Buckingham Palace, London

Buckingham Palace, London (must see)

If Buckingham Palace were open year-round, it would undoubtedly rank as the most frequented tourist attraction in Britain. However, it welcomes the public for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring.

A tour here encompasses the palace's 19 State Rooms, featuring magnificent gilt moldings and walls adorned with priceless Old Masters' artwork. The Grand Hall, followed by the Grand Staircase and Guard Room, astonish with their marble grandeur and opulent gold leaf decor, complemented by colossal, sparkling chandeliers. Other noteworthy stops include the dramatic Throne Room, housing the original 1953 coronation throne, and the Ballroom, where the Queen wielded a sword to confer knighthoods and other honors with a gentle touch on the recipient's shoulders. The State Dining Room is adorned with royal portraits, while the Blue Drawing Room dazzles with its resplendent beauty. The Music Room, designed in a bow-shaped layout, boasts lapis lazuli columns framing floor-to-ceiling arched windows, while the White Drawing Room's alabaster and gold plasterwork makes an imposing statement of affluence and authority.

The Changing the Guard ceremony remains one of London's most captivating free spectacles, culminating in front of the palace. To the accompaniment of live military bands, the old guard proceeds up The Mall from St. James's Palace to Buckingham Palace, followed shortly by the new guard from Wellington Barracks. In the forecourt, the captains of the old and new guards symbolically exchange the keys to the palace. Arriving early is advisable for the best vantage point.

Reasons to Visit:
Fascinating opportunity to explore portions of a functioning palace, even though access to its full 700 rooms is restricted.

Travel Tip:
Visitors gain entry via timed-entry tickets, with slots available every 15 minutes throughout the day. It's highly recommended to complement your visit with a guided tour of the extensive palace gardens, which can also be explored separately. Allocate up to two hours to fully appreciate the experience.

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 Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

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

Creating your own self-guided walk in London is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

Often called England's national poet or simply "the Bard", William Shakespeare is revered as one of, if not the greatest playwright this world has ever seen. The dramas, such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth are among the finest creations in the English language, translated into every major language and performed more often than those of any other author....  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Beatles London Walking Tour

Beatles London Walking Tour

Perhaps one of the most famed and influential bands of all time, whose music has transcended generations, The Beatles continues to be a source of entertainment many decades after the group was formed (1960) and split up (1970).

"The Fab Four" – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – all came from Liverpool, but London was indeed their home-base. As the...  view more

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

London Introduction Walking Tour

After the Roman invasion of 43 AD, the settlement of Londinium came into being. Things went well enough until 61 AD. Then Queen Boudica and her Iceni warriors arrived. They burned the town to ashes. They were not just rowdy tourists. Londinium had died but it rose again and it flourished until the Romans left in the 5th century.

With the Romans gone, Londinium was Anglo-Saxon Lundenwic. Until...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Sherlock Holmes Tour in London

Sherlock Holmes Tour in London

Among a myriad of other, real-life celebrities who have ever called London their home, perhaps the most famous is the fictional consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, created by Conan Doyle. Indeed, the ingenious sleuth has left an indelible mark on the literary and cultural landscape of London ever since the appearance of the first stories about him in the late 1880s. Years on, there are several...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 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
London's Historic Pubs Walk

London's Historic Pubs Walk

If there’s any more iconic symbol for London than Big Ben or the London Eye, then it must be the traditional English pub. And London sure is full of them, dating from pre-Victorian times to just about five minutes ago.

With so much history surrounding London there is no shortage of historic pubs to choose from. Whether you fancy half-timbered, rambling watering holes or small but perfectly...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

Most visitors to London consider shopping as part of their must-do London experience. From street markets to Victorian arcades to snobbish Sloane Square to busy Oxford Street, there are a host of shops selling items which typically represent this vibrant city. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs...