Buckingham Palace Tours

Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of England. It has served as a Royal residence in 1837, when Queen Victoria I took the throne. The palace was originally built by for the Duke of Buckingham – from whom the palace takes it’s name – in 1703. It still serves as the office and London home of the Queen, as well as being a major tourist attraction.

There is much to see and do at Buckingham Palace and an official tour of the palace is often a highlight for many tourists. Buckingham Palace itself runs tours of the grounds and interior of the palace. These are conducted by experts on the history of the palace, the British Monarchy in general and with specialist knowledge of the priceless works of arts contained within the palace.

Buckingham PalaceBuckingham Palace tours with such an expert are not cheap, costing L65 per person. The tour takes in all of the open to public areas, in particular the State Rooms where centuries of monarchist history lives on, and includes a 20% discount at the associated Buckingham Palace shop, an official guidebook and champagne served at the Grand Entrance. The tour takes approximately two hours, conducted on foot, and tours are sporadic throughout the year. The reason given for these tours not being a daily occurrence is that Buckingham Palace is still the working home and office of the Queen, where she conducts the business of the realm, and it is therefore not conducive to have tours running through at all hours on any given day. Booking for these tours is required in advance, usually via the official Buckingham Palace website.

It is still possible to enjoy a Buckingham Palace tour without an expert. The public areas of Buckingham Palace open to the public from 26th July to 28th September. Admission costs L16.50 for an adult to visit the State Rooms, with various concessions available for pensioners, young persons and group tickets. You can also visit the Royal Mews and Queen’s Gallery as well as the State Rooms, with admission costing L29.50. Buckingham Palace advise setting aside two hours for your tour and an audio guide – available in a vast range of languages – is part of the entrance fee.

These tickets are available online, or can be purchased on the day at the Visitor Entrance to Buckingham Palace. The ticket office opens at 9.15am and closes at 5pm, though the last admittance to the palace itself is 3.45pm. You can buy tickets for the next day if you so desire. The ticket office is located on Buckingham Palace Road and is shown on most maps.

A real highlight of any Buckingham Palace tour or visit is the Changing of the Guard. This is where the famous guards of the palace change over for a new shift, and is done with much pomp and ceremony. The Changing of the Guard happens at 11.30am and takes around 40 minutes to complete. From May to July, the Guards change every day, while for the rest of the year the ceremony takes place on alternate days. Just consult the Buckingham Palace website to ensure a Change of the Guard is taking place on the day you’re planning to visit; it is a truly unmissable sight. Book a Buckingham Palace tour online, to get the best travel deals and discounts to visit the Royal Residences.