The Buckingham Palace, originally known as Buckingham House, was built as a townhouse by the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, so it didn’t start off as a royal palace. However, King George III acquired it in 1761 for Queen Charlotte. It was enlarged in the 19th century, and it serves today as the royal residence in London and the workplace of the Queen. It is an important symbol for the British: ‘The Palace’, as they call it, is a point of reunion for both celebrations and moments of crisis: many demonstrations are celebrated by its doors.
The Buckingham Palace is an important place to visit if you travel to London. Besides its impressive 775 rooms (you won’t visit them all, though, since most are bedrooms, offices and bathrooms), it hosts the Royal Collection, all the art pieces and paintings that the British Crown has acquired through its history. It’s the only European Royal Collection that still belongs, officially and formally, to the Crown. The Royal Collection includes 150.000 master prints, 7.000 paintings, 40.000 drawings and watercolours, and a variety of ceramics, tapestries, books and furniture of great value.
Well, if you stay in one of our apartments near Buckingham Palace you will have quite important neighbours, won’t you? Yes, we are talking about the Royal family! You’re not likely to meet the Queen, but you will be able to step into her quarters if you visit the palace. However, Buckingham Palace is the residence the Royal family has in London, and they have many others – which means the Queen may not be there when you are!
There are some important neighbours whose company you’ll be able to enjoy, though – we’re referring to the wonderful green areas that surround Buckingham Palace, located in the inner borough called the City of Westminster: St James’s Park and Green Park! In fact, Buckingham Palace is located at the point in which these two parks get together, so you will be able to walk through nature before arriving to its doors.
Buckingham Palace has a wonderful gift shop where you will be able to buy beautiful souvenirs for your loved ones, from mugs to chocolates. But if you stay in one of GowithOh’s apartments near Buckingham Palace you may have other shopping needs other than buying souvenirs – you may need some clothes, or even a supermarket so you can buy food to have a picnic in one of the beautiful parks of the area! There is a shopping centre nearby, just a bit south of Buckingham Palace, in Victoria Street. There you will find plenty of stores. Besides, you’re just a nice and short walk away from Piccadilly Circus, where you will find lots of shops and other entertainment options.
Booking one of the apartments near Buckingham Palace is a great option because of all the green areas that surround it, which is the reason why the royal palace may be the only tourist attraction in London that doesn’t have a Tube station right next to it – don’t worry, though, because they are fairly close; you’ll just have to walk a little bit through the parks to arrive to one. The closest Tube stations are St James’s Park, south-east of the Buckingham Palace (Circle and District lines) and Green Park, north of Buckingham Palace, right in the corner of Green Park with Piccadilly (Piccadilly and Victoria Lines).
If you’re not in the mood for walking, don’t worry, though: All tourist sightseeing buses stop by Buckingham Palace, and they can take you to the other main attractions of the city, even those that are furthest away, like the Tower Bridge or the Tower of London.
Buckingham Palace is a real favourite for children, but not because of the wonders it houses – it’s because the wonderful spectacle that constitutes the change of guard! Buckingham Palace’s change of guard is a ceremony that takes place every day from May to July and every two days the rest of the year – unless it rains! The guards parade following different military themes, and some more modern ones, during 45 minutes. Your kids will love it! It starts at 11.30, but remember to go before, since it’s an attraction that congregates many tourists.
If you want to visit the Buckingham Palace inside, you’ll need to plan your trip to London accordingly, since it’s only opened to the public for 8 weeks every year, usually in the summer. This means you will have to book your tickets in advance!
There are different ticket options you can choose from: you can visit the State Rooms of the Buckingham Palace, you can pick a combined ticket to visit both the State Rooms and the Buckingham Palace garden, or you can choose the Royal Day Out ticket, that will allow you to visit the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews, besides the State Rooms. Adult tickets range from 21 to 37 pounds, and there are, of course, special prices for children, seniors and families. Children younger than 5 can enter for free.
There is much more to do in the area if you book one of our apartments near Buckingham Palace, like enjoying nature in the beautiful Hyde Park, St James’s Park or Green Park, or visiting the Houses of Parliament, the Westminster Abbey and the London Eye, which are really close to Buckingham Palace if you walk towards the river. If you’re in the mood to see some art, you can go to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, or the Royal Academy, a place to see art but also to learn and debate about it.
There are plenty of restaurants around Buckingham Palace that you can try. Etnacoffee, located in Victoria Arcade, offers yummy Italian street food. For an elegant dinner, you can try the Library, a wonderful fancy restaurant where you can pick a book to read while enjoying international cuisine and the finest British wines.
But one of the best options if you stay in one of our apartments near Buckingham Palace is to have a picnic in one of the three beautiful parks of the area – you can buy sandwiches in one of the supermarkets or sandwich shops you can find in the streets nearby.
If you have chosen one of our apartments near Buckingham Palace for your stay in the capital of England, you will notice that it is a quiet area. But if you want to have some fun, don’t worry, because you’re at walking distance from the greatest entertainment area of the city, Soho, where you will find lots of great bars, pubs and clubs to have a drink with your friends. If you’re in the mood for dancing, trade the elegance of the Buckingham Palace area for kitsch decoration or the Café de Paris, a wonderful historical club that hosted Marlene Dietrich and Dorothy Dandridge, among others. If you prefer to just have a beer, we recommend you to go to any of the traditional English pubs you can find in the area: great beer and a nice atmosphere. However, keep in mind that they close at around 11, so plan ahead and start your evening early!