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The official home of British royalty since 1837, Buckingham Palace is the epicenter of Britain’s constitutional monarchy. It’s walls have witnessed innumerable state decrees, lavish banquets and foreign dignitary receptions.
First erected as Buckingham House for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705, the palace has expanded through the centuries. Today, it’s one of the most visited sites in the world.
Cross the threshold of Buckingham Palace into the Grand Hall and admire the curving marble staircase decorated with portraits hung by Queen Victoria. Decorated with gold-accented candelabras and sovereign reds, the Throne Room is used for royal gatherings and receptions. This is the room that leads to the East Front Balcony, where Prince William and Catherine Middleton shared a kiss in front of the world following their wedding in April 2011.
While neither an art gallery nor a museum, the palace’s private art collection rivals many national museums. Discover furniture crafted for kings and heirloom artwork from masters such as Rembrandt.
The palace has more than 700 rooms. During August and September, when Queen Elizabeth II makes her annual visit to Scotland, 19 magnificent State Rooms are available for touring. These rooms showcase many pieces of art from the royal family’s private collection. There is an admission fee, which includes an audio tour, and pre-booking your visit at the Buckingham Palace web site is essential. As a guide, if the royal flag is flying atop the palace, the Queen is home.
Complete your London experience by catching the iconic Changing the Guard ceremony, which begins promptly at 11:30 a.m. on scheduled days. Most tourists have little luck in their efforts to distract the stoic soldiers. From the palace, take a leisurely stroll to Hyde Park, the affluent Kensington district and Green Park.
Alternatively, take the Underground train to the parks, all just a couple of stops away.
The Buckingham Palace is located in the city of Westminster. You can catch a bus from London, and St. James’s Park is the nearest Underground station. Guided tours of the State Rooms are available daily in August and September.
There are many cool ways to get a feel for Buckingham Palace. Here are some of some of the top ones:
For more things to do, have a look at our London things to do page.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Apollo Victoria Theatre and Victoria Palace Theatre. Buckingham Palace and Green Park are also within 15 minutes. Victoria Underground Station and London Victoria Rail Station are within a 2-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus, and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial War Museum, Westminster Bridge, and Sea Life London Aquarium. Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 8 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Buckingham Palace, Victoria Palace Theatre, and Apollo Victoria Theatre. St. James Park and Westminster Abbey are also within 10 minutes. St. James's Park Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Victoria Underground Station is 7 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Oxford Street and The British Museum. Russell Square and Queens Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Tottenham Court Road Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Goodge Street Underground Station is 6 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The British Museum, Coca-Cola London Eye, and Big Ben. Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Leicester Square Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Charing Cross Underground Station is 4 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tate Britain and Houses of Parliament. Westminster Abbey and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Pimlico Underground Station is 10 minutes by foot and Westminster Underground Station is 13 minutes.