Buckingham Palace (UK: ) is a London royal residence and the administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.
Originally known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site that had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen's House. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.
Merlot Duncan-Cole | Feb 18, 2018
A must see when in London! Buckingham Palace is rich in history but I guess the essence isn’t exactly captured in a photo... we visited around 5pm and there weren’t any guards out front like you see in the classic photographs- maybe seasonal outfits as well? Definitely look online when they do the changing of the guards as that would be a cool experience! Not too crowded but there are always people at the fence taking pictures! Cars are able to get super close, you can taxi here if need be or accessibility purposes.
Ayla Kim | Feb 11, 2018
Responsible for being a venue for many events involving the royals as well as ceremonies that celebrate people being honored with awards, the Palace is not only the location of the sovereigns’ residence but is also a busy building and a symbol for the UK’s constitutional monarchy. Even the palace’s balcony is among the world’s most famous ones. Right outside of the palace is a fountain with a golden statue of Queen Victoria in the middle, and it’s a pretty site to see and admire. Every summer as well as during specific dates in the winter and spring; the State Rooms in the Palace are available to visitors, and it is nice to explore the interior of one of the most popular landmarks of England. From the detailed sculptures to the lampposts of the palace’s immediate surroundings, the palace is really beautiful at and worth the experience of admiring even for a short time. Catching the switching of guards is also pretty cool to watch. I suggest hanging out outside of the palace right before sundown, as the palace all lit up accompanied by the pretty colors of the sky behind make for a pretty picture! (Even better, go on a weeknight, as there are not as many people like tourists as during the day.)
Matt Mead | Feb 7, 2018
It feels like an incredible amount of history at this location. Being an American I was surprised at the amount of access there is. Cars drive right passed it, you can walk right up to the gate, stick your hands through so your photos don't look like you're shooting from inside prison. It's really quite remarkable. The police guards posted outside means business but were definitely friendly. They didn't have a changing of the guards when I visited which sucked but they did have royal guards strutting around the grounds. Worth a visit but not a long visit needed.
Tyler Hill | Feb 25, 2018
God bless the Queen. The palace was better in person than all the photos I had seen. The history of it all was so impressive and almost overwhelming. The guards put on quite a show. What I found most cool? I swear the little lions were real gold. The gate was also very tall. I don't think anyone will be breaking into the palace.
Melissa Bradley | Jan 30, 2018
ts nice seeing all the marvelous artwork in the brilliant design of all the architect. The Palace has an intense amount of security of lots and lots of armed guards. It's odd being an outsider looking in. Its like going to the zoo but the attraction is someone who rules over you. The park near by is really nice too and if you need to use the bathroom make sure you have money on you. Lots of good photos can be taken here. x
Aurelio Ogliari | Mar 29, 2018
The changing of the guard is rather entertaining but you are looking at spending at least 3 hours of your day to fully enjoy the show. If you are short of time other activities may be a better choice. Do bring some water with you, i would also recommend a hat on sunny days. The best spots are on the sides of the gates, but be there early.
Shoayeeb Chamak | Mar 27, 2018
Official residence for Queen of England. world famous tourist attraction. in summer there are lots of activity going on around the area. beautiful parks nearby. Kids can play around. great place for family outing. if the weather is good. i have enjoyed with my family and friends whenever i came to visit the area. travelling to this place is very easy. bus and train station is very nearby. good choice of restaurants are nearby. really a must see place if you are a tourist in London .
Arjun N | Apr 1, 2018
I liked the palace, the whole area was beautiful. The red roads surrounding the palace add a royal charm to the place. St. James park is right across and beautiful. If you want to view the change of guards ceremony, it usually starts around 10:45 - 11:00 AM. Make sure you look at the schedule, since it does not take place everyday. Be there around 30 minutes earlier to find a good spot.
Michael Barron | Mar 8, 2018
Well, I only visited in that we turned up at the gates, just one of the hundreds stood there gazing on this beautiful and iconic building, not like I had been invited (Not much chance of that I'm afraid). I have to say that the area we were in to look through the gates, outside the gates, is actually quite outstanding in itself. Nice parkland to wander in, even a kids playground. Yes this is worth the visit, and a nice leisurely stroll down the Royal Mall to Trafalgar Square to follow.
Elizabeth Heath | Apr 29, 2018
Amazing tourist attraction people from all around the world experiencing the royal of England. The gardens are beautiful and a very peaceful setting. This place is great for professional photos. The guards are very good. Make sure you watch your children as it can get very crowded. The flag is at half mast when the queen is out and at full mast when she is in her presents in the palace. There will be notices when something important happens to the royal good or bad mostly amazing. Overall this was an amazing once in a lifetime experience and I would for sure go back to visit again for the great times.
Aurelio Ogliari | May 2, 2018
The changing of the guard is rather entertaining but you are looking at spending at least 3 hours of your day to fully enjoy the show. If you are short of time other activities may be a better choice. Do bring some water with you, a little snack perhaps and i would also recommend a hat on sunny days. The best spots are on the sides of the gates, but be there early.
Sarah F | Apr 19, 2018
I went here one Sunday morning and saw the changing of the guards which was really nice. The grounds are beautiful and the building is so majestic. There was a big crowd during the changing of the guards but that is to be expected. There was a good police presence though controlling the crowd so it wasn't too hard to move about. Watching the changing of the guards is free and certainly a fun cultural thing to see.
Nicholas Freeston | Apr 27, 2018
Not the best of London architecture by a long stretch. They do offer tours of sections of the palace as well as entry for private art exhibitions. Green Park and Saint James' Park are lovely nearby parks to spend a summers afternoon. Should you come to London and have limited time I would say you're better off choosing The Tower of London over Buckingham Palace unless you have a specific reason to go there.
Dave Cassar | Apr 24, 2018
Beautiful building and lovely surrounding parks. Choc full of tourists (including me and my family!) but that adds to the excitement. Keep an eye on the flag, if the royal standard (the one with the lions on it) is flying then the Queen is home. When we were there we saw a guard on the roof, he was waiting for the Queen to leave and immediately lowered the flag and replaced it with the Union Jack in short order. Prince Phillip then waved at my son which made his day! If you can get there during the summer months when they open it up, it's well worth a look around, but the tickets don't make for the cheapest day out!
Sarah my vids | Jun 1, 2018
I went there recently for the Queen's Garden Party and it was an honour to be there. The day was well organized. Excellent catering and helpful staff. The food and drink was lovely and they even filled up my water bottle with iced water for my journey home. The toilets were kept reasonably clean considering the amount of people there. There is a beautiful lake you can walk around. Don't wear high heels on the grass you will sink. If you are a paying visitor there is also a gift shop.
Christian W | May 18, 2018
Excellent experience and a must-do if you find yourself in London! Nearby Green Park is a great place to just sit around and have a picnic or just relax. The grounds are beautiful and well kept. The palace itself is of course worth the visit even though you can only get as far as the gate. I believe they do conduct tours inside but only for a few months out of the year. Well worth the stop to just see it and maybe have a picnic in the park next to it.
Rene Veliz | Jun 6, 2018
Buckingham palace is awesome. Every day at 11 am there is a change of guards and can enjoy the incredibly organized parade. Depending on the time of the year you might have to take an umbrella for the rain or for the sun as there is nothing to get covered around as this is some sort of a plaza. Just to the side of this place you have two parks where you can relax for a bit too.
L T | Jun 3, 2018
What an experience! We didn't have a planned set schedule, we just decided walked from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, take some nice photos of the place, very relaxed. It was a nice 10 minute stroll or so. When we arrived we thought 'Whoa that's a lot of people just to look at the Palace!" It was crowded as if the Queen or someone Royal was about to show up. Thousands of people were just standing there facing the Palace. We truly didn't know what was going on. Stood for about another 10 minutes, confused on why everyone was just standing there...until we heard it. It was the Changing of the Guards! Of course! It was perfect timing. Guards arrived on horses and then hundreds more followed as a marching band sort of feel. It was incredible! Note: don't be like us and actually research when the changing of the guards will take place 😅 Its worth it!
Christopher Cowling | May 25, 2018
Buckingham palace is fantastic. Generally you stand outside the fence and can see the guards inside. The changing of the guard runs every day over summer and every second day over winter and is definitely worth watching. Additionally during summer you can usually book tickets to go inside the palace, which is amazing and includes a small cafe lunch at the end in the palace grounds. If your in England only once, you need to go here. Allow an hour if your seeing the changing of the guard, and a whole day for a walk through the inside of the palace.
Maritha Bester | Jul 5, 2018
We were very lucky to see Trooping the Colours and the Queen's birthday parade! It is like being in a time past where pomp and ceremony were part of life! I shouted and cheered with thousands of people! Even saw the whole Royal Family on the famous balcony and were close to the carriages in the parade down The Mall - all draped in the beautiful British flags! Seeing hundreds of horses, soldiers dressed in their ceremonial dress - and the beautiful carriages with the Royals (yes Harry & Megan too 😉), were an once in a lifetime experience! My goodness what a spectacular event! Buckingham Palace is indescribably impressive. A must visit -specially when timed with the changing of the guards!
Cassandra Y. | Jul 8, 2018
You can't come to London without coming to Buckingham Palace! It is very tourists kind of thing... BUT we are tourists and we don't come to London all the time. So definitely have to visit at least once. I was very excited standing on the side walk waiting for them to arrive. When I heard the music, turn on my camera to get ready! It is very impressive. Not only the parade but also the amount of people surrounded Buckingham Palace. This happens "everyday"!! You will see double deck tour buses everywhere. Find out the route of the parade first. Our tour guide didn't bring us to Buckingham Palace right way, he took us a little bit distance away and waited at the side walk. Less crowd. We got a very good view. Then we followed the parade to Buckingham Palace.
tracy alt | Jun 30, 2018
A very cool experience to watch the changing of the guard. I recommend walking though the park towards the left of the palace to watch them march into the huge white building. That was so great. They walk right past us into the gates. It is a beautiful place to visit. The park is a nice walk and fun place to picnic.
Matthew Leask | Jul 2, 2018
Great tourist place and a MUST SEE if you are traveling in England. The parks nearby are a good place to relax, take photos and just enjoy your family and friends. I went there when i was a young teenager and still have memories of playing in the parks with my friends we met up with. I recommend watching the changing of the guard as it is a well known tradition and everyday event.
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