Unlocking St. Paul’s Cathedral in London: Visitor’s Guide for 2024

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Standing proud in the heart of the city, St Paul’s Cathedral is an iconic London landmark. Its famous 18th-century dome is viewable from several vantage points around London and the Cathedral is a beautiful symbol of architectural grandeur and spiritual significance.

The majestic Cathedral attracts visitors with its impressive beauty and has been the location for many historic events, including the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer. Inside the Cathedral is awe-inspiring, adorned with stunning mosaics, and elegant carvings dating back to the 18th century. It is the epitome of culture, history, and faith and beyond its historic interiors, panoramic views of London can be seen from the dizzying heights of the Golden Gallery.

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Throughout this guide, we will share with you everything you need to know before you visit St Paul’s Cathedral to ensure you have an unforgettable experience at this spectacular British monument.

St.Pauls Cathedral in Cherry Blossoms

Visit the St Paul’s Cathedral in London

Designed by renowned architect Sir Christopher Wren, St Paul’s Cathedral has etched its place in history since its completion in 1710. This Anglican Cathedral sits at the highest point in the City of London and serves as the mother church of the Diocese of London. Built on the grounds of an old church founded in AD 604, the Cathedral was dedicated to the Christian apostle Saint Paul.

Its English Baroque style was reconstructed after the Great Fire of London, in 1666, which destroyed the original Gothic Cathedral. The Cathedral now sits proudly as an important part of the London skyline and was once the tallest building in London until 1963.

Today worship services take place at St Paul’s Cathedral and the church holds events throughout the year which include Christmas carol services and live music recitals. Weddings, baptisms, and funerals also take place here and the Cathedral has been the backdrop for the funerals of the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher.

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How to arrive to the Cathedral and opening Times

The closest tube station is St Paul’s however you can also walk to the St. Paul’s Cathedral from Mansion House or Blackfriars tube stations.

St Paul’s Cathedral is open Monday to Saturday for sightseeing tours. On Sundays, the Cathedral is used for worship services.

St Paul’s Cathedral Highlights

St Paul’s Cathedral is open to the public for sightseeing tours between Monday to Saturday, and tickets include access to the Cathedral Floor and Crypt, and the Dome Gallery.

Cathedral Floor and the Crypt

As part of the public tours, you can see the Cathedral Floor where the famous Quire is located. Make sure to look up at the ceiling to witness the spectacular Victorian mosaics that adorn the roof of the Cathedral. This area is very impressive and is where the Cathedral worship services take place.

Be sure to look for the St Paul’s grand organ which was originally built in 1695. It has been rebuilt several times over the last few decades and is the third-largest organ in the UK. The present Grand Altar is also a wonderful sight, constructed in 1958 and is built of marble and gilded oak.

Inside St. Paul's Cathedral in London

Tickets to the Cathedral also allow entry to the Crypt, which is one of the largest in Europe. Inside you can marvel at the ancient stonework and beautiful vaulted ceilings which are the backdrop for the resting place of many well-known musicians, poets, scientists and public figures. The tomb of Sir Christopher Wren lies here, along with several other notable figures and important memorials.

The Crypt is a celebrated location inside the Cathedral with many events taking place here throughout the year. There is also a great cafe located here where you can stop for a refreshment during your visit.

St. Paul's Cathedral London

The St. Paul’s Cathedral Dome

Inspired by the St Peter’s Basilica Dome, the St Paul’s Dome is the second largest dome in the world. Visitors can climb up the Dome to the three Dome Galleries, including the Stone Gallery, the internal Whispering Gallery, and the Golden Gallery, which offers amazing views over the London skyline.

Me in St. Paul's Cathedral Dome in London

However, to access the Dome galleries you need to walk up several steps. There are 257 steps to reach the Whispering Gallery where whispers can be heard as they are carried around the room. The Stone Gallery has 376 steps leading to it, whereas the Golden Gallery has 528 steps to reach the top and witness the impressive views of London.

St. Paul’s Cathedral Tickets

My advice to save on tickets to St Paul’s Cathedral in London

You can buy single tickets for St Paul’s Cathedral online, however, if you plan to visit multiple London attractions it may be cheaper to buy a sightseeing London Pass. Passes such as the London Pass and the Go London Explorer Pass allow you to enter multiple London attractions, including St Paul’s Cathedral, museums, and tours while saving money on the cost of buying tickets separately. For more information on the best London sightseeing pass to buy, check out this helpful guide.

my visit to st. paul's cathedral in london

Tips for visiting St Paul’s Cathedral

  • St Paul’s Cathedral is located in the City of London.
  • The quietest time to visit is during the week before 11 am.
  • Pick up a free multimedia guide when you enter the Cathedral and check out the range of free tours that the Cathedral offers daily.
  • There are a total of 528 steps to reach the top of St Paul’s Dome where the Golden Gallery is located. The Cathedral advises that people with mobility issues, pre-existing medical conditions, and those with difficulties with heights and confined spaces do not attempt to climb the steps to the Galleries.
  • During your visit take a moment to look at the exterior of the Cathedral. Here you can spot a statue of St Paul above the relief of the Cathedral and golden pineapples atop the two western towers.

St. Paul’s Cathedral Tickets

Steps pf the St. Paul's Cathedral Dome in London

Is the visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London worth it?

St Paul’s Cathedral is a stunning monument and an important part of British history. A trip to the Cathedral is worth it for anyone interested in the monarch, history, culture, and faith. The awe-inspiring mosaics that decorate the ceilings and the grandeur of the Cathedral are reason enough to visit. For those able to climb to the top of the Dome, visiting St Paul’s Cathedral will be a long-lasting memory.

FAQ about St. Paul's Cathedral

What is special about St Paul’s Cathedral in London?

St Paul’s Cathedral was once one of the tallest buildings in the UK, and its impressive Dome structure is one of the largest in the world, at 355 feet high.

The Cathedral is a spectacular structure with an interesting history and is the location for many memorials and tombs of important British figures such as Sir Alexander Fleming. The Cathedral is also home to a fantastic selection of artworks such as Henry Moore’s Madonna and Child sculpture and hosts rotating art displays from artists such as Rebecca Horn and Yoko Ono.

How long does it take to tour St Paul's Cathedral?

Expect to spend around 90 minutes touring St Paul’s Cathedral which will allow you to see the entire church and visit the Dome galleries.

Is there a specific dress code required to visit the Cathedral?

There is no set dress code to visit the Cathedral, however, as it is a place of worship it is respectful to dress suitably and wear comfortable footwear to climb the Dome.

Can you take photos inside the Cathedral?

  • Non-flash still photography is permitted during sightseeing tours within the Cathedral Floor, Crypt, the Stone Gallery and the Golden Gallery.
  • For health and safety reasons photography is not permitted in the Whispering Gallery, or St Dunstan’s Chapel for privacy reasons.
  • During worship services, it is requested people respect the privacy of others and refrain from taking photos.
Profilbild Laura Haig
About the author

I love traveling in Europe and I am passionate about writing about my travels. The cultural peculiarities of each region always fascinate me. I enjoy exploring and discovering the best-kept secrets of each town or village. I love road trips as much as city breaks; I love visiting an art gallery and also the magic of musicals or discovering new delicacies in a street market. In this blog, I write about all my travel adventures and my best tips and tricks! Auf Loving Travel schreibe ich über alle meine Reiseerlebnisse und gebe euch meine besten Tipps und Tricks!

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