We returned to Madrid to end our trip, after spending another four weeks traveling around other parts of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Having missed the the Palacio Royal and the Santa maria la Real de La Almudena (Almudena Cathedral) our first time through the city, we decided to spend on of our last days seeing these famous sites.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to visit the inside of the palace because the king was actually there for an important meeting – so everything was closed except for the outside. I was pretty bummed about our bad timing – but this just gives us an excuse to return. Plus there were men on horses everywhere for the event and I’m easy to please.
For anyone interested in visiting the Palacio Royal, tickets are 10€ and only 5€ for students.
Have you ever noticed that real estate agents always have their arms crossed in pictures? Clearly we must have secret aspirations because we just thought it was hilarious to imitate them in our photos (I know, dream big. We’re lame).
There was a huge crowd waiting outside the palace, so we had to investigate. I’m so glad we did! We got to watch the procession of the king and queen leaving.
Or rather, the car procession. See, I don’t know what I was expecting. Carriages or something. They teased us with all the men on horses prancing around. So we saw about 20 – 30 unmarked black vehicles, one of which housed the Spanish royals. Or so we were told. This woman in the photo above was majorly pissed off that she waited around just to see a few cars drive by (Chris translated her yelling for me – ha). But considering we only waited about 10 minutes or so, it’s a pretty good story to tell.
If you’re stopping at the palace, you must visit the Catholic cathedral, Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena, which is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archiocese of Madrid. This is a relatively new cathedral, with work beginning in 1879 but not completed until 1993. But don’t it’s “newness” by European standards deter you from visiting. It’s inside is just as bright and inviting as it’s Gothic revival facade (which was designed to match the Palacio Royal directly across from it).
There is no entrance fee (only a suggested donation), so between the palace and the cathedral, it’s a relatively inexpensive afternoon of sightseeing for anyone on a budget.
The bright blue square cupola is beautiful, as is the rest of the ceiling artwork!