Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

London Sights

Buckingham Palace

  • Buckingham Palace Rd. Map It
  • St. James's
  • Castle/Palace/Chateau
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 02/27/2014

Fodor's Review

It's rare to get a chance to see how the other half—well, other minute fraction—lives and works.The doors of the monarch's official residence are only open to the public in August and September, when the Queen heads off to Scotland on her annual summer holiday. (Tours are occasionally offered at other times of year, although these tend to be "exclusive" affairs with extra perks—and hefty price tags.) The standard tour covers the palace's 19 State Rooms. With fabulous gilt moldings and walls adorned with masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, and other old masters, these are the grandest of the palace's 775 rooms (the north wing's private apartments always remain behind closed doors).

Highlights

The Grand Hall, followed by the Grand Staircase and Guard Room, are visions in marble and gold leaf, filled with massive, twinkling chandeliers. Don't miss the theatrical Throne Room, with the original 1953 coronation throne, or the sword in the Ballroom,

used by the Queen to bestow knighthoods and other honors with a touch on the recipient's shoulders. Royal portraits line the State Dining Room, and the Blue Drawing Room is dazzling in its splendor. The bow-shape Music Room features lapis lazuli columns between arched floor-to-ceiling windows, and the alabaster-and-gold plasterwork of the White Drawing Room is a dramatic statement of wealth and power. Spend some time ambling around the splendid gardens at the end of your visit.

The Changing the Guard, also known as Guard Mounting, remains one of London's best free shows and culminates in front of the palace. Marching to live military bands, the old guard proceeds up the Mall from St. James's Palace to Buckingham Palace. Shortly afterward, the new guard approaches from Wellington Barracks. Then within the forecourt, the captains of the old and new guards symbolically transfer the keys to the palace.

Tips

If bought directly from the palace ticket office, tickets are valid for a repeat visit over the course of 12 months from the first visit.

Admission is by timed ticket with entry every 15 minutes throughout the day. Allow up to two hours.

A Royal Day Out ticket, available only in August and September, gives you the regal triple whammy of the Royal Mews, the Queen's Gallery, and the State Rooms, and is valid throughout the day. Tickets cost £33.25. Allow four hours.

Get there by 10:30 to grab a spot in the best viewing section for the Changing the Guard (www.changing-the-guard.com), daily at 11:30 from May until the end of July (varies according to troop deployment requirements) and on alternate days for the rest of the year, weather permitting. Want to know if the Queen's at home? If she's in residence the Royal Standard flies above the palace; if not, it's the more famous red, white, and blue Union Flag.

Read More

Sight Information

Address:

Buckingham Palace Rd., London, SW1A 1AA, England

Map It

Phone:

020-7766–7334

Sight Details:

  • £19.75; joint ticket with Queen's Gallery and Royal Mews £34.50
  • Open Aug. daily 9:30–7 (last admission 4:45); Sept. daily 9:30–6:30 (last admission 3:45). Times subject to change; check website

Updated 02/27/2014

Advertisement

Map View

Map of



What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in London

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By Piyushb

  • Experience

  • Ease

  • Value

  • Don't Miss

Mar 28, 2014

Great Palace!!

It is one of the best Britain's sovereigns, Every year they open it for the normal public, It has 775 rooms :), Each year 50,000 people visit the Palace as a guests. Unfortunately we all are not that much lucky. You must receive an invitation to visit Buckingham Palace. People who visits London must visit Buckingham Palace. http://www.sarkarinaukrione.in

  • Experience

  • Ease

  • Value

  • Don't Miss

May 7, 2013

Huge palace of British culture

Some people told me that this palace is just home where the queen Elizabeth lived here nothing more, but I had read history of this Royal Palace at londonthisweekend.co.uk and I surprised after knowing about nineteen State Rooms, after taken visit I feel proud to be part of this palace history and antic pieces.

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Experience

Ease

Value

Don't Miss

Advertisement

X

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.