More than two dozen cercanías (commuter trains) depart daily from Madrid’s Atocha, Nuevos Ministerios, Chamartín, and Recoletos railway stations. During the summer another dozen trains are added. For schedules and information, call tel. 90-232-03-20, or visit www.renfe.com. A one-way fare costs 4.50€, round trip is 6.60€. Trip time is a little more than 1 hour. The railway station is about a mile outside town along Carretera Estación. The Herranz bus company meets all arriving trains to shuttle passengers to and from Plaza Virgen de Gracia, about a block east of the monastery’s entrance.
Empresa Herranz (Calle del Rey, 27, in El Escorial; tel. 91-890-19-15), runs some 50 buses per day back and forth between Madrid’s Moncloa station and El Escorial. On Sunday, service is curtailed to 10 buses. Trip time is an hour, and the one-way fare is 6€. If you’re driving, follow the N-VI highway (marked on some maps as A-6) from the northwest perimeter of Madrid toward Lugo, A Coruña, and San Lorenzo de El Escorial. After about a half-hour, fork left onto the C-505 heading toward San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Driving time from Madrid is about an hour.
The tourist information office (Calle Grimaldi, 4; tel. 91-890-53-13; www.sanlorenzoturismo.org) is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 2pm and 3 to 6pm, and Sunday 10am to 2pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.