Buckingham Palace is a royal residence and the administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom.
Located in the City of Westminster, London, the palace is a popular tourist attraction and has been open to the public for tours during the summer months since 1993.
Visitors can take a self-guided or private-guided tour of the staterooms, which are lavishly furnished and contain some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer.
The tour also includes a visit to the Buckingham Palace garden, which is the largest private garden in London and is home to a variety of plants, flowers, and wildlife.
Given this, the Buckingham Palace tour is likely worth it if you’re a fan of history, art, and royal culture.
However, the tour can be incredibly popular, as such it’s recommended you book tickets as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment.
How Much Does The Buckingham Palace Tour Cost?
How much you pay to tour Buckingham Palace will depend on when you’d like to visit.
In the winter and spring months, guests looking to tour Buckingham Palace will have to pay for an exclusive guided tour at a cost of £90 per person. However, during the summer months, the cost to tour Buckingham Palace is reduced significantly.
- Adults: £30 in advance or £33 on the day
- 18 to 24-year-olds: £19.50 in advance or £21.50 on the day
- Children (5 to 17) & Concessions: £16.50 in advance or £18 on the day
- Children Under 5: Free
Groups of 15+ can also receive a 10% discount.
Is The Buckingham Palace Tour Worth It?
Admirers of all things royal will adore the Buckingham Palace tour which will take you through some of the most important moments in British Royal history.
Some highlights of the tour include;
- Artwork from the famous artists
- Grand Staircase
- The Throne Room
Depending on your interests you could opt for either a self-guided or personally-guided tour.
The self-guided tour is the more affordable option of the two and roughly takes three hours. However, this tour is only available in the summer.
The self-guided tour includes a free multimedia guide which you’ll use throughout.
The guide provides detailed information about what you’re seeing in real time and is available in a range of languages including English, French, German, Italian and Japanese.
Every year, the summer opening of Buckingham Palace brings with it a unique exhibition.
During the opening in 2022, the exhibition was based around Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne and featured a wonderful display of portraits of Her Majesty, as taken by Dorothy Wilding.
When & Where To Buy Tickets For The Buckingham Palace Tour
While there are a number of places you can purchase tickets for the Buckingham Palace tour, we recommend booking directly with the Royal Collection Trust.
You’ll get the cheapest rate when booking in advance, however, tickets can also be purchased at the gates of Buckingham Palace (subject to availability).
Guests who purchased their tickets directly from the Royal Collect Trust are also able to convert their tickets into a one-year pass at the end of the tour (subject to terms and conditions).
This provides you with the ability to revisit Buckingham Palace for free within the next 12 months.
How Long Does The Buckingham Palace Tour Last?
A self-guided tour of Buckingham Palace roughly takes between 2 and 3 hours depending on how long you spend in each of the staterooms.
When purchasing your ticket, you’ll be provided with a 15-minute admission slot in order to keep the crowds moving steadily through the building.
As such we recommend trying to arrive at least 30 minutes before your tour is due to start.
Is There A Dress Code For The Buckingham Palace Tour?
There is no formal dress code for touring Buckingham Palace.
However, we recommend wearing comfortable and respectable clothing as well as comfortable shoes since it’s a walking tour.
Small backpacks and handbags are permitted inside Buckingham Palace. However, these must be held at your side and not worn on your back.
Suitcases and bags that are larger than 45cm × 30cm × 20cm are not permitted inside Buckingham Palace.
Instead, these bags will need to be stored elsewhere.
Buckingham Palace and the connected visitor centre have no luggage storage facilities.
As such, it’s recommended that guests with large bags go to Victoria Station (a 10 to 15 min walk from Buckingham Palace) and store bags or suitcases in the lockers provided there.
Can You Take Photos On The Buckingham Palace Tour?
You can not take photos or videos within the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace. However, photography is encouraged in the gardens.
Is The Buckingham Palace Tour Kid Friendly?
The Buckingham Palace tour is relatively kid-friendly, with toilets and baby-changing facilities available at both the start and the end of the tour.
Breastfeeding is also welcome anywhere within the palace, however, pushchairs are not permitted in the State Rooms and instead must be left at the beginning of the tour and collected afterwards.
Is The Buckingham Palace Tour Disability Friendly?
Buckingham Palace has a number of facilities available to make the tour highly accessible to guests with disabilities.
Guests who are blind or partially sighted are able to use a descriptive audio guide
Meanwhile, for guests with hearing difficulties, the tour is also available as a video tour in British Sign Language while the multimedia handsets are T-coil compatible.
For guests with limited mobility, a step-free route around Buckingham Palace is available as well as disabled parking.
However, to arrange either of these facilities you’ll need to contact the Buckingham Palace tour sales team directly.
Can You Take Food & Drink On The Buckingham Palace Tour?
No food and drink are permitted inside Buckingham Palace aside from bottled water.
However, during the summer months, you will find the Garden Café at the end of the tour is open for refreshments.