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Banqueting House

#202 of 1,526 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Whitehall Palace Whitehall | Horse Guards Avenue, London SW1A 2ER, England
Phone Number:
+44 844 482 7777
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Mon - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

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 331 reviews
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    Very good
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Interesting short stop off

This isn't that well sign posted from Whitehall so make sure you don't walk past. It costs £5 to get in and for this you get access to the main Banqueting Hall and can watch a... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Twickenham, United Kingdom
via mobile
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331 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 271: English reviews
Guildford Surrey
Level Contributor
80 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

The Banqueting House is all that remains of the original Whitehall Palace complex which burnt down in 1698. It is a magnificent big hall built around 1620, with fantastic Rubens ceiling paintings. There is a very interesting video in the cellar area about its origins and use before you go upstairs with the audio guide. To listen to the whole... More 

Thank Ockham
Twickenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

This isn't that well sign posted from Whitehall so make sure you don't walk past. It costs £5 to get in and for this you get access to the main Banqueting Hall and can watch a short film. There's not loads to see but it's interesting. Definitely get the free audio guide, it explains loads of the history of the... More 

Thank Broughts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I have to say I have wanted to visit this location for a while and finally got the chance to with my two children and partner. Everything is clearly explained and although there isn't enough of the large cushions to lay on in my opinion the ones that were there offered a great view of the ceiling. The ceiling is... More 

Thank David R
Culver City, California
Level Contributor
69 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

A cozy little museum located near Westminster Abbey. Not a must see, but I had the Historical Royal Palace Museums card and it's included, so we swung by. It's the only building that survived from the famous Whitehall Palace complex started by Henry VIII. Gorgeous architecture with an amazing and intact ceiling by Rubens. The most wonderful thing about this... More 

Thank azbz
South East England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2016

Really enjoyed the short video on the history behind this building & the large bean bags allowing you to lie down & view the beautiful ceilings are a nice touch!

Thank Poppysixty
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
584 reviews
145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2016

The Banqueting House is all that remains after the fire that destroyed the rest of Whitehall Palace. It is an authentically preserved architectural masterpiece of Inigo Jones, built for James I to hold gala dinner performances. It is also the site of the regicide of James' son, Charles I. The building is classically inspired and maintained by the Historical Royal... More 

Thank CarpeNox
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
139 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2016

Fantastic, loads of history and a beautiful building, great value if you travel to London by train and claim a 2 for 1 entry, if you visit the free audio guide is a must, it tells the story of the place and the beautiful ceiling.

Thank Peter P
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2016

This is well worth a visit especially if you enjoy paintings.The ceiling in the Banqueting House are covered with Ruben's paintings. You can see the paintings either by looking at a mirror, by lying on bean bags or sat on the benches around the room. You can stay as long as you want. Beware the Banqueting House is used for... More 

Thank jane b
Tumut, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2016

Amazing experience of seeing part of the palace that survived the fire, remained as a building continuing in use today, saw Charles the first leave from it for his execution. The history and art work truly inspiring

Thank Jeannette B
Northumberland National Park, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2016

Good value for money especially as an audio is included in the price which gives plenty of information about the hall. The visit starts in the vaulted undercroft with a short introductory film and then you climb the stairs to the huge banqueting hall with the amazing ceiling paintings. Bean bags are provided which you can lie on so as... More 

Thank GeorgiaYorkshire

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Nottingham, United Kingdom
4 months ago

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Staying in Westminster

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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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