City Cruises & Royal Greenwich Observatory Combo:
Join City Cruises and cast off from any of their four piers located along the banks of the River Thames. Hop-on and off at your leisure for 24 hours between piers at Westminster, the London Eye, Tower Bridge and Greenwich. Enjoy either live or pre-recorded onboard audio commentary about London and its incredible 2000 year history. This combination ticket also includes entry to Royal Greenwich Observatory.
The famed Royal Observatory is only a few minutes walk away from Greenwich Pier. Whereas most museums take you on a journey through time this renowned attraction serves as a journey into time itself. You're invited to stand on the Prime Meridian of the world, discover a history of timekeeping in the observatory museum, and gaze through the viewfinder of the UK's largest telescope. Visitors can also wander around Flamsteed House, the former residence of the Astronomers Royal.
- All Year Round, Daily | Except December 24-26.
- Blackheath Ave, London SE10 8XJ.
Observatory Opening Hours* | 2019:
- Daily: 10:00 to 17:00 (Last admission at 16:30).
Thames River Cruise:
This ticket for the Royal Observatory also includes 24 hour access to the London City Cruises hop-on hop-off boats.
- See here for more information on the cruise route and details of onboard facilities.
- London City Cruise boats generally operate from 10:00 to 18:00, every 40 minutes. This is a rough guideline based on the first departure from Westminster Pier. Always check locally available timetables.
London City Piers:
- 1) Westminster Pier.
- 2) London Eye Pier.
- 3) Tower Bridge Pier.
- 4) Greenwich Pier.
About Greenwich Royal Observatory:
Perched atop a hill in Greenwich close to the banks of the River Thames, the Royal Observatory is a place where you can officially straddle the two halves of our home planet. The exact line of longitude might be 102 metres further east according to modern measurements, but it's the historicity of the site and its many wonderful attractions that draw in curious visitors by the thousand.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich was where, in 1851, Sir George Airy established the internationally recognised Prime Meridian, a line of longitude which, along with the antimeridian, divides earth into its eastern and western hemispheres. It was borne out of King Charles II's desire to improve the art of oceanic navigation, an undertaking that required precise knowledge of the movements of celestial bodies and fixed stars. To achieve this he had the Royal Observatory commissioned in 1675. Its location atop a hill in Greenwich Park was chosen by renowned architect Sir Christopher Wren, and its construction was completed one year later in the summer of 1676.
For over 250 years the Royal Greenwich Observatory played a significant role in the development of astronomical and navigational sciences. It was only after the Royal Observatory moved to Herstmonceux during the mid-20th century, and then dissolved in 1998, that the facilities at Greenwich became a public museum.
Today tens of thousands of visitors from all across the globe make their way up Greenwich Park Hill to stand on the world famous Meridian line. This popular monument is accompanied by many more fascinating attractions spread throughout the historic site. Meet the Great Equatorial Telescope in the Onion Dome (the largest instrument of its kind in the UK), marvel at the Observatory Museum's extensive timepiece and navigational instrument collection, and enter Flamsteed House, the historic home of the Astronomers Royal.
Greenwich Observatory is also well worth visiting on a sunny day for its panoramic views of the City of London. One of the easiest ways to get there is by river, a bonus as this ticket includes 24-hour access to London City Cruises' hop-on hop-off boats. Simply disembark at Greenwich Pier and walk 10 minutes or so towards the hill.