Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace information

London , England
Buckingham Palace Rd
+44 20 7766 7300
Getting there
Tube: St James's Park, Victoria or Green Park
More information
adult/child/under-5 £21.50/12.30/free
Opening hours
9.30am-7.30pm late Jul–Aug, to 6.30pm Sep
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Built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham, Buckingham Palace replaced St James's Palace as the monarch's official London residence in 1837. When she’s not delivering her trademark wave to far-flung parts of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II divides her time between here, Windsor and, in summer, Balmoral. If she’s at home, the yellow, red and blue standard is flying. Some 19 lavishly furnished State Rooms are open to visitors when HRH (Her Royal Highness) takes her holidays from late July to September.

Hung with artworks by the likes of Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Canaletto, Poussin and Vermeer, the State Rooms are open for two-hour tours that include the Throne Room , with his-and-hers pink chairs initialed 'ER' and 'P'. Access is by timed tickets with admission every 15 minutes (audio guide included).

From 2016, admission included access to Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe , an exhibition affording a glimpse at royal couture during the Queen's reign.

Admission also includes access to part of the garden at Buckingham Palace as you exit, although you will have to join the three-hour State Rooms and Garden Highlights Tour (adult/child £27.50/16.40) to see the wisteria-clad Summer House and other famous features, and get an idea of the garden's full 16-hectare size.

Your ticket to Buckingham Palace is good for a return trip if bought direct from the palace ticket office (ask to have it stamped). You can even make your ticket purchase a donation and gain free access for a whole year (ask at the ticket office).

At 11.30am daily from April to July (on alternate days, weather permitting, for the rest of the year), the old guard (Foot Guards of the Household Regiment) comes off duty to be replaced by the new guard on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, an event known as the Changing of the Guard . Highly popular, the show lasts about 40 minutes (brace for crowds).

Originally designed by John Nash as a conservatory, the Queen’s Gallery showcases some of the palace’s treasures on a rotating basis, through temporary exhibitions. Entrance to the gallery is through Buckingham Gate.

Indulge your Cinderella fantasies while inspecting the exquisite state coaches in the Royal Mews , a working stable looking after the royals’ immaculately groomed horses and the opulent vehicles they use for getting from A to B. Highlights include the magnificent Gold State Coach of 1762 and the 1911 Glass Coach.

A Royal Day Out (adult/child £35.60/20) is a combined ticket including the State Rooms, Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews.