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Kensington Palace – tickets, prices, hours, what to see

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


Kensington Palace has stood by the British Royal family since the 17th century.

The walls of the Palace tell tales about Queen Vitoria’s childhood, King George II’s death, and everything in between.

Today the Palace serves as home to various royal families of England including, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

In this article, we explain everything you need to know before you visit Kensington Palace.

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What to expect

Since Queen Victoria’s public opening in 1899, the Palace has played an important role as a private residence and a public museum.

You will see the Grand Staircase, explore the King’s State Apartments, and visit the King’s Gallery. 

The opulent Cupola and Drawing Room pull you into a world of royalty, where history and grandeur come together.

Explore the Palace Gardens, including the serene Cradle Walk, the picturesque Sunken Garden, and many more.

With your Kensington Palace tickets, you will also get access to: 

  • The Jewel Room
  • The King’s Staircase
  • The Queen’s State Apartments

You can read more about ticket inclusions in the ‘Inside the Palace’ section below.

Where to book tickets

Tickets for the Kensington Palace are available online. You must pre-book your tickets for a guaranteed entry.

Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper because of the exciting discounts.

When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the entrance.

When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.

Because Kensington Palace sells only limited tickets, they may sell out during peak days.

Booking early also helps avoid last-minute disappointments.

How do online tickets work

Go to the Kensington Palace ticket booking page.

Select the preferred date, time slot, and number of tickets and buy the tickets immediately.

Once you purchase the tickets, they get delivered to your email address.

There is no need to get printouts of the ticket.

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

Kensington Palace ticket prices

The entry ticket for the Kensington Palace is priced at £16 for visitors above 16 years.

Tickets for children between five and 15 years cost £8.

Full-time students and senior citizens (with a valid ID) can purchase a concession ticket for £12.

Kensington Palace tickets

Kensington Palace tickets

The ticket gives you access to every corner of the Palace that’s open to the public. Including the beautifully landscaped gardens.

With this ticket, you can also access “Diana: Her Fashion Story” exhibition.

Children under five years of age can enter for free.

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (16 to 64 years):  £16
Child ticket (5 to 15 years): £8
Student ticket (with valid ID):  £12
Seniors ticket (60+ years): £12

Discount Alert: When you book tickets to Kew Gardens and Kensington Palace together, you get an additional 10% off. You can visit the attractions on different days. Find Out More

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How to reach the Kensington Palace

The Kensington Palace stands wide on the grounds of a royal park, Kensington Gardens.

Address: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, United Kingdom. Get Direction

If you are close enough, fire up your Google Maps and walk the distance. Directions to Kensington Palace

Else, public transport is the best way to get to Kensington Palace.

The Tube, Train, and Bus are very tourist-friendly and can take you from anywhere in London to the Palace.

By Bus

You can get onto the bus with route numbers 70, 94, 148, or 390 and get down at Bayswater Road.

Or board any bus with route numbers 9, 10, 49, 52, 70, and 452 and get off at Kensington High Street.

By Tube

The nearest tube stations to the Palace are High Street Kensington and Queensway. From both the stations, a brisk 10-15 minutes walk can take you to the Palace.

By Train

The nearest station is Paddington. It takes around 20 mins on foot to get to Kensington Palace.

By Hop-on, hop-off buses

All Hop-on, Hop-Off tour buses visit Kensington Palace.

Big Bus has a stop on the North side of the Kensington Gardens.

Note: If you don’t want to handle all the travel yourself, a hop-on hop-off bus tour of London is the best option.

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Royal Palaces Pass

If you are holidaying in London for more than three days, and have a keen interest in Palaces, this is a perfect discount Pass for you.

The Royal Palaces Pass comes in two flavors –

The 3-Palace Pass, using which you can ‘skip the line’ and enter Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Gardens, and Kensington Palace.

The 4-Palace Pass, besides the top three palaces, also allows access to Banqueting House in Whitehall.

The validity of this London’s Palace Pass is two years after the first activation.

Cost of 3-Palaces Pass

For adults (16+ years): 59 Pounds
For kids (5 to 15 years): 28.40 Pounds

Cost of 4-Palaces Pass

For adults (16+ years): 65 Pounds
For kids (5 to 15 years): 28.40 Pounds

Important: Or if you want to buy one Discount Pass and visit most attractions for free (and that too ‘skip the line’ access), check out the London Explorer Pass.

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Kensington Palace hours

The Kensington Palace stays closed from 29 October to 12 December 2023. Only the Pavilion & Sunken Garden are open from 10 am to 4 pm from Wednesday to Sunday.

From 13 December 2023, the Kensington Palace opens at 10 am and closes at 4 pm from Wednesday to Sunday.

The Palace remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The last entry is at 3 pm.

Kensington Palace gates are open to the public throughout the year, except on 24, 25, and 26 December.

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Best time to visit Kensington Palace

East front of Kensington Palace. In the foreground, you see the statue of Queen Victoria. Image: Hrp.org.uk

Being one of the popular tourist spots, Kensington Palace is busy most of the time.

The best time to visit Kensington Palace is post-lunch – from 2 pm to 3 pm because by then, the big tourist groups are done with their tours.

Since the Palace closes at 6 pm (in the summers), this will give you a good two to three hours to explore this London attraction.

In winter you must reach the attraction by 2 pm because it closes early – at 4 pm.

For parents visiting with children, the last Saturday of the month is the best option because the Kensington Palace organizes various activities for kids under 13 years.

Go ahead, buy Kensington Palace tickets.

When you buy Kew Gardens and Kensington Palace tickets together, you get a 10% discount code, which you can use (five times!) to get discounts on future purchases.

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Inside Kensington Palace

The 300-year-old history of the British Royal family is visible both outside and inside the Kensington Palace.

Here are the must-see places in Kensington Palace.

The Palace Gardens

The Kensington Gardens have evolved with the Monarchs of England.

They started as playgrounds centuries ago.

The flower beds were added by William and Mary.

In 1702 they were modified as an English-style garden by Queen Anne.

Queen Caroline, in 1928 ensured lakes and ponds adorned the gardens.

The Queen’s State Apartment

Dedicated to Queen Mary, Queen’s State Apartment dictates the story of Monarchs and reflects their high taste.

The Queen’s Staircase is plain compared to King’s but leads to her beautiful Dutch flowerbeds.

Filled with artifacts from around the world, the Queen’s Gallery is a place where Queen Mary enjoyed her needlework.

The King and Queen enjoyed their meals together in the Queen’s dining room.

Queen’s drawing-room is next to the dining room. Here she displayed her love for pieces from China and Japan.

Queen’s bedroom is further down – the room which witnessed the birth of James Edward Stuart and his imposter rumors.

The King’s Staircase

Famous for the vivid paintings by William Kent, the King’s Staircase displays lively and intriguing characters from the 18th century.

The paintings include identifiable members of the court in their red uniforms.

The paintings also include Kent himself and many other King’s specials like his page.

The paintings made by Kent covered much of the plain wooden panels, making it far more interesting than the Queen’s staircase.

Kings Gallery, Kensington Palace
Do take some time exploring the King’s Gallery at Kensington Palace. Every square inch is decorated. Image: Hrp.org.uk

The King’s gallery is the largest and the most extended state apartment in the Palace.

The gallery still carries the same aura and ceiling canvases painted by Kent, showing instances from the life of Ulysses.

The room witnessed many intimate moments – from the Duke of Gloucester’s childhood to the King’s death.

During your tour of Kensington Palace, don’t miss out on the wind dial, which is still in working condition.

The King’s State Apartment

Built for audience and meetings, the rooms in the King’s State Apartment promise a grand experience.

The King’s staircase, grand and vivid, leads to the State Apartment.

It is followed by the Presence Chamber with its astonishing fireplace, where King met ambassadors and courtiers.

The magnificent ceiling painted by Kent beautifies the Privy Chamber, Queen Caroline’s favorite spot in the whole Palace.

The Cupola Room is also a finely decorated room and was William Kent’s first royal commission.

The climax of the whole set of rooms is the King’s Drawing room.

During your visit, don’t miss out on the paintings of Venus and Cupid done by Vasari.

The last and the longest room of the King’s Apartments is the King’s State Gallery.

The Royal Orangery

Located in the Kensington Gardens, the baroque Orangey was developed by Queen Anne between 1704-05.

The orangery was a party place for Queen Anne and had an underground heating system.

During winter, the Orangery was used as a plant conservatory.

Today, it houses the Orangery Restaurant, a perfect location to enjoy splendid views of Kensington Gardens.

Diana: Her Fashion Story

Diana - Her Fashion Story
During your visit to Kensington Palace, don’t miss out on this fantastic exhibition of Diana’s clothes. Image: Cathiereid.com

This exhibit lets you step into the closet of the people’s Princess, Diana.

The exhibit map her fashion journey from the outfit she was wearing during her first royal appearance to the outfits she was wearing before her untimely death.

You can also spot the famous ink blue color velvet gown worn at the White House.

One of the latest pieces, the blue tartan Emanuel coat, was displayed in 2017.

Besides displaying her iconic outfits, the exhibition also shows her relation with her old home, Kensington Palace.

Most tourists who visit Kensington Palace also explore the Tower of London. Buy combo ticket

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Kensington Palace reviews

Kensington Palace is highly rated on Tripadvisor.

Check out two of the Kensington Palace reviews we have picked up, to give you an idea of what visitors feel about this place.

Wonderful Experience

What a lovely Palace to visit. Certainly in the top 2 for the whole of the UK. The beautiful emerald jewels on display, the history in each room with good detailing of memorabilia. The absolute highlight is Diana. The Princess of class and grace, the selection of garments on display was thoroughly interesting and so lovely to see. A must see. Well worth the entry fee. – Whatdathink, Sydney

A MUST for Victoria fans

If you are a Victoria fan, you will love seeing the section of her rooms, including a dress she wore, her nursery and toys from childhood, several pictures, some jewellery. Very tastefully and well done, books in each room give you a self-guided tour of what is on display, and guides do regular talks in the rooms which make it even more interesting! – LookingForFamilyFun

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Kensington Palace versus Buckingham Palace

Kensington Palace used to be the favorite Palace of the British Kings and Queens until 1760.

The British royals started preferring Buckingham Palace from the mid-18th century.

Only two Miles (3.2 Kms) separate the two Palaces.

We feel both the Palaces have their uniqueness, and it won’t hurt to see both.

However, if it is a question of either Kensington Palace or Buckingham Palace, we do have an answer.

Buckingham Palace is only open to the public a couple of months a year – between July and October.

If your London holiday falls in these months, by all means, book your Buckingham Palace tickets.

If not, go ahead and visit Kensington Palace right away!

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Kensington Palace to Windsor castle

Many tourists plan both Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle on the same day.

After exploring Kensington Palace in the morning, they move on to Windsor.

If you want to move between the two Palaces, public transport is the best option.

Ride the train from Kensington Palace to Windsor Castle via London Paddington Slough, Windsor, and Elton Central.

You can reach Windsor Castle in approximately 1 hr 15 mins.

If you prefer a bus, opt for the one operated hourly by Green Line services.

The bus also takes the same amount of time – 1 hr 15 mins – and the ride costs 11 Pounds per person.

A faster yet costlier option is taking a taxi. In 30 mins and 75 to 90 Pounds you can reach Windsor Castle.

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Food at Kensington Palace

While feasting your eyes at this Palace, you can stop over for good food and drinks.

The Palace cafe

This cafe is in front of the Palace, and you don’t need an entry ticket to dine here.

It is just the right place to relax before or after your tour of the Palace.

Winter timing (Nov to Feb): 10 am to 4 pm
Summer timing (Mar to Oct): 10 am to 6 pm

Kensington Palace Pavilion and Tea Room

Opposite the Sunken Garden, this restaurant offers a splendid lunch and breakfast.

If you fancy a cup of tea, be here from 12 pm to 4 pm with a prior reservation.

Winter timing (Nov to Feb): 10 am to 4 pm
Summer timing (Mar to Oct): 10 am to 6 pm.

However, eating in the Palace is prohibited except in designated places.

You can ditch the above two options and enjoy a picnic in the Kensington gardens as well.

FAQs about the Kensington Palace in London

Here are some FAQs about the Kensignton Palace London.

What if I’m running late for the Kensington Palace visit or miss my time slot?

If you can’t make it within your selected timeslot, the admissions team will try to fit you into the next available timeslot. Please remember that the later timeslots may be fully booked, and availability cannot always be guaranteed on the day.

Are mobile tickets accepted at the entrance of Kensington Palace?

Yes. Just open your ticket on your smartphone and make sure the QR code is visible for presentation at the Palace entrance.

Is there a place to store my luggage inside the Kensington Palace?

No, there are no storage facilities available. Please note that suitcases, large bags, and rolling luggage are prohibited inside the Palace buildings. It’s advisable to travel light and leave such items elsewhere during your visit.

Can I take photos inside Kensington Palace?

Non-commercial photography without flash is generally allowed inside the palace. However, some areas may be off-limits. Filming, panoramic photography, and tripod/selfie stick use are prohibited.

Is there any time limit for my Kensington Palace visit?

You can spend as much time as you like within Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens during their opening hours. However, for a comprehensive visit, we recommend setting aside approximately 2-3 hours to explore and enjoy the experience to the fullest.

Can I arrive at the Kensington Palace dressed in costume?

Please note that adults are generally not allowed to enter the palace in costume unless it is explicitly stated as part of a specific event organized by Historic Royal Palaces.

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# Hrp.org.uk
# Wikipedia.org
# Royal.uk
# Royalparks.org.uk

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