Tourist’s guide to the Royal Palace in Madrid – the most luxurious in Europe

The Royal Palace in Madrid is the main attraction and symbol of the Spanish capital. For two hundred years, this place was the official residence of the kings of Spain, and today it is the third most visited palace and park ensemble in the country.

Royal Palace in Madrid

At the moment, the palace in Madrid is the largest palace and park complex in Europe. The building itself covers an area of ​​135 square meters. km., and the number of rooms seems simply unbelievable – 3418. For comparison, in the famous Buckingham Palace there are only 775 rooms.

The palace is famous for its lush and rich interiors – painted ceilings, gilded walls, crystal chandeliers, marble stairs and furniture from the best Italian and Spanish craftsmen.

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Historical reference

The construction of the royal palace began in 1735, when the wife of Philip V proposed to create their own residence on the site of the burned out. The building was erected for almost 30 years, and it was completely completed only under Charles III.

The leading architects of Italy and Spain, creating a palace in Madrid, focused on Versailles. They erected a magnificent building in the form of a rectangle in the style of Italian Baroque, trying to make it solemn, but not pompous. What is typical for Spanish palaces, only local breeds of stone and wood were used.

The central part of the royal palace

It is interesting that earlier on the site of the palace there was a Moorish fortress (early Middle Ages) and the Alcazar of Habsburg – the official residence of the kings of Spain. However, after a severe fire, the building was completely destroyed.

Today, no one lives in the palace, but the current king of Spain, Juan Carlos, regularly holds meetings in Madrid with senior officials and heads of other states. Also, ceremonies are often held here and occasionally celebrations are held here. One of the last is the wedding of the current king of Spain.

Building architecture

The royal residence stands on a small hill, below which the Manzanares River flows. Since the palace is located on a small elevation, powerful walls and stepped platforms with internal ceilings that run from the western part of the palace to the river are laid at its base.

The layout of the building is as follows. In the center is the main courtyard, where ceremonies and celebrations used to be held. Around this courtyard are all the buildings. Beyond the walls of the castle are two picturesque parks.

Royal Palace Park

Outwardly, the Palace of Madrid is not at all as pompous and bright as inside – the walls are made of stone, and the facade of the building has a minimum of marble ornaments and accents. The main highlight of the castle are the massive columns at the entrance and a small glass dome on the roof. The square in front of the palace is also quite deserted – there are no statues, no trees.

On the territory of the former royal residence there are two parks – Sabatini and Campo del Moro.

Sabatini Park

These gardens occupy an area of ​​2.5 hectares, and are located north of the palace. They became popular thanks to a rich collection of exotic plants: cypresses, lilies, boxwood. In the park there are many pine trees (including rare species) and palm trees. Also in the gardens you can see a lot of sculptures and fountains. In the center of the park is a pond. The gardens have a typical French layout for Spain.

It is interesting that the park was laid much later than the palace itself was built – only in 1933, when the lands adjacent to their residence were confiscated from the royal family, the first trees were planted here.

Tourists note that the garden is ideal for relaxing in silence – there are very few tourists here, since most simply do not know about the existence of this park. Also note that the garden is not directly connected to the Royal Palace, and in order to get to the residence, you will need to get around it.

Campo del Moro Park
Campo del Moro Park

Campo del Moro Park is much larger than the previous one, and covers an area of ​​20 hectares. Taking a walk, here you can see more than 400 species of palm trees and over 150 varieties of roses. Tourists note that it is very good to relax in the summer heat – there are many arbors and benches for guests of the park. Many recommend visiting the most beautiful houses of gardeners and artificial caves.

The history of this place began in 1844, when Queen Maria Christina proposed to build a small garden for the children of the royal family. I liked the idea, and already in 1890 the park took on its current look.

The main feature of the garden is its division into zones – i.e. near each path, only one plant species grows. Due to this, the park has many small alleys.

Walking along the Campo del Moro, you will surely meet peacocks – they, like visitors to the gardens, are allowed to walk along the alleys of the park.

What’s inside?

The Royal Palace is really huge, however, unfortunately, tourists are not allowed into all rooms – 80% of the halls and rooms are closed to travelers. Nevertheless, do not be upset, because even a small part of the palace can impress many.

  1. Throne room. This is the central and most beautiful room in the palace. The walls are dark burgundy, the canvas is painted by the best Italian artists, mirrors go along the perimeter of the room, and in the center of the hall there are two golden thrones. Tourists note that it was this part of the residence that impressed them the most – it looks so rich and magnificent.
  2. Throne room
  3. A porcelain room is a relatively small room in which, as many tourists admit, it begins to ripple in the eyes. All walls are painted and decorated with bas-reliefs that together form an eccentric floral ornament. If you look closely, you can see images of grapes, palm trees and exotic birds.
  4. Hall of mirrors – a room with incredibly “lush” bas-reliefs of gold color, which give the room a solemn appearance. It is difficult to notice the mirrors here – so brightly defiant walls.
  5. The Royal Palace Library is in many ways similar to other ancient libraries in Europe: high ceilings, painted on religious topics; wooden shelves with massive volumes and a globe at the entrance to the hall. Unlike other rooms of the palace, there are no gilded details and crystal chandeliers, so the room looks quite modest.
  6. The Hall of Columns is the brightest room at the top of the palace. The columns here are not as grandiose and magnificent as in other rooms, but the ceiling definitely deserves attention – it was painted by Giaquinto. Busts of famous politicians are exhibited around the room, and on the walls you can see bas-reliefs of the 17th century. It is interesting that it was in this modest room, in comparison with other halls of the palace, that guests of honor were often welcomed and weddings played.
  7. Hall of Columns
  8. The salon of halberdiers is, in fact, a huge dining room in which members of the royal family have had dinner and received guests of honor. The room is striking in its luxury: huge crystal chandeliers on the ceiling, a long oak table in the center, and massive gilt vases stand at the French windows.
  9. Gasparini’s room or the Royal Salon is an amazing Rococo-style room with elements of Chinese painting. Many people compare this place with a large varnished casket – here the walls are polished to shine and the ceiling is decorated with massive bas-reliefs. Earlier, members of the royal family dined here, but in recent years this room has been empty.
  10. The art gallery is a spacious hall, which contains the most valuable and famous canvases belonging to the brush of Velazquez, Goya, Sorolla and Madraso.
  11. The Armory is the most minimalist room in the palace. There are no frescoes on the walls and ceiling, but almost throughout the chamber there are knights in armor and iron horses. This hall will be especially interesting for children – in the collection there are over 50 types of armor of different times.
  12. Armouries

In addition to the Royal Palace of Madrid (Spain), on its territory there are many other interesting objects, which you should leave at least two to three hours to visit.

Ancient pharmacy

An ancient pharmacy is a real work of art, decorated no worse than the halls in the palace itself. All the walls from floor to ceiling are occupied by small shelves in which there are bottles with medicines and medicinal infusions. In the corners of the room are massive gilded cabinets in the shape of small mirrors.

Despite the absence of exhibits as such, tourists really love this place, because the most important thing here is the atmosphere.

Ancient pharmacy in the royal palace
Royal cuisine

The royal cuisine in the palace is the largest and finest surviving kitchen in the palaces of Europe. She is famous for her size and kitchen accessories – utensils of the time and original cutlery. The room was renovated at the end of 2017, and more than 1 million people visit this place every year.

Please note that a visit to the Royal Cuisine is not included in the standard ticket – you will need to pay a few euros.

Royal Carriage Museum

The Royal Carriage Museum of Madrid, along with Lisbon, is considered one of the best in the world. It collected about 25 types of carriages in which the monarchs traveled. There are both simpler options, and carriages trimmed with precious stones.

Royal chapel

The royal chapel, like the palace itself, is made on a grand scale – you can see picturesque frescoes on religious subjects on the high ceiling, and the inside of the dome is decorated with gilded bas-reliefs. In each wall there is a golden niche, inside of which there is a canvas of an Italian or Spanish artist.

Royal chapel

Find out RATES or book any accommodation using this form

Practical information:

Address: Calle Bailen, 28071 Madrid, Spain.

Opening hours: 10.00 – 18.00 (winter), 10.00 – 20.00 (summer).

Ticket price: 10 euros for adults, 8 for pensioners and 5 euros for students and adolescents. You can visit the museum for free daily from 18.00 until closing. It is important that only EU citizens and residents of Latin America can do this.

Official website:

Prices on the page are for November 2019.

Interesting Facts

  1. The Royal Palace has 3418 rooms, and covers an area of ​​135 square meters. km
  2. Gasparini Room
  3. The residence of the kings in Madrid is the largest palace and park ensemble in Europe.
  4. More than 400 people and 100 horses take part in the solemn changing of the guard (every Wednesday at 12.00). This action lasts a little less than an hour.
  5. It is interesting that the soldiers taking part in the solemn changing of the guard wear a uniform sewn according to the patterns of the late XIX – early XX centuries – this is a traditional blue-white-red uniform.

Useful Tips

  1. Tickets for the Royal Palace can be purchased not only at the box office, but also online. You can do this through the form on the website:—/
  2. By 12 noon, a huge number of tourists are waiting in line at the ticket office of the palace, so it is better to plan a visit to the museum immediately after its opening.
  3. In the museum you can buy an audio guide, but it’s cheaper to just download the official application on your phone (the information will be the same).
  4. No shooting allowed
  5. Please note that shooting in the palace is completely prohibited.
  6. At the exit of the Royal Palace is a large gift shop. Here you can purchase original gifts for friends and beautiful postcards with photos of the Royal Palace in Madrid.
  7. Every Wednesday at 12.00 a ceremonial change of the guard takes place near the palace. If you want to see this action near, come in advance – at 11.00 there are already a lot of tourists.

The Royal Palace in Madrid is a true work of art admired by tourists from all over the world.

Tour of the Royal Palace in Madrid:

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