London

The Ultimate Guide to visiting Buckingham Palace

stars

4.3 Stars out of 5 based on 28608 Reviewsarrow

clock

Open: July 23rd to August 31st: 9:15AM to 7:45PM
September 1st to October 2nd: 9:15AM to 6:45PM

euro

Price: £37

wait

Time Needed: 2,5 hours

From the outside, Buckingham Palace may look like a dismal, grey building that doesn’t have much to offer. But in a classic case of “don’t judge a book by its cover,” this grey building is essentially the epicentre of royal London which serves as the official royal residence of the Queen, as well as the administrative headquarters for the British monarchy.

Dating back to 1703, Buckingham Palace was originally built for the Duke of Buckingham (hence the name), but was eventually transformed into an official residence for several notable royals such as George IV, Queen Victoria, Edward VII, William IV, and many more.

Both Edward VII and William IV were born at Buckingham Palace, and Queen Elizabeth II gave birth to both her sons (Prince Charles and Prince Andrew) inside the palace as well. Queen Victoria was the first member of the British royal family to rule from Buckingham Palace, and held countless lavish costume balls, concerts and events inside the palace throughout her reign.

Buckingham Palace
Exterior of Buckingham Palace
Aerial View of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace Garden
previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

 

 

Buckingham Palace Highlights

Buckingham Palace has around 775 rooms including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, 92 offices, and even a cinema, swimming pool, post office and police station. (It even has its own postal code!)

Out of the hundreds of rooms inside the palace, the most famous are The Grand Hall, The State Dining Room (which is used by presidents and prime ministers from all over the world), The White Drawing Room (which is used as a Royal reception room) and The Bow Room (which is used to entertain guests during the Royal Garden Parties). The Throne Room is also the setting for various formal royal family photographs (such as the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge).

The Buckingham Palace gardens are also famous in their own right, and are often described as “a walled oasis in the middle of London.” The gardens boast more than 350 different types of wildflowers, over 200 trees, a three-acre lake, and even tennis courts (where King George VI and Fred Perry used to play during the 1930s).

The eastern front of the palace (the side which is the most visible to the public), is perhaps the most famous as it is where members of the royal family step out onto the balcony to wave to the crowds; (however, this only occurs during royal weddings, events and celebrations). The street which leads to Buckingham Palace (also known as “The Mall”), is also famous as it serves as a “ceremonial approach” route to the palace.

Special Tips

tip

If you purchase your tickets directly from the Royal Collection Trust, you will automatically be given a 12 months' complimentary admission to return to the palace. To get the annual pass, make sure you sign and print your name on your ticket before you leave the palace, and get a member of staff to stamp and validate it.

tip

If you don't feel like taking a tour of the inside of the palace, you can always enjoy spectacular views of the palace from the outside – but make sure you correlate your visit The Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place at 11:30 a.m. everyday. The ceremony leads to Buckingham Palace as well as St. James's Palace and Wellington Barracks, however the best spot for watching the ceremony is said to be at the eastern side of Buckingham Palace near the gates.

Getting There

getting there

Address

London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom (See map).

getting there

By Tube

The nearest stations are Green Park and St. James's Park stations, which are both about an eight-minute walk away from the palace

getting there

By Train

London Victoria Station which is a ten-minute walk away.

getting there

By Bus

You can also get to the palace by bus via routes 11, 211, C1 and C10 to Buckingham Palace Road.

getting there

By coach

The nearest station is Victoria Coach Station which is a 13-minute walk away

Visiting Buckingham Palace

Tours of Buckingham Palace are only offered during the summer months, and the majority of the rooms are closed to the public. However, The State Rooms, The Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews are open to visitors.

The tours last for approximately two and a half hours, and photography and video recording is strictly forbidden inside the Palace (you can however, take photographs and videos of the gardens).

Eating and drinking is strictly forbidden inside the State Rooms, but you will be able to buy refreshments at a café at the end of your tour. The café offers tea, coffee, juice, cakes and sandwiches, and closes at 5:45 p.m.

Ticket prices and Opening Hours

Buckingham Palace is open from:

  • 9:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. (with last admission at 5:15 p.m.) from July 23rd to August 31st,
  • 9:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. (with last admission at 4:15 p.m.) from September 1st to October 2nd.

In order to see the inside of the Palace, you will need to book a tour beforehand, and there are three different tours available:

  • The Royal Day Out Tour (which includes The State Rooms, The Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews) costs £37 for adults, £20.80 for children between the ages of five and 17 or disabled adults, or £33.80 for seniors and students. There are also family tickets available (two adults, three children) for £94.80.
  • The State Rooms Tour costs £21.50 for adults, £12.30 for children between the ages of five and 17, and £19.60 for seniors and students. Family tickets are available for £55.30.
  • The State Rooms and Garden Highlights Tour (which includes a guided tour of the Buckingham Palace gardens as well as the State Rooms) costs £30.50 for adults, £27.50 for seniors and students, and £16.40 for children between the ages of five and 17 or disabled adults.

Children under the age of five can get in for free for any of the tours.

Do you want to visit this place?

You can make it with a professional guide

Free

Free London Landmarks Tour – West*

Visit 3 Royal Palaces, as we walk together from the Big Ben to Buckingham Palace

Book now

You might also like...