The Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real) is an epitome of opulence of the Spanish monarchy. It is the official residence of the Royal Family but it’s only used for state ceremonies of visiting dignitaries and other famed VIPs. The facade itself is as impressive as the palace interior. The queue outside is really long in the summer months. However, it’s all worth it when you see all the original artworks of Bernini and Caravaggio. They will blow your mind away – and in my case, I had goosebumps!
You can avoid the queue if you buy tickets online. There’s a special entrance for those who bought online. It’s fast and most of the time, it’s door is empty. And it’s also helpful if you have an audio guide, instead of going a group tour.
The nearest metro / subway here is the Opera Station.
This is the facade of the Royal Palace of Madrid.
As you can see, the building itself screams luxury and opulence.
Once you get past security and ready to explore, go across the building.
It’s better to start with the Royal Armoury which is touted as one of the best in the world. I have no doubt why. See it yourself.
When you’re done, walk on the corridor and stop on the terrace where you can see this view.
After that, proceed to the Bernini and Caravaggio Exhibition Rooms. Prepare to be wowed!
I was blown away here and this is the first time I felt I was really in Europe.
The art masterpieces of Bernini and Caravaggio I’ve seen in books are here – all originals. I had goosebumps staring at them.
Next stop is the Grand Staircase. A visit to the Royal Palace of Madrid is never complete without a grand entrance.
Upstairs, you’ll find extravagant rooms fit for a King and Queen. Don’t forget to look up – the domes and ceilings will surprise you.
The walls, too, are as posh as the ceilings.
This amazing Royal Altar has impressive frescoes.
The rooms are extravagantly decorated with everything rare.
This is the fancy Banquet Hall.
The Royal Throne.
Before you exit, don’t forget to see ALL the Don Quixote Tapestries.
Go there early. If you go there in the afternoon, make sure to know the closing time. I never had the luxury of time when I was there. They closed around 3:30 PM to prepare the venue for Obama’s visit. We were never told when we bought the ticket at the counter and there was notice or announcement they’d close early that day. Two hours wasn’t enough, obviously.