You cannot visit Madrid without visiting one of the most impressive buildings in the city, the Royal Palace in Madrid, or Palacio Real. Although it is the official residence of the royal family of Spain, they do not actually live there permanently and it is only used for state ceremonies. However, the Palacio Real is truly a sight of wealth and beauty, and a must-see while in Madrid!
If you want to learn more about Madrid’s awesome art and culture scene, take a look at our section dedicated to Madrid’s museums and exhibitions! Additionally, find out how you can enjoy Madrid’s art and culture for free!
About the Royal Palace
The Royal Palace in Madrid is the largest in Western Europe and one of the largest in the world. It has 3,418 rooms although only a few of the larger rooms are open to the public. The rooms are decorated with paintings by famous artists like Caravaggio, Velasquez, and Goya. Additionally, the palace also holds one of the largest collections of historic armour! A visit to the palace will take you on a journey through the history of Spain!
While the palace itself has many beautiful rooms, the plazas and parks around the palace are also worth visiting. The Palacio Real and its plazas are no doubt a great way to discover the history of the Spanish monarchy!
If you plan on visiting the Royal Palace in Madrid, we have all the information you need to enjoy this beautiful landmark. Furthermore, you can find additional information here.
Winter (October to March)
Mon to Sat: 10am-6pm,
Sun and public holidays: 10am-4pm
Summer (April to September)
Mon to Sat: 10am-7pm,
Sun and public holidays: 10am-4pm
The general basic entry fee to the Royal Palace is €12 but they offer a reduced rate of €6 for students and on certain days there is free entry available! For more information on pricing click here.
Royal Palace Address
Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid
If you arrive at the metro station at Opera, it is about 5 minutes walk to the entrance of the palace. The palace itself will come into view after about a 2 minutes walk. Alternatively, if you are coming from the centre, around the Plaza Mayor, then you can follow Calle Mayor directly to the palace, which shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
What to See at the Royal Palace
Being the biggest palace in Europe, there are endless sights to see, and it is incredible to wander through the many rooms and banqueting halls. If you’re eager to discover all the incredible areas you can explore at the royal palace, keep reading! Furthermore, you can find additional information here.
Changing of the Guards
On the first Wednesday of every month, you can catch the Solemn changing of the Guard. This ceremony takes place in the Armoury Square of the Palace and it’s a truly spectacular event. The event lasts an hour and showcases the traditional ceremony of the changing of the guards. This spectacular event sees hundreds of troops marching accompanied by musicians and it is usually followed by a concert to end the ceremony.
Additionally, every Wednesday and Saturday there is a slightly smaller ceremony showcasing the changing of the Guards held at the Puerta del Príncipe gate of the palace. During this change, a smaller group of soldiers dressed in uniform, march to the sounds of the military band.
The throne room is a real thrill to explore and stands out for its elegance due to the towering mirrors that frame the room. This space is one of the rooms in the Royal Palace of Madrid that has preserved the original decoration from the reign of Charles III, In this room, you will find a spectacular fresco painting which was painted on the ceiling by the royal artist, Tiepolo. A visit to the throne room is sure to transport you back in time!
Considered one of the best armour displays in the world, the Royal Armoury showcases a huge collection of armour and weapons including many of the Spanish king’s personal armour! This rare collection pays tribute to Spain’s fascinating history, among the most impressive pieces is the armoury and full tools that Emperor Charles V used in the Battle of Mühlberg. The armoury is home to some of the most important pieces of art in Europe.
Although quite unusual, this captivating room in the Palace is not to be missed! The royal Pharmacy contains treasures from the past such as cabinets for storing medicinal herbs, bottles, containers and prescriptions dispensed to the Royal Family.