51° 30' 2.87316” N 0° 8' 33.08424” W

Buckingham Palace

Sights & Landmarks • London, England United Kingdom

About Buckingham Palace

This majestic palace is the official residence of British monarchs and is usually recognized as a symbol of UK's monarchy.

Originally built as a townhouse, Buckingham Palace was turned into a private residence for Queen Charlotte in 1761. The palace was reconstructed and enlarged during the 19th century and it has been used as a residence of the British monarch since Queen Victoria's reign. Apart from that, it serves as an exquisite example of Neoclassical architecture.

The palace has 775 rooms and the largest private garden in London. On selected days, you can visit some of the state rooms that are used for official and state ceremonies, and the Queen's Gallery which showcases pieces from the Royal Collection. When visiting, do not miss the Changing the Guard ceremony and make sure to arrive early to see well.

You can take wonderful pictures outside the gate. However, if you do book a tour, you will go through an airport-style security check upon arrival. We suggest bringing as little belongings as possible. Note that while taking photographs is prohibited in the State Rooms, you can use your camera in the garden.

Buckingham Palace History

  • 1703 – Origins

    Buckingham Palace's story begins in the early 18th century when the site was originally occupied by Buckingham House, a modest townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703.

  • 1826 – Expansion

    King George IV commissioned architect John Nash to transform the building into a grand palace suitable as a private residence for Queen Charlotte. At this time it was renamed "The Queen's House." Nash's plans involved expanding the house into a palace by adding three wings around a central courtyard. The project faced numerous delays and ballooning costs, eventually leading to Nash's dismissal and the appointment of Edward Blore to complete the work.

  • 1837 – Official Residence

    Buckingham Palace became the official royal residence in 1837 when Queen Victoria ascended the throne. She was the first monarch to reside there, marking the beginning of its long association with the British monarchy.

  • Renovations and Additions

    Over the years, various monarchs have undertaken renovations and additions to Buckingham Palace to suit their tastes and accommodate the needs of the royal family. Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, and King George V were among those who made significant contributions to the palace's architecture and interior design.

  • World Wars

    During World War I and World War II, Buckingham Palace faced the challenges of wartime. It suffered bomb damage during the Blitz in World War II, with the palace's chapel and the royal apartments sustaining significant hits. However, the palace remained a symbol of resilience and endurance throughout these turbulent times.

  • Modernization

    In recent decades, Buckingham Palace has undergone extensive renovations and modernizations to ensure its structural integrity and adapt it to contemporary standards of comfort and functionality. These projects have included updates to the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems, as well as conservation efforts to preserve its historic architecture and artworks. In the early 20th century, Buckingham Palace began to open its doors to the public for special events and exhibitions. Today, visitors can explore certain areas of the palace during the summer months when the Queen is not in residence.

What to Know

Opening Times

Buckingham Palace is usually open to the public during the summer months, typically from July to September, when the Queen is not in residence. However, it's best to check the official website or with local tourist information for the most up-to-date information on opening times and ticket availability.


You'll need to purchase tickets in advance, as they're not usually available at the palace. Tickets can sell out quickly, especially during peak tourist season, so it's advisable to book early.


Expect thorough security checks upon entry. Large bags and backpacks are not allowed inside, so it's best to travel light. Photography is usually allowed in certain areas, but restrictions may apply in some rooms.

Changing of the Guard

This iconic ceremony takes place regularly outside Buckingham Palace and is a must-see for many visitors. It typically occurs at 11:00 AM on certain days (check the schedule beforehand), but it's a good idea to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot.


Don't miss the State Rooms, which are lavishly decorated and showcase some of the palace's most impressive features. The Throne Room, Picture Gallery, and Ballroom are particularly noteworthy. Additionally, the Royal Mews and Queen's Gallery are adjacent attractions worth visiting.

Interesting Places Nearby

Planning the perfect vacation? There are a ton of great places to explore. Checkout out these exciting locations and places near Buckingham Palace.

Saving, please wait.