Madrid is a city full of amazing restaurants, world-class museums, and fascinating places to visit. One of its best attractions by far is the monumental Royal Palace of Madrid (Spanish: Palacio Real de Madrid), with its extravagant rooms and halls. Seeing the Palace Throne Room, the Private Royal Apartments, and paintings by Goya and Caravaggio is sure to be a highlight of your Madrid itinerary.
The key to getting the most out of visiting the Royal Palace of Madrid is doing a little research in advance. By knowing where to get skip-the-line tickets for the Royal Palace of Madrid, how to get there, and when it’s best to visit, you’ll be able to experience this wonderful place to the fullest. We’ve collated this guide on how to buy tickets to the Royal Palace of Madrid to ease your visit.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Royal Palace of Madrid: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you book your admission ticket to the Royal Palace of Madrid in advance here.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the Royal Palace of Madrid
As the Royal Palace of Madrid is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, there are quite a few places where you can get tickets for it. To help you find the most suitable option, we’ll explain where to buy tickets for the Royal Palace of Madrid and what kinds of Royal Palace of Madrid tickets each option offers. It’s important to understand that finding the best approach is more than just getting the cheapest price, as different tickets come with different conditions and inclusions.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
The most obvious option for buying tickets to the Royal Palace of Madrid is to get them in person when you arrive for your visit. This may seem like the easiest approach, but it comes with several drawbacks. One is that you’ll have to wait in line for the ticket office, and even though the lines may not normally be overly long, it’s still time better spent sightseeing. The more serious problem with this approach is that you may find that tickets are sold out for your desired time slot and you may have to wait hours for the next available opening.
2. Book Online (Recommended)
Because there’s so much potential to waste your precious vacation time getting Royal Palace of Madrid tickets, we recommend booking them online in advance. By booking tickets to the Royal Palace of Madrid, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have your tickets and can plan the rest of your sightseeing around your scheduled visit.
Skip-the-line Royal Palace of Madrid tickets can be booked through the official website of the Royal Palace of Madrid. However, using the official website does have some drawbacks, as the site isn’t easy to navigate and not everything is translated into English. These tickets are also nonrefundable, which could become a hassle if your travel plans change.
For a simpler booking experience that provides you with flexible tickets, we recommend booking through this link. These tickets may cost a little more, but they allow you to cancel up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full refund.
3. Book a Guided Tour
A great way to learn more about the palace and see things you might otherwise miss is with a guided tour of the Royal Palace of Madrid. While guided tours can be booked through the official website, they only last one hour and are only available in Spanish. For an English language tour of the palace that lasts two hours, we recommend booking this guided tour with skip-the-line access.
Useful Information for Visiting the Royal Palace of Madrid
What’s the Best Time to Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid?
When planning to see a popular tourist attraction like the Royal Palace of Madrid, it’s useful to think about the timing of your visit. Plan it right and you can avoid the worst of the crowds, allowing you to enjoy its glamorous halls and rooms in peace.
It’s generally best to visit first thing in the morning as the number of visitors tends to grow in the late morning and early afternoon. One time to avoid if possible is the early evening; certain nationalities enjoy free entry at this time and so the palace can be at its busiest then.
While it may be hard to schedule your visit to Madrid around seeing this one attraction, the best time of year to go to the palace is during the off-season. Excluding the Christmas holidays, the months of October through March are usually much less busy than the warmer months, making them a better time to experience the palace.
Royal Palace of Madrid Hours of Operation
The Royal Palace of Madrid and Royal Palace Kitchen are open every day of the week. However, both are closed on specific days throughout the year, which for 2022 are January 1, January 6, May 1, December 25, and December 26; the kitchens, meanwhile, are also closed on October 12.
Opening hours for the palace and kitchens operate on a summer/winter schedule. From April to September, the Royal Palace of Madrid is open from 10:00 to 19:00 on Monday through Saturday and from 10:00 to 16:00 on Sunday. From October to March, the palace is open from 10:00 to 18:00 on Monday through Saturday and from 10:00 to 16:00 on Sunday. Last admission to the palace is always one hour before closing time.
The Royal Palace Kitchen holds separate opening hours, which are from 10:15 to 19:00 in the summer season and from 10:15 to 17:00 in the winter season. Additionally, the palace gardens are open from 10:00 to 18:00.
How to Get to the Royal Palace of Madrid
Tourists have a few options for reaching the Royal Palace of Madrid on the day of their visit. Because of its central location, you might even find that it’s close enough to walk to, but we’ll show you the public transport options for when that’s not the case. The exact route you take will depend on where you’re coming from; the most useful options are highlighted below.
To reach the Royal Palace using the metro, you can take either Line 2 or Line 5 and alight at the Opera station. From there it’s just a few minutes on foot to the palace. If you’re coming from further out in the city, it’s also possible to take the C1 and C10 commuter train to Príncipe Pío Station, which is also close to the palace.
Finally, there are countless bus routes that stop close to the palace, including the 3, 25, 39, and 148 buses.
How Do Royal Palace of Madrid Tickets Work?
Tickets to the Royal Palace of Madrid are not especially complicated, but it is still worth covering how they work to ensure you don’t encounter any problems during your visit.
When looking at Royal Palace of Madrid tickets, the main decision you have to make is whether you want to see inside the palace, visit the palace kitchens, or do both. Each of these options have their own tickets, so you’ll want to decide what you want to see before booking.
Visits to the Royal Palace begin every 15 minutes, so you’ll need to select a day and time slot for the beginning of your visit. Please note that you may see two options for the same time of day, with one option being for a guided tour.
Once you have booked your tickets, you can choose to either print them off at home or collect them at the box office when you arrive on the day. It’s recommended that you arrive around 15 minutes before your scheduled time to ensure a smooth start to your visit.
How Much Do Tickets for the Royal Palace of Madrid Cost?
The cost for tickets to the Royal Palace of Madrid is one of the main concerns for travelers hoping to visit, so allow us to show you how the prices work. We’ll not only cover the prices for different types of tickets but also explain who is able to enjoy free entry.
General admission tickets to the palace cost €12 for adult tickets and €6 for discounted tickets. Tickets that offer combined entry to the palace and the kitchens cost €16 for adult tickets, €10 for discounted tickets, and €4 for visitors who are able to visit the palace for free. Separate tickets for the Royal Kitchen cost €6.
Visitors eligible for discounted tickets include children aged 5 to 16 years old, students who are 25 years old or younger, and seniors over the age of 65. Free admission is available to visitors with disabilities, one companion of theirs, and all children under the age of five.
There are also added costs to consider when visiting with a guided tour or audio guide. Guided tours and audio guides on the mobile app cost an additional €4, while using one of the provided tablet audio guides costs €5.
Free Entry to the Royal Palace of Madrid
It is possible to visit the palace museum for free in a few specific instances; however, the Royal Kitchen is closed during these hours. Last admission for these times remains one hour before closing.
Admission is free for all visitors annually on International Museum Day on May 18 and the National Day of Spain on October 12. Free entry is also possible when visiting the palace at specific times in the evenings if you are an EU citizen or a resident or work permit holder in the EU or Latin America. Those free entry times are Monday to Thursday from 16:00 to 18:00 between October and March and 17:00 to 19:00 between April and September.
Best Hotels for the Royal Palace of Madrid
Because of its central location, the Royal Palace of Madrid can be a good landmark to base your accommodation search around. Staying near the palace is a great idea if you want to stay in the city center with easy access to many tourist attractions, not to mention restaurants and bars. You should have no problem finding plenty of places to choose from, so to help narrow it down a little, here are a few suggestions with which to start.
To treat yourself to a special and glamorous stay, look no further than the Palacio de los Duques Gran Meliá. This five-star hotel is set inside a 19th-century palace just a five-minute walk from the Royal Palace, and features three restaurants, a Thai Room wellness center, and a 24-hour gym.
If you want comfort and style without the huge price tag, then consider booking yourself a room at the Oriente Palace Apartments. This boutique aparthotel offers both rooms and apartments that all feel palatial in style, and is just one minute from the palace on foot.
A great option for those on a budget is The Hat Madrid hostel. Located a 10-minute walk from the Royal Palace, this boutique hostel inside an old mansion has stylish dorms and rooms and the essential amenities for a pleasant stay. For other great hostels to look at, be sure to check out our guide to hostels in Madrid.
Security Process at the Royal Palace of Madrid
To make sure your visit to the palace is an enjoyable one without issues, it’s worth knowing a few of the rules that are in place for visitors. Backpacks and large items are not permitted inside the palace and must be stowed in the cloakroom during your visit. Photography and filming are not allowed inside the palace and phones should be on silent mode.
For the Royal Palace of Madrid to remain open to visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, some safety precautions have been put in place. Visitor capacity numbers have been reduced, social distancing is expected from visitors, and all visitors aged six and up must wear a face mask throughout their visit.
Visiting the Royal Palace of Madrid With a Disability
Little information is available in English regarding the accessibility of the Royal Palace of Madrid, except that the palace is wheelchair accessible via access ramps around the palace. No mention is made of services for visitors with visual or hearing impairments, so it may be best to enquire before you book.
FAQ – Facts About the Royal Palace of Madrid
What Is the Royal Palace of Madrid?
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official royal residence for the Spanish royal family and is now used for state functions.
When Was the Royal Palace of Madrid Built?
Construction of the Royal Palace of Madrid began in 1738 and continued until 1755.
How Old Is the Royal Palace of Madrid?
As of 2022, the Royal Palace of Madrid is 267 years old.
Who Built the Royal Palace of Madrid?
King Felipe V of Spain ordered the construction of the Palace, and architect Filippo Juvarra supervised the project.
Why Was the Royal Palace of Madrid Built?
After the Royal Residence of the Alcazar in Madrid burned down on December 24, 1734, the Royal Palace of Madrid was built to replace it.
Where Is the Royal Palace of Madrid Located?
The Royal Palace of Madrid is located on the western side of the Centro District.
Now that you have all this information to guide you, making plans to tour the Royal Palace of Madrid should be pretty straightforward. Hopefully, we’ve answered all your burning questions and you can see just how useful it is to sort out your tickets to the Royal Palace of Madrid before you go.