Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales

Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales

Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
4
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Sol
How to get there
  • Callao • 3 min walk
  • Ópera • 4 min walk
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Popular mentions

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles954 reviews
Excellent
484
Very good
281
Average
86
Poor
50
Terrible
53

JRMADA
United States3,331 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
This is a very beautiful and well kept working monastery (there are 19 nuns there currently). The frescoes, art, furnishings, and the structure itself are beautiful and in excellent condition for their age. All tours here are done by in-house guides (monastery employees) only and in Spanish. The staff is crude and extremely unpleasant at times. Photography and video recording are prohibited here, and in our tour they had an employee with the grace and good humor of a wild bore who tailed the group reprimanding people for just looking at their phones. One visitor in our group got yelled at for trying to silence here phone. If you had your phone in your hand, you were watched like a criminal, so we put ours in our pockets. A lady with limited mobility sat on a bench and was rudely told to stand up and get off the bench. There is security check at the door and we had to put not only our backpack through the X-ray machine, but our phones and the coins I had in my pocket as well. Beyond ridiculous! I get the backpack, but phones and coins??? Our tour guide, who had a nice voice and was very eloquent, was a bit scattered at times making it hard to follow the tour. Our tour lasted one hour and the tickets only cost €6.00 a piece, so very affordable. Visiting this place takes a bit of planing as tickets are usually sold out a week in advance. This place is not suitable for people with limited mobility as there are some stairs to climb. For us this visit was a bit uncomfortable and unpleasant due to the staff’s crude behavior, so we cannot recommend this place to any one.
Written 16 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Margaret M aka Smiler
Poole, UK146 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Beautiful building with many paintings etc. However the staff were very officious!! We entered through a small door and were ordered by the ticket lady to come forward and put our money on the desk. No smile or welcome. It was a small room but the security guard told me loudly to come back into the room and put my purse through the machine. He had not been at his post so I had just walked through! Then to cap it all a lady with dishevelled hair and a very stern attitude told us to turn phones off and no photos. It felt like we were naughty children( I’m 72). This lady proceeded to follow the group and watch every move. I didn’t understand anything as it was only in Spanish and there was no audio. Such a waste of time!
Written 13 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carol H
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Disappointed in our visit on 24 April. Whilst we don’t speak Spanish we hoped to enjoy seeing the building and art work, however, the staff (one small lady with mask in particular) were unfriendly and unhelpful and actually rude. A poor impression that spoiled our visit.
Written 25 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Miku&Mussu
602 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Amazingly beautiful monastery. Unfortunately photography is not allowed. On top of this, there was an extremely aggressive guard walking behind us making sure that nobody stayed even one step behind the group and nobody took photographs. This was done in a very rude and aggressive manner. Then the guard turned off the light as soon as the guide has finished talking in an certain room, so there was no chance to look around the rooms and enjoy the tour. What added to our disappointment, was that our tour was also cut short by 35 minutes compared to the previous tour, which had left 35 minutes before us and we catched them up and finished our tour at the same time as they finished their. Just an awful tour, can’t recommend if I wanted to.
Written 1 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MDOGP
Dallas, TX1,230 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Solo
This is the best monastery I have ever visited. It was founded by the daughter of Charles the 5th. It used to be a monastery for the aristocrats and royal members. The paintings, sculptures, and religious objects are just amazing. The guided tour lasts 60 minutes, and it is really informative.
Written 15 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mioule06
Cannes, France62 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
The worst visit I have made in years. The works presented are not worth the time. Many places are much more interesting in Madrid. Everything was presented in a monotonous voice and the wall paintings were omitted. The worst was the blond security person who walked behind the group and was really rude from the very beginning. She started bullying as soon as I joined the visit, preventing from taking pictures quietly behind the group and jumping at visitors (and me more specifically) for any reason permanently. I was so distressed we left the visit before the end. They should tell their staff to respect visitors. Rather spend your time in other places.
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Judy F
6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
The cookies have to be bought in such large amounts 1-2 kg and not that great! Also, expensive. The almond ones are soft and don’t taste that almondy. The cookies de te were better. I picked up the cookies off the turntable and didn’t grab my change quick enough and the table turned. No amount of request could retrieve my 4€ change! The whole experience interesting and makes for a great tale.
Written 22 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LPWilliams
London, UK1,042 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Solo
I visited the Convent of the Royal Barefoot Nuns as part of my 8 full-day visit to Madrid and enjoyed it quite a lot - despite there being a couple of entrance issues to deal with, namely restricted maximum visitor-limits for the poorly-publicised times for your desired language-specific guided tour (which are mandatory).

I am surprised that it doesn't feature higher in the Trip Advisor Madrid 'hit list', as there are a lot of interesting features making this attraction (for me) quite different from anything else in the city - I suspect that those entrance 'issues' deter/flavour visitor numbers/opinions....

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I am compiling an extensive Trip Advisor 'Trip List' for my visit to see the sights of Madrid and day trips to Toledo/Segovia, it is entitled 'Madrid Attractions (+ Toledo/Segovia Day Trips) : 7 Full-Day Visit Oct 2013'. Please feel free to access it via my TA Profile (by clicking my TA 'name' below the photo on the left of this review). I hope it is of interest and use to you and that all of my individual reviews/photos/videos get posted properly; don't forget that videos aren't posted with the review like photos are, so it's best to locate them via my TA profile....
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From my experience the Convent of the Royal Barefoot Nuns posed no great problem to visit as I already knew it could only be seen via a mandatory tour, that the language-specific tours had a number-limit and their precise times could only be 'discovered' once there.

So, the moral of that tale is to go there ASAP, find out the times and if your desired 'language' tour isn't due very soon buy the ticket (as numbers are limited) and return just before it's due to depart (although there is a seating 'waiting' area if you're a bit early) - a couple of caveats though :

If it's of any help, the base of my review should feature photos I took of the tour 'timetable', which hopefully doesn't change much but (if nothing else !) at least gives you an idea of how a day there is organised and what languages the tour is available in

Although very close to the 'Sol' area, the unobtrusive nature of the entrance makes finding it a little tricky and my other recommendation is to avail yourself of the shop when you get your ticket, as it could well be closed when you exit after the tour ! That is especially important here as photography is not allowed, so you might (like I was) be tempted to buy the comprehensive (if a little pricey for what it is) guide book. The base of my review should also feature a photo of it....

The hour-long tour is informative but definitely misses certain (similarly interesting) parts of the Convent out. That is obvious if you buy the guide book as it features photos of them - so that's another good reason to buy it perhaps !!!

The beauty of much of what you see inside is not hinted at by the rather plain building exterior, with wonderfully decorated walls/ceilings and a multitude of paintings and impressive tapestries for example.

As I didn't visit everywhere in Madrid, I can't say if the Convent of the Royal Barefoot Nuns is a unique attraction. However, from my experience I can say that it was different from anywhere else I DID visit, so along with it being very interesting to tour it was something 'special'. Whilst I didn't find it charming in the way I found, for example, the Cerralbo Museum to be it was nonetheless very enjoyable and I think that it is another of those essential places to visit when you're in Madrid.
Written 2 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

michaelcs
London2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
1. You can't visit the museum except by guided tour on the hour, ever. You're in for an hour of herding around in semi darkness through some arid museum rooms with no sense of a convent that ever lived, let alone is now living.
2. Beware the opening hours and indeed complete days of closure!
3. To get in you have to queue before 10.30 to get an 11.30 tour! During the whole of last Saturday there was no tour offered in any other language but Spanish.
4. The tour guide, totally unsympathetic, speaks Spanish without the tiniest compromise to foreigners - speaking so fast that even the Spanish said they couldn't understand
5. Then there is a sweeper, unsmiling, monoglot and monosyllabic, who positions himself slap in front of any picture you might want to look at, if you are one millisecond behind the group. He looks like Mr Oddjob and you feel he is about to karate-chop you down!
6. The tour takes you to very few parts of real interest notably NOT to the Treasury, NOT to the chapel and NOT to the garden where the nuns allegedly work. In fact they keep all the shutters rigidly shut so that you remain in darkness, and have no idea what is outside the extremely restricted route of the tour
7. Not a single painting is marked, identified or named in any way. Not a single piece of information is available at any point. No map, no explanation, no context. This is a museum which has done absolutely nothing for its visitors since the day the Pope allowed it to open in 1961! Yet it is ripping off the tourists at high entrance prices!
8. There is absolutely no attempt to show anything of the life of the convent either in the time of the Barefoot Royals or now.
9. The place is essentially stuffed with kitsch. Old kitsch, but kitsch nonetheless. Christs at every chapel, covered in vast bleeding wounds all bleeeding profusely. And the nuns were apparently so lacking in imagination that each Christ is shown with blood spurting from every pore of his body even where there are no wounds! The whole thing shows an absolute lack of refinement, taste or balance.
10. Yes there are a couple of pictures by famous artists, but unlabeled, displayed in shockingly poor light, and with no chance to look at them. Also most (perhaps all?) these pictures need to be properly cleaned. The tapestries are an enormous disappointment and I have seen better in provincial museums all over Europe.

11. This was BY A MILE the most disappointing feature of our visit to Madrid. Given that this city has three outstanding, brilliant, world-class art galleries just one kilometre away (and all three available to be visited in excellent conditions, and completely free at certain times), I would counsel any tourist to leave this arrogant, customer-hostile rip-off to its Church managers. Big disappointment two visitors highly interested in art, history or convents!
Written 7 February 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kate
Melbourne, UK2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Solo
One improvement: you can now book on the internet the night before. I will be astonished if you find this out by searching or Googling, because it is an incredibly well hidden fact, not yet revealed even to TripAdvisor how to do it. So I post the link here: https://entradas.patrimonionacional.es/en-GB/informacion-recinto/8/monasterio-descalzas

You certainly should book on the internet because the physical booking (tickets still sold on the day only) is just as much of a nightmare as it always was.

In every other respect, the tour remains a hollow experience.

Others have commented on the "fantastic art collection", but in truth the art is barely visible in these dark conditions and all the (completely unlabeled) pictures are in desperate need of cleaning. Gloomy, shuttered near-darkness is not a good way to experience art or history.

As to the tour, it's both too short and too long if that's not a paradox! Some of it is drab and you long to move on. Other bits you'd like to see more of, but if you are so bold as to linger a few seconds after the guide has spoken, the unfriendly sweeper-man blocks you from trying to study any picture or other feature, and rudely snaps off the dim light and forces you back to the group.

Trashy bleeding sculptures and pictures at every turn.

Unless you are a very deeply religious person, and a traditionalist/literalist one, you may come away with more questions about this monastery than you find answers. Such a shame because it is genuinely historic and the history is fascinating - if only they would share it with you!
Written 12 November 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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MONASTERIO DE LAS DESCALZAS REALES (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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