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Glass Floors and Amazing Views: Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Tower Bridge

London Insider Guides Art + Architecture
by Morgane Croissant Feb 14, 2023

London is a museum nerd’s version of heaven, but you can’t possibly spend all the time you have in the English capital indoors. Take a break from the British Museum and get outside among the crowds of Londoners going about their day. One way to both mix with the locals and sightsee all at once is to head over to Tower Bridge, one of most iconic landmarks in the city, alongside Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the royal residence, Buckingham Palace. And much like other London landmarks, Tower Bridge is worth knowing better before you go and check it out a little closer.

Where is Tower Bridge located?

Aerial view of Tower Bridge in London

Photo: r.classen/Shutterstock

Tower Bridge spans the river Thames to link two London boroughs: Tower Hamlets (north bank of the river) and Southwark (south bank of the river). On the north bank of the Thames, Tower Bridge is next door to The Tower of London, another London must-see. The visitors’ entrance to the bridge is located on the north bank of the Thames.

How to get to Tower Bridge

The easiest way to get to Tower Bridge is by taking the subway (AKA “the tube”). On the north bank of the Thames, the Circle and District Lines (depicted in yellow and green on subway maps) will get you straight to the station Tower Hill that is a nine-minute walk to the visitors’ entrance of the bridge.

On the south bank of the Thames, the Jubilee Line (depicted in grey on subway maps) will get you to the London Bridge station. From there, you can connect with a thames clipper boat that will take you across the river to the visitors’ entrance of the bridge. Alternatively, you can take a 20-minute walk from the London Bridge station to Tower Bridge and cross the bridge on foot to arrive get to the visitors’ entrance that is located on the north bank of the Thames.

Who designed and built Tower Bridge and when?

Tower bridge was designed by renowned English architect Sir Horace Jones, and engineer Sir John Wolfe Barry in 1884. Construction started in 1886 and the project was completed in 1894. The construction of the bridge was meant to help Londoners go from one side of the city to the other more easily without interfering with the traffic on the river Thames.

What kind of bridge is Tower Bridge?

Tower bridge lifting

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Tower Bridge is a combined suspension and bascule bridge.

The deck of the bridge is suspended by cables attached to high towers, making it a suspension bridge.

The fact that the deck is made of two separate leaves (AKA bascules) that lift vertically and let the river traffic pass when needed makes it a bascule bridge.

What materials were used to build Tower Bridge?

Tower Bridge is made of steel, Cornish granite, and Portland stone.

Are Tower Bridge and London Bridge the same?

Tower Bridge and London Bridge are not the same, but they are located next to each other on the river Thames. The current iteration of London Bridge opened in 1973 and links the City of London (a borough on the north bank) to Southwark (a borough on the south bank). On foot, London Bridge is a 15-minute walk from Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge in numbers

  • Tower Bridge is 200-foot tall, 800-foot long, and 250-foot wide.
  • Building Tower Bridge required the labour of 432 construction workers every day for eight years, from April 22, 1886 to June 30, 1894.
  • Around 40,000 people use Tower Bridge every day.
  • On December 30, 1952, the driver of bus 78 jumped the bridge while the leaves (AKA bascules) of the deck were lifting up to allow river traffic to pass.
  • The bridge’s two high-level walkaways were closed to the public from 1910 to 1982.
  • Tower Bridge lifts twice a day, i.e. about 800 times a year.

Can you cross Tower Bridge on foot?

You can walk across the bridge for free using the pedestrian walkways on each side. It takes about five minutes to cross the bridge on foot.

Can you go inside Tower Bridge?

Inside the higher-level walkaways at Tower bridge in London

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Purchase a ticket and you’ll get to go in the two towers, walk the high-level walkaways that link both towers (part of the walkways are made of glass so you can see the traffic and the river 138 feet below), and visit the historic engine rooms that used to power the bascules of the bridge.

While there are stairs to go up the towers and to go inside the engine rooms, there are also elevators for people with limited mobility.

When is Tower Bridge open to visitors?

The bridge is open all day, every day, for pedestrian and vehicle traffic. For those who want to go inside, Tower Bridge is open daily from 9:30 AM to 6 PM.

How much does it cost to visit Tower bridge?

To visit the inside of the bridge, adults pay $13.90 (£11.40); children between the ages of five and 15 pay $6.95 (£5.70); children under the age of five enter for free; local residents pay $1.20 (£1). Other discounts may apply; please check the website to see if you can benefit from them.

It is highly recommended that you purchase your ticket online in advance on Tower Bridge’s official website.

Where to stay in London to be near Tower bridge

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend in London! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.

The Lalit


A three-minute walk to Tower Bridge, the Lalit is a luxury property with stunning traditional decor and great views of the city. The boutique hotel is located in a beautiful Victorian listed building, adding a touch of historical charm to your London visit. There are two restaurants and two bars on site, as well as a spa and fitness center. The hotel is on the south bank of the river Thames.

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The Tower Hotel


Like its name indicates, the Tower Hotel is very close to Tower Bridge, so close, in fact, that it feels like you can almost touch the iconic structure from your room’s window (if you request and pay for a room with a bridge view, that is). The four-star establishment, located on the north bank of the river Thames, has a restaurant and a bar with incredible views of the bridge and the Shard in case you did not manage to book one of the special aforementioned rooms. The hotel is only an eight-minute walk to the Tower Hill subway station and a five-minute walk to the Tower of London.

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The Dixon


Located on the south bank of the river Thames, The Dixon may not have the clearest, most striking views of Tower Bridge, but what it lacks in vistas, it makes up in its architecture. The 1906 building is grand and elegant, with a lobby fitted with a magnificent staircase and a huge chandelier, making for a very luxurious feel. The rooms are all beautifully decorated in a modern style with uplifting touches of colors. There is a restaurant and bar on site, as well as a fitness center. The breakfast at The Dixon is reputed to be excellent.

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