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Buckingham Palace – Information for visitors

Buckingham Palace – Information for visitors

Photo: Renata Sedmakova/Shutterstock

Want to visit Buckingham Palace? It is the official residence of the Queen of England and for ten weeks during the height of summer, Buckingham Palace opens its doors to members of the general public and invites visitors inside to explore the lavishly-furnished home of the Queen.

Here’s a complete guide for visitors with information about opening hours, tickets, points of interest, history and more useful info before and during your visit. 

Ticket Info

Ticket Type Adult Child (5-17) Junior (0-5) Family (2 adults and 3 children)
Buckingham Palace State Rooms £26.50 £14.50 Free £67.50
Royal Day Out £49 £26.50 / £124.50

Buckingham Palace State Rooms Ticket

The Buckingham Palace State Rooms ticket grants you access to all 19 magnificent State Rooms which are the setting for many royal ceremonies and occasions.

Royal Day Out Ticket

The Royal Day Out Ticket includes access to all 19 magnificent State Rooms plus entrance to the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews. This ticket is the best value if you want to get the most out of your visit.

Opening Hours

Buckingham Palace is open to visitors for 10 weeks of the summer when the Queen is not in residence. The 2020 opening times are as follows:

Date Opening Time Last Admission Closing Time
25th July – 31st August 2020 09:30 17:15 19:30
1st September – 4th October 2020 09:30 16:15 18:30

When booking your ticket online you will be asked to pick a timeslot between 9:30 am and 17:15 and you must arrive 15-minutes before you assigned time slot.

History & more information

Buckingham Palace is the home of the British Queen and the royal State Rooms and is recognized around the world as the setting for national and royal celebrations. As one of the world’s few remaining working royal palaces, Buckingham attracts millions of visitors to its pearly gates in the City of Westminster all year round.

Buckingham Palace was first built as ‘Buckingham House’ in 1703 for John Sheffield, the first Duck of Buckingham. The house remained the home of the Duke until King George III acquired it in 1761. However, it wasn’t until his son, George IV, took the thrown that the house began to take its shape as a palace.

George IV

George IV died before the renovations he’d requested on the house were complete though they were carried out by the next few successors to the throne. However, it wasn’t until Queen Victoria became the ruler of the United Kingdom that Buckingham Palace became known as the official royal residence.

Today, Buckingham Palace is home to the current British monarch and since its initial construction over 400 years ago, it has developed into one of the world’s most regal palaces.

Book a tour of Buckingham Palace to explore the iconic London Residence of Her Majesty the Queen, walk through the ornate State Rooms and admire pieces from the Royal Collection.

buckingham palace

Points of Interest

State Rooms

19 beautifully-decorated State Rooms are used for receiving royal guests and hosting official functions. The state rooms feature classic English and French furniture as well as beautiful paintings by famous artists such as Rembrandt and Rubens and Poussin.

The Throne Room

Often used as a backdrop for royal photographs inside the palace. It is one of the most iconic rooms in Buckingham Palace, lavishly decorated with great history to be untold. 

Fine Art

Works by Canaletto, Rembrandt, and Vermeer line the halls.

Multimedia Tour

An immersive tour introduced by Prince Charles.

Special Exhibition

The special exhibition changes annually. The 2020 exhibition is ‘Royal Animals’ which takes a look at the Royal Family’s interest in animals and draws from works in the Royal Collection.

The Gardens

As you exit Buckingham Palace you’ll walk through the gardens and enjoy views of the palace. The gardens are home to over 30 different species of birds and 350 different wildflowers.

Buckingham Palace gardens

Photo: Daliu/Shutterstock

How to get to Buckingham Palace

By Underground

Victoria, Green Park, St. James’s Park and Hyde Park Corner are all underground stops within walking distance of Buckingham Palace.

By Train

London Victoria and London Charing Cross are the closest overground stations to Buckingham Palace.

By Bus

Bus numbers 11, 211, C1, and C10 all stop on Buckingham Palace Road.

By Coach

Victoria Coach Station is just a 10-minute walk from the palace.

How to get to Buckingham palace

Photo: s4svisuals /

Nearby Attractions

Thanks to its central London location, there are plenty of other attractions to visit in the vicinity of the palace including the below:

  • Royal Artillery Memorial
  • The Queen’s Gallery
  • Changing of the Guards
  • St James Theatre
  • Royal Mews
  • Churchill War Rooms
  • James’s Park
  • The Memorial Gates
  • Westminster Abbey
  • National Gallery
  • Houses of Parliament

Best time to visit

Tours of the State Rooms only take place in the summer months but to avoid peak times, try booking on a morning or late afternoon tour.

Facts about Buckingham Palace

  1. The original Buckingham Palace was built for a Duke, not a King or Queen!
  2. Queen Victoria was the first English royal to live at the palace.
  3. The State Rooms are only open to the public during the summer when the Queen isn’t in residence.
  4. Buckingham Palace was bombed nine times during WWII.
  5. There are over 700 rooms in the palace including 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, 19 staterooms, and 78 bathrooms.
  6. Woodrow Wilson was the first sitting U.S president to visit Buckingham Palace.
  7. You can tell whether the Queen is home based on the flags flying atop the palace. If the Union Flag is flying high above the palace the Queen isn’t home, if the Royal Standard Flag is flying then she’s in residence.
  8. In the 19th century, the residence underwent renovations, adding three additional wings that surround a central courtyard.
  9. There’s an ATM inside the palace! Coutts & Co, the royal family’s bank of choice, installed an ATM in the basement. There’s also a post office, cafeteria, and movie theatre hidden away inside.
  10. The ceremony of the Changing of the Guards, also known as Guard Mounting, occurs just outside of Buckingham Palace at 10:45 and typically lasts around 45 minutes. The actual handover between guards occurs at 11 a.m.
Changing of the Guards

Photo: Millionstock /

FAQ’s (Things to know before you go)

Is Buckingham Palace open to the public?

The palace is open to the public for 10 weeks each summer when the Queen is not in residence.

Does the Queen live at Buckingham Palace?

Yes, it is the Queen’s residence in London. She also resides elsewhere including Windsor Castle, Sandringham House, and Balmoral.

Are the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery part of Buckingham Palace?

Yes, but they have their own visitors’ entrance and can be visited separately or together using a combined ticket. Both venues remain open most of the year, even when the palace is shut.

Are the State Rooms wheelchair accessible?

The State Rooms are fully wheelchair accessible and special access is available.

How long should I spend in the State Rooms?

Visitors with State Rooms tickets should expect to spend around 2 hours inside the palace.

Is there much walking involved on the tour?

Visitors are advised to wear comfortable footwear as the visitor route includes a half-mile walk through the gardens to the exit.

Can I take photos inside Buckingham Palace?

No. Photography is not permitted inside the palace.

Do I need to print my ticket?

It is recommended to print a copy of your voucher and present it on the day of your tour.

Can I bring food and beverages inside Buckingham Palace?

Eating and drinking inside the palace are not permitted, with the exception of bottled water.

Do you have more questions before visiting Buckingham Palace? Leave a comment below!

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