A Palace as well as a Museum
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the largest royal palace in Western Europe. It was built on the site of the old Alcazar, a Moorish castle destroyed in 1734. The palace contains furniture, tapestries, paintings and ceramics as well as other important works of art and frescos.
Tiépolo, Velázquez, Goya, Giordano and Mengs are all represented here amongst the dozens of valuable tapestries and paintings, making the palace one of Europe's most important museums. It remains open to the public almost year round except on the days of official ceremonies and receptions.
If you don't have enough time
If you are rushed, the Reception Room and State Apartments should get priority. The two sites include a rococo room with a diamond clock, a porcelain salon, the Royal Chapel, the Banquet Room, where receptions for heads of state are still held, and the Throne Room, where the empty thrones of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofa are housed.
Take the guided tour
The guided tour of 75 minutes is very reasonable priced (4 Euro), it is in English and costs the same as the Audio guide.
Do not Miss
- There is an excellent Armory Museum close to the Almudena Cathedral, which is off the main palace campus.
- The views of the palace from El Campo del Moro garden are fantastic.
- If your visit falls on the first Wednesday of the month, look for the changing of the guard ceremony.
Key HighlightsThe Palacio Real or Royal Palace is the largest and one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe. While it is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family in the city of Madrid, it is only used for state ceremonies.
The royal family resides at the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela. The palace is ornate with paintings, sculptures and history. It is a definite must visit in Madrid!
Will I be able to finish the entire palace in one visit? What should I focus on? Find out more.