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Built in 1703, Buckingham Palace is the Queen's London residence and one of the last working royal palaces in the world. A highlight of any visit to London, its splendor fully lives up to one's childhood royal fantasies. Here are 5 of the palace's highlights.
The most popular attraction of Buckingham Palace is, of course, the world-famous changing of the guard. Lasting about 45 minutes, it's a spectacular display of British pageantry.
Possibly the most famous part of the palace is, surprisingly, a staircase. Opulent and exquisitely decorated, its balustrade boasts some of the finest bronze casting in the world.
A treat for art lovers, this public gallery displays a rotating exhibition of 450 works from the Royal Collection, the monarch's impressive collection of artworks.
If there's ever been a room deserving to be called majestic, then it's this one. Lavishly decked out, it's used for ceremonial receptions and can also be converted into a ballroom.
The palace gardens are absolutely ravishing. Immaculately kept and covering an area of 39 acres, they're home to over 350 types of wildflowers, some 200 trees and a 3-acre lake.
The changing of the guard takes place everyday at 11:30am from April through July, and on alternate days the rest of the year. Due to its popularity, the changing of the guard attracts massive crowds. If you want to secure a spot near the fence to get the best view of the spectacle, it's necessary to show up at least a couple of hours in advance.
Visiting the inside of Buckingham Palace is only possible during summer, usually August and September. Tickets go fast, so make sure to book well in advance. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to see everything and the palace visiting hours are 9:30am to 7:30pm in August, while in September it's open from 9:30am to 6:30pm. Note that to also visit the gardens, you have to buy the appropriate ticket, as regular tickets only grant access to the interiors.
Those curious to know whether the Queen is at home need only check the roof of the palace. If the Royal Standard flag (red, yellow and blue) is flying, then it means the Queen is home, otherwise the Union Jack is raised instead.
- When to visitNormally open daily 9:30AM - 5:30PM (last admission at 4:15PM). Be sure to check variable opening times before going!
- What is the price?Free to look at from the outside. Standard adult ticket costs £10
- Will I need a guide?Free audio tour included in admission price!
- How to get thereBy Tube: Green Park or Hyde Park Corner. By bus: Numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 (stop on Buckingham Palace Road).
- Additional tips
- You cannot eat or drink in the palace.
- To see the changing of the guard, make sure to arrive early!
What People Are Saying About Buckingham Palace
We had a wonderful and so much educational day with Anna our guide. What we really, really liked that the tour was so personalised. We shared our thoughts and interest with Anna and she suggested a lot of things to do and see and ´tailormade' the tour in a way for us. She was really nice and enthusiastic and had so much interest for us. We will definately use CityUnscribted for our future sightseeing tours. Thanks so much for this wonderful day. :)
we used the tube many times on our day in london and found the travel card to be very useful . tube trains very easy to understand , bus routes however were a bit more confusing . good value for money though making it easy to get around london
I took my mum here as she loves horses and the royal family. It was great to get up close to the coaches and see the amazing craftsmanship that has gone into them. We also got to see two beautiful grey's and two bays in the stables which made my mum very happy
This was my third visit to Buckingham Palace, and the State rooms are certainly worthy of several visits. The exhibition this year , whilst extensive, was a little disappointing my friend and I thought. Some of the earlier displays of her Majesty's outfits through the years, we're not displayed to full advantage. We thought this was mainly due to the dress forms used.
we had a great day the guide was very good and thoughtful. The tea in the hotel was awful after walking 4 hours we got a 1/4 of a sandwich 2 tiny little cakes and some pots of something. Really awful. would recommend except for the tea.