Buckingham Palace

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The Top 5 Things to See at Buckingham Palace

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 Changing of the Guard

    1. The Changing of the Guard

    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.

  • The Grand Staircase

    2. The Grand Staircase

    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.

  • The Queen's Gallery

    3. The Queen's Gallery

    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.

  • The Throne Room

    4. The Throne Room

    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 Gardens

    5. The Gardens

    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.

Planning Your Visit

  • When to See the Changing of the Guards

    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.

  • Book Your Tour in Time

    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.

  • Check if the Queen is Home

    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.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Normally open daily 9:30AM - 5:30PM (last admission at 4:15PM). Be sure to check variable opening times before going!
  • Is it expensive?
    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 there
    By Tube: Green Park or Hyde Park Corner. By bus: Numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 (stop on Buckingham Palace Road).
  • Additional information

    • You cannot eat or drink in the palace.

    • To see the changing of the guard, make sure to arrive early!

Other Sightseeing Options in Buckingham Palace

Want to discover all there is to do in Buckingham Palace? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Buckingham Palace

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 6,214 reviews

The picnic experience was great, we sat on HM's terrace to eat the picnic. The quality of the picnic from the Rubens at the palace was one of the best. Selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones (Jam and Cream). This should not be confused with the scone offering from the vendor in the garden, which has come in for some adverse comments. The picnic tea was so good we have booked to go to Rubens for a tea there. The experience was a 60th birthday present for my wife, she was over the moon with the whole event. Would definitely do it again.

If you are looking for a quiet day in gorgeous surroundings, then this is for you. As expected,the grounds of the Palace are beautiful - mostly trees and shrubs rather than flowers. The Guides are knowledgeable and friendly. Seating is plentiful. Toilet facilities are luxurious. There are places to buy refreshments but we opted for the Rubens Afternoon Tea package. The tea was nice but a bit of a pain to carry around. My only grumble about the day was the Gift Shop ... prices are a little eye watering!

Really enjoyable tour with a fantastic guide, extremely knowledgeable and fun with it. Get to see parts of changing the guard that you wouldn't know happened without having someone with experience showing you.

It was amazing and guide was so energetic,cool and nice person . Good sense of humour has added value to the tour . Very happy with the tour and with him

easy to get River pass from Westminster and just showed the pass at the museums in Greenwich. very easy and enjoyable day, would recommend.