There are 3,418 rooms in Madrid’s Royal Palace, so there’s a lot to see in its hallowed halls and reception rooms. But this small group tour crunches it down to the very best bits, inside and out. You’ll get to admire its lavishly decorated saloons and stroll around the landscaped gardens. Marta, one of our expert local guides, says, ‘Alfonso XII died very young at 27, but much of the interior design dates from his reign in the late 19th century, a period in Spain known as the Restoration. He and his queen, Maria Christina, favoured a Victorian-style excess of ornament.’
You’ll be awestruck the moment you step inside. No expense was spared, with the finest materials, best architects and greatest artists all contributing to its construction. Your guide will show around the Throne Room, Pharmacy, Armoury and Ballroom, while filling you in on their history and the lives of past monarchs. You’ll also see the Porcelain, Gasparini and Japanese rooms – a regal mix of eclectic and exuberant décor. Marta adds, ‘The Japanese Room really stands out from the rest – it was Alfonso XII’s smoking room – and was decorated with especially imported oriental textiles and porcelain.’
Plus, you’ll also see artworks by great masters such as Goya, Velazquez and Caravaggio. And a walk among the statues of former kings in the Sabatini Gardens – an innovation from the 1930s – will bring home just how secluded the palace’s location is. Despite being in the centre of Madrid, it feels like a country estate as it sits on a ridge overlooking the vast Casa de Campo park.