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El Escorial Monastery – tickets, prices, timings, what to expect, FAQs

The El Escorial Monastery, or the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, is the byproduct of the Spanish Renaissance that initially served as a monarchial residence. 

Perched on the foothills of Mount Abantos in the Sierra de Guadarrama, this incredible architectural monument is a true beauty.

Visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site takes you back to the 15th and 16th centuries, bringing you face-to-face with Spain’s rich culture and history. 

This article covers everything you must know before booking the Madrid El Escorial Monastery tickets.

What to expect

The Monastery of El Escorial. Things to do in Madrid. Spain, Travel Guide

At the El Escorial Monastery, wander through gardens, the basilica, chapels, town squares, courtyards, and fountains and take a deep dive into the Renaissance history of Spain.

The Patio de los Reyes has large, sprawling courtyards.

The basilica is known for its fine and elaborate architectural design and has nearly 45 altars.

The Hall of Battles commemorates military victories and celebrates the valor of the army and kings. 

The Chapter Rooms showcase paintings of renowned artists like El Greco or Velázquez.

The Royal Pantheon houses remains of the royal family, including Queen Isabella and King Charles V.

The Garden of the Friars is truly soul-uplifting, and one can enjoy the beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.

The Royal Library stores over 45,000 books, manuscripts, and other valuable writing pieces.

 The Palaces of the Habsburgs and the Bourbons are other interesting areas to explore.  

Since there is so much to see, a guided tour can greatly help you learn about the attraction’s origin, significance, and other important aspects. 

Tickets Cost
Tickets for San Lorenzo de El Escorial with Optional Digital Guide €18
Tickets for Guided Tour of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial €31
Tickets for Half Day Excursion Escorial and Valley of the Fallen €64
Tickets for Guided Tour of Royal Monastery of El Escorial with transportation from Madrid €64

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Where to book tickets

Tickets to the El Escorial Monastery in Madrid are available online and at the attraction.  

Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper than tickets at the attraction.

When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the ticket counters. 

When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.

Because San Lorenzo de El Escorial sells limited tickets, they may sell out quickly.

Booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments. 

How do online tickets work

Go to the El Escorial Monastery booking page, and choose your desired date and time and the number of tickets.

Once you purchase tickets, they get delivered to your email address.

There is no need to get printouts of the ticket.

On the day of your visit, scan the e-ticket on your smartphone at the turnstile and walk in.

El Escorial Monastery ticket prices

The San Lorenzo de El Escorial tickets are priced at €18 for guests aged between 17 to 64 years. 

Seniors aged 65 years and over and students can buy tickets at €9. 

Infants up to 4 years can get in for free.

The Tickets for the Guided Tour of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial cost €31 for visitors aged between 17 to 65 years. 

Kids aged five to 16 years and seniors over 66 pay €26 per ticket. 

Infants up to five years old get in for free.

Free admission to El Escorial Monastery

A few categories of visitors get free admission to the El Escorial Monastery. These include:

  • Children under five years 
  • Large families (accredited by Official Family Book)
  • Members of ICOM (International Council of Museums) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
  • Teaching staff who can provide accreditation
  • Disabled persons and an accompanying person
  • Unemployed persons with an employment card or equivalent document

El Escorial Monastery tickets

The monastery offers various tours; some are guided, and others can be experienced with an audio guide. 

You can also consider covering Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen on the same day by getting a half-day excursion ticket. 

Those residing in Madrid can consider buying tickets that offer them to and fro transportation for a more relaxing tour. 

You can pick the best tour option based on your budget, needs, and preferences. 

San Lorenzo de El Escorial Tickets with Optional Digital Guide

San Lorenzo de El Escorial Tickets with Optional Digital Guide
Image: El-Escorial.com

With this ticket, get admission to San Lorenzo de El Escorial and check out the monastery’s courtyards, paintings, gardens, rooms, and other parts. 

Look at the manuscripts in the Royal Library, and recharge yourself with a soothing drink in the monastery’s most cozy corner, Plaza de la Cruz.  

The free digital Tiqets Madrid Royal Guide (PDF) updates you with important facts and information.

You can also select the option of digital and interactive audio guides while booking tickets to make your tour easier.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (17 to 64 years): €18
Senior Ticket (65+ years): €9
Child Ticket (up to 4 years): Free

Tickets for Guided Tour of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Tickets for Guided Tour of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Image: Wikipedia.org

With this ticket, you can go on a guided tour of the San Lorenzo de El Escorial and learn about Spain’s famous kings and queens from the experts and the legacy they left behind. 

Explore the battle hall, the pantheon, the palatial rooms, the royal library, and some of the less-known and less-heard corners of the monastery. 

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (17 to 65 years): €31
Child Ticket (5 to 16 years): €26
Senior Ticket (66+ years): €26
Infant Ticket (up to 5 years): Free

Half Day Excursion Escorial and Valley of the Fallen tickets

Half Day Excursion Escorial and Valley of the Fallen tickets
Image: Wikipedia.org

With this ticket, go on a historical voyage passing through Spain’s most prestigious sites – El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen.

The Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen) serves as a memorial of the Francoist regime of Spain, and the towering 150 m high (500 feet) Christian cross is a remarkable feature of this monument.

See the memorial of those who sacrificed their lives during the Spanish Civil War.

Take in the sweeping views of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range.

Then, you’ll be taken to the next stop, the Escorial Monastery, to explore the living quarters of the Spanish monarchs, the church where they prayed, the rooms where they dressed up, and the place where they relished a royal meal. 

This ticket includes transportation from Escorial to Valley of the Fallen, which is nearly 14 km (8.7 miles) from the monastery and keeps all traveling hassles away. 

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (16 to 64 years): €64
Child Ticket (6 to 15 years): €49
Senior Ticket (65+ years): €58
Infant Ticket (up to 5 years): Free

Tickets for Guided Tour of Royal Monastery of El Escorial with transportation from Madrid

Tickets for Guided Tour of Royal Monastery of El Escorial with transportation from Madrid
Image: Spain.info

With this ticket, discover the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ and marvel at the lavish monument boasting impressive architecture with a tour guide.

The gold and marble tombs, verdant gardens, grandiose chambers, and fascinating murals of the royal palace will surely steal your heart. 

See the remarkable artwork of Titian, Rubens, Hieronymus Bosch, Velasquez, El Greco, etc. 

Get to and from transportation service in Madrid in an air-conditioned vehicle.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (16 to 64 years): €64
Child Ticket (6 to 15 years): €49
Senior Ticket (65+ years): €58
Infant Ticket (up to 5 years): Free

Save time & money! Buy the Madrid Pass and visit the Royal Palace of Madrid and the Prado Museum with a comprehensive audio guide. Learn interesting facts about Madrid’s rich history and famous landmarks. Take a panoramic bus tour of the city’s top sights!


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How to reach

The Royal Monastery of El Escorial is nestled in San Lorenzo de El Escorial,, which is nearly 28 miles (45 km) from Madrid. 

Address: Av Juan de Borbón y Battemberg, s/n, 28200 San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid, Spain. Get Directions.

You can get to the monument by bus or car. 

By Bus

The nearest bus stop, Av.J. De Borbón Y Battenberg-Monasterio (Bus no. 4), is just a minute walk from the monastery. 

By Car

If you are traveling by car, turn on Google Maps and get started. 

There are parking lots near the attraction. 

Timings

The El Escorial Monastery is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday and remains closed on Mondays.

Between October and March, it welcomes guests from 10 am to 6 pm, while from April to September, it runs from 10 am to 7 pm. 

If you book guided tours, cross-check the timings on the ticket, as they may differ from the usual timings of the monastery. 

For instance, a guided tour of the Royal Monastery of El Escorial with transportation from Madrid and Half Day Excursion of Escorial, and Valley of the Fallen starts at 8.30 am.

On the other hand, a guided tour of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial begins at 12 noon. 

The standard tour of the monument, which includes an optional digital guide, offers guests the flexibility to pick a time slot. 

How long does the tour take

How long does the tour take
Image: Wikipedia.org

The El Escorial Monastery tour lasts for about 2 hours. 

If you are on a guided tour, then the duration of the tour may vary depending on the type of ticket you book. 

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Madrid El Escorial Monastery is as soon as it opens at 10 am. 

The earlier you arrive at the attraction, the less crowded your experience will be.

Weekends and public holidays are the most crowded at the attraction.

Guided tours are timed, and you must be at the meeting point at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour. 


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FAQs about the El Escorial Monastery

Here are some questions visitors generally ask before visiting the El Escorial Monastery in Madrid.

From which gates can I access the El Escorial Monastery?

The general public and school children can enter from the North Facade.  Group tour entrance is from the principal façade, through the Lonja of access to the Basilica.

Is the El Escorial Monastery wheelchair accessible?

Yes! The monument is accessible for guests with disabilities and provides wheelchairs. 

What is the closing time of the El Escorial Monastery?

The monastery closes one hour before the official closing time.

Can I get free entry to the El Escorial Monastery?

Yes! One can enter the monastery without paying anything, but you have to contact the staff at the Box Office for information about free tickets.

On which days does the El Escorial Monastery allow free admission?

– From October to March: Wednesdays and Sundays between 3 pm and 6 pm

– From April to September: Wednesdays and Sundays between 3 pm and 7 pm

– 18 May and 12 October: This offer is valid only for EU citizens, Latin Americans, or residence card holders.

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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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