The construction of the Palace began in 1738 and took 16 years to complete. When the building was inaugurated, King Charles III established his official residence in the palace in 1764. The site of the Palacio Real was previously occupied by the “Palacio de los Asturias”, until it was burnt down on Christmas Eve 1734.
Nowadays, the Palace is used exclusively for receptions, state ceremonies and official acts since the King of Spain currently lives in the Palacio de la Zarzuela. The Palace is surrounded by the Campo del Moro Park and the Sabatini gardens. The first, located on the west side of the building, dates back to the Middle Ages. The Campo del Moro Park is open to the public from 10 am to 6 pm during winter and from 10 am to 8 pm during the summer months, whilst the Sabatini gardens were designed in the twentieth century and are situated on the north side of the building.
Changing the Guard
The changing of Guard at the Royal Palace of Madrid takes place every Wednesday from October to July at 11 am. The ceremony can be cancelled due to an official act or adverse weather conditions.
Visiting the Royal Palace
The Royal Palace of Madrid offers both guided and self-guided tours all year round, closing only for official acts.
The traditional visit includes entry to the following areas of the Palace:
- Salones Oficiales (Official Halls): Majestic, well-kept and beautifully decorated, each hall is unique and the Throne Room is truly breath-taking.
- Armería Real (Royal Armory): Armor, shields and weapons of every kind make up one of the world’s most important collections.
- Farmacia Real (Royal Pharmacy): Features hundreds of different sized bottles with beautifully decorated cabinets that were used for storing all kinds of medicine, transporting you back in time. The best part is a faithful reconstruction of the laboratory.
From October until March:
Every day: from 10 am until 6 pm.
From April until October:
Every day: from 10 am until 8 pm.
Adults: € 11 (US$ 13). (Guided tour € 14 (US$ 16.60)).
Students, European Youth Card, seniors (over 65) and young people (less than 16): € 6 (US$ 7.10).
Free entry with the Madrid Card.