Royal Palace, Madrid

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 118 Reviews

Former King's Residence

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  • Royal Palace
    by JuliaMac
  • Royal Palace
    by JuliaMac
  • Royal Palace
    by JuliaMac
  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    The King of Spain's "official" residence...

    by Jefie Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    El Palacio Real in Madrid, Spain
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    ...but he doesn't live there anymore so it is now open to the public. Madrid's Royal Palace was built during the 18th century with the idea of bringing to Spain the same sort of oppulence that existed at Versailles. The result was one of Western Europe's largest royal palaces, although the royal family divided its time between several palaces and usually ended up spending only a few months each year in Madrid. In 1962, the royal family moved to Zarzuela, using the Royal Palace only for official functions.

    The visit of the palace gives access to the throne room, the king's private appartments, the very impressive dining room and porcelaine room, and the royal chapel, among other things (again, it was not allowed to take pictures inside the palace, sorry!). All the rooms are richly decorated (though I wouldn't say it is quite as nice as Versailles) and include a vast number of remarkable paintings by Goya, Velazquez, and other classical painters. It is also possible to visit the more or less interesting Real Farmacia, and the Real Armeria, which I found surprisingly impressive. Outside, the palace is beautifully surrounded by the Plaza del Oriente, the Sabatini Gardens, and the Campo del Moro.

    Opening hours are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (3:00 pm on Sundays). General admission: 8 Euros.

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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Walk around the Royal Palace of Madrid

    by jumpingnorman Written Feb 11, 2009

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    Tree at the Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain

    I decided to leave my Hop-on Hop-off bus to see the Royal Palace which is the official residence of the Royal Family, but of course they don’t stay there anymore because tourists are the regular residents. The guided tour which can take inside takes about 45 minutes, or you can just walk around on your own. I actually enjoyed walking just around the outside of the palace, with the beautiful gardens and people taking pictures here and there…

    Built during the 18th and 19th centuries, this Palace was meant to replace the medieval one which was destroyed by a fire in 1794.

    I did the Hop-on Hop-off bus, but you can also reach the palace (Palacio real) throught the following route:
    Metro station at Opera - 5 minutes walk to the entrance of the palace,. If coming from the centre, around the Plaza Mayor, follow Calle Mayor directly to the palace: take about 15 minutes.

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  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    Visit the Palacio Real de Madrid

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jun 24, 2006

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    Who lives here then?

    The Royal Palace was one of the official residencies of King Juan Carlos but not any more. The Palace is still used for some State Occassions & Civil Ceremonies. The site of the Palace dated back to the 10th. Century. The present Palace was constructed in 1764 & designed by Sabatini and is the largest Palace in Western Europe. If you plan to visit the many rooms in the palace allow enough time & check before hand that it is indeed open to the public on the day you wish to visit.

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  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real

    by marielexoteria Updated Sep 26, 2007

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    From the main entrance
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    The Royal Palace is the official residence of the royal Spanish family although they don't live there and was built over a fortress that burned down in 1734. It's big and quite impressive from the outside. When we were there it was already closed for the public so I'll add getting into the palace on my next visit.

    It can be seen from the Madrid Railway :)

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real (Spain's Royal Palace)

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Nov 16, 2009

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    Our view of the Royal Palace from the Cathedral
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    Our time exploring Madrid on foot was just about at an end, but we did manage a glimpse of the Palacio Real - at 135,000 square meters and with 2800 rooms it is the largest royal palace in Europe (and the largest building in Madrid)! In fact, it is so big that Spain's Royal family does not even live there any more, choosing a smaller palace in another part of the city for their residence.

    The Palacio Real sits in the heart of Madrid, on the same location where the Moors had their original Alcázar, until Christian forces finally re-conquered Spain. After the previous palace on this location burned to the ground, construction on the present Palacio Real took place from 1738 to 1755, with King Carlos III finally taking up residence in 1764.

    The grounds surrounding the palace are beautiful parks and the palace itself is open to visitors on most days, offering up (according to Wikipedia) "furniture, tapestries, paintings and ceramics as well as other important works of art and frescos by 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 and receiving more than 880,000 visitors in 2006." Like the guy hanging onto the gate, all we could do was look from afar before we headed for the nearest Metro station. We were flying out at 6 AM next morning.

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  • Lorro's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real

    by Lorro Updated Jan 27, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Palacio Real

    A must see in Madrid is the The Royal Palace. It is usually open every day of the week except for the occasional official function. Although the King and Queen don't live here, whenever foreign diplomats are in town they usually have lunch or dinner at the palace. These things aren't announced in advance so if you get to the palace and its closed, that's probably the reason. I teach English there twice a week and it happens every so often that tourists hoping to visit were turned down because the Palace was closed for the afternoon. But to compensate they are open every day of the week when there arent official visits.

    The Palace was constructed in the theme of Versailles after the old one burnt down in 1734. Don't miss the Royal Pharmacy and the Armour Room, which is across the courtyard from the actual palace. There are many beautifully decorated rooms to visit which contain many important pieces of furniture, paintings and tapestries. You will have to come to llearn more!!

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  • smschley's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real - Royal Palace

    by smschley Written Aug 22, 2004

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    The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain, who uses it mainly for official ceremonies, though not residing there. The origins of the Palace go back to the 9th century, during which the Islamic Kingdom of Toledo built a defensive fort on the site, later used by the Kings of Castile. It was on this ancient fortress that the Old Alcázar was constructed in the 16th century.

    The Alcázar was destroyed by fire on Christmas Eve, 1734, and King Philip V wished for a New Palace occupying the same site. Taking 26 years to complete, the building work took from 1738 to 1755, and King Charles III took up residence in the Palace in 1764. The entire complex was built with stone and a brick only, no wood was used so that any future fires could never destroy it. Today a visitor to the Palace today gets to see only 50 of its 2800 rooms.

    The entrance may be a bit difficult to find. The entrance is on the south end of the Palace. Unless there are lines you might not notice it immediately. Look for the blue "Entrada" sign. After paying the entrance fees, enter the Parade ground, the entrance to the Palace interior is through the doors to the right of the photo.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Pushing a wheelchair at the Royal Palace

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    xerox of a picture of the armory
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    I didn't get to see inside the Royal Palace on my first trip. At the time of the second trip I was coordinator for a special interest group (SIG) on horses, so I wanted to visit the Armory of the Royal Palace. We got there just after the time of the last tour because we'd been on a tour out of the city. They gave my mom a wheelchair and let us join the tour in progress (taking us up in an elevator). I got to push. The Palace is very Roccoco and has a lot of rooms and my recollections have a lot of chandeliers and red velvet in them. My mom was glad of the wheelchair. No flash allowed.

    At the end of the tour, we just had time if we hurried to get to the armory before it closed. So I ran, pushing my mom, across the cobblestone courtyard to the armory entrance. We made it, although it was a bumpy trip for my mom. We did also see the pharmacy briefly.

    COST: 9,00 € with a guide 8,00 € without a guide.
    free entry to EU passport holders on Wednesdays

    From 9.30 to 17.00h. (Monday to Saturday)
    From 9.00 to 14.00h. (Sundays and Holydays)

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  • ruki's Profile Photo

    The Palacio Real

    by ruki Written Oct 16, 2009

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    It is the largest and one of the most impressive palaces in Europe. It has more than 2000 luxuriously decorated rooms from which 50 are opened to public. Unfortunately it is not allow to make photos of interior. The palace itself contains furniture, tapestries, paintings and ceramic works of art by Velazquez, Goya, Giordano and Mengs....It is open to the public almost hole year except on the days of official ceremonies.

    October to March: Monday to Saturday from 9,30am to 5pm, Sundays and holidays, 9am to 2pm
    April to September: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm, Sundays and holidays, 9am to 3pm
    Closed for official acts, 1st & 6th January, 1st & 15th May, 12th October, 9th November and 25th December

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  • fachd's Profile Photo

    Madrid top tourist attractions

    by fachd Written May 30, 2009

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    The Royal Palace was built during the 18th and 19th century, which replaced the former medieval Alcázar.

    The Royal Palace is the official residence for the Royal Family. The impressive grand building has lavish interior full of richness and decorated to the tastes of CharleIII, see for yourself but you can't take photos inside the Palace.

    King Juan Carlos of Spain and his Royal Family do not reside at the palace. They live on the outskirt of Madrid. Today the Royal Palace is only use for state ceremonies and part of it is open to general public. Changing of the guard is on every Wednesday.

    Entry fee: 6 euros without guide; 10 euros with guide.

    Timetable: October - March 09:30 - 17:00;
    Sundays and holidays 09:30 – 14:00;
    April - September 09:00 - 18:00;
    Sundays and holidays 09:30 – 15:00;

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  • ruki's Profile Photo

    Campo del Moro

    by ruki Written Oct 16, 2009

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    Campo del Moro is beautiful park which is bordered with the Royal Palace. It is goes uphill from Rio Manzanares to the Royal Palace. It is very popular site for making pictures for couple who just have married. In the past this park was private playground for the Royal family and today is open for all residents and visitors to Madrid.

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  • barbskie's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real

    by barbskie Updated Jul 24, 2007

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    Plaza de Armeria
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    An impressive building at the Plaza de Oriente and in front of the famous Almudena Cathedral. It stands on a ridge above the Manzanares River and Campo del Moro Park. The palace is no longer occupied but used for state occasions. it was last used as a royal residence in 1931. It is always interesting to see and know a bit on how the royals have lived and how they received their visitors. Unluckily, again no pictures allowed during the tour in the palace interior. We paid 8 Euros for the entrance fee (Adult price).

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Palacio Real

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated May 26, 2006

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    Madrid - Palacio Real

    Royal palace (Palacio Real) stands at the top of a green hill. The amazing view on bottom cities, where Mansaneres river flows, opens from its windows. In the IX century the Arabian fortress was constructed at this place. Later there was the castle of Gabsburg there. In 1734 the castle burned down and the king Phillip V began a royal palace in style of the Italian baroque. Construction ended in 30 years and Carlos III solemnly driven into the palace. In 1931 after renunciation Alfonso XIII royal family left the palace.
    The museum is opened here now. The palace is huge. Its total area, including cellars, makes 100 thousand square meters. 50 rooms are opened for visitors.

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  • Zlur's Profile Photo

    The Royal Palace

    by Zlur Written Jan 9, 2004

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    The Royal Palace

    The Royal Palace or Palacio Real is very impressive from the outside, so I can imagine what it's like on the inside - parts are open to the public and are known to be in perfect condition! The Royal family do not live in the Palace anymore, which is understandable, as there are over 2000 rooms! All in all this should be quite an interesting visit...

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  • Royal Palace (1)

    by ger4444 Written Apr 7, 2006

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    Having seen too many Royal Palaces along European cities before i defenitely thought in 1996 that i dont have to see the Spanish one cuz i thought it de be the same like all the others. But iut wasnt as i found out this year. Its phantastic!!! And make sure you do the free tour in staedof paying etrance fee! All the other days you have to pay for the ticket execpt on wedenessday, then you get in free allthough without tour by guide. Its open on wednessday from 11 am till 6 pm. see also: www.patrimonionacional.es. The Royal palace is build as a manifest to impress: its hughe, its sparking, its expressing wealthy. It has some 2800 rooms and from the court it gives wonderfull views over Madrid outskirts. (wonderfull? mmmhhh why did Carlos III then went to move to the Zarzuela Palce outside Madrid centre?) Nowadays the palaceis still used for official State affairs. Like the signining of the European Union contract.

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