Royal Observatory, Greenwich

Most people have heard of the city of Greenwich. This is because the Greenwich Meridian Line, which runs through the city, is the center of the world’s time system. It is defined by the transit instrument and a line along the Royal Observatory’s courtyard. As it is the most important Meridian of time, it brings in visitors from all around the world.

What’s There

Visitors to the observatory will get to stand on or near the line which divides the East and West. Tourists can also see 17th century rooms which were used by the astronomer John Flamsteed. Other exhibits that are on display at this attraction are an observation room with Tompion clocks, displays about ocean navigation, marine timekeepers of inventor John Harrison, and the oldest clocks used to secure Greenwich as a global standard for time signals.


Before Greenwich standard time was set up, the world did not have a standardized method of measuring time. This meant that many people had to estimate when a certain amount of time had passed. A standardized system allows people around the world to know what time it is in other countries. The time system is an important part of history. For this reason, the Royal Observatory is an excellent place for both children and adults to learn about time keeping and how time impacts their everyday lives.

The Planetarium

The observatory is also home to a planetarium. The planetarium hosts a number of captivating shows. Parents will find that many of these shows are a good introduction to astronomy for children. The information at the planetarium covers topics like NASA telescopes, terrestrial technology, black holes and pulsars. All the shows at the planetarium are conducted by reputable astronomers. The astronomers will also answer questions at the end of the show.

Other Information

The Royal Observatory is an excellent attraction for children and adults. Parents will be pleased to know that the shows at the planetarium are suitable for kids over the age of seven. Children younger than this may struggle to understand the show. Thankfully, there are shows created specifically for children under five. Those who want to see these shows should call the observatory for more information before their visit.

While some of the displays at the observatory are informational, there are also interactive displays. Visitors can take their turn being an astronomer or guiding a virtual space mission. The center also allows visitors to touch and view a meteoroid which is billions of years old.


The observatory has a relatively affordable entrance fee. At present it costs up to $16 per person for entrance. The building is open from 10am to 5pm. The last entrance is 30 minutes before the building is due to close.

Most of the visitors to the observatory are generally happy with their experience. Even those who know are lot about astronomy and the history of time have found visiting the observatory valuable. Those who think the admission price is high should be aware that it includes more than one exhibition. Visitors can also climb to the top of a nearby hill to get good views of the city.

It is worth noting that there have been some complaints about the observatory. As it does not have wheelchair access, it is not suitable for the disabled. Elderly people have also stated that the building’s lack of mobility scooters for hire is what is keeping them away. Those who cannot walk long distances may struggle to see all of this attraction. This includes parents who have to carry young children.

The Royal Observatory is an important part of London’s history. This makes it a worthwhile attraction for all visitors to London. Those who make a visit to the observatory will learn about how the time system was standardized. Kids will also have fun by seeing shows and enjoying the interactive exhibition. Tourists can visit the observatory independently or as part of a tour group.

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