Things to do in
Buckingham Palace

See the splendor of the Queen’s famous London home and discover its secrets as one of the world’s last working palaces.

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Buckingham Palace: Our most recommended tours and activities

Buckingham Palace: The State Rooms Entrance Ticket

1. Buckingham Palace: The State Rooms Entrance Ticket

Explore London's arguably most iconic attraction with a tour of the Buckingham Palace State Rooms. Gain privileged access to one of the Official Residences of Her Majesty the Queen and admire the beautiful collections on display as you make your way from room to room. The term "State Rooms" refers to the public rooms of a Palace, in which monarchs receive, reward, and entertain their subjects and visiting dignitaries. Today the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are used extensively by The Queen and members of the Royal Family to receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial, and official occasions. The State Rooms are furnished with many of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens, sculptures by Canova, exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain, and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. At the end of your State Rooms Buckingham Palace tour, the popular Garden Café is the perfect place to gather and enjoy views across the famous lawn.

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London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

2. London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

Big Bus Route Highlights: Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the GuardHouses of ParliamentBig BenWestminster Abbey10 Downing StreetWhitehallPiccadilly CircusOxford StreetRegent StreetLondon EyeLondon DungeonSea Life London AquariumMadame TussaudsCovent GardenBank of EnglandMonumentSt Pauls CathedralTower of LondonTower BridgeThe ShardCity HallLambeth PalaceBritish MuseumMarble ArchMayfairGreen ParkHyde Park CornerHarrodsSouth Kensington MuseumsKensington PalaceNotting Hill This Big Bus Tour on open-top, double decker bus gives you unlimited hop-on, hop-off use on all routes for either 24-, 48- or 72- hours, taking you to London’s most impressive sights and key attractions. There are 3 ticket types available: Classic Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 1 day (24 hours from time of redemption) Single river cruise between Westminster and Tower of London – either direction Premium Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 2 days (48 hours from time of redemption) Return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich, via Tower of London Panoramic evening tour Premium Plus Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 3 days (72 hours from time of redemption) Return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich, via Tower of London Panoramic evening tour Discover London via two specially-designed routes covering 37 stops: Best of Central London (Red Route) Experience informative and engaging recorded commentary, available in 5 different languages. The Red route takes in the best of historic London including Big Ben, the London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral. Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes. Frequency: approx. every 20 minutes. Best of the West (Blue Route) The Blue Route offers recorded commentary in 5 different languages - English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The Blue Route covers all the main historical sights of the West of London including stops at Harrods, London's best museums, Kensington Palace, and Marble Arch. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes. Frequency: approx. every 30 minutes. River Cruise A Classic ticket includes a single river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London (in either direction) whilst the Premium and Premium Plus tickets include a return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich with the option to break the journey at the Tower of London. The river cruise includes live commentary in 8 languages. You'll see top London attractions lining the Thames including Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare's Globe and the Tate Modern. Departure times for the river cruise are approximately every 45 minutes. Panoramic Evening Tour The panoramic evening tour is included in the Premium & Premium Plus ticket types. Discover the magic of London as the city becomes illuminated in the evening. Hop on for a one-round panoramic tour past London's top landmarks as the sun begins to set. The tour departs daily at 18:00 from bus stop 12 at The London Eye. It lasts for 90 minutes.

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Buckingham Palace: The Queen's Gallery Entrance Ticket

3. Buckingham Palace: The Queen's Gallery Entrance Ticket

Visit the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace and soak up its extravagance. The building that originally stood on the site of the current Queen’s Gallery was designed by John Nash as one of Buckingham Palace’s three identical conservatories or pavilions in the form of Ionic temples. It was constructed on the south-west corner of the Palace, facing the garden, and was completed in 1831. The conservatory was converted into a private chapel for Queen Victoria in 1843, but destroyed in an air raid in 1940. At the suggestion of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, it was redeveloped as a gallery for the Royal Collection in 1962.   The current Queen’s Gallery was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in May 2002, as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. It hosts a programme of changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection.

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The London Pass with Access to over 80 Attractions

4. The London Pass with Access to over 80 Attractions

See all that London has to offer while saving both time and money with the London Pass. With its wealth of history and culture, London always has plenty to offer visitors, though it is not always the easiest or cheapest of experiences. The London Pass is a complete sightseer credits package allowing you access to more than 80 top attractions, tours, and museums.  Access a huge range of the top landmarks and attractions including the Tower of London, London Zoo, Windsor Castle, and many more.  Take a ride on a 1-Day Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus tour with over 60 stops across London including Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus. The pass is valid for a full working day across 3 routes. You'll also get access to special London Pass holder perks including discounts at gift shops at select attractions.  The London Pass allows access to over 80 attractions including: POPULAR ATTRACTIONS• The View from the Shard• Tower of London• 1-Day Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour• Thames River Boat (Uber Boat by Thames Clippers - 1-day Hop-on Hop-off) • Windsor Castle• Westminster Abbey• London Bridge Experience and London Tombs• Tower Bridge Exhibition• ZSL London Zoo• Kensington Palace PLACES OF INTEREST• Shakespeare's Globe Theatre• Royal Albert Hall• Royal Observatory Greenwich• Old Royal Naval College• Cutty Sark• Kew Gardens• Hampton Court Palace• Apsley House• Beefeater Gin Distillery Tour• Benjamin Franklin House• Eltham Palace• Jewel Tower• The Monument to The Great Fire of London• Golden Hinde• Southwark Cathedral• Wellington Arch• Chelsea Physic Garden• London Wetland Centre MUSEUMS & GALLERIES• London Transport Museum• Foundling Museum• Household Cavalry Museum• Charles Dickens Museum• Guards Museum• Cartoon Museum• Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art• Wernher Collection at Ranger's House• Fan Museum• London Canal Museum• London Museum of Water and Steam• Garden Museum• Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising• Museum of London Docklands (with guidebook)• Queen's Gallery• Pollocks Toy Museum• The British Museum (with Vox Audio guide)• The Postal Museum TOURS & EXPERIENCES• ArcelorMittal Orbit• Arsenal FC Stadium (Emirates Stadium)• Chelsea FC Stadium Tour• Curzon Bloomsbury• Curzon Mayfair Cinema• Curzon Soho Cinema• 30+ London Sights Tour - Top Sights Tours• Palaces and Parliament Tour - Top Sights Tours• Jason's Original Canal Boat Trip• Kia Oval Ground Tour• London Bicycle Tour• London Bicycle Hire• Brit Movie Tours• QUEENS Skate, Dine & Bowl• Twickenham Stadium Tour & Rugby Museum• Wembley Stadium Tours

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Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

5. Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

Discover the best of London with a hop-on, hop-off tour on-board an open-top, double-decker bus and enjoy a trip on the London Eye as part of your ticket. A hop-on, hop-off tour is the ideal way to discover the best sights, landmarks and attractions of London at your own pace. The tour gives you unlimited use, with stops strategically placed at all the places you would like to visit including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge and St Pauls Cathedral. Hop off the bus at Westminster Bridge to take an unforgettable ride on the London Eye. From the top, you can take in the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city's impressive skyline. See the city's most famous sights including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from an unrivalled bird's eye view. You can start your tour at any of the Big Bus stops. Popular starting points include the London Eye, Marble Arch, Victoria Station and Trafalgar Square. With all ticket types you can enjoy a boat cruise along the River Thames. A Classic ticket includes a single river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London (in either direction) whilst the Premium and Premium Plus tickets include a return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich with the option to break the journey at the Tower of London. Departure times vary for the river cruise. You can board the river cruise at Tower Pier (near stop 16), Greenwich Pier, Westminster Pier (near stop 18) and the London Eye Pier (near stop 11). Big Bus route highlights include Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, London Dungeon, Sea Life London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Covent Garden, Bank of England, Monument, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The Shard, City Hall, Lambeth Palace, British Museum, Marble Arch, Mayfair, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Harrods, South Kensington Museums, Kensington Palace and Notting Hill.

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London: Westminster Walking Tour & The Tower of London Entry

6. London: Westminster Walking Tour & The Tower of London Entry

Start with a walking tour of the Westminster area, where your tour guide will escort you to 20 different historical and cultural sights. Head through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, admiring the well-manicured trees and flowers along the way. At the palace, watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard Ceremony. Afterward, see 17 other iconic London sights such as Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. Then, step into the Tower of London, where there is an abundance of history, stories, and ghosts to be found. Marvel at the Crown Jewels and other fascinating historical artifacts including the suits of armor worn by the Kings of England. See the cells where prisoners were once kept. Journey back in time and take an exciting trip into England's past.

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London: Three Palaces Guided Walking Tour and High Tea

7. London: Three Palaces Guided Walking Tour and High Tea

Discover the Royal Family's palaces and experience the original Royal English Tea with traditional sandwiches, cakes and scones on the grounds of Kensington Palace. Stroll to St. James Palace, Buckingham Palace, and catch a cab to Albert Hall. Take a moment a Buckingham Palace, the main Royal Residence in London, and try and witness the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. Catch a glimpse of the Queen's Bodyguard: the mounted Queens Life Guard Soldiers. Jump in an iconic Black Cab and head to Albert Hall. See the Albert Memorial, and leisurely stroll in Kensington Gardens. Soak in the beautiful gardens Prince Albert created for his wife Queen Victoria and find where Prince Harry and William grew up. Experience the full splendor of High Tea in a breathtaking landmark and gain personal insights into our royal family and the fascinating history of our national drink during the ceremony of afternoon tea.

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London: Tootbus Must See Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Cruise

8. London: Tootbus Must See Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Cruise

Hop on board the Must See London tour, sit back, relax, and (re)discover the city from a whole new perspective. See the best bits of London on this tour designed to see the most famous sights and incredible views of the city. Enjoy a tour past London's top attractions and landmarks including; Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, and Downing Street. Start the tour at any of the bus stops. Be welcome on board whether you are a first-time visitor with just a few hours in town and want to get a taste of London or a Londoner who wants to experience the city differently. Download the Tootbus app to easily find your way around, follow the buses in real-time, and enjoy self-guided walking tours to help you explore more of London.

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London: Christmas Lights by Night Open-Top Bus Tour

9. London: Christmas Lights by Night Open-Top Bus Tour

Make it a memorable Christmas with a festive tour of London’s top attractions. Atop an open double-decker bus, you’ll have the best seats in the house for savoring panoramic views of the glowing streets. Watch the city light up when the sun goes down, and see how London does Christmas. Set off from the illuminated London Eye, and onto the iconic Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. Marvel at the exquisite displays in Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. See one of the tallest Christmas trees in the city at Trafalgar Square. Hear about the fascinating history of the Tower of London as you cross the magical Tower Bridge. Cruise through the winding streets of London and feel dazzled by the merry décor. Take your pick between a live or audio guide to learn some jolly facts about each location.

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London: Changing of the Guard Walking Tour

10. London: Changing of the Guard Walking Tour

Find the prime vantage points that most people miss and see this time-honored tradition from outside Buckingham Palace. Follow your guide on a dynamic journey that will take you through each stage of the entire Changing of the Guard ceremony from beginning to end. Navigate the crowds easily and quickly. Let your guide take you to the best spots with unobstructed views for taking photos of the palace, gardens, and parade grounds. Marvel at the precision with which the Queen’s Foot Guards march to Buckingham Palace, clad in their iconic red tunics and bearskin hats. Admire the gleaming coats of the Household Cavalry’s horses as they emerge at Horse Guard’s Parade. As you watch, hear about the history of this fascinating ceremony and gain invaluable insight into every detail of this British spectacle.

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Planning Your Visit

  • When to See the Changing of the Guards

    The changing of the guard takes place everyday at 11:30am from April through July, and on alternate days the rest of the year. Due to its popularity, the changing of the guard attracts massive crowds. If you want to secure a spot near the fence to get the best view of the spectacle, it's necessary to show up at least a couple of hours in advance.

  • Book Your Tour in Time

    Visiting the inside of Buckingham Palace is only possible during summer, usually August and September. Tickets go fast, so make sure to book well in advance. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to see everything and the palace visiting hours are 9:30am to 7:30pm in August, while in September it's open from 9:30am to 6:30pm. Note that to also visit the gardens, you have to buy the appropriate ticket, as regular tickets only grant access to the interiors.

  • Check if the Queen is Home

    Those curious to know whether the Queen is at home need only check the roof of the palace. If the Royal Standard flag (red, yellow and blue) is flying, then it means the Queen is home, otherwise the Union Jack is raised instead.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Normally open daily 9:30AM - 5:30PM (last admission at 4:15PM). Be sure to check variable opening times before going!
  • Is it expensive?
    Free to look at from the outside. Standard adult ticket costs £10
  • Will I need a guide?
    Free audio tour included in admission price!
  • How to get there
    By Tube: Green Park or Hyde Park Corner. By bus: Numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 (stop on Buckingham Palace Road).
  • Additional information

    • You cannot eat or drink in the palace.

    • To see the changing of the guard, make sure to arrive early!

Other Sightseeing Options in Buckingham Palace

Want to discover all there is to do in Buckingham Palace? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Buckingham Palace

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 9,004 reviews

It was a wonderful experience joining the tour. The guide explained the historical significance with a witty sense of humor. It made the 3-hour walking tour not only informative but also entertaining!

A great, safe way to explore London and learn loads of different/fun facts. Wrap up warm if it’s winter - although there’s plenty of cycling, it gets quite cold with all the stops.

Great way to see London. Jasmine, our guide, was very knowledgeable and even with a diversion along the was she was still able to tell us interesting facts along our bew route.

This was a fantastic tour! Beyond the obligatory Changing of the Guards, we learned so much rich English history. Definitely a great start to any London visit!

everything I wanted to do, at a ridiculously cheap price