Although its 3,400 rooms are only a fourth of the original floor plans, we’ll let it slide: King Felipe V’s extravagant palace is one of Madrid’s most stunning buildings.
It was built to replace the Moorish Alcázar (castle), which occupied the site until it burned down in 1734. Even though it’s called the Royal Palace, the royal family doesn’t actually live there anymore; they live in the less-decadent Palacio de la Zarzuela outside the city center, reserving the Royal Palace for state events and ceremonies.
Location & Contact
Best things to see at Royal Palace
Visitors can’t visit all 3,400 rooms, but there’s more than enough Goya, Tiepolo, and Velázquez in the 50 open rooms to kill a couple hours. Be on the lookout for the palace’s collection of five Stradivarius violins, which are still used in occasional performances. Once you’re done ogling the velvet-covered throne room and the silken Salón de Gasparini, head outside to the sweeping Plaza de la Armería to check out the royal pharmacy and armory (a strange combo, but why not?).
Royal Palace directions and parking
Best way to get to Palacio Real
The Royal Palace is located to the right of the Casa de Campo park and left of the Mercado de San Miguel. You’ll be able to find it on Calle de Bailén. The nearest subway stop is Plaza de España, serviced by the 3 and 10 lines. You can get there by bus using the 3, 25, 39, and 148 bus lines.
Best parking near Palacio Real
You can find a parking garage right next to the museum, on Cuesta San Vicente and Calle Ferraz.
Royal Palace FAQs
Is it wheelchair accessible?
What are the palace’s hours?
In the winter, they are open from 10AM-6PM. In the summer, they open at 10AM but stay open until 8PM.