Buckingham Palace is the main workplace and London residence of the British monarchy. The palace is situated in the City of Westminster and it often hosts royal hospitality and state occasions. Originally called Buckingham House, it was constructed in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham. Nowadays, the Buckingham Palace Garden is considered the London’s largest private garden. In the summer, parts of the palace, including The Queen’s Gallery, The Royal Mews, The State Rooms and The Gardens are opened for public visits.

Highlights

  • The State Rooms – These are the public rooms where the monarchs receive, entertain and reward the visiting dignitaries and guests. They are also used for official and ceremonial occasions. The palace features 19 State Rooms where most of the decor were made or bought for the London home of George IV’s – the Carlton House. The other pieces of furniture and items are part of the Royal Collection that includes Sèvres porcelain, Canova sculptures, Canaletto and Van Dyck paintings and fine French and English furniture. Some of the most notable State Rooms are the Throne Room, the White Drawing Room and the Music Room.

  • The Queen’s Gallery – This public art gallery is located on the west side of Buckingham Palace and its exhibitions feature works of art appertaining to the Royal Collection. In 1999 it was closed for renovation and it was re-opened in May 2002 by The Queen. The re-opening was included in the Golden Jubilee festivities.

  • Royal Mews – These include the carriage house, stables and garage appertaining to the British Royal Family. Initially, the Royal Mews were located at Charing Cross, but they were moved to Buckingham Palace in the early 1820s. If you choose to visit this attraction, you will be able to see the state carriages, coaches, the state motor cars and almost 30 horses. The latest addition to the collection is the Diamond Jubilee State Coach which was used at The Diamond Jubilee of the Queen.

  • The Buckingham Palace Garden – This is situated behind the Buckingham Palace and it covers an area of 42 acres. The garden features a variety of plants and it even includes a mulberry tree that dates from the James I of England reign. Other important features are the Waterloo Vase, the 19th-century lake with its flamingoes flock, the tennis court, the helicopter pad and the summerhouse. During the summer months it also includes a gift shop for tourists.

Prices

The Buckingham Palace is opened for the public only during the summer months.

Royal Day Out – Admission to the Royal Mews, State Rooms, Queen’s Gallery and the Garden. Includes audio tour.

Adult £34.50
Child (5-16) £19.50
Student £31.50
Senior £31.50
Family (2 adults and 3 children) £88.50

The State Rooms and Buckingham Palace

Adult £19.75
Child (5-16) £11.25
Student £18.00
Senior £18.00
Family (2 adults and 3 children) £50.75

The State Rooms and Garden Highlights Tour

Adult £28.50
 Child (5-16) £17.00
 Student £25.70
 Senior £25.70
 Family (2 adults and 3 children) £74.00

Note: There is a timed-admission fee of 1.25 GBP per ticket for all rates mentioned above.

Exclusive Evening Tour – £75.00 per person (price includes a glass of champagne, 20% discount in the shop and the official guidebook copy).

The State Rooms and Buckingham Palace for Groups (15+)

Adult £17.85
Child (5-16) £10.15
Student £16.20
Senior £16.20
Child (Under 5) Free

The State Rooms and Garden Highlights Tour for Groups (15+)

Adult £26.00
Child (5-16) £15.60
Student £23.40
Senior £23.40
Child (under 5) Free

Tips

  • Ice Cream in the Garden – Go to the ice cream tent in the Buckingham Palace Garden and get a specially made ice cream. You will find it as you leave the garden.
  • Changing of the Guards – The official start time for the changing of the guards is at 11:30am and the entire ceremony lasts half an hour until 12:00pm.

Transport

  • Train – Take one of the National Rail trains and stop at London Victoria Station. From there, you will see the Buckingham Palace signposted.
  • London Underground – The nearest underground stations to Buckingham Palace are Hyde Park Corner, Green Park and Victoria.
  • Bus – Take one of the buses C10, C1, 211 or 11 and get off at Buckingham Palace Road.

History

A series of 3 houses – Goring House, Arlington House and Buckingham House – have been constructed on the site before the actual palace was built. The last one, Buckingham House, is actually the core of the today’s palace.

The house was renovated between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century and it was soon transformed into a palace by George IV. The architect who designed most of the palace was John Nash. The design is a reminder of the French neo-classical buildings, as George IV wanted. The work was finished by Edward Blore who was hired by William IV.

In 1837, when Queen Victoria ascended the throne, the Buckingham Palace became the official royal residence and it has remained so ever since. Throughout the years, various other wings and additional buildings have been constructed to cater for the royal families’ necessities. The ballroom wing and the East Front facing are only some of the additions that transformed it into the amazing palace that it is today.

Interesting Facts

  • Buckingham Palace is visited by more than 50,000 people every year. Some of them are simple tourists, while others are important personalities, heads of state and statesmen.
  • There are 775 rooms inside the Buckingham Palace: 19 State Rooms, 92 offices, 52 guest and Royal bedrooms, 78 bathrooms and 188 staff bedrooms.
  • Buckingham Palace features its own cinema, chapel, doctor’s surgery, post office, staff cafeteria and swimming pool.
  • Some of the most distinguished historic figures who have visited the Buckingham Palace are Nelson Mandela, Neil Armstrong, Mahatma Gandhi, JF Kennedy, Charles Dickens, Johann Strauss the Younger and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

17 Reviews

  1. tinathanabalan
    tinathanabalan 37 Comments
     -  14 Aug 2018

    Royal

    Possibly feel like a royal as you take a tour of the palace and the grounds. Watch the iconic changing of the guards, which was definitely a highlight of the tour. Only negative is that it is always crowded.

  2. lilyardenlao
    lilyardenlao
    Philippines 75 Comments
     -  23 Apr 2018

    From afar, it looks magnificent

    They weren't allowing people in when we went, or at least I wasn't aware of tours being brought in. So my mom and I enjoyed the view from beyond the gates, feeling like paparazzi waiting for the royals to come out. Lol! It's really worth seeing even from outside. There were so many people though.

    If you get bored, the park right beside it is nice to walk around in.

  3. Nicholas Jayaputra
    Nicholas Jayaputra 25 Comments
     -  23 Mar 2018

    Fantastic attraction

    This is a pure historic landmark in a historical city!

    I’ve been here several times and my favorite time will be when the Queen is holding a parade for her birthday. You can see carriages running around the road leading to Buckingham. There will be marching band and lots of different national guards perform. It closes with the air force gives salutes using the jets. Absolutely amazing!

    The grounds itself is huge and have a lot of objects to be snapped.

  4. tamara-v
    tamara-v
    Yugoslavia 26 Comments
     -  30 Dec 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    This historical Palace is a must during you London visit. While visiting be sure you catch guard changing. The best time for nice photos without people on them is of course in the night. You can always book a tour and take a look how the palace looks like from the inside.

  5. zeifel
    zeifel
    Indonesia 26 Comments
     -  18 Dec 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    Due to limited time, my family and I did not go for the tour and could only manage to watch the changing of the guards. It was in the middle of autumn, so it started to rain about halfway through the parade. Still, the soldiers kept marching on at the same speed while all the spectators were running around trying to find a shade. Salute to the Highlanders!

  6. NicoleH
    NicoleH
    Canada 60 Comments
     -  15 Oct 2017

    Excellent

    Buckingham Palace is truly a sight to see. Walking down the mall towards the palace is really cool and if you can get there for the changing of the guards you will get a unique experience. We learned that the changing of the guards is more for tourists benefit than anything else but it is still fun to watch. The crowds can get large but that is all part of the experience.

  7. wclarkh
    wclarkh
    United States 33 Comments
     -  04 Aug 2017

    Excellent

    We did not do the tour of the palace itself but enjoyed the grounds. Such a beautiful place and also very busy! Make sure to look up the times of the Changing of the Guard and get there at least 30-minutes before to stake out a good place to watch the parade.

  8. dzammit
    dzammit
    Canada 59 Comments
     -  03 Aug 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    Each time I’ve been to Buckingham Palace I’ve been disappointed as I could not get a tour. That said, the grounds are incredible…and large! To walk around it is seriously huge! The changing of the guards is quite a production and something to plan around to see!

  9. Nemanja Popović 45 Comments
     -  28 Jul 2017

    Excellent

    On the top 10 places to see in London. Crowds outside can be large, especially during the changing of the guard ceremony. Hard to get close enough to the gates to take a great picture. If you want to go inside, there are tours that you can book. They aren’t that expensive. Try to book them online and avoid the crowds and the waiting lines.

  10. Uswa Shamail
    Uswa Shamail 13 Comments
     -  15 Jul 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    We went to the Palace during summer which is why i think there was so much rush and overcrowdedness almost made it impoosible for us to get a clear picture with the palace without someone lurking in behind us in the background. however its exterior is superb and breathtaking and changing of the guards is a really cool episode to watch!

  11. shae23
    shae23
    Australia 115 Comments
     -  03 Jul 2017

    It was good

    I have not gone into the Palace but it is amazing even from the outside. I recommend going to the Changing of The Guards at 11am as this is really cool to watch. This is also the busiest time so try to get their early. There is also the Royal Stable close by, I would check this out too!

  12. thewizardoflozz
    thewizardoflozz 10 Comments
     -  17 May 2017

    It was good

    It’s quite a walk away from the tubes, and a bit hard to get a perfect photo as there is always an absolute crowd of people in front of it. The inside though is a life of luxury, not the usual glamorous luxury we’re used to seeing these days, but more of a blast from the past with golden arches. You’ll feel like you’re in a different time period all together so I would definitely recommend on that basis, but we wary of the mass of crowds, that’s the only let down.

  13. Sarah 10 Comments
     -  21 Apr 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    Fulfilled my dream to step into the Palace of the Royal Family! It looks like it’s crowded no matter the season because even during winter, people flock especially during the changing of the guards. The Palace truly is grand and I admired the intricate details on its facade.

  14. ajamoppical
    ajamoppical 10 Comments
     -  14 Mar 2017

    Excellent

    I went to Buckingham Palace via St. James Park, but it was crowded with people by the time I came fo see the changing of the guards ceremony. While it was amazig to watch, definitely come by earlier to get a good spot.

  15. MaryaMarevna 10 Comments
     -  03 Mar 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    The most interesting is the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. The ceremony attract a lot of attention from tourists so you have to arrive early to take a good view. The interior of the building is very well maintained. All of the rooms are gorgeous. The audio guide was very helpful and described everything well. There was even the children’s version.
    You can’t come to London and not see the Buckingham Palace!

  16. jovanovic 12 Comments
     -  27 Feb 2017

    Needs improvement

    It’s overcrowded. When visiting London you have to come here, but make it quick. It is not that special. Too much people ruin the experience.

  17. Celina Tolbert 17 Comments
     -  21 Jan 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    The changing of the guards is a really cool thing to see – it’s a huge spectacle!

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