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Buckingham Palace Tour Including Changing of the Guard Ceremony

Greater London, United Kingdom

From $72.26

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Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 2 hours 45 minutes (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English

Overview

Delve into London’s rich royal heritage during a visit to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. Marvel at the traditional Changing of the Guard performance, which involves meticulously dressed soldiers marching to the rhythm of military drums. Then, enjoy an exclusive experience as you enter the opulent State Rooms of Buckingham Palace for an independent audio tour. See lavish chambers during a tour only available for two months of the year, and gain fascinating insight into the history of the British monarchy.
  • Buckingham Palace tour including the Changing of the Guard ceremony, led by a tour host
  • Wander through St James’s Park and watch the famous Changing of the Guard
  • Explore the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, an experience only open to the public for two months of the year
  • Plug into an audio guide and learn about Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal Family

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

On this efficient tour, see the Changing of the Guard and nab hard-to-get tickets to Buckingham Palace.

What's Included

  • Professional host
  • Audio guide for Buckingham Palace
  • Changing of the Guard ceremony
  • Entrance ticket for Buckingham Palace
  • Headsets when appropriate
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Duke of York Monument
    St. James's, London SW1Y 5AJ, UK

    By the Duke of York Column, Waterloo Place, 9 Carlton Terrace, London SW1Y 5AJ. This is the tall column with a statue on top.

End point

  • Spur Road
    Spur Rd, London SW1A 1AA, UK

    Inside Buckingham Palace

What To Expect

Greet your courteous guide at a central London location and stroll through the verdant splendor of St. James’ Park to Buckingham Palace, the majestic official residence of Her Majesty the Queen. Stop at a prime position before the gates to behold the impressive Changing of the Guards Ceremony, a colorful and traditional performance that combines vibrantly dressed soldiers with rhythmic drum beats. 

See immaculately groomed horses and the beautifully dressed Household Cavalry canter across Horse Guards Parade, and then prepare to enter one of Britain’s most iconic cultural institutions. Listen to illuminating commentary from your guide as you stroll to the entrance of the regal residence, only open for two months of the year. 

Pop in your audio guide and embark on independent exploration of Queen Elizabeth II’s luxurious State Apartments. Delight in opulent ornaments like sparkling chandeliers, classic artworks and elegantly upholstered furniture as you discover the historical rooms. 

Return to the outside of Buckingham Palace and bid your guide farewell at this central location. 

Please note: If there is heavy rain — or if the Changing of the Guard is rescheduled to early morning (as on some Sundays) — the ceremony will be replaced with a walking tour.

St. James's Park

Greet your courteous guide at a central London location and stroll near the verdant splendor of St. James’ Park to Buckingham Palace, the majestic official residence of Her Majesty the Queen.

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Changing of the Guard

Stop at a prime position before the gates to behold the impressive Changing of the Guards Ceremony, a colorful and traditional performance that combines vibrantly dressed soldiers with rhythmic drum beats. Please note: If there is heavy rain — or if the Changing of the Guard is rescheduled to early morning (as on some Sundays) — the ceremony will be replaced with a walking tour.

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Depending on the day you will see either the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace or Horse Guards Parade. The Changing of the Guard is subject to changes in date, time and cancellation at the discretion of British authorities.
  • On occasional Sundays may be rescheduled to early morning, this will then be replaced with an extended walking tour.
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Cancellation due to bad weather is not announced before 11AM. When this occurs, customers will still see a ‘wet change’ during which the guards march but without the usual music or parade.
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Please note that if you book your tour on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, you’ll experience the change of the Household Cavalry.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 25 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

about cancellations.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


It should be noted that people with disabilities need consider signing up.
Make sure you locate the meeting point ahead of time.
This is necessary because there is so much to see.
Reviews
4.0
546 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 546 reviews
Do a Palace tour but you won't see the Changing of the Guard. Save your money.
Bruce_C, Sep 2022
Five stars for Buckingham Palace tour (NOT done by the tour company who took our money) and zero for the rest. You will NOT see the changing of the guard and that is why we paid for this tour. We should have just booked to see round the palace. The guide was barely adequate, she showed some knowledge of London and history but her knowledge was shallow and she was unable to answer questions. As for the changing of the guard we were taken to the very back of the area in front of Queen Victoria's statue and, with my binoculars, I saw the new guard march in through the palace gate. After that I got an occasional glimpse of bearskin hats over the heads of the crowd; without binoculars I wouldn't have seen a DURN THING!!! Our guide took us to the guards barracks and we saw them returning and dismissing; that was impressive. Our guide left us at the palace entrance and the palace tour people did everything after that. The tour of Buckingham Palace by audio tour was great, and staff in the various areas were happy to answer questions but no thanks to the tour organizers who took our money.
CityWonders drops ball
EricS_P, Sep 2022
Tour was scheduled for Friday morning, unfortunately the Queen passed away Thursday evening. We were expecting the tour to be cancelled, and kept checking for text messages. None were received, so we trekked to the tour only to find out it was cancelled. When we asked the operators why we weren’t notified, they passed the blame to Viator corporate. This the second Viator tour in two months that we showed up for, only to have them cancelled without any notice. Viator, our time is worth something and we would like compensation for the wasted hours while on vacation
Wonderful!
Jose_M, Sep 2022
Wonderful experience with up close view of the changing of the Royal Calvary Guard. Suggest the tour guide speak away from the microphone a little so her voice is clearer. Buckingham Palace is simply amazing.
Fun and informative
Catharina_C, Sep 2022
Jay was AWESOME! Very knowledgeable, had a lot of great stories, and had a great sense of humor as well!
The rooms and the stories...
Diane_B, Sep 2022
The rooms and the stories surrounding the Buckingham Palace we’re amazing. The guide was extremely knowledgeable.
Fantastic Tour
ElisabethL_K, Sep 2022
Our guide Margaret was personable and knowledgeable. She did an excellent job of guiding us to the horse guards to see the inspection of the Blues and Royals, then so took us to see the band escorting the old guard to the palace. It was wonderful. She got us over to the Buckingham Palace tour entrance in time to be the first group in the door. Thanks to Margaret we had a great morning.
Royal London People Experience
David_W, Sep 2022
The most memorable part of our tour was the care that was given to my spouse on this tour. She was having some mobility issues and she saw to it that she was being attended to as much as possible and even notified the Buckingham Palace guides of her situation and their tour guide were extremely accommodating and helpful. We saw the best of London in the people we met that day.
Poor organization
Irina_B, Sep 2022
Will start with meeting point. I don't understand why you have to drag all the way to the Duke of York monument if you can meet by Buckingham palace. It is a total waste of time! Also big minus to tour organizers. They are not trying even to wait for people that are late. Some people got lost and came late, they had to run after the guide. Also she was not even checking if the group is following her just ran through the park half of the group went totally different directions. Then they take you to a point where the guards are leaving, you wait until they march out then you go to Buckingham gate, but by then it is so crowded that you you can't even see anything. And you can't even see changing of guards ceremony. My question again why meeting far and watching the guards leave if you paid to see changing of guard ceremony?, My advise don't waste money. Go on your own and after that you can go in to the palace by buying a ticket right there.
Could have done it myself, better
James_K, Sep 2022
Don't really know what I paid for. Just sort of aimlessly walked up and down the road seeing whatever part of the ceremony happened to pass by at the moment. They just drop you off at the entrance to the palace and set you off on the same tour you would get if you just walked up.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Our tour guide, Mary, was...
Heather_S, Aug 2022
Our tour guide, Mary, was amazing. She was so well educated about everything Buckingham and the monarchy. Loved the experience!
Could’ve been a stellar five star review…
Diane_M, Aug 2022
The Buckingham palace portion of the tour was extremely well run and informative. Both the docents and the audio headsets provided excellent insight to how the family uses the palace and the palace’s fabulous history. Our guide Jay is a relatively new guide. While he was able to guide us efficiently and effectively to great viewing locations for various changing of the guard activities, his knowledge of the related history and facts was less than I expect on this type of experience. Additionally he made some off-the-cuff comments and jokes that were less than respectful of the royal family. This seems rather inappropriate for the tour, and was not appreciated by my guests.
Not Worth the Price
Joan_A, Aug 2022
Didn’t see Changing of the Guards. Weren’t told beforehand changing not done Saturday. Palace your ok nothing special. Waste of money 😖
1 traveler found this review helpful
Helen best super guide tour in town
Amadeo_P, Aug 2022
Great tour yesterday to Bookinham palace. Our tour lady Helen was amazing, super insightful and caring, she was all the time available for all of questions and needs, highly recommended
Marilyn was thorough and...
Kimm_B, Aug 2022
Marilyn was thorough and gave us a nice history tour while following the changing of the guards. The Buckingham Palace tour was fantastic.
Amazing tour with tons of knowledge on the history and current London
Cheryl_P, Aug 2022
What a fabulous way to start our journey in UK. This tour got us up front and center to see the Changing of the guard ceremony. With so many tourists wanting to see this special ceremony, we also had a great guide explaining the history and meaning. Glad Buckingham Palace was open while we were there. Amazing!!
Wonderful experience
Bill_H, Aug 2022
Great tour guide. Very exciting to see the changing of the guard and then enter Buckingham Palace. Our tour guide showed us where to wait to enter the palace. There is an entrance for groups and one for individuals. Although there were loads of people there (in August), the line moved fast. The gardens and rooms we visited were beautiful. An experience to remember!
Beware of Misleading Information
William_W, Aug 2022
Our ticket said that we would see ‘The Changing of the Guard’, however, this was a complete misrepresentation because this event does not take place on Saturday—which is when we went. How can Viator get away with this?
Horrible tour
Helen_G, Aug 2022
This was the worst tour we have ever taken. They should note that it is mostly outside. We could not hear the tour guide for most of the time. He didn’t use headphones because it was raining (??)
Entertaining Tour
Ben_H, Aug 2022
Knowledgeable and funny guide - was very engaging and had some great stories! Guided us through the browns to some great spots for the changing of the guard!
Somewhat disappointing changing of the guard viewing.
Barry_M, Aug 2022
We have taken this tour before. However, on this particular tour the guide, Jay, did not take the group up to the gates of the Palace but kept us at a distance to see the horse and band entering and leaving. Our guests (younger children) did not actually get to see the changing of the guard in the palace court. This was disappointing. Other that than, the guide was informative and personable, but it's not what we signed on for.
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Product code: 6295LOBPCGEAM