Buckingham Palace Guide

Buckingham Palace, London
Buckingham Palace - © Petr Kratochvil

Buckingham Palace is among the world's most famous palaces, the London residence of the Queen is one of the top tourist attractions in London for visitors from around the world. The palace is located in central London next to St James's Park and is a working royal palace and in addition to being the Queen's residence in London, it also serves as the office and administrative headquarters of the royal household.

There are 775 rooms in this historic palace that has been the London residence to the monarch's since 1837. The palace hosts many state and formal events throughout the year, there are areas such as the state rooms that visitors can see at certain ties of the year.


Attractions


Buckingham Palace is recognised the world over and is one of the most recognised buildings in the world. The palace is steeped in history and over the years has become one of the best loved and instantly recognisable symbols of the British monarchy and of the UK.

The Palace contains a total of 775 rooms within these are 19 State rooms with other royal and guest bedrooms, staff bedrooms and offices among others. The palace is a central venue when it comes to royal ceremonies and official state visits. Within the palace are many works of art forming a part of the Royal Collection.

The State Rooms are used extensively by both the Queen and members of the royal family for events such as state visits and official entertaining. There are tens of thousands of people that visit the palace by invitation each year to attend one of a variety of dinners, banquets, receptions and Royal Garden Parties.

The Throne Room inside the palace has been used for formal wedding photos and on special occasions for the Queen to receive loyal addresses.

The White Drawing Room is known as possibly the grandest of the state rooms, this room serves as a reception room for both the Queen and members of the royal family. Here the royal family gather prior to official and state occasions and events.

The Queen's Gallery located at Buckingham Palace is a dedicated area that showcases the changing exhibitions of items from the Royal Collection. The Royal Collection consists of a large and wide ranging collection of art and various important treasures, ranging from priceless art collections to furniture to arms and armour to sculpture.

The Royal Mews located at Buckingham Palace shows visitors a range of road transport for the royal family that ranges from horse-drawn carriages to motorised cars. The Royal Mews contains a display of a variety of State vehicles. Among the vehicles displayed are the striking Gold State Coach that are used for coronations and the carriages that are used for both state and royal occasions, State Visits and weddings.

The Garden at the palace has been referred to as 'walled oasis in the middle of London', a visit here will confirm why. The tranquil surroundings seem far away from the hustle and bustle of central London with the garden boasting many species of birds and wild flowers. Visitors to the palace have a walk in the garden as part of their tour, offering wonderful views of the palace and the lake.

The Changing of the Guard is a famous site and is especially popular among visitors to the UK, at 11.30am daily from May until the end of July. There is also changing of the guard throughout the year on alternate days however this weather permitting. The ceremony of the changing of the guard takes place on the forecourt of the palace and takes approx 40 minutes to complete.


How to Get There


By Car: Buckingham Palace is situated within the London Congestion Charge zone. Visitors need to factor in the cost of this when visiting by car, the Trafalgar and Abingdon car parks offer car parking facilities. There are also metered street parking bays on some of the roads close by. For those using Satellite Navigation systems the postcode to use is SW1A 1AA.

By Train: The closest train station is London Victoria, there are connections to trains across London and to other towns and cities across the UK from here. The palace is within walking distance from Victoria station.

By Bus: There are a number of buses that service Buckingham Palace Road, these include the numbers 11, 211, 239, C1 and C10.

By Coach: There are regular coaches from National Express to and from Victoria Coach station a short distance from the palace making it convenient for visitors from across the UK to get to central London.

By Underground (Tube): There are several Underground stations within a short distance of the palace these include Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, Green Park and St James's Park.

Contact Details


Buckingham Palace
London
SW1A 1AA

For ticket sales & further information:

Ticket Sales and Information Office
The Official Residences of The Queen
London
SW1A 1AA


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7766 7300

Fax: +44 (0)20 7930 9625

email: bookinginfo@royalcollection.org.uk

Website: Royal Collection

Facilities & Information


Opening Times:

The State Rooms: From late July - To late September:

Opening time: 09:45 to 18:00 (Note: last admission is at 15:45)

Please Note: There is timed ticket entry every 15 minutes during the course of the day. Tickets are valid for actual day and entrance time as specified on the ticket only.

Visitors should plan a visit to the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace should last around 2 to 2 and a half hours.

The Royal Mews: From late March until Late October (except Fridays):

Opening time: 11.00 to 16.00 (Note: last admission is at 15.15 & small change of time in August)

Visitors should plan a visit to the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace should last around 2 to 2 and a half hours.

The Royal Collection: Daily:

Opening time: 10.00 to 17.30 (Note: last admission is at 16.30)

It is recommended visitors check all opening and closing times and specific days visits are open when booking to get the latest information & avoid disappointment, as changes can occur.


Further Information: Ticket prices start from approx £10 for children, approx £17 for adults and £44 for a family ticket, to see the State Rooms.

Ticket prices are approx £17 for children, approx £30 for adults and £78 for a family ticket, to see A Royal Day Out that includes seeing the State Rooms, Royal Mews and the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace

For visitors with disabilities it is advisable to check for specific provisions when booking your tickets. For wheelchair users there are alternative access routes to avoid the stairs at certain places on the tour.

There is parking for Blue Badge holders however it is limited and needs to be pre booked.

Map



View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: Buckingham Palace Map

Tips & Other Considerations


There may be some variations on the opening hours depending on the time of year and the attraction you wish to see i.e. the palace, the gardens or the park. It is wise to double check before going to ensure the attraction you wish to see is open and avoid disappointment.

Always remain alert and aware of your belongings at all times. Ensure your wallet/purse and valuables and ensure they are hidden away from public view. If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

Do not leave your bags and any shopping bags unattended, this will help to prevent theft and stop you misplacing your bags.

If you are travelling by car to Buckingham Palace ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Check the Traffic News before beginning your journey.

If you are looking for car parking near Buckingham Palace, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking. The rules & regulations can be complex & confusing if you are not sure it is wise dot to park there. Parking rules & regulations are strictly enforced in central London & can result in fines and other sanctions.

Beware of the car parking charges, they can be very expensive anywhere from £4 to 6 or 7 per hour depending on the car park/street parking charges. Visitors can save on car parking if they visit on Sundays, there is no congestion charge and the hourly rates in some car parks are reduced. On Sundays it is possible to get cheaper street parking too with significant savings compared to other times.

If you are travelling by public transport, it is useful to check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, trams, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.




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