Buckingham Palace

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Photo © Jamie Koster, taken from the Time Out London Flickr group

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Photo © Lee Nichols, taken from the Time Out London Flickr group

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White drawing room, Derry Moore / Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

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The throne room, Derry Moore / Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

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The palace gates, Andrew Holt / Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

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Photo © Prad Patel, taken from the Time Out London Flickr group

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The grand staircase, Derry Moore / Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

Victoria

It's difficult to imagine what it would be like to attend one of the state, ceremonial or official occasions for which the rooms that visitors have access to are used, protected as they are by Perspex and seasonal staff – but it's fascinating to see them, all the same. The Grand Hall resembles an upmarket hotel foyer and the thrones are surprisingly modest but the Music Room, setting for many royal christenings, is charming, there are some glorious Nash ceilings and among the paintings in the Picture Gallery are Rembrandts, Rubens and Vermeers. The visitor route includes a 450-metre walk along the west side of the palace garden, which offers views of the garden, palace and nineteenth-century lake.

As the home of the Queen, the palace is usually closed to visitors, but you may view the interior for a brief period each summer while the Windsors are away on their holidays. You'll be able to see the State Rooms, still used to entertain dignitaries and guests of state, and part of the gardens. There is also a café.

At any time of year, you can visit The Queen's Gallery to see her personal collection of treasures, including paintings by Rubens and Rembrandt.

See our guide to Buckingham Palace

Venue name: Buckingham Palace
Contact:
Address: Buckingham Palace Rd
London
SW1A 1AA
Opening hours: 2015 dates: July 25 -August 31 9.30am-7.30pm (last admission 5.15pm); September 1-27 9.30am-6.30pm (last admission 4.15pm)
Transport: Tube: Victoria/Green Park/Hyde Park Corner Rail: Victoria
Price: £20.50, £18.80 concs, £11.80 under-17s, free under-fives, £52.80 family

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  • Sat July 25th 2015 - Sun September 27th 2015
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|5
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KRYSTINA DRYDEN

Great place to visit if you get the chance, its not open all year round so check before making the trip. State rooms are amazing, even the kids loved the tour.

rachel

It was a great day out! Took a girlfriend and we walked through all of the state rooms and got to go at our leisure! it was great to see inside the palace and was a fun little treat to know the Queen was home while we were there!

Alison Bond

We had a lovely visit from start to finish. There was some inevitable queueing to get in with the security check, however, there was plenty of seating in the waiting area so it wasn't really a problem. The optional commentary was well worth having and I actually preferred the individual headset than having a guide, as I could hear everything really well and could take things at my own pace on the way round. There were plenty of stewards around to ask additional questions if you wanted to. Inside the palace itself was immaculate and it was great to see some of the rooms that you see on the news or in photographs for yourself. The Coronation exhibition was fabulous. It was lovely to see the clothes, jewellery etc. actually worn by the Royal Family on Coronation Day - never realised the Queen was so small!! When we got to the end of the exhibition, we finished by a tearoom and the gardens. We were going to go into the tearooms but I was a little disappointed that the tea was served in a paper cup, so we didn't bother!! We would probably have hung around a little longer in the gardens but it wasn't very warm so we just wandered through. I think the only negatives are the fact that I needed to go to the loo before we started, as there are no facilities until the end of the tour. I was then sent on a route march up the road, around the corner and into some public loos near Marks and Spencer. Some temporary loos near the beginning would have been welcome! Also, I would have loved to have gone on the Barracks tour too but didn't want to do it all on the same day - I think it's a little disappointing that you can do the Palace without the Barracks but not the other way round. However, overall this was a brilliant experience and I have already recommended it to many friends on my return home.

Pedro Agrochao

Overall it was what I expected. A BIG minus for Buckingham organization for putting a Brazilian flag instead of a Portuguese flag when referring to the Portuguese language. There is no such thing as Brazilian language! It is the same as English language were represented by the US flag or Spanish by the Mexican flag!! It is a shame that so many years of history, and friendship between Portugal and England seemed to be forgotten. England and the English should never forget that was a Portuguese Queen that brought the 5pm tea, the orange jelly and cutlery habit to the island. Despite this enormous linguistic/historical error, the visit went pretty well.

Rebecca Wilson

It was very difficult to find the ticket booth. There were signs inside the fences of Buckingham Palace, but they were easy to miss because they were hidden by the crowds and there are no staff around to ask. You have to walk around the left hand side of the palace and eventually you will spot the signs. The ticket buying process is very inefficient. We had already pre-booked ours but we still had to queue with others who hadn't to collect them. Once that was done we had to go back out and join another queue elsewhere to enter the venue! We visited the Mews first and they are quite a long walk away from the ticket office. We thought maybe we'd missed the entrance but we kept going and eventually found it - the signage wasn't very good again. Once inside the Mews were excellent, although there weren't enough horses for my liking. The carriages are really impressive as you'd expect, and the layout is very good. We found 40 minutes was plenty of time. We then had to go back out and queue again to get into the Palace, but once inside we had a wonderful time. The exhibits (for the coronation) were excellent and beautifully displayed. Despite the crowd there was plenty of room to walk around and we were still able to view everything properly. The staggered entry times certainly work! The Palace rooms are magnificent and very worth the visit. At the end of our stroll through the Palace we were able to walk through part of the garden which was very pleasant. We decided to sit on one of the benches and enjoy the scenery and sunshine for a little while (and eat an ice team). Overall we had a really great time and would recommend it, but be prepared for the inefficient queuing!