Royal Palace

Price guide: Mid-range

Calle Bailen, Madrid, 28071

Price guide: Mid-range

Royal Palace
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By Annie Bennett, your Madrid expert

I write for Conde Nast Traveller, .... Read more
#2 of 30
expert-rated things to do in Madrid
Expert overall rating:4.9 out of 5
Value for money:
4.9
4.9
Recommended for:
Culture vultures, First-time travellers, Art, Education, History

Best for History - Expert review of Royal Palace

Neoclassical grandeur on an epic scale.

Be prepared for a visual onslaught at the 18th-century royal palace, where the opulent decoration bombards your senses at every turn. Today's royals prefer a low-key profile, and live in a more modest palace outside Madrid. The royal palace is, however, used for official ceremonies, when it is closed to the public - this can be as often as once a week, so check before visiting.

The palace stands on the site of the Alcazar, the fortress built by the Arabs in the 9th century. You can see why they chose this location, as the view stretches for miles.
As well as the endless lavish rooms of the palace itself, you can also visit the Royal Armoury, where weapons and armour used by the royals over the centuries are displayed - a lot more interesting than it sounds! You can also visit the Royal Pharmacy. Alongside the palace are the Sabatini Gardens, where concerts are staged in summer, while the Moro Gardens stretch down the hill towards the river Manzanares. On the south side of the palace is the Almudena Cathedral, and just beyond that are some remains of the Arab and Christian town walls.

Price advice: 

Admission is 8-10 euros if you opt for the guided tour and 11 euros including the picture galleries. Check the website for concessions. Free Wednesdays for EU citizens (passport essential).

Expert tips: 
The ceremonial changing of the guard takes place at noon on the first Wednesday of the month.

More information on Royal Palace:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Castle / palace, Historic site, Museum
Address:
Calle Bailen, Madrid, 28071
Telephone:
91 454 8800
Website:
http://www.patrimonionacional.es/Home/Palacios-Reales/Palacio-Real-de-Madrid.aspx
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Oct-Mar: Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm, Sun and holidays 9am-2pm. Apr-Sep: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun and holidays 9am-3pm.
Indoor/outdoor?:
Both

Have you been to Royal Palace? Would you recommended it?

Community comments (2)

I thought the Royal Palace was amazing. I wish I could have taken pictures inside but it's not allowed. We were only able to see about 20 of the 800 rooms but they were great. The best part was the throne room which was insane. It's all red velvet and gold and black. It was awesome, I definitely recommend anyone to go there if you can.

I spent a very interesting morning here many years ago