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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 4,415 Hotels near Buckingham Palace
The Grosvenor Hotel $135
The Grosvenor Hotel

The Grosvenor Hotel

101 Buckingham Palace Road, London
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 1,270 reviews
    4.0 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).

    Marlin Waterloo $140
    Marlin Waterloo

    Marlin Waterloo

    111 Westminster Bridge Road, London
       
      4.4
      of 5, from 408 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      This aparthotel is located in London (Lambeth), close to Imperial War Museum, London Dungeon, and Big Ben. Also nearby are Sea Life London Aquarium and Coca-Cola London Eye.

      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London $165
      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

      200 Westminster Bridge Road, London
         
        4.4
        of 5, from 9,211 reviews
        4.0 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.

        St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London $172
        St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

        St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

        54 Buckingham Gate, London
           
          4.4
          of 5, from 2,041 reviews
          4.0 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.

          The May Fair $261
          The May Fair

          The May Fair

          Stratton Street, Mayfair, London
             
            4.3
            of 5, from 1,825 reviews
            5.0 out of 5.0

            Oxford Street, Bond Street, and West End are just a few of the amazing locations that guests can easily reach from May Fair. Green Park Station is moments away with great connections on Piccadilly, Jubilee, and Victoria lines.

            Park Plaza London Riverbank $121
            Park Plaza London Riverbank

            Park Plaza London Riverbank

            18 Albert Embankment, London
               
              4.2
              of 5, from 3,082 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Park Plaza London Riverbank is across the river from the Tate Britain gallery, close to Westminster. The London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are all within easy reach. The hotel is easily approachable from Waterloo, Vauxhall and Westminster stations.

              The Nadler Victoria $127
              The Nadler Victoria

              The Nadler Victoria

              10 Palace Place, London
                 
                4.6
                of 5, from 513 reviews
                4.0 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).

                The Strand Palace Hotel $155
                The Strand Palace Hotel

                The Strand Palace Hotel

                372 The Strand, London
                   
                  4.0
                  of 5, from 8,842 reviews
                  4.0 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.