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.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

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.
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: 4.9 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
London Introduction Walking Tour

London Introduction Walking Tour

London emerged as a humble settlement on the outskirts of the great Roman empire in the 40s AD. Originally known as Londinium, it was only the second incarnation of that village that survived. The first one burned to the ground at the hands of local tribesmen. In the course of two millennia since, London has evolved progressively first to become the capital of the Roman province of Britannia, then...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Kensington/Knightsbridge Walking Tour

Kensington/Knightsbridge Walking Tour

Situated just below Hyde Park, Knightsbridge and South Kensington are two adjacent neighborhoods with grand Victorian homes and leafy garden squares. Home to London’s most expensive homes, Knightsbridge has some of the highest density of millionaires in the world. This is clearly reflected in the selection of stores & restaurants in the area, including the famous Harvey Nichols and Harrods...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles
South Bank Walking Tour

South Bank Walking Tour

The South Bank is a stretch of the Thames in London that is beautiful to walk through because there are so many iconic and magnificent things to see along the way. A lively and ever-changing area at the heart of London’s cultural scene, it also has the advantage of offering views across the Thames to some of the most famous buildings anywhere. The Palace of Westminster is the major feature in...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 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...