St. Paul's Cathedral

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St. Paul's Churchyard, London, United Kingdom

St. Paul's Cathedral London Reviews

WalterC WalterC
326 reviews
Overpriced, but worth checking out Apr 22, 2015
Located near the St. Paul’s Tube stop, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a London landmark, but is it worth the price of admission?

St. Paul’s Cathedral has risen from the ashes after the Great Fire of 1666, as it was built by Christopher Wren. It has survived the bombs of World War II, and where royal weddings and funerals take place.

The interior of the cathedral is very nice to look, with the artwork on the dome, and the architecture of the altar and choir areas. Walking around the altar area, there are memorials, including one for the American soldiers who died in World War II while helping Britain during the war.

Also, there is the crypt downstairs, where there are tombs of well-known British figures, like Duke of Wellington and Horatio Nelson (both of which, help defeat Napoleon), as well as Florence Nightingale, among others.

And of course, the climb to the top of the dome for the views of London. There are 3 different levels, also known as galleries, with the first one inside, and closer to the dome area. The other 2 are outside, for the views of London. There is no elevator, and the stairway can be very winding and narrow at times. I find the views of London to be the best at the 3rd level, as there is no obstruction, where the 2nd level does have one.

While a very nice place to visit, I find the price of admission to be very steep, at 18£, if bought on site. It is cheaper to buy online. And no longer covered by the London Pass. An audioguide is included. I did not use it much due to time, so I can’t comment on it.

Also, photography is not allowed at all in the interior. Considering how much I paid for admission, I find that to really lame. It is allowed when outside, like when reaching the top of the dome, for the nice views of London.

St. Paul’s Cathedral opens at 8:30AM, much earlier than most attractions in London. So a good way to get a head start on sightseeing, and with almost no crowds. The dome is open at 9:30 AM, an hour later. Sometime to keep in mind, when visiting this place.

Overall, I would say, St. Paul’s Cathedral is worth checking out, and around opening time, so you don’t have to deal with crowds. The climb to the top is worth it, mainly for the views of London.
sculpture of Thomas Becket
statue of Queen Anne
columns of cathedral
entrance
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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missandrea81 says:
I was really disappointed that you can't take picture as well.
Posted on: Jul 03, 2015
WalterC says:
The combination of high admission price and no photography rule is the main reason why it loses a star. Otherwise, I would have given it 5 stars.
Posted on: Jul 03, 2015
Zagnut66 says:
I remember being disappointed by the ban on photography. There are plans to remove some of the surrounding buildings put up after the war to create more open space around St. Paul's, but that is still down the road.
Posted on: Jul 02, 2015
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missandrea81 missandr…
144 reviews
Landmark with history Aug 05, 2013
St Paul's dome is one of the most recognizable landmarks and a dominant presence in London's cityscape today. It's beautiful!

Five churches stood here before this one spanning over fourteen hundred years of history. The current church built by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 survived World War II bombings only by a hair.

TIP: You can get the best view of the dome from the rooftop of the shopping mall on the eastern side of the church.

St Paul's is one attraction that actually requires to buy a ticket, and it's not particularly cheap. Make sure you know the hours before visiting. This operating church seems to have found a middle ground between being a house of worship and tourist attraction. There is a lot to see inside. You can climb to the viewing gallery under the dome or visit the crypt. Entombed here are several historic figures, including Lord Nelson and Lord Wellington.

People often compare St Paul's with St Peter's in Rome. I think this sets you up for disappointment. I liked both churches, but I can't put them in the same category. St Paul's as a whole is not as ornate as St Peter's. St Paul has a simpler beauty, whereas St Peter goes all out.

I had the pleasure of visiting during the choral Evensong which takes place at 1700 on weekdays. Our group was allowed to sit in the quire area and we were even mentioned during the prayer. A visiting choir from the States was singing that evening. It was a special visit. I'm not particularly religious but even I found myself praying to a higher power sitting under that beautifully decorated dome.

Check their website before visiting, since tourist crowds and worship crowds are kept separate.

Photography is not allowed; however, I didn't realize until after I had snapped a few pictures.

I recommend visiting St Paul's and I would say you should dedicate at least 2 hours of time to get your money's worth.
St Paul's from Fleet Street
St Paul's Cathedral, London
St Paul's Cathedral façade
St Paul's Cathedral from the entra…
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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missandrea81 says:
Bill, good call! Protestant are not known for lavish decoration in their churches. The Church of England seems to have compromised with what is proper. ;)

I couldn't take pictures of the quire area and the dome from the inside, but it does actually remind of St Peter's the closer you get to the altar. They even have a baldacchino.
Posted on: Oct 06, 2013
Zagnut66 says:
St. Paul's has that touch of Protestant reserve compared to St. Peter's. Great review!
Posted on: Oct 06, 2013
missandrea81 says:
I think it's both. Christopher Wren has a substantial architectural presence in London. He also built St Brides church (the one with the "wedding cake" spire) and several palaces). My pictures do not do St Paul's justice. It's a very beautiful church.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Wren
Posted on: Oct 06, 2013
Pali Pali
7 reviews
A MUST SEE in LONDON Dec 01, 2013
"The design is unique and a bit different from the conventional church design in london ( or europe). I could write an essay about the climb to the top of the St.Pauls Cathedral in London But i will just cut to the chase and give you the must and must not do's. First off give enough time to absorb the beauty of the Art inside. Secondly , if you are going to take the stairs to the top of the dome you would probably be well off wearing decent running shoes as it is not a short or easy stairway. (Important for girls: make sure you do not wear a skirt as the top part of the stairs are spiral metal stairs in which people are right under you while you are going up ..... so yah , skirts = bad idea ). It can be a bit windy at the top so take care :) Enjoy it"
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frivolousat25 frivolou…
16 reviews
Awe-inspiring Apr 15, 2011
Used my London Pass for entrance.

I visited this Cathedral during winter & so the uppermost Golden Galleries were closed. But the Whispering Gallery was a beauty. Do visit the crypt below. Its kind of weird walking over buried bodies, but lot of information & the videos are good.

The altar & the audio tour is amazingly detailed.

Must see for all ages & kinds of people!!
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sarahthevegasbride sarahthe…
69 reviews
Fantastic Views of London from the Galleries Sep 19, 2009
We loved visiting St Pauls Catherdal and is worth a visit if your in London.

St Pauls is not just a religious and architectural landmark, it is a busy working church where millions have come to find peace and the love of god.

The part we enjoyed the most was the galleries, where you climb up 528 steps to the golden gallery with excellent views of London.

You wont be dissappointed with St pauls catherdal,go early to avoid the crowds.
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jhoc jhoc
66 reviews
St. Paul's review Aug 29, 2008
St. Paul's is a centrepiece of London. You can see the massive dome from most spots in the city. When you arrive there will be people sitting on the front steps, probably resting for the journey ahead. You will pay £10 to enter, cheaper for groups and families.

When it is closed you can't see much, they cut you off right by the door. Other times, during services you can walk through about half of it for free and get a glimpse of the altar. Check out the schedule. Once I was there and a choir was singing, was really great.

The church is fairly standard on the base floor and the crypt below. There is a little cafe down in the crypt if you need it. The altar is massive; you walk around it but can't really get to close to it.

The main attraction I think is the hike up the dome. In total you'll climb 580 steps to get to the top and have great views of London. There are a number of galleries on the way, 2 outside, you can stop on and take photos and turn around if it’s too many stairs.

The first one you get to is inside, right in the dome itself and looking down on the cathedral floor. They call is the whisper dome due to its construction and the ability to hear someone across the other side whisper to you. I couldn’t get it to work, but friends say they have.

Climb all the way to the highest view point and you'll be 280 ft from the ground with a full 360 walkway around. It gets quite crowded up there so you won't spend too long, but you can pretty much see everything in the city from up there.

Pick a nice day, rest your legs and get up there. If walking for miles around London doesn't make your legs sore, this surely will.
St Paul's dome
St Paul's from the foot bridge
St. Paul's cathedral
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Chokk says:
Sorry Jeremy:)
Posted on: Aug 27, 2009
Chokk says:
Nice going; Kenny!
Posted on: Aug 27, 2009
X_Drive X_Drive
836 reviews
Classic London Cathedral May 27, 2005
St Paul’s Cathedral has stood on the same site since 604AD and has always been an active church. The present building, the fourth to be built here, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the previous building was destroyed by fire. First services held here were in 1697 although it wasn’t truly completed until 1710. Our tour included a walk through of this beautiful and imposing building, although no photography was allowed inside. We didn't get to try and climb the staircase to the dome or try out the Whispering gallery. Many of the Royal family have had important services here including the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer, and the organ from 1695 which Mendelssohn once played is still in use. I only got one semi-decent picture from in front but I did find another which shows it much better.
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Chokk says:
Nice going; Kenny!
Posted on: Aug 27, 2009

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