Buckingham Palace Updated: 4 months ago

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Buckingham Palace, London's iconic royal landmark, serves as the official residence of the King and stands as a testament to the city's rich history. Constructed in 1703, its renowned facade attracting millions was added between 1847 and 1850.

The palace is located in Westminster, and is surrounded by three royal parks, i.e. Green Park, St James’s Park and Hyde Park.

Changing of the Guard

The area in front of Buckingham Palace is a popular place to visit throughout the year. One of the top attractions is the Changing the Guard ceremony, a tradition that occurs daily in the summer at 11 a.m. and four times a week during other seasons. Mark your calendar for Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays to witness this spectacle.

The Victoria Memorial

At the palace’s forefront lies the Victoria Memorial, positioned perfectly at the end of the Mall that stretches from Trafalgar Square. The memorial was designed by Sir Thomas Brock in 1901, unveiled in 1911 and completed in 1924 to honor Queen Victoria’s reign between 1837 and 1901, a period marked by great cultural expansion and industrial progress. Tourists and locals often see military parades from the Horse Guards Parade, marching via The Mall and passing this historic memorial.

Buckingham Palace Tours

Buckingham Palace opens its palatial doors to the public every summer, typically between July and September. During this period, visitors can explore State Rooms, which form the heart of the working palace. A combination ticket lets you also visit the Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery. The State Rooms tour of the palace consists of the following rooms, each with its history and artistry, adding to the memorable experience.

State Rooms

The Green Drawing Room

Acting as a transitional space to the Throne Room, the Green Drawing Room is adorned with green silk wallpaper and houses exquisite furniture and works of art.

The Throne Room

Perhaps one of the most iconic spaces in the palace, the Throne Room is where ceremonial receptions take place. It is home to the thrones used for the coronation of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in 1953.

The Picture Gallery

This long, narrow room showcases a rotating exhibition of paintings from the Royal Collection, including works by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Rubens.

The Ballroom

The largest of the staterooms, the Ballroom is used for state banquets and investitures. It features a musicians’ gallery and a throne dais.

The State Dining Room

Known for its grand banquets, The State Dining Room displays silver-gilt from the Grand Service, ordered by George IV. The room is luxurious with its red carpet and gold candelabra.

The White Drawing Room

Acting as a royal reception room for The Queen and members of the Royal Family, this room serves as the antechamber to the royal apartments.

The Bow Room

Used as the main entrance for guests attending garden parties, The Bow Room features French doors that open onto the garden terrace.

Private tours

There are also private tours outside of the summer months. For exclusive insights, consider private tours offered from November to February. These tours, led by expert guides, grant access to areas typically closed during these months.

Additionally, special exhibitions are often held in the Ballroom, further enriching the visitor experience. It’s worth noting, however, that the palace’s opening times and available areas for public viewing may vary, so it’s always advisable to check the official website for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.

Virtual tours

Buckingham Palace has a virtual tour available. It covers the Grand Staircase and three rooms, the White Drawing Room, the Throne Room and the Blue Drawing Room in great detail.

Getting there

The Green Park station is only a few minutes walking distance away.

Nearby

Next to the palace are two Royal Parks, namely Green Park and St James's Park, the latter of which we highly recommend you visit. Horse Guards Parade is on the other side of St James's Park, as is the Churchill War Rooms.

Nearest Stations

Green Park - 8 min

Piccadilly Victoria Jubilee London Underground Zone: 1

Victoria - 9 min

District Circle Victoria London Underground Zone: 1

St James's Park - 10 min

District Circle London Underground Zone: 1

Activities from Get Your Guide