As a significant cultural capital of Europe, Madrid has its fair proportion of world-class points of interest. However beneath the regal exterior is a habitable metropolis and an awesome place to hang around. Right here’s our information to the very best issues to do in Madrid.
LAST UPDATE: 20 Oct 2023
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Since 1561, when Felipe II moved the seat of presidency to Madrid, monarchs have constructed majestic landmarks.
From the grandeur of the Royal Palace to the magnificence of the cavernous cathedral. From the magnificence of the Grand Vía to the splendour of Plaza Mayor.
Madrid is dressed to impress.
Spain’s monarchs have been additionally passionate collectors of artwork. Few cities are higher endowed with masterpieces than Madrid.
Regardless of all of the grandeur, Madrid is a superb place to hang around. The meals is stellar, the neighbourhoods cool and the nightlife on fireplace.
We cowl all of the must-do in Madrid points of interest that can assist you plan an unforgettable trip.
1 – ROYAL PALACE (PALACIO REAL)
Madrid’s grandest constructing, the Palacio Actual, was constructed on the orders of King Phillip V.
The palace that stands at the moment has over 3,000 rooms and, by some sources, it’s thought of the most important royal palace in Europe. The ground house is over 135,000 sq. toes.
The palace is the official residence of the Spanish royal household. It’s bursting with artwork from artists together with Caravaggio, Goya, and Velázquez.
As Madrid’s high vacationer attraction, it’s an unmissable factor to do.
HIGHLIGHTS AT THE ROYAL PALACE OF MADRID
The Throne Room // A richly embellished room the place the king receives his viewers. The vaulted ceiling comprises a shocking fresco depicting the royal household by way of allegories.
Salón de Columnas // The Corridor of Columns is a ballroom that’s nonetheless used for necessary civic occasions at the moment. Don’t miss the beautiful Belgian tapestries.
Escalera Principal // The principle staircase acts as an imposing entrance corridor to the palace. The big sculpture of Charles II on the central touchdown conveys all the facility it’s supposed to.
Gasparini Salon // One of the crucial stunning rooms within the palace, the Gasparini Corridor was utilized by Carlos III as a personal dressing room.
2 – LA ALMUDENA CATHEDRAL
Development started on the Almudena Cathedral in 1883 and wasn’t accomplished till 1992.
The big, cavernous house is uncommon for a cathedral. A vivid vibrant ceiling and stained glass home windows characteristic a design of straight strains.
The spotlight is definitely the crypt.
3 – PARROQUIA SANTA LA REAL DE LA ALMUNDENA (CATHEDRAL CRYPT)
Whereas the cathedral could be missing in aesthetic enchantment, the crypt actually isn’t.
It has the identical dimensions because the cathedral with 500 columns embellished with arches and elaborate reliefs. The impact of rows and rows of columns, lit from beneath, is mesmerising.
The crypt additionally has 5 naves, 20 chapels, and delightful Gothic-style-stained glass home windows. Barely hidden from the primary cathedral it’s typically missed however a necessary factor to do in Madrid.
Find out how to discover the Crypt — The doorway to the crypt is positioned on the south aspect of the cathedral on Calle Mayor.
DETAILS | LA ALMUDENA CATHEDRAL & CRYPT
hours – 10 am to 2 pm; 4:30 pm to eight pm (Monday – Friday); 10 am to eight pm (Saturday – Sunday) | value – free | audio information – €1.50
4 – PLAZA MAYOR
Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s grand central sq., is the oldest a part of town. It’s the proper central landmark to orient your self when exploring town.
The sq. was destroyed by fireplace in 1790. The present design utilises architectural uniformity to create a persistently grand house.
Cafes overlook the sq. from shaded porticos and, as a vacationer hub, loads of souvenirs are on sale.
You’ll additionally discover road performers, artists, and at varied instances, out of doors live shows, and parades.
The highlights are the Arco de Cuchilleros – essentially the most monumental of the 9 arches resulting in the sq.. The Statue of Philip III by Flemish sculptor Giambologna can also be spectacular.
5 – CHURROS AT SAN GINÊS
Churros and chocolate is a Spanish deal with and an unmissable factor to do in Madrid.
Spaniards typically have churros over the winter months, as a result of it’s thought of a warming deal with. Nonetheless, Chocolatería San Ginés is open 24 hours a day, so you’ll be able to eat these delights everytime you please.
They’re famend for serving probably the greatest churros and chocolate in Spain. They’ve been going for 120 years and the normal recipe hasn’t modified since. Their chocolate is wealthy and dense and an actual deal with.
The straightforward flour, salt, and water mixture, when deep-fried and dunked in velvety chocolate all the time makes us really feel like we’re in Spain.
6 – SAN MIGUEL MARKET
The San Miguel Market is a fantastic cast-iron construction relationship again to 1916.
After a number of reincarnations, at the moment it’s a centrally positioned shrine to Spanish delicacies and probably the greatest issues to do in Madrid.
Most just lately relaunched in 2018, the market contains the best produce from throughout Spain.
Discover the whole lot from quirky tapas to the freshest seafood, with ice cream. There’s additionally paella, Spanish cheese, artisanal bread, and the whole lot in between.
It may possibly get very busy at lunch so ensure you supply a desk earlier than heading to the stalls to order meals.
Hidden Gem— Close by tiny streets conceal hidden delicacies. Don’t miss Chocolala Belga on Calle del Bonetillo. An aged gentleman crafts unimaginable home made candies.
DETAILS | SAN MIGUEL MARKET
hours – 10 am to midnight (Sunday to Thursday); 10 am to 1 am (Friday & Saturday)
7 – TEMPLE OF DEBOD & PLAZA DE ESPAÑA
The Temple of Debod is an historic Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt in Parque de la Montaña, Madrid.
It was donated by the Egyptian authorities for preservation. It’s one of many few examples of Egyptian structure exterior the nation.
Surrounded by a pool of water with views over the palace, it’s a good picture alternative.
The close by Plaza de España has just lately been renovated to create a greener, extra accessible vacationer attraction inside the metropolis.
The revamped house is now car-free with strolling and biking tracks that join it to different inexperienced areas in Madrid.
8 – ERMITA DE SAN ANTONIO DE FLORIDA
The Chapel of St Anthony of La Florida is a small however stunning chapel within the centre of Madrid. The spotlight is the beautiful frescoes by Francisco Goya.
Goya is taken into account considered one of Spain’s most necessary artists from the late 18th and early Nineteenth centuries. His work displays historic and political upheavals.
He’s buried within the church which acts as a becoming canvas for a few of his best works.
As a single room housing world-class artwork in an unassuming constructing, it’s some of the underrated issues to do in Madrid.
Images are usually not permitted inside.
DETAILS | ERMITA DE SAN ANTONIO DE LA FLORIDA
hours – 9:30 am to eight pm (Tuesday – Sunday), closed Monday | value – free
9 – MALASAÑA DISTRICT
Malasaña is a bohemian district in Madrid with cool retailers, eating places, cafes, bars, and markets.
The easiest way to expertise it’s to walk round aimlessly absorbing the ambiance.
The bottom flooring of the buildings comprise tattooists, bakeries, fishmongers, boutiques and bars. Upstairs is residential lodging.
The result’s a lived-in space, barely worn across the edges and bursting with character.
Listed below are a few of our favorite locations in Malasańa –
HanSo Café // A relaxed espresso home with an awesome number of sandwiches and glorious espresso.
Plaza Juan Pujol // Vibrant sq. with student-centered cafes and road artwork, it’s a cool place to haunt whenever you want a break.
Toma Café // Nice little café for specialty espresso, desserts, and pastries, and probably the greatest tomato and bread in Madrid.
10 – GRAN VÍA
Madrid’s most well-known road, Gran Vía, was constructed between 1910 and 1929. Development required the demolition of over 300 buildings to create the regal boulevard it’s at the moment.
Known as the Spanish Broadway, Gran Vía is the centre of nightlight in Madrid. The town’s principal focus of cinemas, theatres and eating places spiral out from the boulevard.
After a revamp in 2018, Gran Vía now has extra inexperienced areas, wider pavements, and a bike lane between Callao and Plaza de España.
It’s the proper place for window procuring, bar hopping and aimless ambling in an iconic setting.
Among the iconic landmarks on Gran Vía embrace:
- Metrópolis – an iconic workplace constructing.
- Telefónica Constructing – one of many first skyscrapers in Europe.
- Edificio Capitol – a fantastic constructing utilized in many Spanish motion pictures.
11 – THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA NATIONAL MUSEUM
Madrid is a hotbed of European artwork. There are three magnificent world-class galleries to discover.
The primary is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Nationwide Museum. It has an unlimited assortment of works from the Center Ages by way of to the late Twentieth century. Of all of the galleries in Madrid, this has the broadest vary.
Discover the main artwork actions together with Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, and Rococo. Proceed on to Expressionism and Twentieth-century Pop Artwork.
The gathering additionally has a big show of Nineteenth-century American artwork, hardly ever present in European galleries.
Among the extra recognisable items are from Caravaggio, Rubens, Dalí, Monet, Rembrandt, Picasso, and Lichtenstein.
However, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum contains loads of less-known masterpieces. It’s value a number of hours strolling round.
OUR THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA TIPS
Why go? — The Thyssen-Bornemisza Nationwide Museum is nice for getting a broad overview with among the finest artwork from totally different intervals internationally.
Audio Information – Past the artist and title, there isn’t any labelling on the works, so it’s a good suggestion to take the audioguide.
Find out how to do it? — Begin from the highest flooring and work down. The audio information supplies an engrossing stroll by way of the museum and takes round 3 hours. The audio information is €5 over the ticket value.
Málaga — There’s a satellite tv for pc Carmen Thyssen Museum in Málaga. All the small print are in our information to visiting Málaga.
DETAILS | THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA NATIONAL MUSEUM
hours – 12 pm to 4 pm (Monday); 10 am to 7 pm (Tuesday) | costs – €13 (common); €9 (reductions); The museum is free on Mondays.
12 – PRADO MUSEUM
The Prado Museum is the primary Spanish nationwide artwork museum. It comprises the world’s most complete assortment of Spanish work.
There are round 20,000 works from the twelfth to the thirteenth century. The Prado is broadly thought of to be the best assortment of European artwork on the planet.
It contains essentially the most full works of El Greco, Velázquez, and Francisco de Goya. You’ll additionally discover necessary masters together with Zurbarán, Raphael, Tintoretto, and Peter Paul Rubens to call only a few.
Why go? — The Prado Museum is the very best gallery in Madrid for seeing the very best of the normal Spanish masterpieces.
HIGHLIGHTS AT THE PRADO MUSEUM MADRID
- Room 16 – Murillo fuses of the celestial and on a regular basis in room 16. “The Apparition of the Virgin to saint Ildephonus” divides the higher divine world with the decrease early in stunning element.
- Room 46 – The Holy Household or “La Perla” by Raphael was the favorite work in Philip IV’s assortment and it’s simple to see why, the emphasis on gentle is beautiful.
- Room 75 – The sheer scale of the works in room 75 are breathtaking, significantly Sisyphus by Titian.
- Rooms 67 – The 14 “Black Work’ by Goya are on everlasting show in room 67. Depicting haunting themes, they replicate his bleak outlook on humanity and have been initially painted straight on the partitions of his home.
- Room 78 – The Prado has 90 Rubens within the assortment. “The Judgement of Paris” in room 78 was influenced by his time in Italy with figures primarily based on classical sculptures.
13 – REINA SOFÍA MUSEUM
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the nationwide Spanish museum for Twentieth-century artwork. It options modern works from among the nation’s main artists.
Opening in 1990, the museum was thought of an necessary step in Spain’s transition to democracy.
Essentially the most well-known work is Guernica. The colossal piece by Pablo Picasso depicts the struggling skilled in the course of the Spanish Civil Battle.
Their different prized possession is The Nice Masturbator, the psychic snapshot of life as seen by a 25-year-old Salvador Dalí.
It’s a large assortment with fascinating short-term exhibitions and installations.
Free Entry — Reina Sofia is free from 7 pm to 9 pm weekdays and Saturdays, and 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm Sundays.
DETAILS | REINA SOFIA MUSEUM
hours – 10 am to 9 pm (Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat); 10 am to 2:30 pm (Sunday); Closed Tuesday | price – €12
MADRID ART WALK PASS
If you happen to plan on visiting all three main artwork galleries (Thyssen-Bornemisza, Prado and Sofia Reina) you can purchase the Artwork Stroll Move which is €32 and contains skip-the-line entry to all 3 galleries.
Tickets have to be picked up from the gallery the place you bought the cross.
14 – RETIRO PARK
Unfold over 125 hectares in central Madrid, El Retiro Park is a inexperienced oasis within the centre of town. Not too long ago named a UNESCO World Heritage Website, the park is a well-liked vacation spot for unwinding in Madrid.
There are grassy fields, open-air cafes, tree-lined pathways, and romantic gardens. You’ll additionally discover quite a lot of panorama types on show in addition to ornate statues and dreamy fountains. Listed below are among the points of interest –
- Estranque – The big synthetic lake is the central focus of Retiro the place you’ll be able to rent a rowboat to soak up sluggish Madrid life.
- Monument to King Alfonso XII – The huge monument beside the lake is devoted to Spain’s favorite monarch. On the weekends, you’ll discover musicians gathered on the steps.
- Palacio de Cristal – The well-known glass palace is an architectural masterpiece magnificently reflecting within the small lake surrounding it. The constructing was constructed in 1887 to accommodate unique plans for an exhibition from the Philippines.
- Palacio de Velázquez – Positioned beside the Crystal Palace, The Velázquez Palace is an exhibition house that includes shows from Reina Sofia.
- El Angel Caído – The Fallen Angel statue is a sinister work that includes the second Lucifer is solid out of heaven. The work by sculptor Ricardo Bellver is admired for its sense of rigidity and anguish.
15 – EL RASTRO FLEA MARKET
As a Sunday establishment, the El Rastro Flea Market spirals out from its central hub round Plaza de Cascorro. The market fills the streets with treasures from over 1,000 stalls.
The principle part is the triangle fashioned by Calle de Toledo, Calle de Embajadores and Ronda de Toledo. Right here the first focus is clothes.
The aspect streets comprise a bunch of treasures. You possibly can just about discover the whole lot from buying and selling playing cards to classic furnishings, to second-hand vinyl.
The encircling neighbourhood has generation-old tapas bars and creaking eating places.
Attempt the tiny Ruda Café for nice espresso and snacks.
For one thing extra substantial, the Toastadas at El Caprichio Extremeño are a Sunday staple.
16 – BASILICA DE SAN FRANCISCO EL GRANDE
Basilica of Saint Francis the Nice is a visible masterpiece and a homage to Spanish artwork.
Not giving a lot away from the outside, inside a spherical flooring plan topped with an enormous 33-metre dome. The marble and gold inlaid chapels comprise an enviable assortment of artwork from Spanish masters.
It’s some of the stunning church buildings on the planet.
There are 3 chapels that includes work by Zurbarán. However, essentially the most well-known work is the magnificent portray by Francisco Goya, St Bernardino of Siena preaching to Alfonso V of Aragon.
DETAILS | BASILICA DE SAN FRANCISCO EL GRANDE
church hours – 8 am to 10:30 am (Monday to Saturday); 10 am to 1:30 pm; 6:30 pm to eight pm (Sunday) | museum hours – 10:30 am to 12:30 pm; 4 pm to five:30 pm (Tuesday – Saturday) | value – €5/3 | free entry – entry is free on Thursday.
17 – NIGHT IN CHUECA
Chueca is a vigorous neighbourhood within the coronary heart of Madrid. It’s identified for its range, gay-friendly venues, cozy pavement cafes, tapas bars and vibrant road artwork.
It’s an awesome vacation spot for an evening out in Madrid with conventional Spanish eating places and among the finest bars and golf equipment on the town.
MORE THINGS TO DO IN MADRID
Madrid is bursting with world-class points of interest. When you’ve got the time, listed here are a number of extra nice issues to take a look at.
SANTIAGO BERNABÉU STADIUM
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is the house stadium of Actual Madrid. It has a capability of over 80,000 guests and it’s some of the well-known soccer grounds on the planet.
Take a guided tour of the stadium to study in regards to the historical past of the membership, admire membership memorabilia, and absorb panoramic views of the stadium.
ATOCHA TRAIN STATION
Madrid Puerta de Atocha was the primary practice station in Madrid. The historic metal and glass constructing is likely one of the metropolis’s best-known landmarks.
The fascinating factor in regards to the station is the tropical backyard located beneath the unique practice shed. It has over 7,000 vegetation, making it an awesome picture alternative in Madrid. There are bars and eating places overlooking the backyard.
PALACIO DE LIRIA
Palacio de Liria is a neoclassical palace typically thought of the little brother of the Actual Palace. It’s the official residence of the Alba household who’ve an historic lineage, carefully linked to Spanish historical past.
The constructing is protected beneath Spanish Heritage regulation. The library comprises the primary version of Don Quixote. See it on a guided tour of Palacio de Liria.
PUERTA DEL SOL
Puerta del Sol marks kilometre zero for the Spanish highway system. It’s the symbolic centre of town and one of many busiest locations in Madrid.
The big public sq. has witnessed historic occasions, essentially the most notable was the proclamation of the 2nd republic. At the moment, it’s a extremely popular vacationer vacation spot and one of many nice free issues to do in Madrid.
The Royal Theatre is positioned reverse the Royal Palace and it’s thought of one of many high establishments for performing arts in Spain.
It has a whopping stage space of 1,472 m2 which permits for very advanced set altering. Seeing a efficiency right here is an incredible expertise, take a look at what’s on at teatroreal.es. Even if you happen to’re not, from the surface it’s a fantastic constructing to cease and admire.
PALACIO DE CIBELES
The Communications Palace is a monumental constructing and headquarters for the Madrid Metropolis Corridor. In 1993, it was declared an Asset of Cultural Curiosity.
The sq. the constructing sits on, Plaza de Cibeles, is essentially the most well-known in Madrid. It’s on the intersection of Calle de Alcalá, Paseo de Recoletos, and Paseo del Prado with a number of stunning buildings surrounding it.
MAP | THINGS TO DO IN MADRID
Most of Madrid’s vacationer points of interest are positioned within the central district together with landmarks such because the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Plaza Mayor, the Gran Vía, and the Mercado de San Miguel, as properly the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Our map comprises all of the issues to do in Madrid listed on this information.
WHERE TO STAY IN MADRID
The preferred areas for vacationers are across the metropolis middle (Sol, Gran Vía, and Opera). Every are properly positioned for the primary points of interest and nightlife.
The Malasaña neighborhood is a classy and bohemian space with nice eating places, bars, and road artwork. Chueca is one other standard neighborhood identified for its LGBT-friendly environment and vigorous nightlife.
For a extra upscale expertise, the Salamanca neighborhood is a superb choice with high-end procuring and eating choices.
LAS LETRAS / LUXURY
The Gran Resort Inglés is the place to go for an indulgent keep in Madrid. With Artwork Deco design blended with the constructing’s conventional character and a deluxe spa, you need wont to go away.
CENTRO / HOSTEL +
Woohoo Suites has each hostel rooms and lodge suites in a wonderful location simply off Gran Vía. The lodge rooms and small however fashionable and the hostel has rooms and dormitories with personal and shared bogs.
MALASAÑA / FASHIONABLE
The family-run 7 Islas Resort is a trendy and inexpensive choice in probably the greatest neighbourhoods of Madrid. Pure supplies create a hanging but welcoming vibe and the facilities are first-class. Don’t skip the cocktails.
CHUECA / BOUTIQUE
A part of a series of boutique resorts in Madrid, Petit Palace Chueca is a reasonably priced but stylish property in a grand constructing close to Gran Through. Some rooms have giant terraces overlooking the boulevard.
HOW MANY DAYS IN MADRID
We’d advocate spending a minimum of three to 4 days in Madrid to get a very good style of town’s tradition, historical past, and gastronomy.
On this time, you’ll be able to go to among the principal points of interest just like the Prado Museum, Retiro Park, and the Royal Palace, in addition to get pleasure from among the native meals and nightlife.
When you’ve got extra time, you’ll be able to discover town’s totally different neighbourhoods, go to extra museums, or take day journeys to close by cities and cities.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MADRID
The very best time to go to Madrid is over the shoulder seasons ofspring (March to Might) and fall (September to November).
Nonetheless, Madrid has each glorious museums and delightful out of doors areas. So it’s a type of uncommon European holidays that you can get pleasure from any time of 12 months.
MADRID IN SPRING (MARCH TO MAY)
Spring is a fantastic time to go to Madrid when the climate is gentle, and town is in bloom. The common temperatures are round 15-20°C (59-68°F), making it good for having fun with Madrid’s stunning parks.
SUMMER IN MADRID (JUNE TO AUGUST)
Summer time in Madrid could be scorching and dry, with temperatures typically exceeding 30°C (86°F). If you happen to can courageous the warmth, Madrid has open-air cinemas and summer season music festivals.
FALL IN MADRID (SEPTEMBER TO NOVEMBER)
Fall is a wonderful time to go to Madrid. The temperatures start to chill all the way down to between 15-25°C (59-77°F). So, it’s the perfect time for sightseeing and out of doors actions. The meals markets are glorious over this time, with loads of native produce.
WINTER IN MADRID (DECEMBER TO FEBRUARY)
Madrid’s winters are chilly and could be wet, with common temperatures round 5-10°C (41-50°F). Nonetheless, with so many world-class artwork galleries, museums, and leisure venues, winter is a superb time to go to.
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