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How to Tour Buckingham Palace in London and When is it Open?

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Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic landmarks in London and an important symbol of the British monarchy. As the official residence of the reigning monarch (King Charles does not live there, he prefers Clarence House), it has been at the center of British royal life for centuries. If you are planning a trip to London, visiting Buckingham Palace should be at the top of your list. Here’s a guide on how to get Buckingham Palace tour tickets.

Buckingham Palace will be open for 2024 in the summer on the following dates: Dates for summer 2024 are 11 July to 29 September 2024. It is possible to do private pre-booked tours outside of the public opening (they start at £95!). Details here.

Curious about the history of Buckingham Palace? We have an article here for that.

Did you recently visit Buckingham Palace? Please leave a review of it on our attractions directory!

1. Plan ahead

Before you visit Buckingham Palace, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, the Palace is only open to visitors during the summer months, usually from July to September. Second, it’s important to book your tickets in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly. You can purchase Buckingham Palace tickets online or in person at the Palace ticket office. Finally, be sure to check the Palace’s website for any updates or changes to the schedule.

2. Choose your tour

There are two types of tours available at Buckingham Palace: the State Rooms tour and the Royal Mews tour. The State Rooms tour takes you through the Palace’s grandest rooms, including the Throne Room, the Ballroom, and the Picture Gallery, and provides insight into the history and traditions of the British monarchy. The Royal Mews tour, on the other hand, focuses on the Palace’s stables and carriages, and gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the royal transportation system. You can also book a ticket that includes both tours. There’s also now a tour of the gardens, which previously had been closed off to the public.

3. Take a guided tour

While it’s possible to tour Buckingham Palace on your own, taking a guided tour is highly recommended. Not only will you learn more about the Palace’s history and significance, but you’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with your guide. Guided tours are available in a variety of languages, and can be booked in advance or on the day of your visit.

4. Dress appropriately

Buckingham Palace is a formal setting, and visitors are expected to dress accordingly. While there is no strict dress code, it’s best to avoid wearing shorts, flip-flops, or other casual attire. Instead, opt for smart-casual clothing, such as a dress or trousers and a blouse.

5. Follow the rules

When you visit Buckingham Palace, there are a few rules you’ll need to follow. For example, photography is not allowed inside the Palace, and you’ll be asked to turn off your mobile phone before entering. Additionally, bags and backpacks larger than 55cm x 35cm x 20cm are not permitted inside, so be sure to leave them at your hotel or in a locker.

6. Arrive early

As one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, Buckingham Palace can get crowded quickly. To avoid long lines and crowds, it’s best to arrive early, before the Palace opens to the public. This will give you plenty of time to explore the Palace at your own pace and take in all of its grandeur. Even if you are pre-booked, it is recommended that you arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled tour.

7. Take your time

Visiting Buckingham Palace is an unforgettable experience, and it’s important to take your time and enjoy every moment. Don’t rush through the State Rooms or the Royal Mews – instead, take the time to appreciate the Palace’s history, architecture, and art. And don’t forget to stop by the Palace gift shop on your way out – it’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir of your visit.

A visit to Buckingham Palace is a must-do for anyone visiting London. By following these tips and planning ahead, you’ll be able to make the most of your visit and experience the grandeur and history of one of the world’s most iconic buildings.

jonathan
Author: jonathan

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile who launched Anglotopia.net in 2007 to channel his passion for Britain. Londontopia is its sister publication dedicated to everything London.

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1 COMMENT

  1. We didn’t make advance reservations but went to the Palace anyway expecting to stand in line for the tour for hours. Through “dumb luck” we arrived just as the Changing of the Guard was starting. Skipping that we headed around to where the line for the Palace tour is and were amazed that there were almost no people in line, and discovered a wonderful secret, that everyone who is in line must leave when the Changing of the Guard begins, losing their place in line. Or else waits till after the Changing before getting in line. We had only a very few people in line ahead of us and even the tour inside was not as crowded as it would probably be later in the day. So I suggest time your arrival for a speedy entry into the Palace! A second tip is that there is a tea room at the area at the end of the tour, and it is a nice experience to have tea there and enjoy the view of the gardens. Touring the gardens requires another ticket however, but the gift shop is open for anyone and is a don’t miss too.

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