Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande

Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande

Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande
4.5
Religious SitesChurches & Cathedrals
9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:30 AM - 2:30 PM
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
What is Travelers’ Choice?
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Plan your visit

The area

Address
Neighborhood: Centro
Expansive plazas, local and foreign crowds, street performers, colorful lights, window shopping, restaurant signs promising the best paella, ham, and churros con chocolate- this is downtown Madrid, a collection of plazas interconnected by a network of side streets. Some of these side streets are wide pedestrian shopping routes, and some are hidden, so it's possible to duck in and out of the bustle as desired. The iconic Puerta del Sol is the giant crossroads of the city and a must-see attraction at any time of the day. The nearby Plaza Mayor, completely enclosed by historic red buildings, is an ideal place to grab a bite to eat outside, amidst scores of tables and people out for a stroll. Plaza Isabel II (also known as “Opera”) is smaller and a good meeting spot, and the stately Plaza del Oriente is the front yard of the Royal Palace. Centro can be touristy (pickpockets are unfortuately not unheard-of here), crowded, and sometimes gimmicky, but it is also the place to experience classic Madrid.
How to get there
  • La Latina • 7 min walk
  • Puerta de Toledo • 7 min walk
Reach out directly

See what travelers are saying

  • AL_reviewer_2014
    Weymouth, United Kingdom165 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A beautiful short visit
    A very peaceful church with some beautiful artwork. I think some of the paintings might be by famous people. The domes are stunning. There’s a sign saying photography isn’t allowed, but it is as long as you don’t use a flash. It was free. If you only have time for one church, I would choose the cathedral.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written February 1, 2024
  • Hstevens282
    Leven, United Kingdom307 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stupendous and awe inspiring
    We went to the cathedral to see if it was open as the website and guidebook was pretty useless. We went on a Friday morning to see the museum. It turned out that the church was open and the “museum “ was actually the sanctuary. Outside the building is drab and grey. You go through the doors to the church and POW! you are blown away by the interior (or at least I was!). It is a circular church with an immense dome which is painted in vibrant colours and depicts various old testament figures and (inevitably) the Virgin Mary. There are 12 side chapels each of which is stunning too. You get into the sacristy as well which I did not feel added anything to the visit. If you only have time to visit one church then make this the one you visit.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 10, 2024
  • Raintree_Thailand
    Bangkok, Thailand4,207 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Superb basilica in Madrid... not to be missed!!
    The Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande is a stunning church that should not be missed in Madrid. It was constructed in the second half of the 18th century and stands near the less-impressive Cathedral. The crowning glory of the basilica is massive dome, the third largest in the world, behind the Pantheon and St. Peter's in Rome. The dome is 33 meters in diameter and 58 meters high. For me, the six side chapels were especially striking, each more grand in their own right than the vast majority of churches in the world. Don't miss the small gardens next to the basilica... incredibly gorgeous!
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 13, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,862 reviews
Excellent
1,237
Very good
481
Average
113
Poor
13
Terrible
18

DGSmanila
Bangkok, Thailand383 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
It is beautiful place to visit. If you can catch some tour = the best.
We visited alone but with some guided material so been able to explore few
parts of the amazing big place. We have joined also to some tour ( which was
in Spanish ) without understanding the language but to explore some inner parts
of this vast place.

Well worth the 5 Euro entrance fee.
Written February 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael K
London, UK544 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
I can't deny that this is an impressive building, worth 5*. But there’s always something of an irony on seeing Franciscan churches which, despite the ideals of their founder, are as extravagant as any other baroque church. The adjective “grande” is well-deserved though, for here we have here one of the largest church domes in the world at 33 m diameter. It is beautifully decorated and has been recently restored. Has some works by the great artists, eg Rubens and Velazquez, but also, unfortunately, one depicting James the Moorslayer. When will the authorities put in place some sort of explanatory note of penitence about these (numerous) insensitive portrayals? You can walk through rooms behind the High Altar to see artworks of famous Franciscans and the huge sacristy. Admission cost us 3 Euros each (over-65).
Written May 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emily A
Madrid, Spain264 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
I happen to live not 5 minutes away from this magestic building but find it almost always closed. Though this is far from true, if you want to visit, see their website for ours.
I happened upon a free day without tours, pure luck, wasnt even trying but couldn't pass it up! So some of us poured into the lobby and quietly crept into the massive basilica. Reminiscent of Austrian and other massive dome basilicas with immense frescoes and fancy sculptures. Not to mention the hallways full of large religious paintings. Just gorgeous. Old and impressive. Not a bad way to spend an hour! In fact a real good way.
Written July 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hstevens282
Leven, UK307 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We went to the cathedral to see if it was open as the website and guidebook was pretty useless. We went on a Friday morning to see the museum. It turned out that the church was open and the “museum “ was actually the sanctuary. Outside the building is drab and grey. You go through the doors to the church and POW! you are blown away by the interior (or at least I was!). It is a circular church with an immense dome which is painted in vibrant colours and depicts various old testament figures and (inevitably) the Virgin Mary. There are 12 side chapels each of which is stunning too. You get into the sacristy as well which I did not feel added anything to the visit. If you only have time to visit one church then make this the one you visit.
Written March 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AL_reviewer_2014
Weymouth, UK165 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
A very peaceful church with some beautiful artwork. I think some of the paintings might be by famous people. The domes are stunning. There’s a sign saying photography isn’t allowed, but it is as long as you don’t use a flash. It was free. If you only have time for one church, I would choose the cathedral.
Written February 1, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PersianOK
48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
Prado. Royal Palace. All important to go see. But if you don't see the Basilica, then you've made a grave mistake. For only 5 euros each, spend an hour here and leave astounded at the grandeur of this place. The outside is the exact opposite of the inside. Unassuming on the outside, spectacular on the inside.
Written October 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Raintree_Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand4,207 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
The Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande is a stunning church that should not be missed in Madrid. It was constructed in the second half of the 18th century and stands near the less-impressive Cathedral. The crowning glory of the basilica is massive dome, the third largest in the world, behind the Pantheon and St. Peter's in Rome. The dome is 33 meters in diameter and 58 meters high. For me, the six side chapels were especially striking, each more grand in their own right than the vast majority of churches in the world. Don't miss the small gardens next to the basilica... incredibly gorgeous!
Written May 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Debbybcn
Pittsburgh, PA67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Absolutely gorgeous Basilica located a few blocks from the Royal Palace. Dome inside is supposedly the 4th largest in Europe. Beautifully decorated. Also a famous Goya painting at the first chapel to the left as you enter the Basilica. We were very very lucky to have been shown all the sites in the basilica by Miguel Angel. He knows every detail and was kind enough to share his knowledge with us. Even showed us a trick to take a good picture of the gorgeous dome. Miguel was a fabulous guide, kind and very very helpful. Knew the answers to all my questions. Kind and patient and didnt hurry us even when he was ready to close the doors. Thank you Miguel Angel for making our visit so very special. He shows that he really loves his job! Gracias a Miguel Angel! Hombre fabuloso y muy muy inteligente.
Written May 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MDOGP
Dallas, TX1,230 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
This site used to be a Franciscan convent in the Middle Ages. In the 16th century the church grew in size and status. In 176o Charles the Third ordained the convent to be replaced by the Neoclassical basilica. The church is magnificent with beautiful frescoes and a tall dome.
Written October 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marta V
Lugano, Switzerland109 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Friends
Really nice church in the Spanish baroque with fairly large saints statues, some even with cloths on! But more beaituful and typical compared to the cathedral. One unique navata. Free of charge on weekends. Worth a visit if you're in the area.
Written March 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande, Madrid

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