Buckingham Palace

Visit the London royal residence, Buckingham Palace, and discover the rooms where the British Crown carries its administrative duties.

Buckingham Palace is the administrative headquarters of the British Crown and the official London residence of the monarch, meaning that while in London, the royal family lives at the palace. The palace is not only one of the city’s most recognisable tourist attractions, but also the centre of many state events.

Originally built in 1703 as a townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham, the palace was purchased by King George III in 1761 and became the official London royal residence in 1837, when Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837. Various structural additions and expansions were made to it in the 19th and 20th centuries, most famously by architects John Nash and Edward Blore.

Although not all royal family members live at Buckingham Palace, those who do, including the monarch, carry out most of their daily duties from there. These include diplomatic meetings, formal engagements like dinners and parties, answering letters, doling out awards and titles, and other representational duties.

Buckingham Palace in London, birds-eye view.
The Changing of the Guard ceremony draws thousands of tourists, especially during the summer.

Among the royals that currently live in Buckingham Palace are King Charles III, the Queen Consort, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, his wife, and their daughter, as well as around half of the 400 staff members that work at the palace. These include domestic servants, footmen, cleaners, plumbers, electricians, gardeners, chauffeurs, and the communications team.

Buckingham Palace is made up of 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. Among some of the palace’s highlights are the Throne Room, the Ballroom, the Music Room, the Picture Gallery, and the Drawing Room, which you’ll be able to visit on your tour of the palace.


London SW1A 1AA.

Buckingham Palace constitutes the heart of ceremonial London. It is located between St James’s Park (east of the palace), and Green Park. Just in front of the palace, to its southern side, is Buckingham Palace Garden, the residence’s park.

The surrounding area is rich in landmarks and famous monuments, including Wellington Arch, Apsley House, and Hyde Park (all to the west). In the opposite direction, to the east, are Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Westminster Palace, and the River Thames.


Buckingham Palace is open daily to the public in the summer and early autumn months from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm (in the summer) or 6:30 pm (in the autumn).

Day Opening time Closing time
Mon-Sun 9:30 am 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

In the winter and spring months, the Buckingham Palace is only open for Exclusive Guided Tours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. These tours are only available at select times: 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm on Fridays, and 11:00, 11:30, 1:30, 2:00, and 2:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Saturdays, Sundays
Day Tour times
Fridays 4:00 pm, 4:30 pm
Saturdays, Sundays 11:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 2:30 pm


You can only enter Buckingham Palace by booking an official tour. You can get your entries in advance on the Royal Collection Trust website or directly at the entry on the day of your visit (remember that buying your entries like this will be slightly more expensive).

During the summer and early autumn, tours are available daily, but during the winter and spring, the only way you can visit is with an Exclusive Tour, available at select times only.

Online (summer tour)
On the day (summer tour)
Exclusive Tour (winter)
Type Adult Young visitors (18-24) Child (5-17), visitors w/ disabilities Children (0-4)
Online (summer tour) £30.00 £19.50 £16.50 free
On the day (summer tour) £33.00 £21.50 £18.00 free
Exclusive Tour (winter) £90.00 £90.00 £49.50 free

Remember that if you only want to see the Changing of the Guard, which takes place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, you don’t have to get a ticket.


Buckingham Palace is located in a very well-connected area of the city, so you’ll have several public transport options to reach it. The nearest Tube stops are St James’s Park (southeast of the palace, serviced by the Circle and District lines) and Green Park, north of the palace, serviced by the Jubilee, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines.

If you want to get the bus, lines 6, 9, 14, 19, 22, 23, 38, and 148 will all drop you off not far from the palace.

Method Underground Bus
Lines Circle, District, Jubilee, Piccadilly, Victoria 6, 9, 14, 19, 23, 38, 148
Stops St James’s Park, Green Park -

Nearby sights

St James’s Park - immediately northeast of the Palace.

Green Park - immediately northwest of the Palace.

Apsley House - 970 m (0.6 miles) west, 13-minute walk.

Hyde Park - 1.1 km (0.7 miles) west, 15-minute walk.

Westminster Abbey - 1.1 km (0.7 miles) east, 14-minute walk.

Westminster Palace - 1.2 km (0.8 miles) east, 17-minute walk.

Big Ben - 1.2 km (0.8 miles) east, 16-minute walk.

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Buckingham Palace