The 5 Best Buckingham Palace Tours [2022 Reviews]

While there are countless attractions to check out while in London, Buckingham Palace never seems to disappoint.

With a whopping 775 rooms, there have been countless events, ceremonies, banquets, garden parties, and other important happenings that have taken place here. This historic building is absolutely gorgeous on both the inside and outside, with incredible art, jewelry, and decor.

However, if you really want to learn as much as possible about the palace and the royal family in relation to it, we highly recommend taking a proper tour.

We’ve done the hard part for you, in order to bring you the top Buckingham Palace tours that will be worth your time and money.

Best Tours of Buckingham Palace

 London: Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace TourBuckingham Palace and Vintage Bus Tour of LondonLondon: Buckingham Palace Ticket with Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
editors choice
London: Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace TourBuckingham Palace and Vintage Bus Tour of London#3 London: Buckingham Palace Ticket with Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
Departure Location:By the Duke of York column on Waterloo Place, 9 Carlton TerraceVictoria Coach Station, 164 Buckingham Palace RdOutside the Queen's Gallery Entrance at Buckingham Palace
Departure Time:Variety available7:45 amVariety available
Duration:165 minutes5.5 hours4 hours
Includes:Entrance ticket to Buckingham Palace, tour guide, headsets (if needed) to hear your guide1960's Vintage bus tour, Thames River cruise, Buckingham Palace The State Rooms, local guideAdmission to Buckingham Palace State Rooms, audio guides at Buckingham Palace in many languages, afternoon Tea on The English Bus Tea Bus

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Buckingham Palace Tours For 2022

  1. London: Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace Tour
  2. Buckingham Palace and Vintage Bus Tour of London
  3. London: Buckingham Palace Ticket with Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
  4. Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle tour from London
  5. Buckingham Palace Entrance Ticket with Royal London Walking Tour

Be sure to see our reviews of Downton Abbey tours, Windsor Castle tours and Thames River cruises.


Buckingham Palace Tour Reviews

1. London: Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace Tour

London: Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 165 minutes
  • Departure: By the Duke of York column on Waterloo Place, 9 Carlton Terrace, London
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes: Entrance ticket to Buckingham Palace, tour guide, headsets (if needed) to hear your guide

There’s a lot to do in the city, so if you have a full schedule (and if you don’t) we recommend checking out the London: Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace Tour.

Lasting around 165 minutes, it packs in a lot of education and interesting experiences for someone who wants to get acquainted quickly with the country’s royal history. No matter what age, we can’t recommend this excursion enough.

Start out by meeting your guide by the Duke of York column at Waterloo Place. They’ll give you a briefing on what to expect, and answer any questions you may have while walking over to Buckingham Palace.

We do recommend wearing some comfortable walking shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of that today! Before heading in to explore the state rooms, you’ll get to see the Changing of the Guard if the weather is right.

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The precise talents of the Queen’s Foot Guards are quite impressive, and definitely worth a photo or two! Once inside, you’ll learn all about royal protocol which is fascinating and sometimes a bit confusing.

Your guide will provide interesting commentary on the history behind the Changing of the Guard, and you’ll get to see the mounted Household Cavalry on horseback.

If you end up going on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, you can also see the change of the Household Cavalry. The horses are always so sweet and well-behaved, which is even more impressive in a way.

Then, check out the luxe apartments and glittering chandeliers, along with a magnificent Royal Collection which includes the Sèvres porcelain and gorgeous furniture. There is a café nearby, where you’ll be able to enjoy a cup of Joe and find somewhere to sit and enjoy the palace in all its splendor.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. Buckingham Palace and Vintage Bus Tour of London

Buckingham Palace and Vintage Bus Tour of London

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 5.5 hours
  • Departure: Victoria Coach Station, 164 Buckingham Palace Rd, London
  • Departure Time: 7:45 am
  • Includes: 1960’s Vintage bus tour, Thames River cruise, Buckingham Palace The State Rooms, local guide

This next tour will take you by bus, foot, and cruise boat for a comprehensive experience full of adventure and education.

The Buckingham Palace and Vintage Bus Tour of London is great if it’s your first time in the city, and is easy on the wallet. Lasting 5.5 hours, it’s a wonderful way to see a lot of sights and be back in time for dinner!

The tour starts off with you meeting your guide at the Victoria Coach Station, which is very easy to get to. You’ll meet at 7:45 am, so that you have plenty of time in the afternoon for other activities if you choose.

You’ll then hop on the famous Routemaster bus, which is one of those iconic red, double-decker buses we tend to associate with London.

Pick a seat – they’re all comfortable and have great views – and get your phone ready to take some snapshots of this panoramic tour!

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These tours offer such a great view of popular sites like Lord Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and more. At the Thames, you’ll transfer onto a sightseeing boat for a gorgeous and relaxing cruise.

This is one of the most wonderful modes of transport for seeing London’s skyline, the river, and more landmarks like the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

You’ll then head by bus to Buckingham Palace, where you’ll learn about it being the residence of the royals since the 19th century. While guides aren’t allowed to be inside with you, you’ll have time to check out the interior and take an audio-guided tour of the state rooms.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#3 London: Buckingham Palace Ticket with Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

#3 London: Buckingham Palace Ticket with Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: Outside the Queen’s Gallery Entrance at Buckingham Palace
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes: Admission to Buckingham Palace State Rooms, audio guides at Buckingham Palace in many languages, afternoon Tea on The English Bus Tea Bus

Next up, is the London: Buckingham palace Ticket with Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. This 4-hour tour combines the Buckingham Palace with a quintessentially British afternoon tea afterward.

With the changing of activities halfway through and array of captivating things to see, you’ll be anything but bored!

Start off by meeting up with your guide outside Buckingham Palace, which is a must-see if it’s your first time in London. The fully-operating royal palace was the Queen’s city residence and also the administrative headquarters of the Royal Household.

One of the highlights of the tour is undoubtedly the exploring of the 19 State Rooms. Furnished with some of the most breathtaking French and English antique furniture in the world, along with the magnificent Royal Collection, you’re sure to get a glimpse into the royal history.

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Not only that, but if you’re an art fan you’ll appreciate works by Rubens, Canaletto, Rembrandt, Canova, and Sèvres. Next up, you’ll check out The Garden, which is often referred to as “the walled oasis in the middle of London”.

It’s easy to see why they call it this way, too. With over 30 species of birds and almost 400 kinds of wildflowers, it’s truly a beautiful garden that is the perfectly tranquil place to clear your head and take some photos.

The Platinum Jubilee features official portraits of The Queen, with items of Her Majesty’s personal jewelry which she wore for her portraits.

Now, it’s time to take your afternoon tea at 3pm on your bus. You’ll be welcomed with a glass of Prosecco or non-alcoholic beverage (your choice) at the start of the tour.

Along the way, catch the most popular sites while munching on some finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and preserves, tea cakes, and more.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#4 Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle tour from London

Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle tour from London

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 9.5 hours
  • Departure: The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace, London
  • Departure Time: 9:15 am
  • Includes: Blue Badge guide, live commentary on board, coach transportation, Windsor Castle Admission, Buckingham Palace State Rooms Admission, audio guide

Perhaps these tours all sound fine and dandy to you, but you’re looking for something a bit more comprehensive. Maybe you have the whole day free so you can enjoy a quality tour of the palace and other areas of London.

If that sounds like your case, then check out the Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle Tour from London. Lasting 9.5 hours, this is definitely the longest tour of its kind and ticks off 2 of the Queen’s former major residences: Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

You’ll meet your guide at Buckingham Palace at 9:15 am so you have plenty of time to see everything. Guests are only allowed to enter the palace for 2 months a year, so this is definitely a great opportunity.

Serving as the official London residence of the British monarch since 1837, it has an incredibly rich and fascinating history.

You’ll be able to head inside and tour the State Rooms, including iconic rooms like the Throne Room, White Drawing Room, and Ballroom. As you can imagine, they’re all dripping in lavishness.

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We highly recommend you also see the Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession which includes portraits taken of The Queen, along with her personal jewelry worn for them.

Take note of The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, which was a wedding gift to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck – later Queen Mary. It was then given to then-Princess Elizabeth when she married Prince Philip in 1947.

Now, it’s time to set out to Windsor Castle, which is known as the biggest continuously-occupied castle in all of Europe. It dates back to almost 1,000 years since William the Conqueror was around. The State Apartments are luxurious and well-respected around the globe, featuring paintings by Van Dyck and Rubens on the walls.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#5 Buckingham Palace Entrance Ticket with Royal London Walking Tour

Buckingham Palace Entrance Ticket with Royal London Walking Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Departure: Duke of York Monument, St. James’s, London
  • Departure Time: 1:30 pm
  • Includes: Expert local guide, guided walking tour, audio guide and entrance ticket for Buckingham Palace, headsets where appropriate

Do you want to get to know the royal history and London better? If so, sign yourself up for the Buckingham Palace Entrance Ticket with Royal London Walking Tour! The 2.5-hour tour is great if you have a busy schedule but still want to see and learn a lot.

Meet up with your guide at 1:30 pm at the Duke of York column at Waterloo Place. This is a great tour to take if you have plans in the morning, or simply want to sleep in and enjoy a cup of coffee at your leisure.

Head on over to St. James’ Palace, which hosted everyone from Princess Diana to Anne Boleyn, as your guide tells you all about each location’s history.

Stroll through the lush green St. James’ Park, down The Mall “red carpet”, and see the home of Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall: Clarence House. Then, you’ll head to the grandiose gates of Buckingham Palace and head inside with an audio guide to direct you.

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You’ll learn all about the chambers of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the incredibly lavish décor, and some of the most stunning pieces of furniture and art in the world.

You can choose to upgrade to the afternoon tea option, which we detailed in the previous tour. If you decide to, you’ll be provided with a tasty array of finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, pastries, and teas.

Overall, this is a wonderful tour with guides who offer plenty of time at each spot to stop and take photos.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


London Travel Guide

Best Tours of Buckingham Palace

Planning Guide For Your London Trip

If you’re planning a trip to London anytime soon, be sure to add one of the best Stonehenge tours from London to your itinerary. But which ones are the best? We’ve reviewed the top 5 Stonehenge tours and provided you with a guide for visiting both Stonehenge and London.

Most likely, your day trip to Stonehenge from London will be a small part of your vacation to this historic English city. Here, we offer a guide to visiting London, from the airport you will be arriving at to other attractions you may want to visit and even the weather.

Let’s help you make the most of your vacation to London!

Airports & Entry

There are five airports that service London, England. If you are traveling abroad, you will most likely be arriving at London Heathrow. For shorter flights departing European airports, should you be heading to London from a previous vacation spot, you may fly into one of these smaller London airports:

  • London City
  • London Gatwick
  • London Luton
  • London Stansted

To enter the United Kingdom, UK, you will need a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for your entire stay and can’t expire before your expected departure.

Planning Tips

Visiting London is unlike visiting any other city on earth. Because of this, you will want to keep some things in mind when planning and packing. We list our top 5 tips for visiting London below. Do you have additional tips to suggest? We’d love for you to comment them below!

Tip #1: Bring Your Walking Shoes

Much of your travel around the city will be walking. Even when you head out of town for a day tour, such as those to Stonehenge, most of the tours require quite a bit of walking. It’s best to be relaxed wearing athletic shoes instead of wearing more fashionable shoes that can make the necessary walking uncomfortable.

Tip #2: Bring a Converter or Transformer

Your electric and electronic devices made for use in the US will not work in the UK without a converter or transformer. A converter is made to use with electronics such as your phone or tablet and a transformer with electric devices such as a hairdryer. The US runs on 120 V and the UK on 240. This means that using your US devices without a voltage converter or transformer in the UK may damage them.

Tip #3: Start Planning Your Trip Early

London receives millions of tourists each year. This means that you will most likely have to book tours well in advance. You should also book your accommodations and reservations in restaurants as soon as possible. This is especially true for tickets to theater events and shows.

Tip #4: Always Bring an Umbrella

It doesn’t matter what time of year you’re visiting London, quick showers and rainstorms are always a possibility. It’s best to bring an umbrella with you as purchasing one at a convenient location in the city will most likely cost much more. A collapsible umbrella that is easy to carry with you is ideal.

Tip #5: Start Budgeting in Advance

London is quite an expensive city to visit but it’s worth it. Be sure you have budgeted for your flight and accommodations as well as your daily meals. You should have plenty of British pounds, the local currency, on hand as taxis and some stores may not take debit or credit cards. Also, keep in mind that the farther out your trip is planned, the better deals you will get, especially on accommodations.

Restaurants & Eating Out

There are several Dishoom restaurants located around the city. These restaurants serve high quality and delicious Indian food within a modern atmosphere. London is one of the best places to enjoy Indian food outside of India. These restaurants often have a wait but the wait is well worth it.

Not only will you want to experience the delicious Indian food, it also wouldn’t be a trip to London without an afternoon tea. There are plenty of places around town to enjoy your tea, but afternoon tea at The Savoy Hotel, London is something not to be missed. Sketch is another afternoon tea hotspot offering a unique experience.

If you’re looking for a meal with a great view, you’ll want to make reservations at the Duck & Waffle. However, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the most popular meal in London, fish and chips, at many local hotspots.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Nightlife in London can be anything you’d like it to be. There are nighttime tours of the city and surrounding areas for something a little more low-key, or you can head to a nightclub or one of the many music venues to turn up the entertainment dial.

From standup comedy and dramatic theater to the trendy clubs of the West End and even the casinos that can be found around town, nightlife in London is perfect for everyone.

Getting Around

As mentioned, visiting London requires a lot of walking. However, you can also choose to ride the subway, board a boat, or even hop on a bus or take a taxi. You may find the subway also referred to as “the underground” or “the tube.”

The cost of transportation by any of these methods will be determined by your destination’s distance from central London. The city and surrounding areas are divided into zones that determine distance and cost. If you’re going to be visiting for at least a few days, you may want to invest in a daily or weekly Travelcard pass.

Accommodations

There are many choices in accommodations when visiting London. You may find a great Airbnb location, and you can also find everything from a small hostel to a five-star, luxury hotel. The accommodations you choose should be determined by your budget, but also by the type of experience you’re looking for. An Airbnb can instantly make you feel like a local.

A hostel can provide plenty of opportunities to meet other tourists and learn more about attractions and eateries. If you’re looking for a luxury experience, the Camden Enterprise Hotel or even the Dorset City London can provide it.

Weather

The average low temperatures during the winter months are in the mid-40s Fahrenheit or around 7°C. These mild winter temperatures make London an ideal vacation spot for the holidays. July, London’s hottest month of the year, usually doesn’t reach the 70s Fahrenheit, or above 18⁰ Celsius.

Even with mild temperatures during the summer, it can feel quite humid and you may run into a short shower or two. Once again, always have an umbrella handy.

Attractions

A vacation to London necessitates a visit to Buckingham Palace. Other attractions include the Coca-Cola London Eye, the Ferris wheel easily seen in every London skyline, as well as historical landmarks such as Kensington Palace, the London Tower, or the Churchill War Rooms.

While in London, be sure to visit one of the many museums and art galleries that can be found in nearly every area of the city. Parks, waterfronts, and bridges provide great photo ops and can provide a beautiful place to rest and take in the local sights.

The History, Beauty, in the Cotswolds and Oxford

When planning your vacation to London, be sure to plan for a day trip to the Cortswods while there. A guided tour of Oxford and the Cotswords will allow you to experience the English countryside.

However, that doesn’t mean you can skip on visiting the many museums and art galleries, enjoying some of the best food available, and taking time to appreciate the beautiful mix of modern style and historical sites that London provides.

Enjoy your trip to London!

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The Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace is our Editors Choice for the best tour of Buckingham Palace

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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