One morning, Jorge and I left our adorable Chueca neighborhood to visit the Royal Palace of Madrid. Upon our arrival, we were met with a shockingly long line of tourists waiting to enter the Royal Palace. The line spanned from the area of entry to the other side of the Palace, as seen in the photo I took below.
At first we were hesitant to wait and considering spending our time together elsewhere. When we saw the line progressing, we finally decided to jump on board. Though I wouldn’t call the wait quick, we were inside not horribly long after.
The Royal Palace offered a small student discount making the visit a bit less expensive. I’m not entirely sure if the discount was necessarily supposed to apply to university students from the USA but Jorge managed to make it count for both of us haha. The two of us then put the savings from our discounted entry tickets towards the Palace’s official Guided Tour: tablets with room-by-room audio explanations of what you are seeing as you navigate the Royal Palace.
The Palace has 135,000 square meters of floorspace and possesses 3,418 rooms. It is the largest royal palace in all of Europe measured by floor area. It remains the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family but is only used for state ceremonies now. King Felipe VI and the Royal Family choose to live in the more modest outskirts of Madrid instead. The Royal Palace is owned by the Spanish State and several rooms are regularly open to the public except during State functions. The standard entry fee is 11 Euros.
The interior of the palace is noteworthy for its wealth of art and the use of so many exemplary materials in its construction and decoration. While walking around the palace, we saw paintings created by artists including Caravaggio, Velazquez, Francisco de Goya, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, and Anton Raphael Mengs. Among these greats works reside other collections of significant historical/artistic importance including the Royal Armoury of Madrid, beautiful porcelain, watches, furniture, and the world’s only complete Stradivarius string quintet.
As we walked through the palace, it was really neat to see the different artistic styles used to decorate each room. One of my favorite rooms was one where all of the works were made out of porcelain. It was constructed shorty after the secret to making porcelain was introduced to Spain.
After completing our tour of the Palace, we returned our tablets to the front desk and went back outside to take pictures. There is an amazing terrace that looks out into the lush green scenery trees and buildings in Madrid.