Day trip to Aranjuez, Spain
When: October 13, 2017
Transportation: Cercanías line C-3 from Sol (Included in our tarjeta transporte público*)
Weather: 25ºC / 77ºF: Too warm for layers but cool enough to wear long sleeves
Amount of tourists: Barely any, no crowds.
Aranjuez is located in the south of Madrid with a Palace that's been said to have some Renaissance and French influences. The Spanish Royalty used to live in the Palacio Real de Aranjuez.
We went to Aranjuez during one of our Puentes (long weekend). My friends and I met up in Puerta Del Sol in the morning then headed to Aranjuez via Cercanías line C-3 (El Escorial-Chamartín-Atocha-Aranjuez), direction: Aranjuez. It's a 51-minute train ride from Sol.
We arrived Aranjuez sometime before noon and rode the bus to the city centre (we asked the driver to let us know when it was time to go down). Had a quick brunch before walking to the Jardín del Principe. We wanted to enter the museum (Museo de Faluas Reales) but did not end up going inside anymore because we had to pay and if I'm not mistaken, you can only pay with a credit card using the ticket machine. -It was way too complicated to do. My friends and I ended up walking to the bridge looking at the bunch of ducks. The garden is worth going to for a short stroll.
Afterwards, we walked to the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. We visited at a good time because some flowers in the nearby areas were still in bloom.
I was able to pay the students price for the entrance because I showed my carta de nombramiento** and passport to the ticket attendant. You can also opt to buy your own ticket through one of the ticketing machines.
It's the usual Palace set-up where you enter each room and look at the decor, walls, and furniture. I enjoyed it so much because the rooms have different themes and they were intricate and well decorated. For example, the porcelain study with Chinese and Rococo influences. Another favourite of mine was the room with influences from the Nasrid palace.
Sadly, taking photographs is strictly prohibited. However, we did manage to take (blurry) photos by the staircase because we did not know that we were not allowed to take photos. The Palace is beautiful! It's definitely worth visiting while you're in Madrid. I would love to go back and rent out their audioguide to learn more about the Palace and the lifestyle of the Spanish Royal family.
The whole visit took about an hour but it would've been longer if we rented out the audio guides. My friends and I plus 2-3 other tourists were the only people who visited the Palace. There was no crowd at all which was such a joy because the rooms were quite small and it would've been a hassle if there were a huge amount of people at the venue. We also took our time taking photos outside the Palace without having to worry about other people photobombing our photos!
We had a really late lunch at 16:30 then headed back to Madrid at 18:00. The trip to Aranjuez takes half a day and it's not so tiring so I strongly suggest that you pay a visit especially if you love the Palaces!
* The tarjeta transporte público we have is the tarifa abono joven. We pay 20 euros for a month of unlimited travels on the metro, Cercanías Renfe, and the bus. All zones are included in the fare. I strongly suggest to make all the trips outside zone A before you turn 26 years old. Once you're older, the rates to access all zones will spike up.
** The carta de nombramiento is the letter sent to me by the government of Madrid. It contains details about my assigned school which was proof enough that I'm on a student visa and I am able to avail the student rates of different places. I had to show my carta because I did not have my T.I.E. yet.