- Many countries have palaces where royals live and conduct events – not just the Commonwealth.
- Some, like Drottningholm Royal Palace in Sweden, are open to visitors year-round.
- Others, like Japan’s Imperial Palace, are rarely accessible to the general public.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The British royal family isn’t the only one with a real estate empire. Royal palaces around the world host ceremonial events, welcome dignitaries, and attract tourists hoping for a brief encounter with royalty.
Here are 17 royal residences or palaces around the world that aren’t part of the British monarchy.
Drottningholm Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden contains 600 rooms.
Drottningholm Royal Palace has been the Swedish royals’ permanent residence since 1981. It features five museums and Drottningholm Palace Theatre, the only 18th-century theatre in the world that still uses its original machinery. The southern rooms are reserved for the royal family, but the rest of the castle grounds are open year-round.
The Prince’s Palace in Monaco was built as a fortress in 1162.
Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene live in the Prince’s Palace with their children. Tours of the palace are available this year from April 2 to October 15, but the Changing of the Guard happens every day at 11:55 a.m.
The Royal Palace in Madrid is one of the largest palaces in Western Europe with 3,000 rooms.
The Royal Palace is the king and queen’s official residence where they conduct business and welcome guests. Tours of the palace are available year-round with varying summer and winter hours.
The royal family no longer lives at the Royal Palace in Madrid, opting instead for Zarzuela Palace.
Zarzuela Palace dates back to the 1600s. King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía moved there in 1962 and have lived there ever since. The current rulers of Spain, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, live in an adjacent mansion on the grounds of the palace called the Prince’s Pavilion.
The Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway, has been the royal family’s official residence and main office since King Oscar I moved there in 1849.
The Royal Palace has 173 rooms, including the Bird Room, the Banqueting Hall, and the Council Chamber where the king presides over the Council of State. The palace is open to the public during the summer months.
Dar al-Makhzen, the royal palace of Morocco, is open to invited guests only.
The palace’s entrance gates and gilt bronze doors, though, are open for viewing. The palace was built in 1864 to replace an old palace built by Sultan Muhammad IV. The current monarch of Morocco, King Mohammed VI, uses Dar al-Makhzen as his primary official residence. He is widely thought to be divorced from Princess Lalla Salma, whom he married in 2002, though there has been no official confirmation from the palace.
Japanese emperors have lived in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo since 1868.
The Imperial Palace’s grounds span 1.3 square miles. The inside of the palace is only open to the public twice a year for a New Year’s greeting on January 2 and the emperor’s birthday on February 23. The East Gardens are accessible year round, and visitors can climb on the foundation of what was once Japan’s tallest castle tower built in 1638 and view cherry blossoms in bloom.
Mysore Palace in India is second only to the Taj Mahal.
India has a plethora of royal palaces, but Mysore Palace is second only to the Taj Mahal in terms of visitors, with 6 million visitors every year. The Wadiyar dynasty used it as their official residence while ruling the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1950. It has since been converted into a museum, complete with a sound and light show that illuminates the palace every night.
The Royal Palace of Brussels, Belgium, opens to the public every summer.
The current Royal Palace was built in 1900, but its roots at that location stretch back all the way to the 11th century.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium use the Royal Palace of Brussels to carry out their official duties, but live in the Royal Castle of Laeken full-time.
The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, designed by architect Alphonse Balat, are open to the public from April 17 to May 8, 2020.
Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, serves as the royal family’s winter residence.
Amalienborg Palace was designed by Nicolai Eigtved in the 1750s. The courtyard of the palace features a statue of King Frederick V dating back to 1771. The palace isn’t open to the public, but the changing of the guard can be viewed every day at noon.
Most of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is not open to visitors.
The Royal Palace was built in 1866 by Preah Bat Norodom. The palace’s current resident, King Norodom Sihamoni, was a classically trained ballet dancer before he took the throne after his father abdicated in 2004.
Only the palace’s Throne Room is open to the public. The Silver Pagoda, which sits adjacent to the palace, is also open to tourists. The dress code requires that legs must be covered to the knee and arms must be covered to the elbow.
Raghadan Palace in Amman, Jordan, is part of the Al-Maquar royal compound.
Raghadan Palace was built in 1926. Its windows were designed to resemble those of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The Throne Hall, which is usually reserved for greeting dignitaries, opens for visitors during the holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam dates back to the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century.
The palace, designed by Jan van Campen, originally functioned as Amsterdam’s town hall. Today, it’s where King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima welcome guests and hold receptions. It also serves as the royal wedding reception hall, where the king and queen celebrated after their ceremony in 2002.
Since 1981, the Dutch royal family has called Huis ten Bosch Palace in the Hague, Netherlands, home.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands moved into Huis ten Bosch Palace in 2019. The King and Queen have three daughters: Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia, and Princess Ariane.
Built in 1782, the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, was the official royal residence of the king until 1925.
One of the palace’s main attractions is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha containing a statue from the 14th century. Two throne halls in the Central Court are also open to the public. The entrance fee is free for residents of Thailand and 500 bhat for visitors.
Dating back to the 13th century, the Royal Palace in Budapest, Hungary, has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout history.
Béla IV of Hungary was the first ruler to take up residence at the Royal Palace in the 13th century, and the Hungarian monarchy ended in 1918, but the palace is still a historic site and tourist destination. Attractions include the Hungarian National Gallery, the National Széchenyi Library, and the Castle Museum.