Are you looking for a weekend getaway close to the city? How about a day trip to one of the best representations of Spain’s Golden Age? Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Royal Site of San Lorenzo El Escorial, where you will find a complex that includes a royal palace, basilica, cemetery, library, and monastery. Expect spectacular views of the city and incredible sunsets in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A very welcoming town
It happens to many of us: we need a break from a fast-paced life every once in awhile. Achieve that well-deserved change of pace in a town that is located just one hour away by train from the center of Madrid! It is very easy, fast, and cheap to get there by train (Renfe Railway); it will cost you no more than 7 EUR for a round ticket (approximately 7.6 USD). El Escorial is located close to the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountain Range, so you can expect a beautiful, natural view from the train. It can get a bit cold, too! But you don’t have to worry since the small, but cosy town is well prepared to beat the chilly weather with homey restaurants and cafes that are very welcoming and friendly to tourists.
A very old monastery
The Monastery will be the first to steal your attention with its marvelous and Italian-style main facade. You can expect completely different dominant architecture styles, since it was constructed in the 16th century, by the order of Phillip II, as a collaboration between two famous architects: Juan de Herrera and Juan Bautista. The latter was actually Michelangelo’s assistant! The main door will lead you to the Courtyard of the Kings and the Basilica. If you are lucky enough to visit on a Saturday morning, you’ll feel like you’re travelling to the past by simply hearing the bells of the Basilica or seeing the friars of the Order of Saint Augustine.
A meeting with the kings
This place is full of history, as it has been the burial site of Spanish kings and queens since the 16th century! You’ll be able to see the Royal Pantheon where two important dynasties meet: the Habsburg and the Bourbon; as well as tombs of infants, which are in a separate building. The best part is the price, which includes the monastery, the basilica, the royal palace, the library, and the burial site: you can visit them all for just 10 EUR (approximately 10.8 USD), and for an additional 4 EUR (approximately 4.3 USD) you can get an audio guide to improve your tour experience.
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Break the routine!
Come and visit the Royal Site of San Lorenzo El Escorial! it is a perfect day trip for those who want to hang out in a very different atmosphere. You can visit the complex and enjoy a very peaceful evening with a walk in the town and a dessert in some of their homey, decorated cafes!
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