Along with Big Ben and Buckingham Palace (...and St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street and the London Eye, etc etc), Tower Bridge is one of the must-see sights on every tourist's trip. Everybody in the world knows Tower Bridge, and if you don't take a photo of it then no one will believe you've been here.
The best time to take a photo is when the roadway is up and a big boat is passing underneath. On average the bridge opens and closes two or three times every single day, but unfortunately they only publicise a small number of them in advance. So you basically have to get lucky -- sorry!
Here's a list of the publicised lift times (subject to change at short notice):
10 Mar -- 12.30 PM, 1.15 PM, 4.30 PM, 5.15 PM, 6.15 PM, 9.30 PM, 10.15 PM; 30 Mar -- 12.30 PM, 1.30 PM, 4.30 PM, 5.30 PM; 31 Mar -- 5.30 PM, 6.30 PM, 10.30 PM, 11.15 PM; 5 May -- 5.45 PM, 6.45 PM, 9.45 PM, 10.30 PM; 10 May -- 9 AM; 12 May -- 7.30 PM, 8.30 PM, 11.30 PM; 13 May -- 00.15 AM; 14 May -- 3.15 AM; 16 May -- 3.15 AM; 23 May -- 3 PM, 3.30 PM; 27 May -- 4.30 PM, 5.15 PM, 9.30 PM, 10.15 PM; 1 Jun -- 5 PM; 3 Jun -- 4.15 PM; 22 Jun -- 10.15 AM; 23 Jun -- 10.15 PM; 16 Jul -- 5.45 AM; 17 Jul -- 5.15 PM; 1 Aug -- 5.15 AM; 2 Aug -- 5.15 PM; 3 Aug -- 7.15 AM; 4 Aug -- 7.15 AM; 13 Aug -- 5.15 AM; 15 Aug -- 4.30 PM, 5 PM; 16 Aug -- 5.15 AM; 17 Sep -- 8.45 PM; 19 Sep -- 8.45 AM
Note: Even if you don't manage to see the bridge open and close, it's still worth paying an entry fee for the exhibition. They let you walk across the spans at the top for some great views down the river of the Shard, HMS Belfast and the Tower of London.
They've fitted it with a glass floor now as well, so you can watch all of the rumbling buses and cars pass by on the roadway below. Craig has written a review of Tower Bridge on his blog if you'd like to read it. Obviously he was too chicken to walk across the glass floor (he's scared of heights), but he didn't manage to take some photos of it before passing out.
Craig’s review – “The first time I came to Tower Bridge I wasn't all that impressed, but I quite liked it today. Maybe that's because I'm four years older (I feel about ten years older). Maybe it's because I'm more easily pleased. Maybe it's because the sun was out. Who knows. But it's still basically the same stuff inside apart from the glass floors. The first thing they do is take y… continued”
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery – 31 Mar 2016 to 4 Nov 2018 – The writers behind 'The Play That Goes Wrong' are back with 'The Comedy About A Bank Robbery' at the Criterion
Sunday football on Hackney Marshes – Every Sun – Hackney Marshes is the home of Sunday league football, with over 70 matches played between dozens of amateur teams.
Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein — with Ross Noble – 28 Sep 2017 to 29 Sep 2018 – Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein is now a musical starring Hadley Fraser and Ross Noble.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – 6 Nov 2017 to 6 Oct 2018 – 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' is all about overcoming prejudice, with songs by The Feeling's Dan Gillespie Sells.
Visit the State Rooms at Windsor Castle – Every day – Visit the State Rooms at Windsor Castle, the world's oldest inhabited castle, and the Royal Family's home for over 1000 years.
Evensong Mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral – Every day – If you attend a choral Evensong service at St Paul's Cathedral, you can wander around and see part of the Cathedral for free.
Wembley Stadium tour – Every day (except event days) – Join a Wembley Stadium Tour and see the changing rooms, the pitch, and climb up to the Royal Box and lift the FA Cup.
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans