Buckingham Palace, London

Buckingham Palace, London (must see)

Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. Prior to becoming a palace, it was Buckingham House - a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. In 1761, King George III acquired this property as a private home for Queen Charlotte. It finally became the official royal residence under Queen Victoria in 1837. It was also Victoria who started the tradition of the royals showing up on the balcony, when she appeared there for the first time during the opening of the Great Exhibition at Hyde Park in 1851.

The oldest part of the palace, dating back to 1760, is the wine vaults located below the west wing. During the 19th century, the palace had three wings added around a central courtyard. Eventually, Victoria realized that the palace wasn't big enough for official receptions, so she ordered that the Marble Arch, once set in front of the palace, be moved to the north east corner of Hyde Park, and then used the vacated space for the construction of the palace's fourth wing.

Buckingham Palace boasts the largest private garden in London, 39 acres. It is also home to the National Collection of mulberries. The Palace itself is built on a site once used by King James I for a mulberry garden planted in an attempt to rear silkworms in the 1600s.

Within the garden there is an oldest helicopter pad in London. The very first helicopter landed there just before the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. Half a century later, in the year 2000, an official helipad was built there to prevent the lawn from damaging. Instead of concrete, though, which didn't look too appealing, the Royal helipad is paved with a layer of matting underneath the grass.

Inside the palace itself, other than 775 rooms and various amenities, there is a Court Post Office run by Royal Mail, an ATM machine, and reportedly a swimming pool, doctor's office and a movie theater. Rumors also suggest there's a branch of the Post Office Railway running right beneath the palace and the underground tunnels linking Buckingham to various parts of London including the Whitehall and Houses of Parliament.

Why You Should Visit:
It's amazing to see parts of an actually working Palace, though you don't get to look around all its 700 rooms.

Tip:
If you don't bring a packed lunch thinking you can have some food in the local shops, you will be astonished at the prices.

Opening Hours:
9:30am-7:30pm, between the 22nd of July and 31st of August

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in London. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Buckingham Palace on Map

Sight Name: Buckingham Palace
Sight Location: London, England (See walking tours in London)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in London, England

Create Your Own Walk in London

Create Your Own Walk in London

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South Bank Walking Tour

South Bank Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Beatles London Walking Tour

Beatles London Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Bridges of London

Bridges of London

Around thirty bridges span the Thames river in London, each with its own story. Our self-guided walk takes you to see nine such historical structures located in the heart of the city, starting from the storied Westminster Bridge and ending at the iconic Tower Bridge.

The latter has stood over the River Thames in London since 1894 and is one of the finest, most recognizable bridges in the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 Km or 3.2 Miles
Harry Potter Walking Tour I

Harry Potter Walking Tour I

The arrival of Harry Potter books, followed by tremendously successful Hollywood adaptation, has made London an even more popular destination now with the Harry Potter fans all over the world. The list of attractions in the city associated with Potter’s journeys includes both, newly-invented as well as some long-standing locations.

On Part I of the self-guided Happy Potter Walking Tour, you...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Charles Dickens Tour

Charles Dickens Tour

Today's world's literature and mass culture are hardly imaginable without the works of Charles Dickens, recognized as the greatest British novelist of the Victorian era. A pioneer of “cliffhanger” endings, Dickens remains one of the most-read English authors whose writings never go out of print and have been repeatedly adapted to stage, screen and TV.

Dickens was born in...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles
Covent Garden Walking Tour

Covent Garden Walking Tour

A shopping and entertainment hub on the eastern fringes of London's West End, Covent Garden is a district historically associated with the former fruit-and-vegetable market – currently a shopping spot popular with locals and tourists alike.

Once a slum area, today the north of the district is given over to independent shops centered on Neal's Yard and Seven Dials. Both places offer...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles

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