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Practical Information for visiting Buckingham Palace

This information will help you plan your visit to Buckingham Palace. 

Children with a warden at Buckingham Palace

Children with a warden at Buckingham Palace ©

Buckingham Palace Guided Tours

  • Prebooking tickets is essential. There is a timed admission system operating on all tours. This is the time you select when purchasing your ticket.
  • You must arrive 30 minutes before the entry time printed on your ticket.
  • When you arrive, you will pass through an airport-style security check. Read more about security & luggage
  • You cannot take photographs within the State Rooms. Read more about photography, filming & mobile phones.
  • Eating and drinking aren't allowed inside the Palace, with the exception of bottled water.
  • Toilets and baby-care facilities are available at the start and end of your tour.
  • For safety reasons, pushchairs cannot be taken into the State Rooms. They must be checked in and collected after your tour.  Read more about visiting with children.
  • Animals, other than guide, hearing or assistance animals, will not be admitted to the Palace.

Security and Luggage

For safety and security reasons, a one-way system operates along the visitor route.

Security screening

On arrival, you and your belongings will be subject to airport-style security checks. Try to bring as little as possible with you as it will help you to get through security screening more quickly.

Just as at the airport, please remove all metal objects from your pockets before going through the security arch. For efficiency, we advise packing cameras, phones, keys and wallets in your bag before placing the bag through the security scanner.

We do not have airport-style restrictions on liquids, so please feel free to bring bottled water in to the Palace.


Backpacks may not be worn and large items may not be carried inside the Palace. 

Bags and suitcases larger than 45cm × 20cm × 30cm cannot be taken into the Palace at all. Luggage storage can be found nearby, including at Victoria Station. 

Handbags and small backpacks are permitted inside, but must be carried by your side and not worn on your back during your visit.

You may use pacemakers, hearing aids and other electrical or electronic equipment needed for health reasons. Please approach a member of staff if you have any concerns or require assistance.


Animals, other than guide, hearing or assistance animals, will not be admitted.

Restricted and prohibited items

Neither smoking nor vaping (the use of electronic cigarettes) are permitted anywhere in Buckingham Palace or Gardens.

Some items must be checked in and reclaimed at the end of the visit. Other items may not be brought into the Palace at all. 

The following items must be checked in on arrival and reclaimed at the end of your visit:

  • Pen knives and knives with blades under 7.7cm (3”)
  • Scissors
  • Kirpans (the Sikh article of faith) where the blade exceeds 7.7cm (3”)
  • Long umbrellas
  • Pushchairs and buggies (baby-carriers and hip-carriers are available to borrow, subject to availability)
  • Alcoholic drinks in sealed containers
  • Paints/aerosols

The following items may not be brought into Buckingham Palace and Gardens:

  • Bicycles, folding bikes, roller-skates or skateboards
  • Suitcases and bags larger than 45cm × 20cm × 30cm
  • Drones

The following items are unlawful to carry in a public space in the United Kingdom and may be confiscated from you if you attempt to bring them into the Palace:

  • Knife with a blade over 7.7cm (3”)
  • Knife with a lockable blade (unless you have a reasonable excuse for having it with you)
  • Butterfly knife
  • Flick knife
  • CS or pepper sprays

As Buckingham Palace is a working royal palace, security and opening arrangements may be subject to change at short notice. Check closure details.

Photography, filming and mobile phones

Strictly no photography or filming at all is permitted inside Buckingham Palace.

Once you enter the Garden during the Summer Opening of the Palace, photography and filming for non-commercial purposes are encouraged. We love seeing your photos on TwitterInstagram and Facebook!

Applications for commercial filming should be submitted through this application form.

Out of consideration to other visitors, we ask that you refrain from making or answering phone calls inside the State Rooms.


During the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace, the Garden Café on the West Terrace is open serving light bites, cakes, ice creams and hot and cold drinks, with a view over the garden lawn towards the lake. There are also ice-cream stands situated along the garden path towards the exit. The café and ice-cream stands are situated at the end of the Palace visitor route, so are only accessible once you have been through the State Rooms.

With the exception of bottled water, eating and drinking are not permitted inside Buckingham Palace. You will be asked to place drinks and food in your bags before being admitted to the Palace.

There are many restaurants, pubs and cafés in the immediate vicinity of the Palace.

Visiting with children

Toilets and baby-care facilities are available at the start and end of guided tours. 

For safety reasons, pushchairs cannot be taken into the State Rooms. They must be checked in and collected at the exit from the State Rooms.

Baby carriers and hip seats can be borrowed free of charge, subject to availability.

Breastfeeding is welcome anywhere within the Palace.

During the Summer Opening of the Palace, please take extra care in the garden, as the visitor route is close to the lake.

Find out more tips to enjoy your visit with your family in our top 10 highlights for children.


Toilets and baby-care facilities are located in the garden, this is at the end of the route through the Palace. There are no toilet facilities at the start of the visitor route. The nearest public toilets are located in Victoria train station.

For visitors on guided tours there are toilets and baby-care facilities at the start and end of your tour.


1-Year Pass

At the end of your visit, don’t forget to ask a Warden to stamp your ticket to convert it into a 1-Year Pass.

Enjoy free re-admission for a year by converting your ticket to a 1-Year Pass.  

Find out how to book using an existing 1-Year Pass.


The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace and the Palace Garden are fully accessible. Concessionary rates are available if you have a disability and a companion is admitted free of charge.

To book on to the Access route, which is step-free, and to arrange accessible parking, please contact the Specialist Sales team on +44 (0)303 123 7324 or [email protected].

Multimedia Guide

During the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace, pick up one of the free multimedia guides at the start of your visit. We clean our multimedia guides and headphones before you use them or you are welcome to use your own standard wired headphones if you prefer.

Our multimedia guides are available in:

  • English
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • British Sign Language (BSL) with subtitles

Discover what goes into creating the magic and magnificence of royal occasions, learn about the history of the iconic building and explore the extraordinary works of art from the Royal Collection with special insights from a range of experts who work in the Palace. Uncover the fascinating story of one of the last working royal palaces from its early beginnings as Buckingham House to the world-famous building we see today.

Family multimedia tour

Join Alice the Footman, who will guide you through the Palace, with a little extra help from Rex the Corgi as you explore the State Rooms of the Palace. The family multimedia tour is available in English and is aimed at families with children under 12.

Tour for blind and partially-sighted visitors

A descriptive audio guide in English, produced in partnership with Vocaleyes, is free of charge and available to borrow from the Quadrangle, at the start of your visit. 

The tour provides information about the Palace as well as directions and location information to assist visitors throughout their visit.

The tour is rich in description, giving the listener a sense of the size and scale of the Palace, the decoration of the rooms and the texture of materials and furnishings. Expert curators highlight some of the greatest and most popular works in The Royal Collection, including paintings by Van Dyck and Canaletto.

Tour for D/deaf and hard of hearing visitors

The general tour is available in British Sign Language as a video tour. Subtitles are included. For hard of hearing visitors the multimedia handsets are T-coil compatible and equipped with volume control and neck loops are also available on request. Please note that the technology is not compatible with all hearing aids – a printed version of the multimedia guide script is available on request.

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

  • The Palace is busy during the summer and we recommend you prebook your tickets to avoid disappointment.
  • There is a timed admission system operating in 15 minute time slots. This is the time you select when purchasing your ticket. 
  • If you already have your ticket, for the best experience please arrive at the entry time printed on your ticket and not earlier.
  • There is a lot to see and do during the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace, so please allow enough time to make the most of your visit. We suggest between 2 and 2½ hours.
  • You are advised to wear comfortable shoes, as the visitor route in summer includes a fairly long walk through the garden to the exit, along a gravel path. The path is approximately ½ kilometre (⅓ mile) in length.
  • There is no formal dress code required to enter the Palace.
  • Toilets and baby-care facilities are located in the garden, this is at the end of the route through the Palace. There are no toilet facilities at the start of the visitor route. 
  • Alternative arrangements can be made for visitors with disabilities on request. Prior to booking your ticket, contact the Specialist Sales team on +44 (0)303 123 7324 or email [email protected] to ensure we correctly cater for your requirements.