Spain Destinations: Madrid Must-See Palaces

Palacio Real. Photo:

1. Palacio Real

The Royal Palace is one of the most emblematic buildings in the city. It was built on the site of the former Alcazar de Madrid and today is the residence of the monarchs of Spain. When you visit, I recommend taking a tour around the formal halls, including the characteristic Hall of the Throne. Another key point to visit is the Royal Armory located on one of the sides of the square. Don’t forget to take a walk around the beautiful Sabatini Gardens located on the northern facade of the palace.

Location: Plaza de Oriente, Calle Bailén, s/n, 28071

When to visit: October to March, Mon.-Sat. from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. April to September, Mon.-Sat. from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tickets: 12€( basic fee) and 16 € (guided tour)

2. Palacio de Liria

The Liria Palace is one of the most important private homes in Madrid. It was built in the period between 1767 and 1785 and currently, it is the official residence of the 19th Duke of Alba and headquarters of the Casa de Alba Foundation. Touring this palace is a full-sense experience: music wraps around you taking you on a trip through time, recorded voices with dialogues among historical figures accompany you throughout the tour. Don’t leave without visiting the family portrait gallery, a collection of paintings by famous artists like Goya, Federico de Madrazo, or Tiziano, among others.

Location:  Princesa, 20

When to visit:  Group tours are available, with one starting every 30 minutes. The tour lasts 65 minutes. Mondays: from 10:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday: from 10:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tickets: 15 €, includes a tour of the Liria Palace in a group of 10 people to see the building’s fourteen main rooms.

3. Palacio de Linares (Casa de América)

Linares Palace dates from the 19th century and is well-known for its beautiful architecture and exquisite interior. The palace hosts the Casa de América, a modern exhibition centre which also organizes all sorts of cultural events throughout the year and is responsible for improving relations between Spain and South America. One tour I highly recommend is the dramatized visits at night. On the first Saturday of every month, you will have the opportunity to learn first-hand the secrets and mysteries hidden in the Linares Palace. Accompanied by a mysterious steward, the housekeeper and a marquis, you will tour the palace rooms for approximately one hour. Unfortunately, due to the restrictions in place, this tour is not available at the moment but a regular guided tour is a great way to experience the beauty and history of this magnificent palace.

Location: Plaza de Cibeles, 2

When to visit: Dramatized tours are not available right now. Regular guided tours on Friday in 2 sessions: 6.00 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays 3 sessions: 11:00 a.m., 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. They only allow a maximum of 15 people and the guide so book in advance. General admission:  8€.

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