With over 500 years of royal leadership, the Kingdom of Spain has an endless amount heritage relating to its Kings and Queens. To learn about the long and complex history, it is best to do it first hand through visiting the royal sites themselves. We have compiled the six best royal sites in Spain to visit and enjoy!
1. Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso
The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso is a beautiful palace with extended gardens. It is located on the slopes of the Sierra del Guadarrama. Its vast gardens are well known for its many sculptural fountains.
You could take a private transportation bus called La Sepulvedana from Madrid to Segovia and then from Segovia to San Ildefonso or by train; Madrid-Segovia-Valladolid. There is not a direct line to the Palace.
The entrance fee is €9/adults. They offer free admission Wednesdays and Thursday from 3PM to 6PM during Winter and during Summer from 5PM to 8PM if you are from the EU or a citizen of the Iberoamerican countries.
2. Royal Palace of Riofrío
The Royal Palace of Riofrío is located in San Ildefonso near holm-oak forests. The palace was built with Italian influenced architecture in a beautiful landscape with a mountainous backdrop. Once a hunting lodge it is now home of a museum dedicated to the history of hunting.
The entrance fee is €7/adults. They offer free admission Wednesdays and Thursday from 3PM to 6PM during Winter and from from 5PM to 8PM during Summer if you are from the EU or a citizen of the Iberoamerican countries.
You can get there via train from Atocha and Chamartin in the direction of Navas de Riofrío. Then you will have to walk about a kilometer from the station, Riofrío Forest.
3. Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
El Escorial, located just 45km northwest of Madrid, is known for the great architectural of the Monastery and Palace. It used to be the residence of the king of Spain. Surrounding the building is the beautiful Garden of the Friars, which is free to the public. Entrance to the Monastery and Palace cost €10/adults.
We went to El Escorial by Cercanias train and it took us about an hour and a half and cost €8 both ways. Check the schedule so you can plan accordingly, the train leaves Madrid from Nuevos Ministerios and from Chamartin Station.
4. Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace is located in the heart of Madrid. In front of the Royal Palace is the Almudena Cathedral, one of the most beautiful and most important Cathedrals of Madrid. Pictures or videos inside are not allowed but it is worth visiting if you are in Madrid.
The Royal Palace can be visited every day. During summer it is open from 10AM to 8PM and during winter from 10AM to 6PM. Entrance is free for EU and Ibero-American residents from 6PM to 8PM during the summer and 4PM to 6PM during the winter. Otherwise tickets are €11/adults.
5. Royal Palace of Aranjuez
The Royal Palace of Aranjuez has been declared UNESCO World Heritage site. The Palace has beautiful gardens and an exclusive art collection, including the Museo de la Vida en Palacio, which describes the daily lives of Spain’s monarchs.
To get there take the Cercanias train for €8 both ways. Check the schedule so you can plan accordingly, and not have to wait at the station for an hour. The train leaves Madrid from Nuevos Ministerios and from Chamartin Station, it is the same train that goes to El Escorial but opposite direction. You have to walk about 1.6 Kilometers from the stop to the Palace.
6. Royal Palace of El Pardo
The Royal Palace was a hunting lodge and house of beautiful Frescos. The palace has extensive gardens with small fountains to explore. It is really simple to get there from the Moncloa Bus Station take the bus 601 towards the Royal Palace. It is only 20 minutes bus ride.