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St. James's Palace Tours and Activities

St. James's Palace
Commissioned by Henry VIII in 1531, St. James’s Palace served as principal royal residence for 300 years. Today, the official palace houses members of the wider royal household and is used for state events, ceremonies, and as royal offices. Much of the original Tudor brickwork remains, making it well worth a stop on a city tour.

The Basics
Admire the red-brick facade and tick off other local highlights on a walking tour, with themed itineraries available to suit all range of interests. If you’re pushed for time or feeling active, zip among landmarks including St. James’s Palace on a running or cycling tour, while more independent adventurers can take advantage of hop-on hop-off services or virtual guided tours to discover St. James’s Palace and the wider area at their own pace.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • St. James’s Palace interior and grounds are mostly off limits to the public, with the exception of the adjacent Queen’s Chapel and Clarence House.
  • The palace is popular with history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and fans of the modern royal family.
  • As it’s not possible to go inside, a coat or umbrella is useful during the rainy months.
  • The area’s wide paths and flat surfaces are mostly wheelchair-friendly.

How to Get There
Green Park and St. James’s Park are the nearest underground stations, each around a 10-minute walk away. Green Park station is also served by bus numbers 8, 9, 14, 19, 22, and 38, as well as hop-on hop-off services. As you’re unlikely to spend more than 15 minutes admiring the structure, it’s worth taking advantage of tours offering round-trip transfer to optimize your time.

When to Get There
Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, adjoins St. James’s Palace and opens to visitors each August. Visitors can also attend Sunday service in the Queen’s Chapel, which was once part of the palace and now lies just on the other side of Marlborough Road.

A Tale of Two Palaces
In 1762, King George III was concerned that St. James’s Palace was too small for his new family. He and his wife moved to neighboring Buckingham House, where 14 of their 15 children were born. The house was later developed into a palace by his sons. However, it was only when his great-granddaughter, Queen Victoria I, came to the throne that Buckingham Palace became the iconic royal residence that we know today, which is open to visitors every summer.
Address: Marlborough Rd., London SW1A 1BS, England
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81 Tours and Activities to Experience St. James's Palace

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Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise with Optional London Eye

Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise with Optional London Eye

star-4
6069
Discover the grandeur of London aboard the open-top, double-decker Big Bus on this hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. With your 1-, 2-, or 3-day ticket, design a personal itinerary with stops including Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral and more. Enjoy unobstructed views and onboard commentary as you view the city’s highlights and upgrade to The Big London Day Out option to get an aerial view of the city aboard the London Eye giant observation wheel. Hop off to enjoy a Thames River cruise, currently operating Friday to Sunday only.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$48.99
From
$48.99
Taking safety measures

London In a Day: Tower of London, Westminster Abbey & Changing of the Guard

London In a Day: Tower of London, Westminster Abbey & Changing of the Guard

star-5
68
Limited time in London doesn’t have to mean a limited view of the capital. Soak up the key sights in just one action-packed day on this guided small-group tour. Explore Westminster Abbey and watch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace. Then cruise the Thames River to Tower Bridge and explore its inner workings before delving into British history at the Tower of London.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$180.06
From
$180.06
Taking safety measures

Full Day Private London Taxi Sightseeing Experience

Full Day Private London Taxi Sightseeing Experience

star-5
5
Discover the highlights of London with efficiency and style when booking your own private driver-guide to explore the English capital. Travel in a traditional black cab to attractions including Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard ceremony, and Westminster Abbey. With your own dedicated transportation and insightful guide, you can take in more sights without the hassles of navigating the busy streets on your own.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$628.11
per group
From
$628.11
per group
Taking safety measures

Changing of the Guard Guided Walking Tour in London

Changing of the Guard Guided Walking Tour in London

star-5
525
Get up close to the iconic Royal Guards on this interactive walking tour of London. Learn about London’s royal heritage as you pass sights like Pall Mall, the Duke of York Column, the Royal Society and Marlborough House, then enjoy a prime view of the famous Changing of the Guards ceremony. Not only do you see the military bands and marching guards, you also get to march alongside the Old Guard, as they head from St. James Palace to Wellington Barracks.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$26.52
From
$26.52

3.5-Hour Small-Group Food Tasting Tour of Royal London

3.5-Hour Small-Group Food Tasting Tour of Royal London

star-5
20
Discover London’s royal heritage and sample traditional English specialties on this 3.5-hour food tasting tour. Take a walking tour of the Royal Parks, Piccadilly Circus, and St James Palace; watch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace; and enjoy cheese tasting, afternoon tea, and other British favorites.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$98.96
From
$98.96

Private Tour: Black Taxi Tour of London

Private Tour: Black Taxi Tour of London

star-5
241
Take a private custom tour through bustling London in a traditional black taxi! Your personal driver will help you design the perfect 2-hour itinerary or take the reins completely, escorting you to London’s key attractions. Travel at your own pace, and request stops to snap photos, grab a souvenir or have a closer look at a site. London is your oyster on this private black taxi tour!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$267.70
per group
From
$267.70
per group
Taking safety measures

The London Eye with London Hop-on Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

The London Eye with London Hop-on Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

star-3.5
15
See London from the streets, water, and sky with this great-value package that lets you explore London at your own pace. Easily reach top sights without spending a fortune on cab fare with a hop-on hop-off bus ticket valid for 1, 2, or 3 days. You’ll also get an aerial view of the city aboard the London Eye giant observation wheel and glide past Parliament and Big Ben on a Thames River cruise (Fri-Sun only).
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$68.67
From
$68.67
Taking safety measures

Private Walking tour London, Buckingham Palace to Big Ben and much more

Private Walking tour London, Buckingham Palace to Big Ben and much more

This action-packed private walking tour of London is the ideal experience for travelers with limited time. You’ll save time and see multiple top London attractions in one day, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, and Trafalgar Square. By going on a walking tour, you’ll visit places on foot that can’t be reached by car or bus. Your tour will be enhanced with guide commentary about London’s highlights, as well as insider tips.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$239.02
Price varies by group size
From
$239.02
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

London Eye Fast-Track Ticket with Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

London Eye Fast-Track Ticket with Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

star-3
11
Have only a short stay in London? See the best of the city—and enjoy a variety of sightseeing experiences—with this convenient package. Begin with a hop-on hop-off bus tour: pick from 24-, 48-, or 72-hour passes, and cruise around town at your own pace. Then, head to the London Eye, where you’ll enjoy fast-track entry and sky-high views. This package also includes a river cruise which currently operates Friday to Sunday.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$105.38
From
$105.38
Taking safety measures

Royal London Private Walking Tour

Royal London Private Walking Tour

If you’re fascinated by the royals, there’s no better way to follow in their footsteps than a private walking tour. See St. James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Kensington Palace, and stroll the Mall. View the memorials of Princess Diana and Prince Albert, and so much more. For the full experience, upgrade to include afternoon tea at Kensington Palace.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$191.21
Price varies by group size
From
$191.21
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full Day London Private Classic Tour

Full Day London Private Classic Tour

star-5
34
Optimize your time in the British capital on a private full-day tour, zipping between landmarks by traditional black cab for an authentic London experience. Discover iconic highlights such as the London Eye, Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace and enjoy plenty of stops for pictures or a closer look. Benefit from your guide’s personalized recommendations to add additional stops according to your interests.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$732.79
per group
From
$732.79
per group

British Museum & London City Center Westminster Tour - Semi-Private 8ppl Max

British Museum & London City Center Westminster Tour - Semi-Private 8ppl Max

star-5
5
The British Museum is one of the UK’s largest and most visited museums, chronicling over two million years of human history. Make the most of your visit on this small-group tour, then marvel at London’s historic monuments on a guided walking tour, including Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, and the Houses of Parliament.
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  • 5 hours to 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$173.31
Price varies by group size
From
$173.31
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace Guided Tour - Private Tour

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace Guided Tour - Private Tour

star-5
1
Watch one of London's most traditional events—the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace—on a private walking tour. You'll see and learn about this longstanding ritual with a private guide, who leads you through central London so you don't have to worry about navigating the crowds on your own.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.58
Price varies by group size
From
$88.58
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Premier Classic London Private Half Day Tour

Premier Classic London Private Half Day Tour

star-5
79
An excellent choice for first-time visitors, this tour takes you around the city in a classic London black cab. Visit notable sites and landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, London Bridge, the London Eye, Tower of London, and much more as your local guide shares interesting stories and history at each locale. You can also choose to attend a Changing of the Guard ceremony.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$418.74
per group
From
$418.74
per group

The London Dungeon with London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

The London Dungeon with London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

star-2
4
Enjoy a fun-filled, stress-free, and cost-effective way to explore London when you book this four-in-one package. Choose between 24-, 48-, and 72- hour passes to a hop-on hop-off bus, and you can look forward to seeing top sights like the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Then, enjoy the many rides and frights at the London Dungeon, plus a Thames river cruise and free walking tour.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.49
From
$88.49
Taking safety measures

Private London Tours by experienced Guide in Electric ⚡️ London Taxi

Private London Tours by experienced Guide in Electric ⚡️ London Taxi

star-5
7
Tour with a fun “real Londoner” having nearly 25 years experience of driving London’s streets and alleyways gathering information to share with you! Travel in luxury twenty first century London Taxi with all modern considerations up to 6 seats. Guide has ability to bespoke tour to accommodate your interests as I don’t follow a particular set route. Ability to look after you ... regularly stopping for photo shots, coffee shots and rest breaks throughout our tour. Sharing my keen knowledge of historical London events and personalities from the early Romans through to Prince Harry
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$299.00
per group
From
$299.00
per group

Madame Tussauds London with Hop-on Hop-off Tour and River Cruise

Madame Tussauds London with Hop-on Hop-off Tour and River Cruise

star-5
2
Explore London your way with a popular hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus that takes you directly to dozens of top attractions like Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and Downing Street. Take in views from atop the double-decker bus and ride as often as you like with a 24-, 48-, or 72-hour ticket. This combo tour also includes admission to the legendary Madame Tussauds wax museum, where you can pose for selfies with models of your favorite celebs including Benedict Cumberbatch, Kim Kardashian, and the royal family.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.71
From
$100.71
Taking safety measures

London by Night: Non-Stop Sightseeing Bus Tour

London by Night: Non-Stop Sightseeing Bus Tour

star-5
1
Experience the city as the sun begins to set and London lights up around you. A non-stop tour combining a live guided bus tour and a river cruise. A great tour to rediscover the city under a new light, the best of London by bus and boat. The city bursts into life at night and London looks spectacular with twinkling lights cutting through the darkness. Watch the city come alive as the sun sets and as famous monuments such as the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye light up. From the comfort of the top deck, to a tranquil seat on the river, don’t miss out on the perfect night experience. Some of the landmarks on our night tour include: Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London and many more.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$34.89
From
$34.89
Taking safety measures

Private Custom Tour: Day Tour of London

Private Custom Tour: Day Tour of London

star-5
68
Don’t visit London landmarks and listen to commentary that doesn’t interest you. Set your own itinerary and explore London your way on a private half- or full-day tour of England’s capital. Tick off all of the attractions on your personal checklist and take advantage of your private guide’s local insight by visiting hidden gems and unknown corners of the city. Choose the start time and meeting point of your tour and receive the undivided attention of your guide throughout. 
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  • 3 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$388.03
per group
From
$388.03
per group
Taking safety measures

March with the Guards: Changing of the Guard Tour

March with the Guards: Changing of the Guard Tour

star-4.5
9
Don’t just watch the Changing of the Guards; get as close as you can to the action. On this exclusive Buckingham Palace tour, you’ll discover the best vantage points and most secluded spots for a close-up peek at London’s most popular spectacle. Witness two different ceremonies from four different angles, and listen to an in-depth background on the history of the iconic tradition.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$27.92
From
$27.92
Taking safety measures

London City Center Westminster Guided Walking Tour - Semi-Private 8ppl Max

London City Center Westminster Guided Walking Tour - Semi-Private 8ppl Max

star-5
6
Gain a better understanding of London’s history, which stretches back to Roman times, on this walking tour of the city. Follow your guide around as he or she tells you interesting facts and tidbits about the past, and stop by well-known places, such as the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, 10 Downing Street, and Trafalgar Square. Numbers are limited to eight people on this small-group tour, ensuring you spend an intimate day with a small group of like-minded history buffs.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.58
Price varies by group size
From
$88.58
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

The Crown! Royal London and Windsor Route of Monarchy (Private Tour)

The Crown! Royal London and Windsor Route of Monarchy (Private Tour)

star-5
3
Discover London’s most important royal landmarks—and even venture beyond city limits to see Windsor Castle—on this royal-themed, private tour. Meet your guide at your Central London hotel, and hop aboard your private vehicle. You’ll see highlights ranging from the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey to the illustrious Buckingham Palace. In the afternoon, head out of town to see Windsor Castle (the world’s largest and oldest inhabited castle) and Eton College before returning to London.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$732.79
per group
From
$732.79
per group

A Royal London Private Taxi Tour

A Royal London Private Taxi Tour

star-5
6
Curious about the British monarchy? Get to know London’s regal side on this private, black cab tour. Meet your guide at a time and place that work best for you, and set off. You can look forward to seeing the Tower of London (where Anne Boleyn was executed), Kensington Palace (where Princess Diana lived), Westminster Abbey (site of numerous royal weddings), Buckingham Palace, and more. As you go, learn stories and facts about the British monarchy throughout history.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$332.70
per group
From
$332.70
per group
Taking safety measures

British Museum & London City Center Westminster Guided Tour - Private Tour

British Museum & London City Center Westminster Guided Tour - Private Tour

star-5
3
History buffs will be delighted by this historical tour of London, including the highlights of the British Museum. Alongside your private guide, witness a Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, and see iconic landmarks such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Ensure you don’t miss the best of the British Museum on a guided tour of its 8 million-strong collection of artifacts. Private tour ensures undivided attention and the opportunity to customize your itinerary.   
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  • 5 hours to 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$173.31
Price varies by group size
From
$173.31
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience St. James's Palace?