Almudena Cathedral is worth visiting anytime, but it is better to get there on a clear sunny day to climb up to the dome and fully enjoy the fantastic views of the city. Also, ensure that you do not plan your visit for a major Catholic holiday.
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Though the foundation stone was laid in 1883, Almudena Cathedral was completed only in 1993, and its Neo-Gothic interior is rather surprising. The ceiling is decorated with vivid colors, and the statues, icons, and mosaics are created by contemporary artists in different styles, from historical revivals to pop art.
The cathedral's museum features a wide range of items portraying the history of the Madrid Church and its patron saints. You can explore the chapter house and the cathedral's sacristy, see Episcopal symbols and vestments, and learn more about the Catholic Church Liturgy.
As part of the museum visit, you can climb the stairs to reach the cathedral's dome. At the height of over 70 meters, it offers magnificent views of the Royal Palace, Plaza de Oriente, and other city landmarks.
Almudena Cathedral, or Santa María la Real de La Almudena, in Madrid is open daily all year round from 10:00 AM to 08:00 PM. In July and August, opening hours are extended to 09:00 PM. However, it can't be visited by tourists during religious services.
The cathedral's museum is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 02:30 PM, and closed on Sundays and religious holidays.
Almudena Cathedral is located in the center of Madrid, just a few steps from the Royal Palace, at 10 Bailén Street. It is easily accessible by public transportation. To get there by metro, take line L2, L5, or R to Opera station, which is a 7-minute walk from the cathedral. Alternatively, you can take bus route 3 or 148 and get off at Palacio Real stop.
There is no need to buy a ticket to visit the cathedral; however, at the entrance, you will be asked for a donation of €1 per person, which is used to maintain the building.
Admission to the cathedral's museum costs €7. EU students and seniors, as well as disabled persons, are eligible for the reduced price of €5. Members of ICOM can visit the museum for free.