Best way to visit the Almudena Cathedral
There are many things to enjoy during a visit to Madrid and selecting what to visit becomes increasingly complex if you enjoy just a two-day trip to Madrid.
The Cathedral is located just next to the famous Royal Palace. This makes visiting the Cathedral very convinient indeed.
Our recommendation is to start the visit to the Cathedral with the museum. To access the museum you have to go to the main façade of the temple (the one that faces the Plaza de la Armeria at the Royal Palace. You will find the Sacristy, and then get to the upper terrace of the from where you will enjoy the best views of the Royal Palace! On this floor, there are two long galleries where the museum’s artworks are exhibited.
After having visited the museum it is time to get to the dome. On the way to the dome, you will admire an impressive model of the first project for the cathedral. The architect Francisco de Cubas was responsible for this initial project back in the late 19th century.
From its outdoor terrace, you will get a good perspective of different areas of Madrid.
The visit to the Cathedral of Madrid would follow. The Almudena Cathedral was built in the neo-Gothic style. It has a Latin cross plan with a central nave and two lateral naves. The transept is wide and it is topped on one side by the chapel of the Virgin. One of the most popular things amongst local visitors is a staircase to get a closer glimpse of the virgin.
Something we particularly enjoy most about La Almudena is the contrast (a very unusual one in Spain where most of the important cathedrals date back to Gothic times) between the neo-Gothic architectural style and the colorful decoration. The four most important elements inside the Cathedral are the Abside, the stained glass windows and especially the great Altar of the Virgen de la Almudena, and the chapel dedicated to San Isidro and his wife Santa María de la Cabeza. San Isidro is the patron of the city of Madrid. The city enjoys the traditional San Isidro festival during the month of May in honor of its patron.
The final step during your visit should be the crypt. To access the crypt you will need to access it through the entrance at Cuesta de la Vega. The crypt was the first element of the cathedral.