Westminster Abbey is the longest standing temple in the British capital and a visit to Westminster Abbey is one of the must-do things to do on a trip to London.
But before you get your tickets to Westminster Abbey, you should know the opening hours of the church so that you can plan your visit to this very important English church in detail. So, in the following post we'll address this question. Read on!
1. What are the opening hours of Westminster Abbey?
Westminster Abbey is open every day of the week. However, the opening hours may vary depending on the day.
Thus, from Monday to Friday the church is open from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM while on Saturdays it is open from 9 AM to 2 PM. On Sundays the abbey is only open for religious services.
What are the opening hours for church services at Westminster Abbey?
If you wish to attend mass inside Westminster Abbey, it is advisable to check the time of the service on the date you wish to attend before doing so. Entry for prayer is normally through The Great West Door entrance.
2. When does Westminster Abbey close?
Westminster Abbey is usually open every day, but as it is an operational church, it may sometimes have shorter opening hours or close certain areas to the public.
For example, on Sundays the abbey closes its doors to visitors during church services. If you wish to enter the church during the service you may attend but inside you should act as a listener and be respectfully silent.
3. When to go to Westminster Abbey?
Westminster Abbey is the oldest Christian church in London, the site of the coronations of monarchs and the royal pantheon. Such an important place attracts a good number of visitors every day, so if you don't want to find endless queues at the entrance, it's best to go early in the morning.
Tour groups usually show up within an hour of the abbey's opening time and the abbey fills up quickly. Getting there early in the morning will allow you to have a quieter and more spiritual experience, which is what you are looking for in a church.
I don't recommend visiting Westminster Abbey around lunchtime (12 PM to 2:30 PM) because it is the busiest. If your schedule allows you to see this monument in the afternoon, it is preferable to go after lunch from 2:30 PM onwards.
4. When is the best time to visit Westminster Abbey?
If you visit the temple on your own, the best time is early in the morning. However, on Wednesdays the abbey is usually open until 6 PM and during this time the tour groups that normally crowd the abbey are not allowed inside so the church is much less crowded.
As for the best time of year, if you have the opportunity, I recommend visiting Westminster Abbey in springtime in London (between March and May) as the weather is milder and the gardens are greener and more flowery. For example, the temple's Collage Garden (the oldest park in England with almost a millennium of existence). However, London's summer is also a fantastic time to visit.
5. What about visiting Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at the Abbey?
During your visit to Westminster Abbey, if you have the opportunity, I recommend you also visit a space hidden from the public for more than 700 years inside the church as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries.
The opening hours of this place are as follows:
- Monday to Friday: Open from 10 AM to 2:45 PM (last entry)
- Saturdays: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM (last entry)
- Sundays: closed.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries are located in the medieval triforium above the abbey nave. It houses some very interesting art collections that tell the story of the history of the church. There are also incredible views of the Chapter House and the Palace of Westminster.
6. When can you make your last visit to Westminster Abbey?
The last access to Westminster Abbey is at 3:30 PM Monday to Friday and 1 PM on Saturdays.
Keep this in mind when planning your route around the area. Other monuments and tourist attractions near the abbey that you can visit afterwards include the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.
7. How long does it take to visit Westminster Abbey?
The sightseeing tour of Westminster Abbey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.
It is a place with a lot of history and many interesting places to discover inside Westminster Abbey such as the Lady Chapel, the medieval Cloisters, the Chapter House, St. Edward's Throne or the Poets' Corner (where famous writers such as William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Samuel Johnson or Rudyard Kipling are buried).
The abbey is a beauty on the inside, so I recommend that you see it without haste and take your time to contemplate it at your leisure.
8. What are the opening hours of the gift shop?
Westminster Abbey has two gift shops open from 10.30 AM to 5.30 PM. Here you can find a wide variety of gifts relating to the history of the church, the royal family and London.
- Main shop: Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3JS
- Cellarium Shop: Dean's Yard, London, SW1P 3PA
9. Opening times for tourist attractions near Westminster Abbey
You may want to check out other tourist attractions near Westminster Abbey after visiting the church. You can see the opening times of some of these attractions below.