Visiting Buckingham Palace – Frequently Asked Questions and Guide

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen and the administrative headquarters of the monarchy. It has been a symbol of Britain’s monarchy for centuries, and is one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Visitors to Buckingham Palace can take part in guided tours which offer an insight into the history and culture behind this grand palace.

The Palace itself is a sprawling complex that consists of 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 royal bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms and 78 bathrooms. Its grand facade boasts four wings around a central quadrangle that looks out onto its expansive gardens – all surrounded by high walls. Inside these walls are also two magnificent courtyards with spectacular views over St James Park.

Visiting Buckingham Palace offers visitors a unique experience as it provides access to both the State Rooms and Garden highlights such as The Mall, The Grand Entrance and Victoria Memorial Statue. Guests may explore various galleries dedicated to historic artwork from Royal Collection Trust, attend special events such as changing guard ceremonies or musical concerts hosted by the orchestra at Buckingham Palace Gardens during summer months each year.

Buckingham Palace is known for its grandeur and magnificence; however there are other hidden gems within its grounds waiting to be discovered – like secret tunnels connecting different parts of the palace or specially designed doorways used only by royalty. These details make this place even more intriguing when explored on foot – making it worth every minute spent there!

What is Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. Located in Westminster, it has served as the royal family’s home since 1837. The palace grounds span over 20 acres and include a grand total of 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. It also features a 40-acre private garden that contains over 350 different species of wildflowers. Buckingham Palace hosts many official events such as Investitures, Garden Parties, State Visits by foreign heads of state, receptions for visiting Heads of Government and other dignitaries from around the world.

When Can You Visit Buckingham Palace?

Visitors can tour Buckingham Palace during the summer months from July to September, when the palace is open for public tours. During this time, tickets are available for both group and individual visits. Tickets must be booked in advance and visitors should expect queues on arrival as security checks will be carried out at the gates. Visitors have access to 19 State Rooms that feature paintings from renowned artists such as Rembrandt and Rubens, as well as Queen Victoria’s Royal Childhood exhibit.

How to Get to Buckingham Palace?

To get to Buckingham Palace, the most convenient way is by public transportation. The closest tube station is Green Park on the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria lines. From there it’s a short walk south towards Buckingham Palace Road. Alternatively, buses 3, 11, 12, 24 and 38 stop nearby in either direction. Visitors can also take a taxi directly to the palace gates or park their car at one of the nearby pay-and-display parking lots.

What Are the Admission Prices?

Admission prices for Buckingham Palace vary depending on the type of tour chosen. Standard admission is £21.50 for adults and £12.90 for children under 17, with concessions available for seniors and students at a discounted rate of £19.30 per adult ticket and £11.60 per child ticket. The Royal Day Out Ticket includes admission to both the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s Gallery, costing £32.50 for adults and £20.10 for children under 17, with concessions available at a discounted rate of £28.70 per adult ticket and £18 per child ticket. The audio guide is included in all tickets as standard but an additional premium audio tour can be purchased at an extra cost of£3 per person or free when booking online in advance through the official website www.Royalcollectiontrust/visit/buckinghampalace/.

What to See Inside Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace is home to many stunning works of art, artifacts and furniture. The State Rooms are open for visitors to explore and include 19 lavish rooms full of history and culture. Highlights include the Throne Room with its ornate throne made from solid gold; the Grand Staircase with its impressive sculpture by C.H. Mabey; the White Drawing Room which features a portrait of Queen Victoria; and the Ballroom which was originally built for King George IV in 1820-21. Visitors can explore Queen Victoria’s private apartments as well as her husband Prince Albert’s study. Buckingham Palace also houses a magnificent collection of paintings from some of Europe’s most renowned artists including Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto, along with an extensive library filled with rare books and manuscripts dating back centuries.

Where to Eat Nearby?

Near Buckingham Palace, there are a variety of restaurants to choose from. The Quilon serves south Indian cuisine and is located only 0.2 miles away from the palace grounds. A short walk away, St James Court Hotel offers afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches and cakes in its traditional drawing room setting. For more casual dining, Smiths Of Smithfield features an all-day menu of British classics like fish and chips or steak and ale pie alongside cocktails and craft beer. Alternatively, Royal China Club specializes in regional Chinese dishes such as Peking duck served with homemade pancakes.

Is There a Gift Shop?

Yes, there is a gift shop at Buckingham Palace. Located within the State Rooms, the palace’s official gift shop offers an array of souvenirs and memorabilia for visitors to take home. The selection includes traditional keepsakes such as mugs and magnets, as well as unique gifts like limited edition prints of royal artwork or replica pieces from the Royal Collection. Visitors can also purchase books about the monarchy and British history to learn more about their visit long after they have left the palace grounds.

What are the Rules for Visiting?

Visitors to Buckingham Palace must adhere to a set of rules while on the premises. All visitors should remain in designated areas, respect other visitors, and not take photographs or videos within the palace walls. It is prohibited to bring food, beverages (including alcoholic beverages), pets, bicycles or other large items into the palace grounds. To ensure safety and security for all guests and staff at Buckingham Palace, metal detectors are in place at each entrance point.

Are Tours Available?

Yes, tours are available at Buckingham Palace. The Royal Collection Trust offers a variety of guided tours that give visitors an exclusive insight into the royal residence. Guided tour options include the State Rooms, Queen’s Gallery and Garden Highlights Tour. Each tour gives visitors access to different areas of the palace, as well as audio guides in multiple languages for added convenience. Virtual tours are also available online for those who cannot make it to London in person.

What is the History of Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace has been a royal residence since 1703, when it was acquired by King George III. It served as the primary London residence of British monarchs for more than two centuries until Queen Victoria moved to Windsor Castle in 1837. During this time, Buckingham Palace underwent several renovations and expansions, culminating in its present form after a series of works commissioned by Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century. Today, Buckingham Palace is still used as a stately home and office for members of the Royal Family.

What Events Take Place at Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace hosts a variety of events throughout the year. These include state banquets, garden parties and investitures. State banquets are formal dinners attended by the monarch, members of the royal family and dignitaries from around the world. Garden parties are hosted in the palace gardens for 8,000 people each summer who have been selected for their work or service to their communities. Investitures are ceremonies where awards such as knighthoods and other honours are presented to those who have achieved success in their chosen field. Buckingham Palace also holds regular receptions for charities which help raise funds for worthy causes.

Are Pets Allowed?

No, pets are not allowed at Buckingham Palace. The Royal Collection Trust, which manages the palace, does not allow visitors to bring their pets inside the building or on the grounds. This includes guide dogs and other service animals as well.

The palace has strict security measures in place for all visitors and allowing pets could create a risk to public safety. There are numerous priceless works of art that could be damaged by an animal roaming around.

For those wishing to visit with a pet, it is possible to leave them outside while visiting Buckingham Palace. There are several local pet sitting services available that can watch your pet while you explore the palace grounds and take part in tours offered inside the building.

Are Guided Audio Tours Available?

Yes, guided audio tours are available for visitors of Buckingham Palace. These audio tours provide an in-depth look into the history and architecture of the palace. Visitors can choose from a range of different languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The tour is narrated by expert guides who will take you on a journey through the State Rooms and other areas that are open to the public. In addition to exploring the palace’s grand rooms and art collections, visitors can also listen to stories about royal life at Buckingham Palace over its 400 year history.

What Photographic Restrictions Exist?

Photographic restrictions exist at Buckingham Palace to ensure the safety and security of visitors, staff, and royal family members. Photography is not permitted in any areas where royal family members reside or work, including private rooms and offices. Flash photography is not allowed throughout the palace grounds. Visitors are also asked to be respectful of other guests and refrain from taking photographs that may impede their enjoyment of the experience.

Does Buckingham Palace Offer Special Access?

Yes, Buckingham Palace offers special access to visitors. The Royal Collection Trust operates a variety of tours and activities that provide unique experiences for those interested in exploring the palace’s history and architecture. These include guided tours of the State Rooms, which are available for groups of up to 25 people. Visitors can take part in themed talks on topics such as the Royal Family and their relationship with the palace or explore the extensive grounds and gardens with a knowledgeable guide. Special access is also offered through seasonal events like Christmas at Buckingham Palace where guests can experience festive decorations and interactive displays within select areas of the building.

What Time Should I Arrive?

It is recommended to arrive at Buckingham Palace no later than 30 minutes prior to the start of your visit. Arriving early allows for ample time to purchase tickets, find parking, and go through security screening. This will ensure that you have enough time to explore the palace grounds without feeling rushed. It also gives you a chance to observe any special events taking place before your tour starts.

What Should I Wear to Visit Buckingham Palace?

When visiting Buckingham Palace, it is important to dress appropriately. Visitors should wear clothing that is smart and conservative. Avoid any bright colors or loud patterns, as these may be deemed inappropriate for the occasion. Women should avoid wearing shorts or skirts above the knee, and both men and women should refrain from wearing jeans or t-shirts with logos or slogans. Shoes must also be clean and appropriate for the occasion; sandals are generally not allowed.

Is Parking Available?

Yes, parking is available at Buckingham Palace. There are two pay and display car parks located close to the palace: one on Constitution Hill and one on Spur Road. Both car parks offer spaces for cars, motorcycles and coaches. All vehicles must have valid tickets displayed in order to avoid receiving a fine or penalty charge notice.

What Else Should I Know Before Visiting?

Before visiting Buckingham Palace, it is important to know the opening times and entry fees. The palace is open from 9:45am to 6pm during peak season (April-September). Entry tickets cost £21.50 for adults and £12.30 for children under 17 years old. Visitors should also be aware that all bags are subject to security searches upon entering the palace grounds.

It is recommended that visitors bring a valid form of photo ID with them in order to gain access into the State Rooms, which require an additional ticket purchase (£24 for adults and £14 for children). There are certain areas within the palace grounds which are not accessible to visitors due to conservation work being carried out; these areas may change on a regular basis so it is advised that you check before your visit if there any such restrictions in place.

Visitors should note that photography inside the State Rooms is prohibited unless otherwise stated by staff members at each room entrance. It is also worth noting that there may be limited wheelchair access depending on current conservation works taking place throughout the year – please check ahead of your visit if this will affect you or someone you are accompanying.

Are Wheelchairs Available?

Yes, wheelchairs are available at Buckingham Palace. The palace is wheelchair accessible with lifts to all floors and disabled access toilets on the ground floor. Wheelchair users can also benefit from a complimentary mobility scooter hire service, which allows them to move freely around the state rooms and gardens of the palace. Tactile models of selected objects in the collection have been installed throughout the palace for visitors with visual impairments.

Are Children Welcome?

Yes, children are welcome to visit Buckingham Palace. All visitors aged 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult (aged 18 or over). Children are allowed access to the State Rooms, Garden and Royal Mews on a self-guided tour. For educational purposes, school groups can also arrange guided tours of the palace. There is a family friendly audio guide available in six languages for those wishing to explore at their own pace.

Is Photography Allowed?

Yes, photography is allowed in Buckingham Palace. Visitors are welcome to take photos for personal use and there are designated areas for photography. However, flash photography, tripods and monopods are not permitted within the palace or gardens. Visitors should respect any requests from staff regarding photography as they may be asked to stop taking photographs in certain areas of the palace.

Is there a Dress Code?

Yes, there is a dress code when visiting Buckingham Palace. Visitors are required to wear clothing that is respectful and in keeping with the dignity of the Palace. This includes no shorts or sleeveless tops for adults, and no sportswear or ripped jeans. Shoes must be worn at all times and no large bags or suitcases are allowed inside the Palace.

What Security Measures are in Place?

Security measures at Buckingham Palace include metal detectors and bag searches for visitors. All visitors must present valid identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, to gain entry. Tourists are also prohibited from bringing any weapons, explosives, firearms, fireworks or hazardous materials onto the premises. The palace has CCTV surveillance in place throughout the grounds. Security guards monitor activity both inside and outside of the palace walls.

What Time Does the Tour End?

The tour of Buckingham Palace typically ends at 4:30pm. Visitors are encouraged to arrive at the palace no later than 3:45pm in order to get the full experience of the tour. All visitors must be offsite by 5:00pm so that staff can prepare for the following day’s tours.

Are Refreshments Available?

Yes, refreshments are available at Buckingham Palace. Visitors can enjoy light meals and snacks in the café located within the palace grounds. The café serves a range of hot drinks, sandwiches, salads, cakes and pastries. Alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and champagne can also be purchased from the bar area of the café. For those wanting to indulge in afternoon tea during their visit to Buckingham Palace, there is an Afternoon Tea Room that offers traditional English afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes served with tea or coffee.

What About Strollers and Baby Carriers?

Strollers and baby carriers are allowed at Buckingham Palace. However, they must be collapsible and no larger than 81cm (32in) in width and 118cm (46in) in length. All strollers or prams should be kept on the ground level to ensure safe access for all visitors. The use of baby carriers is encouraged as an alternative to a stroller, provided that the carrier meets safety standards and is suitable for the child’s age and size.

Is Wi-Fi Accessible onsite?

Yes, Wi-Fi is accessible onsite at Buckingham Palace. Guests of the palace can access free wireless internet throughout the grounds and many of the buildings within the walls. The Wi-Fi signal covers most areas in and around the palace, ensuring that visitors can stay connected to friends and family during their visit.

What Happens If It Rains?

If it rains while visiting Buckingham Palace, visitors should take appropriate measures to stay dry. Rain ponchos, umbrellas and waterproof jackets are all recommended items to bring along in case of rain. The palace has a café onsite where visitors can take refuge from the elements until the rain passes. The café is open daily during palace opening hours and offers a selection of hot and cold food as well as snacks.

Are Group Discounts Offered?

Yes, group discounts are offered for visiting Buckingham Palace. Groups of 15 or more people can purchase tickets at a discounted rate of 10% off the regular ticket price. To qualify for this discount, all tickets must be purchased in one transaction and presented together on arrival at the ticket office. Groups may also be eligible for free admission to the palace’s State Rooms if they book in advance.

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