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Buckingham Palace

Britain’s most famous home, the luxurious personal residence and workplace of Queen Elizabeth II, is open to all.

The official home of British royalty since 1837, Buckingham Palace is the epicenter of Britain’s constitutional monarchy. It’s walls have witnessed innumerable state decrees, lavish banquets and foreign dignitary receptions.

First erected as Buckingham House for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705, the palace has expanded through the centuries. Today, it’s one of the most visited sites in the world.

Cross the threshold of Buckingham Palace into the Grand Hall and admire the curving marble staircase decorated with portraits hung by Queen Victoria. Decorated with gold-accented candelabras and sovereign reds, the Throne Room is used for royal gatherings and receptions. This is the room that leads to the East Front Balcony, where Prince William and Catherine Middleton shared a kiss in front of the world following their wedding in April 2011. 

While neither an art gallery nor a museum, the palace’s private art collection rivals many national museums. Discover furniture crafted for kings and heirloom artwork from masters such as Rembrandt. 

The palace has more than 700 rooms. During August and September, when Queen Elizabeth II makes her annual visit to Scotland, 19 magnificent State Rooms are available for touring. These rooms showcase many pieces of art from the royal family’s private collection. There is an admission fee, which includes an audio tour, and pre-booking your visit at the Buckingham Palace web site is essential. As a guide, if the royal flag is flying atop the palace, the Queen is home.

Complete your London experience by catching the iconic Changing the Guard ceremony, which begins promptly at 11:30 a.m. on scheduled days. Most tourists have little luck in their efforts to distract the stoic soldiers. From the palace, take a leisurely stroll to Hyde Park, the affluent Kensington district and Green Park.

Alternatively, take the Underground train to the parks, all just a couple of stops away. 

The Buckingham Palace is located in the city of Westminster. You can catch a bus from London, and St. James’s Park is the nearest Underground station. Guided tours of the State Rooms are available daily in August and September.


Guide to Exploring around Buckingham Palace


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Lodging Near Buckingham Palace

See all 3,771 Hotels near Buckingham Palace
$149
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

200 Westminster Bridge Road, London
4.4
of 5, from 8,757 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This fantastic new hotel is located on the South Bank, near London Eye. Waterloo and Westminster stations are within 5 minutes walk, making easier to travel and ideal choice for city break or business trip.

$119
The Grosvenor Hotel

The Grosvenor Hotel

101 Buckingham Palace Road, London
4.2
of 5, from 1,060 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Belgravia, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Victoria Palace Theatre, Buckingham Palace, and St. James Park. Big Ben and Sloane Square are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$158
St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

54 Buckingham Gate, London
4.4
of 5, from 1,970 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral, and Big Ben are among the many popular attractions within 0.8 km (0.5 mi) of this central London hotel. Victoria Station is a 7-minute walk. St. James' Park and Hyde Park are close by.

$124
The Strand Palace Hotel

The Strand Palace Hotel

372 The Strand, London
4.0
of 5, from 8,502 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Covent Garden Market and King's College London. Royal Opera House and London Coliseum are also within 10 minutes.

$258
The May Fair

The May Fair

Stratton Street, Mayfair, London
4.3
of 5, from 1,781 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Location

$192
The Rubens At The Palace

The Rubens At The Palace

39 Buckingham Palace Road, London
4.4
of 5, from 1,036 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Victoria Palace Theatre and Buckingham Palace. Big Ben and St. James Park are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$121
The Nadler Victoria

The Nadler Victoria

10 Palace Place, London
4.6
of 5, from 456 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly London hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Victoria Palace Theatre and Buckingham Palace. Big Ben and London Dungeon are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$181
Holiday Inn London Mayfair

Holiday Inn London Mayfair

3 Berkeley Street, London
4.1
of 5, from 1,618 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sotheby’s, Buckingham Palace, and Piccadilly Circus. St. James Park and London Palladium Theatre are also within 15 minutes.