Visit Buckingham Palace in London [+ Changing of the Guard]

Buckingham Palace is the residence of the British royal family. It is located in London, right in the centre of the city. That’s why there’s no one who can’t resist taking a look at this emblematic building during their trip to the British capital.

In this article I tell you how to visit Buckingham Palace, see the Changing of the Guard and even how to get tickets for a picnic in its gardens.

📍 Where is Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace is located in the British capital, London. But it is not located just anywhere in the city; no, it is not. It is in a strategic point, connected to some of the most important places in the city such as Downing Street, Palace of Westminster or the iconic Trafalgar Square.

In addition, Buckingham Palace is surrounded by the royal parks of St James’s Park and Green Park.

If you’ve seen The Crown series on Netflix you’ll probably recognise The Mall, an impressive street that links Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square, bordering St James’s Park.

🙊 Did you know you can visit Buckingham Palace inside?

Buckingham Palace can be visited inside, but only during certain months of the year. It is usually in summer, from July to September.

Here is everything you need for your visit to Buckingham Palace.

Cost of Buckingham Palace entrance ticket and how to buy one

Entry to Buckingham Palace costs £35, and includes a guided tour who tells you the history of the Palace and stories about each of the rooms that make up the tour.

You also have the chance to visit the gardens and even stop for a picnic.

How many rooms does Buckingham Palace have?

Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms, but you can only visit some of them. In fact, entry is only allowed to the State Rooms and the Royal Stables.

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021. Photographer Peter Smith.

Can you take photos inside Buckingham Palace?

One of the reasons you may not know that you can visit Buckingham Palace inside is just this: photography is forbidden inside. You’ll have to work hard to remember every detail in your memory, as you won’t be able to take any souvenirs home with you.

Is Buckingham Palace included in the London Pass?

Unfortunately not, as Buckingham Palace is only open to the public during the summer months. However, during this year, you could visit the gardens of Buckingham Palace for free for a picnic – more on this later.

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021. Photographer Peter Smith.

Personal opinion on visiting Buckingham Palace

I visited Buckingham Palace in May this year, just as the confinement measures were coming to an end in the UK. As with much of the city, the residence of the British royal family had also decided to undergo renovations. So we saw some rooms that are not usually part of the tour itinerary.

In addition, the visit coincided with the recent death of Prince Philip of Edinburgh.

During the visit, a guide gave us a tour in English of the State Rooms. We visited the room where Queen Elizabeth II meets the British Prime Minister, now Boris Johnson. At this point I felt a bit like I was in The Crown. The guide told us that this room is not open to the public, but due to the renovations that were going on at the time, we had to go through there.

The guide gave us lots of details about each of the rooms, from why each room had been chosen for that specific purpose, to the explanation of the paintings we came across along the way.

The last stop was a souvenir shop, where I can assure you that every little object costs an arm and a leg just for being related to the British royal family or Buckingham Palace.

🥂 How to go on a picnic at Buckingham Palace

This year for the first time ever, Buckingham Palace opened its gates so that anyone who wanted to could go for a picnic in the very garden of Buckingham Palace.

Like you, when I first read about it, it seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity. So I decided to rush out and buy tickets. What I didn’t expect was that more than 20,000 people had the same idea as me.

In the end, I got the tickets and went to have the picnic at Buckingham Palace. But I was a bit disappointed with how it actually went. The gardens are beautiful, peaceful and the experience as such is fine.

However, in my head I imagined huge gardens – and only a small area is open. Also, the price (£16.5) seems a bit steep for the experience as such.

However, if you’ve read the whole article, you’ll have realised that everything related to the British royal family has quite a high price tag. Still, I still think it’s an opportunity worth having in a lifetime – who wouldn’t want to have a picnic in the gardens of Buckingham Palace?

Picnic Palacio de Buckingham

💂 Watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

The Changing of the Guard is one of the events most people associate with Buckingham Palace. And because it’s free, it’s a must-do to add to your list of free things to do in London.

The Changing of the Guard always takes place at the same time: 11am. It takes place every other day, except in summer, when we can see it every day. Although the ceremony has not been held for more than 18 months, the Changing of the Guard is back in London life. So, tourists and not so tourists, we can see it again.

You can check all the information about dates and changes on this website.

Cambio de guardia
Photo: Paul Fieldler
TOURS

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