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Reviewed June 3, 2018 via mobile

I’m glad some of the other reviewers had luck finding someone that spoke English that could give a meaningful tour. I inquired about an English tour and the lady consulted four other staff members and she came back and said “no english tours”. There weren’t even any guidebooks in any other language. I did enjoy looking at all the beautiful tapestries.

Thank aircathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2018

Yes, you do need to check online whether the palace is open the day before you go. You can go to Patriminonial Nacional website which is the gatekeeper of all the royal palaces in Spain, look under "Buy Tickets" and look closely at the calendar shown and see the color legend to check whether is palace is open or closed. In fact, one week before my due date to visit, it stated open but subsequently changed to closed two days before my visit so I had to change plans and visit it another day. Head to Moncloa Bus & Metro Station from where your journey begins. Ignore all other information online that says that you have to exit the station & head above ground to the bus station. This is wrong information & not updated. The Moncloa Bus Station is UNDERGROUND. Once you exit the metro ticket gates, you go one level up the escalator & you will see passengers waiting at bus bays platforms marked in numbers. There are 2 sections to this UNDERGROUND Moncloa Bus Station on the SAME LEVEL. Which means that the bus bays where you wait for your designated buses is divided into 2 sections that CANNOT be accessed via the same floor. You have to descend one level down back to where the metro concourse (the area before you insert the ticket to get into metro station) is in order to get to the other bus bay. So use the OTHER escalator if you came down from the first escalator where you cannot find your bus platform. Bus no 601 to the palace departs from Bus Bay Platform No 30. It is easy to know which stop to get off as Bus no 601 has a real time electronic signboard on board the bus that shows approaching stops. Use Google Map to identify which stop you need to alight eg. if you stay at Hotel ABC enter this hotel as your origin on Google Map Madrid & in your destination enter El Pardo, click on the metro/bus icon, you will see the bus no 601 appear, further click & drill down thru the entire bus no 601 route to see all the stops. If I remembered correctly, its the 2nd last bus stop. As you get off the bus, walk behind the bus & you will see the palace to your left, its just about 2 minutes walk away from the bus stop. You can buy the tickets at the palace due to the high unpredictability of when the palace may close at very short notice. Apart from using it to house foreign dignitaries, it is also used for national award ceremonies as I was informed by my guide. I was very fortunate to have an English guide all to myself for the 10.45 am tour. Yes, solo tourist to 1 guide, Never has this happened before, So I took advantage of this opportunity to bombard her with questions, ugh, I think she was drinking lots of mineral water from her bottle as we proceeded through our tour as I kept asking questions. The tapestries that you see in this palace were first painted by Goya for the sole purpose of turning it into tapestries, the painting is handed over to the tapestry craftsmen who then copied every little detail hand sewn & loomed into the fabric. The tapestries are a legacy & continues to exist today as a working craft shop known as the Royal Tapestry Factory (Real Fabrica de Tapices) which is near Atocha station. You can visit this factory & it will be mentioned by your guide. I had a good laugh when the English guide mentioned a faux pas that was averted in the nick of time concerning a foreign royal couple who were staying there in the past. Lots of stories here about who stayed here. This palace was also the home & working office of the dictator Franco. The reason why this place was chosen as a place to stay for foreign dignitaries is because the roads leading to it can be easily monitored & managed for safety reasons. Its a narrow stretch of road, easy to spot intruders. Hence, Franco chose this place. Enjoy your visit, this place is an eye opener!

2  Thank flyjournal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2017 via mobile

Nice palace just outside Madrid. Especially the tapestries are worthwhile, some based on cartoons of Goya (on display in the Prado, 2nd floor). Recent history also dealt with: Franco was the last 'chief of state' who used El Pardo.

Thank Martin v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2017 via mobile

The journey out to the palace was straightforward. Metro from Plaza Sol, line 3 to Moncloa then the 601 bus to Pardo. The bus station is underground with the metro station. Just ask at information where to catch the 601. We wandered about a bit trying to find the stop. The metro fare is 1 Euro 50 each and the bus the same. So very reasonable. The friendly people on the bus told us where to get off.
You have to have a guided tour and normally they are in Spanish. Fortunately a kind lady in the ticket/shop area lent us her copy of the guide book in English. They did not have an English copy in the shop for us to buy! Perhaps few foreign tourists venture this far out of Madrid.
It is well worth the trip. The rooms are gilded and opulent. Wonderful chandeliers and furniture. It's fascinating to see Franco's personal rooms, even his bedroom. Some of the rooms we peeped into are more modern and comfortable because they are used by visiting royalty and important guests. The tapestries are the finest I have seen.
We had a drink in the little town nearby. There were very good value lunches on offer at local cafes and restaurants. Perhaps out of Madrid prices. It's really interesting to see how quickly you are in the countryside. Well worth a visit. Do your homework on what you will see or borrow the lady's guide book!

5  Thank CatherinePassmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2017

This is one of the stops of the hop on/off bus in Madrid. We went in the afternoon so the line was not too long. You may want to order tickets online. It was interesting, not as opulent as Versailles and not as crowded. Lots of steps, so not so good for anyone with walking problems. I would recommend, it was worth the 2 hours we spent there.

2  Thank readeasy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2017

Entry was a bit chaotic with long line for audio guide, but well worth it. Nice overview of Spanish history and, of course, some spectacular rooms.

Thank Ada B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2017

Great day out,15km by bus 601 from Moncloa.Lovely riverside walk on the right over the bridge as far as you like as it is a linear walk.great birdwatching and an excellent lunch in a local restaurant after.

1  Thank John E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2017

First you should check whether the palace is open before you set out because it is often closed. This is because it provides accommodation for Heads of State and their entourages during state visits and of course is not open at these times. Take the 601 bus from the bus station at Moncloa metro station (end of the yellow line 3). It takes about 20 minutes and the palace is less than 100 yds from the bus stop. You have to go around with a guide and can not visit independently. Normally I don't like guided tours, but we were 3 of only 5 visitors when we got there. The other two people were Spanish so they had one guide and we had a wonderful English speaking guide all to ourselves. She was absolutely brilliant. She didn't overload us with information and was so knowledgeable and informative, answering all our questions. The rooms are stunning with the most glorious tapestries I've ever seen. It is a must place to visit if you are interested in history generally, the Spanish Royal Family in particular but also if you are interested in Franco because he lived here and used it as his base, so there is plenty of memorabilia from this period too. Perhaps we were lucky because it was so quiet when we visited but it is streets ahead of the Royal Palace in Madrid which was so crowded and full of large groups. The highlight of our visit to Madrid.

2  Thank Julie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2017

Official residence of Spanish royal family but only used for state functions. Large in statue only a small portion is open to the public. Two lines are formed outside, one for those holding tickets one for without. All who enter pass through X-ray machines. If you need to purchase tickets , once you pass security there are ten ticket windows open, discount tickets are available for seniors and students. There is a cloak room and secured lockers available. The lines move swiftly. Photographs are only allowed in the courtyard and staircase - photography is not allowed inside. Rooms and chapel on display are opulent and the gold guilding looks freshly done. One of the more visibly stunning room is the porcelain room, every wall and ceiling is adorned with ceramics. Don't forget to peek in the chapel - it's easy to over look and not with other rooms. . There is also a nice view of the from the edge of the courtyard.

2  Thank TravelNazi126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2016 via mobile

When I first approached this palace, it reminded me of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria ........I had forgotten to connect the dots between the Spanish Royals and the Habsburgs....a good history lesson ....

Thank 949sharonl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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