Buckingham Palace: guide to visiting

Our essential guide to London's Buckingham Palace, from when to visit, things to look out for inside the palace, Changing the Guard and lots more.

Does the Queen live at Buckingham Palace?

Yes, Buckingham Palace is the Queen's official residence. She also spends time at Windsor Castle and Balmoral.

When can I visit Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace is open to the public during the summer months when the Queen is not in residence, usually between August and September. Find out about this year's Buckingham Palace Summer Opening and book your tickets. If it’s out of season, take a look at our alternatives to visiting Buckingham Palace.

What can I see at Buckingham Palace?

Highlights of the Buckingham Palace tour include:

  • The 19 beautifully decorated State Rooms, used for receiving guests and official functions
  • The Throne Room - often used as a backdrop for royal wedding photos
  • The magnificent Grand Staircase
  • The special exhibition, which changes each year
  • Fine art, including works by Canaletto, Rembrandt and Vermeer
  • An audio tour by Prince Charles!

Where is Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace is located in central London. The closest Tube stations are Victoria, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner. Several buses also stop nearby. If you are arriving by coach, Victoria Coach Station is only 10-minute's walk away.

Are the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery part of Buckingham Palace?

Both the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery are part of the Buckingham Palace site, but have their own visitor entrances and so can be visited separately, or as part of a combined ticket. Both venues are open for most of the year, including when the palace itself is closed.

Buckingham Palace Tour: summer opening 2020

Visit Buckingham Palace, one of the world's few remaining working palaces, this summer. Explore the beautiful State Rooms and see this year's special exhibition. Book tickets now for the hugely popular summer event. Dates tbc Read More

Top 10 things to see on Buckingham Palace Tour

From the Throne Room to fine art, make sure you don't miss a thing with our guide to the highlights of the Buckingham Palace tour. The State Rooms, the Grand Staircase and the Garden Shop are other essential things to see. Read More

Buckingham Palace tickets and tour packages

There's more than one way to visit the Queen's London residence at Buckingham Palace. Make the most out of your visit with tickets to Buckingham Palace that also include afternoon tea, special tours of the palace and entry to other London attractions. Read More

Where to go when Buckingham Palace is closed

Find great places to visit when Buckingham Palace is closed, where you can experience royal history or get a glimpse into the life of the current Royal Family. There are plenty of palaces and castles in or close to London, including Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace and the Tower of London. Read More

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

For a striking display of British pomp and pageantry, watch the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace, when the New Guard takes over from the Old Guard. To catch this famous free ceremony, stand outside Buckingham Palace by 10.15am and check the Household Division website in advance as the ceremony only takes place on certain days. Read More