second floor of the building.
The Whispering Gallery is named as such because the architectural design allows you to hear a whisper from across the room.
This is also a great place to see the floor of the cathedral from above.
This is essentially the third floor of the building, and it’s 378 steps from the ground floor – and entirely worth the effort.
The Stone Gallery is an outside area around the dome, which allows you to enjoy fantastic views of the city from 52 metres (160 ft) above.
If you’re looking for a great observation deck that is free to visit, this is an excellent alternative to some of the other locations in London – and it gets even better at the Golden Gallery!
Located at the top of the cathedral, the third gallery is 528 steps up and a total of 85 metres (280 ft) from the ground floor.
This is the smallest gallery, encircling the highest point outside the dome.
Views from this floor are often considered to be even more impressive than from any other gallery at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Visitors can expect to see landmarks such as the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the River Thames.
The Ball and Lantern
This is the ball and cross located at the very top of the cathedral. It is approximately 7 meters (23 ft) high and weighs in at approximately 7 tonnes.
Although the original ball and cross were erected in 1708, it was replaced in 1821 with the current design.
This ball and lantern were designed by the Surveyor to the Fabric, C.R. Cockerell.
St. Paul’s Cathedral has a crypt where you will find the tombs of several notable historical figures.
One of the most notable tombs is that of Sir Christopher Wren, who was the architect of the cathedral.
This is also the site of the tomb of Lord Nelson, who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar.
You can also visit Wellington’s tomb, otherwise known as the Iron Duke. He also left behind an interesting number of namesakes, such as Wellington Boots, Beef Wellington and more.
Oculus: An Eye Into St. Paul’s
Located in the crypt, this 270° film experience covers over 1,400 years of the history of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
There are three films shown here: Life of the Cathedral; Resurgam, I will Rise Again; and Virtual Access, the Dome.
This is a great visual presentation that can help you learn more about the history of this important landmark.
Built by our country’s most famous architect, Christopher Wren, in the Baroque style, St. Paul’s origins lie centuries ago.
There have been multiple St. Paul’s churches on the site our current St. Paul’s stands on today. Wren’s version started life shortly after the Great Fire of London burned the Medieval St. Paul’s to the ground in 1666.
Backed by King Charles II, it took Wren over 9 years just to design the church and then only around 33 years to build it (which is amazing when you consider all the modern tools and equipment Wren didn’t have!).
St. Paul’s was consecrated in 1708 and at that point, it was the tallest building in London – holding that title until 1962!