London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour
- Duration options: 1 - 3 days
- Optional audio guide
Built in 1703, Buckingham Palace is the Queen's London residence and one of the last working royal palaces in the world. A highlight of any visit to London, its splendor fully lives up to one's childhood royal fantasies. Here are 5 of the palace's highlights.
The most popular attraction of Buckingham Palace is, of course, the world-famous changing of the guard. Lasting about 45 minutes, it's a spectacular display of British pageantry.
Possibly the most famous part of the palace is, surprisingly, a staircase. Opulent and exquisitely decorated, its balustrade boasts some of the finest bronze casting in the world.
A treat for art lovers, this public gallery displays a rotating exhibition of 450 works from the Royal Collection, the monarch's impressive collection of artworks.
If there's ever been a room deserving to be called majestic, then it's this one. Lavishly decked out, it's used for ceremonial receptions and can also be converted into a ballroom.
The palace gardens are absolutely ravishing. Immaculately kept and covering an area of 39 acres, they're home to over 350 types of wildflowers, some 200 trees and a 3-acre lake.
The changing of the guard takes place everyday at 11:30am from April through July, and on alternate days the rest of the year. Due to its popularity, the changing of the guard attracts massive crowds. If you want to secure a spot near the fence to get the best view of the spectacle, it's necessary to show up at least a couple of hours in advance.
Visiting the inside of Buckingham Palace is only possible during summer, usually August and September. Tickets go fast, so make sure to book well in advance. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to see everything and the palace visiting hours are 9:30am to 7:30pm in August, while in September it's open from 9:30am to 6:30pm. Note that to also visit the gardens, you have to buy the appropriate ticket, as regular tickets only grant access to the interiors.
Those curious to know whether the Queen is at home need only check the roof of the palace. If the Royal Standard flag (red, yellow and blue) is flying, then it means the Queen is home, otherwise the Union Jack is raised instead.
Want to discover all there is to do in Buckingham Palace? Click here for a full list.
Really enjoyed our trip to London and our package we purchased. We wanted to do the London Eye and hop on hop off bus - the river cruise was an additional extra thrown in and ended up being the highlight. We ended up walking most of the way around the city, only using the bus twice - both times to go just one stop. Magnificent views from the London Eye - but the cruise was just wonderful. We went from Tower Bridge to Westminster. The guy speaking was really funny and the facts super interesting. The baileys hot chocolate on board also delicious. Would absolutely recommend.
Tolle und abwechslungsreiche Tour. Guide Julia hat uns an die schönsten und interessantesten Orte Londons geführt. Am Ende wussten wir nicht nur, wo die Queen ihre Corgis knuddelt, sondern hatten viel Spannendes über die Stadt, das Königshaus und die Geschichte gelernt. Die Tour ist absolut kindgerecht mit vielen Bildern, Geschichten und Infos. Mein 9jähriger Sohn war absolut begeistert. Aber auch mir als Elternteil hat es viel Spaß gemacht. Danke an Julia Huber für eine sehr engagierte, freundliche, kompetente und rundum gelungene Tour.
Good day fellow Globetrotters, I would like to give commendation to London tour and to our guide Chris. The tour guide (Chris) is well knowledgeable about the place and its history. He is also very caring for its clients during the tour. By and large, the rating I could give is 5 out 5. Keep up the good work. Thanks, Patrick
This hop on hop off bus was very convenient! My family and I were able to see all of the sightseeing places we wanted to go to. It's a great way to get around the city and the views on top of the panoramic bus were amazing.
We had a really lovely day , we learnt lots , things we didn’t know , the staff were exceptional , really helpful , polite and knowledgeable .