The Houses of Parliament, also referred to as the Palace of Westminster, is located just north of the River Thames in London. The Houses of Parliament consists of two separate entities, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, who are responsible for debating laws, passing laws, and challenging government work. It is possible for visitors and residents of London to sit in on Parliament sessions and to arrange for a tour.
Here are some basic guidelines about visiting the Houses of Parliament:
–Both UK residents and tourists from overseas are able to attend the Houses of Parliament debates that are held in the public galleries. All visitors are also free to watch public committee sessions, which take place from Monday to Thursday. Committee sessions require a wait in line for admission.
–Judicial hearings and the Parliamentary Archives are also open to travellers from overseas and residents of the United Kingdom. The Houses of Parliament hold judicial hearings from Monday to Thursday that does not require tickets. The Parliamentary Archives are accessible with identity proof and are open on weekdays from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
–Those who live in the UK can take a tour of the Parliament chambers throughout the year at no cost and with permission from a Member of Parliament. Overseas residents are only allowed to tour the Houses of Parliament during Summer Opening when the Houses do not sit for meetings. The summer tours carry a ticket charge.
–The Palace is easily accessible from the London Underground station at Westminster.