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Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, Madrid

(4/5 based on 600+ reviews on the web)
A working royal monastery set in the former palace of King Charles I and Isabel of Portugal, Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales was founded by the royal couple’s daughter in 1559. Luxuriously decorated and filled with high-value objects, the monastery can only be seen via a guided tour. This grandeur was funded by the dowries of the widow and spinster noblewomen that came to the convent in the 16th and 17th centuries. Admire the masterpiece paintings, huge tapestries, ornate alters, grand sculptures, and significant religious relics. Book in advance as tours have limited capacity. Put Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Madrid travel itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It is worth waiting to enter as it is one of the sites that you have to decide to go to purpose. Very nice interior
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  • The monastery is in the heart of Madrid, between Gran Via and Puerta del Sol. It still houses today eighteen nuns (being able to accommodate up to thirty-three as the years of Christ). To visit the monastery you must join a guided tour free of charge (but the ticket is paid). Last Sunday there were no problems for the visit; arriving at 10.30 I managed to join the 10.45 (in Spanish). The visit lasts an hour. The highlight is the upstairs salon with walls covered with tapestries by Rubens, Salon that once was the nun's dorm. Numerous paintings that depict several members of the Royal family in the 16th and 17th centuries and small chapels dotted along the courtyard. The sticking point is the lack of toilets; I understand that this is an old convent that did not involve the sudden need for incontinent, but visitors with the rounds of tourists that there's currently a toilet wouldn't hurt.
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  • Need a big of planning to get a ticket to get in but well worth the effort. Few place in the world can see every fabric from wall to floors to ceiling that are so genuine old and original. It’s probab...  more »
Google
  • Very nice active monastery. I expected to go in a look around. Wrong. You will have to wait for the tour. It took 1.5 hours. Great if you have the time. Tip: Be there when it opens otherwise you will wait a long time for the next tour.
  • Beautiful monastery. Really feels like being transported to the 16th century. Is a tranquil space in the heart of busy Madrid.
  • This convent is one of the finest in Madrid. Located in the city center still have some nuns so visits are limited. Check schedule first. It has a small vegetable garden.
  • Must see. Totally unexpected. Beware of the long queues
  • I asked "sorry, can I have a tour for five fifteen" and the receptionist said "if you want to go on this tour, this is the last place" later I found that I've got a toe at 4:45 which I could not go to.