The royal palace is the main reason why Aranjuez draws in the crowds. Don't (as I did) get caught out by the fact that entry is only free on Wednesday for EU citizens only between the times of 5pm and 8pm.
I took my British passport with me in the morning and expected free entry as the palace website informed me that the entry was free for EU citizens all day. But the man on the ticket desk soon put me right and I had to fork out nine euros for a ticket. Only having free entry to the palace as late as 5pm does make it rather difficult to fit in the palace and gardens before the last buses leave for Madrid. For my nine euros I did get to see all of the royal rooms which Isabel II used including the highlight of the palace - the smoking (or Arab) room built in the style of the Alhambra in Granada and the porcelain room. The rooms have not been altered at all since royalty left the palace. Both the smoking/Arab room and porcelain room are not to be missed. The only thing I did not like at all were the over eager security guards constantly following me all the time ensuring that I did not take photos with my camera (photography is absolutely forbidden anywhere in the palace and signs everywhere and a security guard always behind you remind you of this at every turn). I did find their constant presence to be rather annoying and it spoiled my visit somewhat. The information given in English and Spanish about each room is rather scant and is not always helpful.
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