Get a taste for the top attractions in Madrid on this 4-hour panoramic tour of the city and a visit to the Royal Palace. This Panoramic tour of Madrid covers the main areas during the reign of the Habsburgs and the Bourbons. Through funny anecdotes and stories, we will review the History of Madrid which can still be reflected in many of its streets and spaces, listening as your guide shares details on their history and significance.
Take to the streets of Madrid for a tour that helps you get familiar with the sights of the Spanish capital and their history. As you see the city's most important buildings, avenues, and squares, get to know its monuments and history from the old Habsburg and Bourbon eras to the modern day.
A fully-equipped bus takes you along the historic Gran Vía to the Plaza de España, to the prime minister's residence at Moncloa Palace, to the grand arches of the Puerta de Alcalá, and so many other places. Pay a visit to the famous Plaza Mayor, the iconic central square that has anchored the city since the 16th century, and the lively public space of the Puerta del Sol.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. The palace has 135,000 square meters (1,450,000 sq ft) of floor space and contains 3,418 rooms, which makes it the largest functioning Royal Palace and the largest by floor area in Europe.
King Felipe VI and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the significantly more modest Palace of Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid.
The palace is located on the site of a 9th-century Alcázar ("Muslim-era fortress"), near the town of Magerit, constructed as an outpost by Muhammad I of Córdoba and inherited after 1036 by the independent Moorish Taifa of Toledo. After Madrid fell to King Alfonso VI of Castile in 1083, the edifice was only rarely used by the kings of Castile. In 1329, King Alfonso XI of Castile convened the Cortes of Madrid for the first time. King Felipe II moved his court to Madrid in 1561.
The old Alcázar was built on the location in the 16th century. After it burned 24 December 1734, King Felipe V ordered a new palace built on the same site. Construction spanned the years 1738 to 1755 and followed a Berniniesque design by Filippo Juvarra and Giovanni Battista Sacchetti in cooperation with Ventura Rodríguez, Francesco Sabatini, and Martín Sarmiento. King Carlos III first occupied the new palace in 1764.