The Royal Palace of Madrid rises on the ashes of the Antiguo Alcázar, an attraction built entirely of stone in the th century following the model proposed by Bernini's sketches to build the Parisian Louvre.
A compact structure characterizes the exterior of the building, while the interiors are a veritable mine of wonders, from the armory to the splendid frescoed rooms with works by Tiepolo. The Royal Palace is the official residence of the Spanish monarchs who, however, use it only on special occasions (such as ceremonies and formal receptions), preferring to stay in the Zarzuela Palace.
- Hours and prices
- Online tickets and guided tours
- Where is it and how to get there
- What to see and how to visit the Royal Palace of Madrid
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Hours and prices
The Royal Palace of Madrid is open almost all year round, with the exception of Christmas, New Year, Epiphany and Workers' Day (1 May). There are also some days whose opening to some areas of the building is postponed, while on 24 December and 31 December the closing time is anticipated to 15:00.
- from October to March 10: 00-18: 00; from April to September 10 am-00pm. The ticket office always closes one hour before closing time
- Best time to avoid queues: at opening and at lunchtime
- € 10,00 (€ 14,00 if you add a visit to the Royal Kitchens)
- Reductions: € 5,00 under 16, over 65 and students under 25 (€ 9,00 with a visit to the Royal Kitchens)
- Free: under 5 (€ 4,00 in case of a visit to the Royal Kitchens)
Online tickets and guided tours
- Skip the Line: 90-minute guided tour of the Royal Palace: from € 29,00 - Find out more
- City tour by bus with entrance to the Royal Palace: from € 45,00 - Find out more
- Tour of the Royal Palace and Retiro Park: from € 39,00 - Find out more
Where is it and how to get there
It takes about 5 to 15 minutes to reach the Royal Palace from the center of Madrid: the building, in fact, is just over a kilometer from the urban core.
- On foot: Heading east on Calle de San Millán towards Plaza de Cascorro, you will reach the Palace in approximately 13 minutes - get directions
- By bus: vehicles number 3, 25, 39, 46, 75, 138, 148, C1 in about 8 - 15 minutes depending on traffic conditions
- By metro: Line 5 from La Latina in 14 minutes (last stop: Opera). Other metro lines direct to Palacio Real are Line 5 and Line R (with the last stop at Opera) and Lines 2, 3 and 10 with the last stop at Plaza de España
What to see and how to visit the Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace of Madrid is accessed from Calle de Bailén, directly from Plaza de Oriente. On the ground floor there are: the Real Armeria, one of the most important collections that preserves armor and weapons which belonged to the Spanish kings of the thirteenth century; the Royal Kitchen (to visit it you need to add a supplement to the ticket); the Pharmacy and the Royal Library.
On the first floor there are: the Alabarderos Room, the Gasparini Room, the Throne Room, the Porcelain Room and many others. You will not be able not to stay entranced by the world famous masterpieces of art, the ornate mirrors and the gilded and precious stuccoes.
If you visit the Palace on Wednesdays from November to June, you will be lucky enough to watch the Changing of the Royal Guard in the Plaza de l'Armeria. To better discover the Royal Palace, its history and its works, we recommend that you take part in a priority guided tour that includes priority entrance, thus skipping the line, and the guide. If you are interested in a guided tour of other important Madrid attractions, we recommend the guided tour of the Prado Museum and the Royal Palace!
The Royal Armory was built at the behest of Alfonso XII e houses a collection of weapons and armor among the richest and most important in the world. From the reign of Charles V, pieces were collected that the sovereigns had specially built by German and Italian gunsmiths.
They are then guarded relics that recall the great military exploits of the Spanish crown, including for example the weapons of the Turkish admiral Alí Pacha, killed in the battle of Lepanto (1571), or the tent of Francis I of the battle of Pavia (1525).
It is a grandiose room that houses important collections, among which for example the highlights are the Book of Hours of Isabella I of Castile, a Bible of Doña Maria de Molina and a codex dating back to Alfonso XI of Castile, or maps of the Spanish empire. The rococo style prevails with gold inserts, the neoclassical one for polychrome and romantic with Renaissance and Gothic motifs.
Under the reign of Philip II, the Royal Pharmacy takes on great importance and lives its "splendor", they come in fact order large quantities of medicines some of which are still preserved today.
From here came the food for the whole royal palace and it still conserves stoves, food warmers, ovens, cutlery, scales, mortars and utensils of each original size. The whole space is divided into various sections, depending on the task performed by the cooks and various assistants.
Hall of the Halberdiers
First conceived as a hall for the celebration of dances and parties, Charles III then decided to assign it to the guard, so the designer Sabatini had to decorate it in the simplest way possible.
The pavement is in red stone from El Molaro and Colmenar, then there is the pictorial exhibition of Tiepolo, some benches and other objects for the use of halberdiers, a large fireplace near which there are four consoles in mahogany and gilt bronze. Finally, you can admire the portrait of La familia de Juan Carlos I by Antonio López, declared by Patrimonio Nacional in 1993.
Hall of the Throne
The Throne Room, also called Besamanos del Cuarto del Rey, is the hall where the sovereign received all ceremonial audiences. The room, in Rococo style, was finished in 1772 and includes a decorative set with all the ornaments of King Charles III, embellished with gold harnesses, purple velvets. Then there is a splendid ceiling painted by Tiepolo who creates The Glory of Spain, together with a crystal chandelier.
Numerous mirrors built multiply light and opulent spaces, majestic lions in gilded bronze are a symbol of sovereignty. But the centerpiece of the room is the throne, alongside the statues of Apollo and Minerva and other personifications.
Sala delle Colonne
The Hall of Columns was originally used as a ballroom and function room, while today in its contemporary uses, it also serves to host public events that require it for its importance. The ceiling was frescoed by the Italian painter Corrado Giaquinto, the rest is rich in splendid Brussels tapestries based on drawings by Raphael and numerous portraits of kings and queens, marble busts of Roman emperors. In fact, the main theme of the building is "the royalty that is exercised over the world".
The Dining Room is the union of 3 large adjacent rooms, which formed the Queen's Room during the reign of Charles III, but which was never occupied by the Monarch's wife who died in 1760, before the Palace was habitable. Later, it was then inhabited by Queen Isabella de Farnese.
It is 400 square meters large, decorated with Flemish tapestries, embroidered curtains, Chinese vases, chandeliers and frescoes sumptuous. Around 160 diners could sit around the large table in the room.
The Royal Chapel was designed by Sacchetti and Ventura Rodriguez in 1748, the ceiling frescoes are by Corrado Giaquinto. Among all, the Trinity and the Allegory of Religion stand out. Then there is the reliquary of the altar of Ercole Ferrata. In the surrounding spaces there are also ten large columns of a single piece of black-veined marble from Mañaria (Basque Country).
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: it is advisable to play in advance and reach the building at least half an hour before it opens, to avoid boring queues at the entrance.
- Buy the city card: the iVenture Card allows you to access the attraction by skipping the line, as well as including access to dozens of museums and attractions, bike and scooter rental and other services for tourists.
- Priority ticket: it is possible to buy the ticket in advance, both for single tickets and for organized visits, school or otherwise.
- Watch out for restrictions: it is not possible to photograph the interior of the Royal Palace. Furthermore, the controls at the entrance are very tight.
- Minimum time: it takes at least 3 hours to visit the Royal Palace and its sumptuous rooms in an exhaustive manner.
- It is advisable to buy an audio guide in Italian (cost € 4,00).
Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
Sumptuous interiors, dry exterior but which equally manifests the grandeur of a building worthy of being defined as a monarchical residence. The Palacio Real was born from the ashes of the Antiguo Alcazar, which was destroyed by a fire on Christmas day in 1734. The works to build it began 4 years later and officially ended in 1751. However, another 8 years passed before completing the sculptural decorations in the surroundings. and outside the building. The works of the building, entrusted to the famous architect Filippo Juvarra, were completed by his disciple Giambattista Sacchetti to the death of Juvarra, which occurred in 1736.
The structure was built solely in stone, to prevent another fire from destroying it. The first royal who lived in the fairytale palace was Charles III, remembered by the Spaniards as the "mayor king", thanks to the numerous initiatives implemented for the development of Madrid.
The Palacio Real is today the "official and ceremonial" residence of the Spanish Royals and its rooms are accessible to visitors, who can be entranced by the furnishings, tapestries and frescoes that adorn every corner of the attraction.