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Buckingham Palace

Britain\u2019s most famous home, the luxurious personal residence and workplace of Queen Elizabeth II, is open to all.

The official home of British royalty since 1837, Buckingham Palace is the epicentre of Britain\u2019s constitutional monarchy. It\u2019s walls have witnessed innumerable state decrees, lavish banquets and foreign dignitary receptions.

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First erected as Buckingham House for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705, the palace has expanded through the centuries. Today, it\u2019s one of the most visited sites in the world.

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Cross the threshold of Buckingham Palace into the Grand Hall and admire the curving marble staircase decorated with portraits hung by Queen Victoria. Decorated with gold-accented candelabras and sovereign reds, the Throne Room is used for royal gatherings and receptions. This is the room that leads to the East Front Balcony, where Prince William and Kate Middleton shared a kiss in front of the world following their wedding in April 2011.

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While neither an art gallery nor a museum, the palace\u2019s private art collection rivals many national museums. Discover furniture crafted for kings and heirloom artwork from masters such as Rembrandt.

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The palace has more than 700 rooms. During August and September, when Queen Elizabeth II makes her annual visit to Scotland, 19 magnificent State Rooms are available for touring. These rooms showcase many pieces of art from the royal family\u2019s private collection. There is an admission fee, which includes an audio tour, and pre-booking your visit at the Buckingham Palace website is essential. As a guide, if the royal flag is flying atop the palace, the Queen is home.

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Complete your London experience by catching the iconic Changing the Guard ceremony, which begins promptly at 11:30 a.m. on scheduled days. Most tourists have little luck in their efforts to distract the stoic soldiers. From the palace, take a leisurely stroll to Hyde Park, the affluent Kensington district and Green Park.

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Alternatively, take the Underground train to the parks, all just a couple of stops away.

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Buckingham Palace is located in the City of Westminster. You can catch a bus from London and St. James\u2019s Park is the nearest Underground station. Guided tours of the State Rooms are available daily in August and September.


Guide to Exploring Buckingham Palace


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The Grosvenor Hotel €136
The Grosvenor Hotel

The Grosvenor Hotel

101 Buckingham Palace Road, London
     
    4.2
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    Located in Belgravia, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Victoria Palace Theatre, Buckingham Palace and St. James Park. Big Ben and Sloane Square are also within 1 mile (2 km).

    Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London €137
    Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

    Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

    200 Westminster Bridge Road, London
       
      4.4
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      This family-friendly London hotel is located in the historical district, just steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes.

      Park Plaza London Riverbank €106
      Park Plaza London Riverbank

      Park Plaza London Riverbank

      18 Albert Embankment, London
         
        4.2
        of 5, from 3,103 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Kennington, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tate Britain, The Oval and Houses of Parliament. Big Ben and London Dungeon are also within 1 mile (2 km).

        St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London €163
        St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

        St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

        54 Buckingham Gate, London
           
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          Located in City of Westminster, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Buckingham Palace, Victoria Palace Theatre, and St. James Park. Big Ben and Westminster Abbey are also within 15 minutes.

          The Strand Palace Hotel €86
          The Strand Palace Hotel

          The Strand Palace Hotel

          372 The Strand, London
             
            4.0
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            Located in City of Westminster, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Covent Garden Market and King's College London. Royal Opera House and London Coliseum are also within 10 minutes.

            Park International Hotel €92
            Park International Hotel

            Park International Hotel

            117 - 129 Cromwell Road, London
               
              4.0
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              Located in Kensington, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and London Science Museum. Kensington Palace and Imperial College London are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster €139
              DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster

              DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster

              30 John Islip Street, London
                 
                4.3
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                Located in City of Westminster, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tate Britain, Big Ben and Houses of Parliament. Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey are also within 15 minutes.

                The Ritz London €424
                The Ritz London

                The Ritz London

                150 Piccadilly, London
                   
                  4.6
                  of 5, from 665 reviews
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                  Located in City of Westminster, this family-friendly London hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Piccadilly Circus and Buckingham Palace. St. James Park and Her Majesty's Theatre are also within 15 minutes.