While the royal living quarters are off-limits, a large portion of the palace is open to the public. Highlights of Kensington Palace include the 16th-century King's Staircase; Queen Mary's State Apartments; and Queen Caroline's Cabinet of Curiosities, as well as the landscaped palace gardens.
Visit with a priority-access ticket to save time, or book a Royal Palaces Pass that allows entry to three other royal London attractions: Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and Hampton Court Palace. Some tours to Buckingham Palace also stop by Kensington Palace, while others pair a palace visit with an afternoon tea experience in the gardens.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Admission lines can be long in summer, especially for special exhibitions, so it’s best to book priority entrance tickets in advance.
Kensington Palace is home to regularly updated exhibits, including those which touch on royal fashion and more.
Free Wi-Fi is available on-site.
Most areas of the palace are wheelchair accessible and concession tickets are available.
Travelers who are blind or partially sighted may request a described tour of Kensington Palace; those who are deaf or hard of hearing can take a British Sign Language tour.
How to Get There
Kensington Palace is located at the west end of Hyde Park in central London. The nearest tube stations are Queensway and High Street Kensington, each about a 10-minute walk from the palace. Some tours provide transportation to Kensington Palace.
When to Get There
Kensington Palace is open year-round from Wednesday to Sunday and special events are held throughout the year, including fashion exhibits, the open-air Luna Cinema in August, and Queen Caroline's annual garden parties. Arrive early to beat the crowds, or stop by midweek.
The History of Kensington Palace
The birthplace of Queen Victoria, Kensington Palace was originally known as Nottingham House when it was built in 1605 and has long been a home base for British royals. After suffering damages during the Blitz, Kensington Palace fell into disrepair before once again finding favor among younger and minor royals. Nowadays, it's the London base of Prince William and Kate Middleton. And those famous gardens? They were redeveloped by Queen Caroline in the 18th century with the help of royal gardener Charles Bridgeman.
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