Royal Palace, Madrid

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Royal Palace of Madrid: Top 5 surprising facts about Spain's royal family

Royal Palace of Madrid architecture may not seem as impressive as Versailles from the outside, but the opulence of the interior and the Royal Palace of Madrid history will blow you away. Another bonus: So much more of this palace is open to explore freely.

  • Royal Palace of Madrid facts: The beginning

    1. Royal Palace of Madrid facts: The beginning

    The Spanish Empire’s control of Europe ended with the Battle of Rocroi in 1643, nearly a century before the Royal Palace of Madrid was built.

  • The Great Monarchies

    2. The Great Monarchies

    The Royal Family has roots in both French and British monarchies, with the House of Bourbon in the seat since 1700 and today’s King and Queen being descendants of Queen Victoria.

  • Royal Palace of Madrid Spain’s Last Resident

    3. Royal Palace of Madrid Spain’s Last Resident

    The last monarch to live in the Royal Palace of Madrid was Alfonso XIII, who ruled throughout WWI, the Rif War in Morocco and the Spanish Civil War.

  • Royal Spanish Wedding

    4. Royal Spanish Wedding

    On May 22, 2004 the Crown Prince Felipe married former news anchor Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. It was the first true royal Spanish wedding for a century.

  • The Spanish Anthem

    5. The Spanish Anthem

    The Spanish national anthem is one that won’t inspire singing. Why? It has no lyrics. In 2008 a public contest was proposed for official lyrics, but no one agreed on the issue.

Planning Your Visit

  • Visit on a Wednesday—or don’t

    Entrance to the Royal Palace is free on Wednesdays. This means that it’s more crowded, but maybe you’ll buy one of the highly recommended guided tours without paying the entry fee. Another advantage of visiting on Wednesday is that the Changing of the Guard takes place across the street every half hour during the morning. If you’re lucky enough to visit on the first Wednesday of the month, except in summers, you’ll find 450 soldiers in parade.

  • Royal Palace of Madrid tickets

    The guided tour is fantastic for learning more Royal Palace of Madrid history—you can even go back and walk through the halls on your own afterwards. The Royal Armory, the Royal Pharmacy and the Paintings Gallery are all different tickets, too. Don’t skip the Royal Armory, its collection is one of the best in the world.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open daily October to March, 10:00AM to 6:00PM, April to September, 10:00AM to 8:00PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    Standard adult tickets start at 10€ and continue upwards with perks, tours and additional packages.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A guide is definitely worth it. Not only will you learn about the city, you'll learn a lot of great historical facts.
  • How to get there
    Bus lines 3, 25, 39 and 148 all stop near the palace, or take underground lines 2 or 5 to the Opera Station.
  • Additional information

    • Check online for updates on certain areas that may be undergoing renovations and are therefore closed.

What people are saying about Royal Palace, Madrid

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,016 reviews

This was the first royal palace tour I've had in years. I used to live in Europe and visited palaces frequently, so this was nice to revisit. My partner was with me as well and this was her first royal palace visit so I knew we had to get a tour so she could learn as much as possible. Not only was the palace awesome but our guide, Martín, was AWESOME. Easily one of the best tours I've had. He was friendly, knowledgeable, and had our entire group laughing at several different points. Not only did I love it but my partner loved it and so did the rest of our group. Getting in was smooth sailing, definitely book a tour in advance to avoid the GIANT line that forms (seriously, it winded all the way down the front courtyard!). Loved this tour and definitely recommend to anyone who loves learning cool information about historical spaces.

The queue going inside the palace can be very long so getting a skip the line access is an advantage. We also maximize our visit with a guide who tells us the inside stories. Belen made the tour very interesting. We like her narratives and wit as we explore the palace.

Great way to see the Palace. Our guide explained the history and customs of the royal family throughout the generations which really enhanced our understanding and put into context everything we saw

Our guide Patricia was amazing! She knew so much history and the answers to most of my questions! I loved her and she was great and taught us so much about the palace. She was awesome!

Enjoyable tour. Easy going pace and informative guide commentary. The Palace is well worth the visit. One of the most interesting and resplendently furnished palaces in Europe.