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4.5 (576 reviews)

Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Tickets

Visit a former Renaissance monastery that King Philip II converted to a tranquil royal resting place

Check availability

4 options • from $19.61

Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial FAQs

Not only is this historic complex the crown jewel of Spanish Renaissance architecture, but it was also built to memorialize the Battle of San Quintin, a decisive event during the Italian War.

Commissioned by Felipe II, the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial became a summer destination for aristocrats, who built their summer residences in the surrounding area.

Additionally, El Escorial hosts a mausoleum for the Spanish monarchs from the houses of Habsburg and Bourbon. Kings, queens, and their regal descendants rest in the Pantheon of the Infantes.

Most basic entry Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial tickets are around €15, with some discounts available. Booking a reservation (there are half a million visitors each year) is recommended so you can spend more time exploring the grounds, and less time in the queue.

To make your experience more enriching, opt for a guided tour or an audio guide as you wander the monastery and surrounding grounds.

As one of the Spanish royal sites, the palace, monastery, and basilica at San Lorenzo de El Escorial served multiple purposes throughout history and are still in use today.

On Sunday mornings, the basilica is used to hold liturgical services, so keep this in mind when you buy your tickets to San Lorenzo de El Escorial if you want to go inside.

Previous purposes for the complex include the royal residence for the King of Spain, a place of worship, and a burial ground for Spanish royalty. Over the centuries, the structure has also served as a library, university, museum, and hospital.

El Escorial is located in the heart of the Guadarrama mountain range, nearly 50 km from Spain’s capital city, Madrid.

The complex lies in a central location, making it a convenient day trip from Madrid, Ávila, Segovia, and Toledo.

Absolutely. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, your tickets to this royal landmark allow you to enjoy the quintessential 16th-century design, architecture, and artwork of the Spanish Renaissance.

El Escorial showcases Spain's cultural, religious, and economic heritage, all in one site.

Tickets overview

  • El Escorial is the largest Renaissance building in the world

  • It's listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984

  • The perfect day trip from Madrid; it's only 45 km north of the Spanish capital

  • Home to paintings by Titian, Rubens, van Dyck, Hieronymus Bosch, Velasquez, El Greco, and more

  • The basilica of San Lorenzo el Rea features a grandiose dome and a 29-meter tall, highly decorated altar screen

  • El Escorial hosts the Gardens of the Friars, an idyllic location to enjoy the stillness and solitude that comes with the royal site's seclusion

  • The Pantheon of the Kings houses the sepulchres of 26 members of Spanish royalty spanning four centuries

  • The Hall of Battles memorializes Spain's greatest military victories in a series of frescoes

With more than half a million guests per year, it's definitely in your interest to secure your El Escorial tickets in advance.

There's a number of tickets to choose from, so make sure you find the one that's right for you.

El Escorial ticket options include:

Opening hours:

  • Last admission is one hour before closing

  • El Escorial is closed on Mondays

  • Winter hours (October to March): Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00 - 18:00; summer hours (April to September): Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00 - 19:00

General information:

  • Outside food and drink is prohibited

  • Expect to spend 3-4 hours at El Escorial if you plan on covering the main highlights

  • You can download a free audio guide on the Google Play store or the App store

Free tickets:

The following groups qualify for free entry:

  • Children under 5

  • Large families with accreditation by the Official Family Book

  • Members of the ICOM (International Museum Council), by means of accrediting card of that organisation

  • Official tourist guides with Official Tourist Guide card

  • Professors with teaching staff card

  • Persons with disability with accreditation. The accompanying person also has free access

  • Unemployed persons with requisite proof

You can also enter for free on the following days:

  • 18 May, International Museum Day

  • 12 October, National Holiday of Spain

  • (Winter) Wednesdays and Sunday from 15:00 - 18:00, free admission for citizens of the European Union

  • (Summer) Wednesdays and Sunday from 15:00 - 19:00, free admission for citizens of the European Union

Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial reviews

4.5
576 verified customer reviews
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Customer images

3 reviews
M
Michael,  Germany Germany
07 Jul 2024
Good
Well-curated experience that wasn't too over; I really enjoyed taking the self-tour and seeing the different parts of El Escorial. However, there was some confusion about what kind of guide I...
Well-curated experience that wasn't too over; I really enjoyed taking the self-tour and seeing the different parts of El Escorial. However, there was some confusion about what kind of guide I would receive, and I never got the digital guide.
El Escorial: Admission + Digital Royal Guide
R
Robert,  United Kingdom United Kingdom
20 Apr 2024
Excellent
We enjoyed our visit very much. Booking online was easy and when we got there everything worked like clockwork. The audio guides were very good.
El Escorial: Admission + Digital Royal Guide
L
Luis,  Portugal Portugal
03 May 2024
Excellent
Isabel was amazing, thank you from Portugal. Isabel was very knowledgeable and kind, very professional. The best guide we have had in a while. God bless her and wish to meet her again on our next...
Isabel was amazing, thank you from Portugal. Isabel was very knowledgeable and kind, very professional. The best guide we have had in a while. God bless her and wish to meet her again on our next visit to the Royal Monastery of El Escorial. We do intend to repeat it.
El Escorial: Admission + Guided Tour

About: Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is also known as Monasterio de El Escorial. Philip II used this royal site for his family mausoleum, and in the past, it was also a monastery and a boarding school.

The abundance of pine trees and surrounding forest makes this a peaceful retreat to Renaissance times, far from the bustling modern norm of Madrid. This historical residence and final resting place of Spain's kings is located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, roughly 45 kilometers northwest of Madrid.

Saturday 10:00 - 19:00
Sunday 10:00 - 19:00
Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Av Juan de Borbón y Battemberg, s/n, 28200, Madrid
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