In 1734, after a fire destroyed the original Moorish alcázar, Felipe V commissioned the most prestigious architects to create this monumental palace. Original plans were much larger, but the finished structure is still built on a staggering scale; it’s no surprise that today’s King Juan Carlos I and family have chosen to live in the more modest Palacio de Zarzuela on the city’s outskirts. The visit includes the official salons, historic pharmacy, throne room, Royal Armoury and the Picture Gallery. The Royal Palace is used for official functions and can be closed at short notice; if two flags are flying, the King is at home and you won’t be allowed in. Oct-Mar daily 10am-6pm; Apr-Sep daily 10am-8pm. Adult €10, conc €5.