The Royal Palace (Palacio Real) of Madrid occupies the site of the old 9th Century Muslim Alcázar (Fortress), rebuilt by Carlos I and Felipe II in the 16th Century.
After a fire destroyed the former Alcázar in 1734, Felipe V ordered the construction of a new Royal Palace on the same site, and this was originally designed by Filippo Juvarra and later adapted by Juan Bautista Sacchetti.
Construction work began in 1738, and concluded 26 years later in 1764 during the reign of Carlos III.
The building forms a massive quadrilateral made of white granite measuring 140 meters (459 feet) on the sides, and has some 2,800 rooms of which only about 50 are open to visitors.
The Royal Palace was the official residence of the royal family until 1931, but today, it is only used for state occasions and special ceremonies such as to greet heads of state.
The current royal family lives in the Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of the city.
In 2005, the Royal Palace was visited by 900,000 people.
October-March: From 09:30 am to 17:00 pm.
April-September: From 09:00 am to 18:00 pm.
Sundays and holidays: mornings only.
Entrance fees: 8 Euros.
Wednesday: Free for EU Citizens.
Telephone for information: 91 454 88 00
Telephone for reservations: 91 454 88 03
Nearest metro station: Opera (Lines 2 and 5).
A view of the Royal Palace from Jardines de Sabatini on the north front.
The east façade gives onto the Plaza de Oriente with the equestrian statue of Felipe IV.
Accommodation, Lodging, Hotels, and Cheap Hostels near the Royal Palace. Where to Sleep.
Hotel Ópera *** - Cuesta de Santo Domingo, 2. - In front of the Royal Theater.
Hostal Gran Duque - Calle Campomanes, 6. - Plaza de Oriente. Metro Opera.
Hostal Oriente - Calle Arenal, 23. - Metro Ópera.
Posada Real Manuel - Plaza de Oriente, 2. - Great views of the Royal Palace.