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Visiting El Escorial In Madrid

The Escorial, located 42 km Northwest of Madrid is the largest renaissance building in the world. The construction began in 1563, by Spanish architect Juan Bautista de Toledo. It was completed in 1567, after his death by Juan de Herrara. The place is now recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. Over the years, the interior of the Escorial was decorated by many Spanish and Italian artists of the 16th and 17th centuries. The magnificent frescoes and the grand design of the monastery, library and church make the place a must-visit when in Madrid. 

Read on to know more about El Escorial tickets, timings, highlights and more!

Why Visit El Escorial Madrid?

  • Largest Renaissance Building: El Escorial is the largest renaissance building in the world. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • Unique Architecture: The building embodies Herrerian architecture that was at its prime in the 16th century under the reign of Philip II. 
  • Elaborate Design: Inside the buildings of the Escorial, you’d find magnificent walls decorated intricately by artists over time. 
  • Highlight Areas: The enormous monument houses a royal palace, a monastery, a tomb, 4000 chambers, 15 cloisters and a large renaissance library.
  • Sculptures: The Basilica of San Lorenzo El Real in the Escorial complex has sculptures by Leone and Pompeo Leoni.
  • Marble Tombs: The Pantheon of kings and the pantheon of Infantes has 26 marble tombs containing bones of monarchs and the queens from the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties.

All Your San Lorenzo de El Escorial Ticket Options Explained

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What is the Best Way To Book El Escorial Tickets? Book Online

El Escorial is one of the major tourist attractions if you plan to visit Madrid, and it can become an ordeal to get your hands on the tickets without prior arrangements. Book your tickets online in advance and enjoy a hassle-free experience of exploring the ancient ruins of the castle. 

  • Convenience: Take in the beauty of the architecture at the El Escorial Madrid as you leave behind the hassle of long queues with the fast-track tickets that make your experience easier and more fun.
  • Advance Reservations: With the online ticket purchasing process, you can secure your trip easily by booking your tickets and tour slots beforehand.
  • Great Discounts: Experience what the pastoral structure of the El Escorial has to offer at interestingly low prices, as online booking gives you great discounts.

El Escorial Madrid Highlights

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San Lorenzo el Real

The San Lorenzo el Real is the basilica- the central structure in the escorial complex. Originally designed like most Gothic cathedrals, the plan was heavily modified by Herrera. The ground plan is that of a Greek cross. The dome of the Basilica of El Escorial is similar to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The area surrounding the high altar is richly decorated. 

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Pantheon Of Kings And The Pantheon Of Infantes

The pantheon of Kings and infants is part of the Escorial monastery. The place has 26 marble tombs of past monarchs and their queens. The monarchs belong to the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties. All kings from Charles I, except 3 were buried here. The pantheon is a collection of 9 burial chapels, of princes, princesses and consorts.

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Library And Museum

There are 3 libraries in the Escorial complex. The royal library- which is open to the public, a library behind the Basilica’s chorus and a library connected to various monk’s chambers. The royal library is home to magnificent walls covered by intricate Frescoes. There are frescoes by Tibaldi depicting many allegorical themes. There are also many portraits of saints, pontiffs, sages and artists.

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The Hall Of Battle

Apart from the military victories of King Philip II, the hall of battle also depicts many past military victories. The frescoes here are elegant and stretch the length of the hall walls. In the past, the hall of battle was known as the King’s Gallery/ Galleria del rey. The walls cover Philip’s campaigns against the French and many medieval victories over the Moors.

Plan Your Visit To El Escorial Madrid

Getting There
Visitor Tips
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  • Opening Hours:
    October to March: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 6 PM.
    April to September: Tuesday to Sunday: 10 AM to 7 PM
  • Last Admission: 1 hour before closing.
  • Closed on:
    All Mondays
    1 May, 11 September, 24, 25, 31 December.
  • Best time to visit:
    Early mornings on Weekdays- to avoid large crowds.
    October to April- best weather.
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Address: Madrid, Plaza de España, 1, 28200 El Escorial, Spain

Find on Maps.

  • By Metro/ Train: Commuter line C8.
    Nearest station: El Escorial station (10 minutes away).
  • By Bus: Bus route no. 664 or 661 from Moncloa.
    Nearest stop: Av.Constitución-Fco.Valiño (5 minutes away).
  • By Car: Distance From Airport: 62 km from Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport.
    Nearest Parking: Free parking at the venue.
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  • Photography and filming is not permitted inside the monastery and the exhibitions.
  • Flash photography is prohibited in all areas.
  • While there is no prescribed dress code for the Escorial complex, keep in mind that the escorial complex also houses religious institutions active even today. 
  • Large bags are not allowed inside the Escorial complex. 
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  • Madrid Prado Museum: AKA Museo del Prado, the Spanish art museum hosts the world’s largest collection of Spanish paintings and masterpieces from Flemish and Italian art. 
  • Royal Palace Of Madrid: This palace is designed in the Baroque style and is located in Western Madrid. The palace is significant because it also has neoclassical characteristics. 
  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: It has a large collection of Italian renaissance paintings and ancient sculptures. 
  • Liria Palace: The building was designed by architect Ventura Rodriguez for the third Duke of Berwick and Liria in the 18th century. 
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  • El Escorial is usually crowded on weekends. Try visiting on weekdays to avoid the crowds.
  • The Escorial is a large place. Make sure to wear comfortable footwear to accommodate long walks.
  • Try visiting the monument early in the mornings to avoid the crowds.
  • The Escorial is situated between the mountains, keeping the weather cool all year round. Make sure to carry warm winter clothes if you’re visiting during the winter months.
  • Download the ‘Monastery of El Escorial’ app on your IOS or Android phones to make the trip more enriching. 
  • Try not to carry large bags during your trip to the monument.

All Your Questions About El Escorial Tickets Answered

Q. Where can I buy El Escorial tickets?

A. It is best to buy El Escorial tickets online.

Q. Can I buy El Escorial tickets online?

 A. Yes, you can buy El Escorial tickets online. It is best to pre-book them to get a preferred date and time of visit.

Q. What is the cost of El Escorial tickets?

A. El Escorial tickets start from €12.

Q. Can I get a discount on El Escorial tickets?

A. Children aged 0-5 enjoy free entry, while children aged 6-15 and seniors above the age of 65 enjoy reduced pricing on their El Escorial tickets.

Q. What is El Escorial Madrid?

A. El Escorial Madrid is a UNESCO world heritage complex containing a Basilica, monastery, tombs, royal palace and libraries.

Q. How can I get access to El Escorial Madrid?

A. El Escorial tickets are available online. The monument is accessible by road and rail.

Q. Where is El Escorial located?

A. El Escorial is located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 45 km northwest from Madrid.

Q. What are some of the highlights of El Escorial?

A. El Escorial is the largest renaissance building in the world. It houses a Basilica, several tombs, a Royal Palace, Monastery and Libraries. The interior walls of all the buildings here are intricately decorated with frescoes and sculptures.

Q. How to reach El Escorial in Madrid?

A. You can take the commuter line C-8 at the Atocha Station or bus line 664 or 661 from the Moncloa interchange to get to El Escorial. Both the train station and the bus stop are within a 5-10 minute walk from the monument.

Q. What are the timings of El Escorial?

A. From October to March, El Escorial is open between Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. From April to September, it is open between Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Q. What facilities are available in El Escorial Madrid?

A. Wheelchairs are available at the entrance. There is also a locker facility to store your luggage.

Q. Is El Escorial wheelchair accessible?

A. Yes, El Escorial is wheelchair accessible. However the uneven cobblestones and pavements can make the ride bumpy.

Q. Is photography allowed in El Escorial?

A. No, photography and filming are not permitted inside the monastery and the exhibitions. Flash photography is not permitted anywhere.

Q. Is it worth visiting El Escorial?

A. Yes, El Escorial is the largest renaissance building in the world and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The magnificent buildings and the intricate frescoes, coupled with the rich legacy of the complex makes the place a worthy visit.