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Banqueting House

#206 of 1,413 things to do in London
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Address: Whitehall Palace | Horse Guards Avenue, London SW1A 2ER , England
Phone Number: 448444827777
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

This revolutionary building, the first in England to be designed in a...

This revolutionary building, the first in England to be designed in a Palladian style by Inigo Jones, was finished in 1622 for James I. Intended for the splendour and exuberance of court masques, the Banqueting House is probably most famous for one real life drama: the execution of Charles I which took place here in 1649 to the ‘dismal, universal groan’ of the crowd. One of Charles’ last sights, as he walked through the Banqueting House to his death, was the magnificent ceiling, painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1630-4. Banqueting House is the last and only surviving part of Whitehall Palace, once the largest palace in Europe, destroyed by fire in 1698.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 282 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 92
  • 91
    Very good
  • 31
  • 12
  • 3
Great beanbags

We had a lovely time here yesterday. The audio tour is informative and well designed with options to listen or skip various parts according to your taste. To be able to sit in... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 5 days ago
Phil H
Leicester, United Kingdom
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282 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 229: English reviews
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

okay because it was free on the London Pass and the beanbags were a great way to view the ornate ceiling. However the 2 staff members we saw acted like they didn't want to be there and appeared to know less about the place than we did!

Thank 223carolma
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We had a lovely time here yesterday. The audio tour is informative and well designed with options to listen or skip various parts according to your taste. To be able to sit in the floor on a great big soft bean bag whilst viewing the spectacular ceiling was magnificent. A very relaxed way to enjoy this first class building.

Thank Phil H
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The 6GBP ticket is worth of visiting. It includes a free and a really good audioguide that gives you perfect introduction into the Banqueting House history. After you enter you stay breathless when you see the ceiling - 9 huge canvases by Rubens. You can lie on one of big pillows and just watch listening to the guide. Don´t forget... More 

Thank Marcela H
Winter Haven, Florida
Level Contributor
87 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Takes only about an hour or so to see this one room exhibit. You can sit in comfortable chairs while listening to information. Very informative and has additional info you can listen to if you choose.

Thank IdoLove2travel
Level Contributor
632 reviews
493 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 482 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The facade is lovely, inspired by Indigo Jones's travels in Italy. There are grand tiers of columns, pilasters and swags. Interestingly the exterior is mirrored in the hall inside, The audiovisual in the lovely basement is interesting and well worth seeing. Stepping into the hall and seeing its grandeur is wonderful. The Rubems paintings are marvellous. Commissioned by Charles I... More 

Thank permia
Oakham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
286 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is really all about one room - albeit a truly fantastic room steeped in history. To really appreciate it you need to have the complimentary audio guide as you will miss some of the detail and history without it. Its reasonably priced at £6 per adult as, with the guide, you will spend just over an hour here -... More 

Thank Sandaw54
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2016 via mobile

This is a hidden gem on the stretch of the Whitehall as most tourists will walk pass it and only looking at the house guard on the opposite. There are some impressive ceiling painting and good story about the house. Ticket is only £6!

1 Thank Wei X
Christchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
171 reviews
102 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2016

We visited the Banqueting House because we have membership of Historic Royal Palaces. There was only the one room to visit. The ceiling is the main event and is very beautiful. The audio guide is very good - it is free. Not sure how much you would get out of the visit if you did not listen to the guide.... More 

Thank Mudeford123
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2016

The Banqueting House is the only surviving portion of Whitehall Palace. It also has a beautiful ceiling painted by Peter Paul Reubens. But the main reason to see it is because in 1649, King Charles I of England stepped from one of the windows out to a scaffold and was executed by Oliver Cromwell's men. It is just one room... More 

1 Thank tlichtytexan
Level Contributor
91 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2016

If you have an hour to spare, and would like to take in a truly beautiful building, then do yourself a favour + go visit the Banqueting House, on Whitehall. The building was originally designed in 1619 by Inigo Jones, based on the very popular 'Palladio' style of the time. Lovely to look at from the outside, and ever so... More 

1 Thank Zippy-Oz

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Staying in Westminster

Neighborhood Profile
If you only had an afternoon to experience London on a grand scale, Westminster would be a wise place to start. The ornate Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey sit adjacent at a corner of Parliament Square, and a short stroll along The Mall leads to Buckingham Palace. Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column are just up the road as well. As captivating as the architecture is, the wonders of Mother Nature are highlights of the area too. St James's Park (arguably London's loveliest), the expansive Green Park, and pedestrian friendly tree lined paths along the river showcase the exquisite manicure provided by English gardeners. Just beyond the landmarks and the gorgeous outdoor spaces, quiet residential squares and age old local pubs offer a more subdued take on this global seat of power in the heart of London.
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