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Buckingham Palace – State Rooms & Changing of the Guard Tour

Edited by: Rekha Rajan
Fact checked by: Jamshed V Rajan

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Buckingham Palace is a world-famous tourist attraction located in London. 

This iconic building is the official residence of the British monarch and is a must-visit for anyone visiting the city. 

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Buckingham Palace, including ticket prices, timings, what to expect, how to reach, and the best time to visit.

Buckingham-Palace

What to expect

Start your day by exploring Windsor Castle, the world’s largest continuously occupied castle.

Learn about its 900+ years of royal history, and visit St. George’s Chapel. The state apartments are the highlights of the castle.

Stroll through the charming town and perhaps discover where William Shakespeare wrote “The Merry Wives of Windsor.”

Next, head to Buckingham Palace, one of the most beautiful buildings with a rich history. It is recognized as the monarch’s home for national and royal celebrations.

There is so much at the Palace visitors can see, but we have compiled some of the highlights for you to make your visit easy:

  • The State Rooms
  • The Throne Room
  • The Ball Room
  • Music Room
  • The Picture Gallery
  • The Grand Staircase
  • Palace gardens
  • Changing the Guard
  • Treasures of the Palace

The State Rooms are open to the public during the summer months. They are a series of grand rooms that are used for state occasions.

The Rooms are decorated with beautiful artworks and provide a glimpse into the lives of the British royal family. 

The Palace’s stunning gardens are also open to the public during summer, allowing visitors to explore the beautiful landscapes and sculptures.

TicketsCost
Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace Full-Day Tour£127
Buckingham Palace Tour with Royal Walking Tour£69
Westminster and Changing of the Guard Tour£18
Changing of the Guard Walking Tour£18

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Where to buy Buckingham Palace tickets

Tickets for Buckingham Palace can be purchased online.

We recommend to book tickets in advance, especially during the peak summer months, as the palace can get busy.

Also, you get great discounts on online tickets. 

Booking online also helps avoid last-minute disappointment and delays.

How the online ticket works

On the ticket booking page, select the number of tickets, preferred tour date and buy the tickets.

Immediately after purchase, your tickets get emailed to you. 

You don’t need to take any printouts. 

You can show the e-ticket on your smartphone when you visit the attraction.

Visitors should ensure they have a valid ID and the credit card used to purchase the ticket with them when visiting the palace.

Cost of tickets for Buckingham Palace tour

The cost of tickets for the Buckingham Palace tour depends on the tour option you select. 

Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace Full-Day Tour tickets cost £127 for visitors between 17 and 59 years.

Children between three and 16 get a discount of £10 and pay only £117 for their entry to both attractions.

Seniors above 60 get a discount a discount of £3 and pay £124 for their entry.

Buckingham Palace Tour with Royal Walking Tour tickets cost £69 for every visitor.

Westminster and Changing of the Guard Tour tickets cost £18 for visitors above 18 years.

Youth between 13 and 17 get a discount of £8 and pay only £10 for their admission, while kids between five and 12 get a discount of massive £11 and pay only £7 for their entry.

Infants up to 4 years can get in for free.

Changing of the Guard Walking Tour tickets are priced at £18 for adults aged 18 years and above. 

Children in the age group of 5 to 17 years get a discount of £4 and pay only £15 for entry. Infants up to four years can get in for free.

The Buckingham Palace: The State Rooms entrance

The Buckingham Palace The State Rooms entrance ticket
Image: Vocaleyes.co.uk

State Rooms are open to public during summer from 11 July to 29 September 2024, and they are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The Buckingham Palace ticket offer access to the State Rooms, where official ceremonies and state occasions occur. 

Visitors can explore some of the palace’s most grandiose rooms, such as the Throne Room, Music Room, and White Drawing Room, and learn about the palace’s role in British life and the history of the monarchy.

The tour also features a multimedia guide to the palace’s collections, including masterpieces by well-known artists like Rembrandt, Rubens, and Canaletto, as well as sculptures by Canova. 

Guests can also enjoy exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. 

During the tour, visitors will also gain insight into the preparations for official visits to Buckingham Palace. 

Finally, guests can visit the popular Garden Café to relax and enjoy views of the famous lawn.

Buckingham Palace and Royal Walking Tour tickets

Buckingham Palace and Royal Walking Tour tickets
Image: GetYourGuide.com

This 2.5-hour tour begins at the Duke of York Column, where you’ll meet your guide. 

You’ll embark on a royal walking tour before heading to Buckingham Palace, where you’ll get to see the opulent State Rooms, including the Throne Room, Music Room, and White Drawing Room. 

Along the way, you’ll learn about the history of the monarchy and the palace’s role in British life. 

Note that photography is not permitted inside the palace but is allowed in the gardens. 

Ticket Price: £69

Westminster and Changing of the Guard Tour tickets

Westminster and Changing of the Guard Tour tickets
Image: GetYourGuide.com

The Westminster and Changing of the Guard Tour is a guided walking tour that takes you through some of London’s most famous and historical landmarks. 

You’ll explore Royal London, witness parades by the King’s Guards, and visit iconic buildings such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. 

The tour is led by an expert guide who has in-depth knowledge of London’s political, royal, and cultural history. 

Along the way, you’ll learn about the Kings, Queens, rogues, and villains who shaped this wonderful city. 

The tour is suitable for all ages and includes two-and-a-quarter-hour experiences. 

However, it’s not recommended for people with heart problems. 

The Changing of the Guard ceremony can be canceled without notice due to the discretion of the British Army or bad weather.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (18+ years): £18
Youth Ticket (13 to 17 years): £10
Child Ticket (5 to 12 years): £7
Infant Ticket (up to 4 years): Free

Changing of the Guard Walking Tour tickets

Changing of the Guard Walking Tour tickets
Image: Rct.uk

The Changing of the Guard Walking Tour takes you on a journey through British history and tradition with a knowledgeable local guide. 

Highlights include experiencing the Changing of the Guard ceremony and learning about the significance of every color, button, mascot, symbol, and movement. 

You’ll also get the opportunity to follow the guards’ journey to Buckingham Palace on foot and take some amazing snapshots. 

The tour lasts approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (18+ years): £20
Child Ticket (5 to 17 years): £17
Infant Ticket (up to 4 years): Free

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How to reach Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is in the city of Westminster.

Address: London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom. Get Directions

You can use public transport or a car to reach the palace at your convenience. 

By Train

You can take the train to either London Victoria or London Charing Cross stations.

For more information on times and fares, visit the National Rail Enquiries website.

By Tube 

The palace is accessible from several underground stations, including Victoria, Green Park, St. James’s Park, and Hyde Park Corner

For more information, visit the Transport for London website.

By coach or bus

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

If you’re arriving by coach, Victoria Coach Station is just a 10-minute walk from the palace. 

For more information, visit the Transport for London website.

By car

If you’re driving to Buckingham Palace, the palace’s official website recommends using the following address for GPS directions: Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA

Keep in mind that there is no parking available at the palace, so you will need to park at a nearby car park or on the street. 

For more information on parking near Buckingham Palace, visit Westminster City Council’s website.


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Buckingham Palace timings

Buckingham Palace is open to the public during the summer, from mid-July to the end of September. 

From 14 July to 31 August, Buckingham Palace runs from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm with the last admission at 5.15 pm. 

From 1 to 24 September, the palace is open for tours from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm with the last entry at 4.15 pm. 

The State Rooms are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

The Palace operates a timed admission system for all guided tours, so pre-booking tickets is essential. 

During the summer, the Garden Cafe is open at the end of the Palace visitor route. 

How long does Buckingham Palace take

The length of time to tour Buckingham Palace depends on the type of visit. 

A visit to the State Rooms, which are the most popular attraction, can take around 2 to 2.5 hours. 

The duration of other tours, such as Changing of the Guard Walking Tour, is shorter, ranging from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Best time to visit Buckingham Palace

The best time to visit Buckingham Palace is during the summer months when the State Rooms are open to the public. 

However, as this is the peak season, it can be crowded and busy, so it is advisable to book tickets in advance and arrive early. 

Also, we highly recommend you start your tour early morning when the palace opens around 9 am to avoid crowds.

The exclusive guided tours during winter and spring are also a great time to visit for a more intimate and less crowded experience.

Know before you go 

– It is important to note that visitors are required to pass through airport-style security checks upon arrival, so it is recommended to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start time of your guided tour. 

– All tours involve some walking, so wearing comfortable shoes is advised. 

– Wheelchairs are not permitted in the State Rooms, but baby-care facilities are available at the start and end of guided tours. 

– On most of the tours, baby strollers are not allowed. 

– It is prohibited to take photographs within the State Rooms, and visitors are not allowed to eat or drink inside the Palace building, except for bottled water. 

– Visitors are advised to check the official Buckingham Palace website for the latest information on opening times and ticket prices.

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