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All reviews porcelain room royal palace day trip barge museum gardens surrounding train journey crystal chandeliers la granja isabel ii guided tour well worth the trip spanish royalty water features worth seeing take your time free entry del principe
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Reviewed 1 week ago

The interior is well worth making the effort to visit. It is not expensive. There are audio guides available for 3 euros and good value. We visited on a very busy day when many were off work and actually gave up trying to get in. We tried again when it opened the next day at 1000 and it worked but very soon we were overtaken by the hoards. It is a very impressive palace, still used by the Royal Family we understand. Lots of history and interesting details to absorb. The ceramic room made entirely of Capodimonte is a knock out. Allow a couple of hours.

1  Thank Ken and Val Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

My wife and I stopped off in Aranjuez on our way back to Santander to catch the ferry home. What a great decision. The Palace is beautiful inside, fabulous rooms, lots of priceless pictures and furniture.
It’s a shame you can’t take internal pictures.
The gardens are very pleasant and fairly extensive. Well worth visiting

1  Thank Paul H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2018 via mobile

Travelled from Madrid by train - took less than an hour and cost €8 return.
The walk from the station takes about 20 minutes though there are taxis.
The Palace is beautiful. No signs of dust, wear or tear and the most spectacular furniture, wall coverings and art work. The crystal chandeliers are numerous and the Capo di Monte room was breathtaking.
€3 for the audio tour is well worth it.
We strolled round the gardens afterwards and enjoyed the peace and tranquility they gave. The views of the river and the fountains all added to the sights.
Afterwards we walked a short distance to a nearby restaurant (Asador el Corral de la Abuela) and had a magnificent afternoon of eating!
Train journey back to Madrid was easy and this day was a perfect end to a fabulous week.

4  Thank thorntonslack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2018

Half an hour of train (Cercanias #3 from Atocha in Madrid) found us in Aranjuez, one of the sites the Spanish royalty liked to summer in. Going there, I expected the usual: a castle or palace at the top of a hill surrounded by houses tripping down to the flats.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sure, there is a town on top of a hill with houses running down each side of it. What it doesn’t have, is a castle at the top. The Aranjuez Palace is at the bottom, a ten-minute walk from the train station. There are several reasons for that. The palace was initially built as a hunting lodge and was far less impressive than it is now. Then Philip II moved the capital city from Toledo to Madrid and he needed a place to escape the heat in summer. But it’s only after it was almost destroyed by fire in 1748 that the king hired the great architect Francesco Sabatini to rebuild and enlarge. Thus we now have a main building flanked by two wing that form a “u”, surrounding in part a great plaza. Later on, Isabel II had the train from Madrid stop at the door of the palace, something she couldn't have done up on a hill. And lastly, it wasn't built in times of war therefore didn't need to be defended.

The interior, including the main staircase, can only be qualified as grandiose. Silk wallpaper or rare Dutch tapestries cover the walls, damask and embroidered tulle or velvet and satin cover windows and seats, the furniture is gilded, the ceilings sport frescoes with allegorical or religious stories with the recurring theme of the monarchy’s good government, and marble floors designed by the best Italian architects.

One room is entirely covered with rococo-style porcelain from the Royal Porcelain Factory of Buen Retiro that Philip II had brought back from Italy. The room has a Chinese theme as was the fashion of the time and took its creator Giuseppe Gricci from 1763 to 1765 to create.

Another room of note is the Mozarab-style room decorated with muqarnas similar to those of the great Alhambra. Instead of the usual mosaics, it was created with plaster and paint. The effect is somewhat dizzying, as every inch of wall is covered with decorations. It was the only place in the palace where men could smoke.

Isabel II, the last queen of Spain, put her stamp on mainly every room in the palace. Most of the rooms have been preserved as they were in her time.

If you go to Aranjuez, a visit to the gardens is a must. They surround the palace and the city has encroached on some of the 750 acres of gardens that are now maintained by the historical branch of the Spanish government. The grounds teem with working fountains (although they stop working after one o’clock to start again later in the day). Grand, straight alleys made for horseback riding are flanked with immense plantain trees, some as tall as 120 feet (38 meters) and more than 200 years old. As you walk away from the palace and deeper into the gardens, deep silence is broken only by the sound of the Tagus river flowing, the wind stirring the leaves and the chirping of birds.

I had always been fascinated by Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. The music tries to transport you to another place and another time. Rodrigo said that his music tries to capture “the scent of magnolias, the singing of birds and the water sounds of the fountains” of the Aranjuez gardens. They are truly an instrument of inspiration.

It takes about 50 minutes to visit the castle with the audio-guide (3 euros) and about an hour and a half to visit the gardens. There are restaurants close by but they're pricey. The gardens are a perfect place for a picnic: there are benches around each fountain.

2  Thank Dominique B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2018

I traveled from Madrid to Aranjuez, with train (Renfe Cercanias) took around 45 minutes. (If you had applied Madrid Metro Card which can use unlimited package, then with train or green bus, there's no extra transportation charge).
Aranjuez is a peaceful city which doesn't have many sight seeings and tourists (It's a advantage or disadvantage depends on people), better to grab a water with you and wear comfortable shoes (move between all the sight seeings by walk because they are close).
Royal Palace is one of the major sightseeing there, from train station, takes around 15 minutes by walk. There are many sight seeings nearby (also has tourist information station, you can get the map there).
Royal Palace has free entry on Wednesday and Thursday for specific people. Although inside forbidden to use camera, in the palace square and main hall still can take few nice photos.
There are some rooms which have amazing designs and decorations, however compare to other palace in Spain, is quite smaller (if you read all the introductions or use audio guide, it takes around 1 or 2 hours ; just wake around, it takes less than 1 hour), maybe some people will think it's not worth to visit. (But other major sight seeings are gardens only.....)

3  Thank gracexploreworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2018 via mobile

Cet endroit est magnifique et dégage un charme fou! Ce promener dans ses jardins, près de la fontaine et la rivière a un effet apaisant et vous libère de toutes pensées superflues, c'est magique. A visiter et revisiter!!

This place is really something, you discover new things and makes you forget everything else. It's really beautiful and better to see it during sunny days. The gardens are outstanding! Great architecture and bright colours! You have to see it!!

2  Thank maii03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2018

This palace has been lovingly restored, and is a joy to visit.
It's also a stroll from the pretty town of Aranjuez.

Thank Joan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2018

The palace tour is worth paying for and seeing the history inside. The surrounding gardens are filled with peacocks and other bird life in addition to "moat carp" which were being caught by small children! Its well worth the drive up to Aranjuez to see this attraction. Just watch out for the hawkers however that seem to be close to the entrance.

Thank pictuto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2018

This palace is over an hour drive away from Madrid. It is huge!! Could not see the interior since it was close when we arrive, but the exterior is inviting. You must search diligent for times and entrance cost, since it a a long drive from center Madrid. Looking forward to come back next year during normal operation hours.

Thank AlexF939
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2018

Just pay the money and walk round, it is truly awesome. It cost 9 euros but there are concessions. It only takes around and hour and a half.

Thank nigel_smith61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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