La Granja de San Ildefonso

  • La Granja de San Ildefonso
  • Fuentes de los Jardines de La Granja de San Ildefonso. © Patrimonio Nacional

La Granja de San Ildefonso is, first and foremost, a Royal Site. The small town of San Ildefonso, designated as a monumental historical site, is a token of the glory of the Spanish Monarchy in the eighteenth century. The Royal Palace, the Glass Factory and the fabulous, Versailles-like gardens are icons of such splendour.

Lying some 80km from Madrid and only 10km from Segovia, San Ildefonso boasts a stunning natural setting and a rich cultural heritage. A farm run by the Order of Saint Jerome, it was purchased as a summer residence by King Philip V, the first member of the French House of Bourbon to rule as king of Spain, after he abdicated. When Philip reassumed the throne upon his son’s death, the palace was enlarged to house the court. Designed by renowned architects Teodoro Ardemans, Andrea Procaccini and Filippo Juvarra, it is a typically lavish baroque palace. Attached to it is the Real Colegiata de la Santísima Trinidad, the royal chapel.

The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso is reminiscent of Versailles not only because of its sumptuous halls but also due to its magnificent fountains, sculptures and gardens, which were designed by René Carlier, a disciple of Louis XIV’s architect. Across its 146 hectares of forests and landscaped gardens, visitors will find 26 monumental fountains, a French-style maze and a large pond known as ‘The Sea’, which supplies water to the fountains.

La Granja de San Ildefonso - Museo de Tapices

Inside the palace is the Museum of Tapestries, located in the former quarters for the infants, which extends to the building known as the Casa de Damas (House of Ladies). During the 19th century, the Casa de Damas housed the private rooms of the kings, until it was completely destroyed by the devastating fire that destroyed the palace in 1918. It is also worth mentioning the Marble or Europa Room, where not only marble is the main feature, but also the large mirrors. These were the first mirrors of this size to be made at the Royal Glass Factory.

La Granja de San Ildefonso - Sala de Mármoles o de Europa

The fountains are operating from April to mid-October, although they are all operational only for three days a year in May, July and August. Furthermore, in July and August, the fountain of the Diana Baths is usually open on some Saturday nights.

La Granja de San Ildefonso

The Royal Glass Factory at La Granja was rebuilt by King Charles III in 1770, after its predecessor burnt down.  Visitors to this centre are invited to learn about the glassmaking techniques of the past two centuries, glass blowing and moulding processes and the special tools and machinery employed. You will even have the chance to see glassmakers at work, using the same techniques that were applied during the industry’s golden age, and to enjoy either a dramatized or a regular guided tour of the premises. It is worth highlighting that the  Royal Factory has an online shop to purchase some of its products. Other noteworthy sites in La Granja are the Chapel of San Juan Nepomuceno and the House of Infantes.

And no visit to La Granja would be complete without a stopover at a local restaurant to sample their signature dish: judiones (large white beans cooked in a meat stew). Which can be sampled in the traditional style at Restaurante Casa Zaca. It is a typical dish which is served for the whole town during its festivities on 25 August.  

It must be pointed out that La Granja de San Ildefonso hosts the Magical Nights at La Granja festival in July, August and September. It includes classical music, pop-rock, jazz, flamenco, magic and circus performances, along with a great deal of humour.

Alfonso XII Gate

Entrance to the La Granja Royal Site via the Alfonso XII Gate is constantly open to the public every day. Also known as the Calvario or the Calandria, it was closed for 146 years, and is a historic demand that began in the last third of the 19th century.

How to get there:

By car: 1 hour 15 mins drive along A-6 highway and AP-61 motorway.

By bus: 1 hour 15 mins ride from Intercambiador de Moncloa transport hub to Segovia. From Segovia, buses leave for La Granja de San Ildefonso every 45min and take around 20 minutes. More info

By train: 25min ride on high-speed rail (AVE) or 2.5hour ride on a regional train to Segovia-Guiomar station. From there, take bus 12 to the main bus station to catch the bus to La Granja.  


Other must-visit places near Madrid

  • Discover the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes and the old Universidad Complutense, a World Heritage Town that is closely tied to the history of the Spanish language.

    Alcalá de Henares
  • Visit the Palace and the Gardens of the Royal Site and Town of Aranjuez, a town close to Madrid which has historically been linked to royalty.

  • Visit one of the greatest architectural examples of the Spanish Golden Age, a monumental complex commissioned by Philip II.

    Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
  • Quickly reached from Madrid, Toledo shows how Jews, Muslims and Christians could live together in harmony.

  • Discover the spectacular aqueduct and enjoy the food of this World Heritage city.

  • Discover the amazing walls and the cathedral of this Medieval city where Jews, Christians and Muslims used to live together.

  • The monumental city, home to a centuries-old university, is in the World Heritage Site list.

  • This city-come-landscape famous for its “Hanging Houses” is less than one hour from Madrid by train.

  • Next time you come to Madrid, don’t miss the chance to visit the mosque in the most important city of Al-Andalus, Córdoba.

  • Toledo
  • Spend the day at a UNESCO World Heritage site, hire a guide to teach you interesting historical and cultural facts about Madrid, or follow one of our themed itineraries to discover the city from a different angle. 

    Day trips and themed itineraries
  • Hop on board one the region's tourist trains and discover some magical places.

    Tourist Trains
  • Tren de la Fresa - Compartimento y pasillo



The city’s new official sightseeing and tourist travel pass.

An observation deck at 92 metres.

Our online store (in Spanish) sells artisan souvenirs.