Old Royal Naval College

Discover Britain’s Sistine Chapel: the Painted Hall at Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College, an epic 18th-century baroque masterpiece.

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Old Royal Naval College, London
Old Royal Naval College, London
Old Royal Naval College, London

What you'll do

Visit the Old Royal Naval College, home of the Painted Hall with Go City®

  • With us, there are no entry fees on the day – all you've got to do is show your pass.
  • Your pass includes access to the breath-taking 17th-century Painted Hall with a descriptive audio guide available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, German and Japanese. 
  • Join regular tours telling the story of this magnificent riverside estate.
  • Your pass also gives you access to the Greenwich Museum in the Visitor Centre and other historic sites on the estate.

At the Old Royal Naval College you can discover 600 years of history as you explore the 17-acre riverside estate at the center of the Greenwich Maritime UNESCO World Heritage Site – a journey into British History like never before. As well as its place in British history the estate is part of TV and movie history, featuring as a filming location for The Crown, Les Miserables, Thor: The Dark World, Cruella, Bridgerton and many more. 

Departing hourly from the Visitor Centre, your pass also includes the award-winning site tour. Covering the Visitor Centre, the grounds and the stunning Chapel of St Peter and St Paul, you can learn the estate’s 600 years of history from its origins as a 1420s manor house, rebuilt as Greenwich Palace for Henry VII; to the commissioning of Sir Christopher Wren in 1694 for the design of a Royal Hospital for Seamen which it remained, up until 1873 when it became the Royal Naval College. 

Old Royal Naval College highlights

  • The Painted Hall –  often referred too as the UK’s Sistine Chapel, the magnificent work of art took 19 years to complete.
  • Greenwich Palace – glimpse the raims of the palace where Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Mary I were all born.
  • The Nelson room – see where Admiral Nelson was laid in state after the Battle of Trafalgar. 
  • The Chapel – uncover one of Britain’s finest 18th-century interiors. 
  • The Skittles Alley – try your hand at one of the last remaining Victorian Skittle Alleys (open daily from 12PM - 3PM).

Old Royal Naval College history

Thought to be an eyesore, the redesign of Greenwich Palace was begun in 1694 when English architectural heroes Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor were approached with the project. The medieval palace, once home to Britain’s iconic monarchs Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, had been taken on as a project by Charles II following the restoration in 1660. But his finances and enthusiasm for the site quickly waned, and only one new wing had actually been built – the eastern range of King Charles Court.

This wing and the grounds were donated as a Royal Warrant by William III in 1694 to become a site for injured and elderly soldiers, and it was then that Wren and Hawksmoor were called in to help. Wren’s final design laid out the buildings into two halves, with twin domes inspired by his recent work at St Paul’s Cathedral, to maintain the view of the river from the Queen’s House, as requested by Queen Mary. But it was Hawksmoor who carried out the majority of the work and drew up the working designs as Wren’s was kept away by his extensive commitments. In 1696, work was finally started to create the four courts, and complete the site which went on to provide a home for over 2,000 Royal Navy veterans.

Know before you go

Getting in

Just show your pass at the main entrance.

For accessibility options and facilities, please visit the official site.

Pass perk
The London Pass® customers can enjoy a 10% discount on food and drink in The Old Brewery pub, located in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College. Valid Monday to Friday only. Just show your pass to the bar staff to redeem this offer.

For more information, please visit the Old Royal Naval College website

Where you'll be

Operating hours

Grounds of the College
Daily: 8AM - 11PM

The Old Royal Naval College Visitor Centre and Painted Hall
Generally open daily 10AM - 5PM (last entry to the Painted Hall is 4.30PM). We recommend that you check the Old Royal Naval College website for up-to-date opening hours.

Public Tour Schedule

  • The ‘600 Years of History’ Site Tour departs from the Visitor Centre daily from 11AM to 3PM (hourly). 
  • Blockbuster Film Tours are at 12:30PM and 2:30PM on Thursday and Sunday.
  • Free audio guide of Painted Hall available in 7 languages.
  • Guided Painted Hall talks run every 30 minutes from 11AM – 4PM 
    (Check the Old Royal Naval College website for any early Painted Hall closures.)

Please note: all tours are subject to availability. 

Closings & holidays

The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College will be closed to visitors on February 5, 2024 and March 10, 2024, the rest of the site will remain open.

The Painted Hall is closed and site tours do not run from 24th – 26th Dec. 


Old Royal Naval College

020 8269 4799

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Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated credits packages are eligible for a refund within 90 days of your purchase date.

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