Madrid is as lively and vibrant a city as you will find in any part of the world. As the capital of Spain, Madrid offers something for everyone with its rich culture, delicious cuisine, and exciting nightlife. With its vast array of attractions, both natural and man-made, there are plenty of things to see and do in Madrid.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or you’ve been to Madrid several times before, here are the top 10 things to see and do in this amazing city. From discovering the cultural heritage of Madrid to taking a stroll through its beautiful parks and gardens, get ready for an adventure like no other!
Madrid’s Royal Palace
Spain’s Royal Palace is one of the largest palaces in Europe and the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. The palace is located in the center of Madrid, on the site of a 9th-century Moorish fortress. The palace complex includes several buildings, gardens, and museums.
The Palace tour includes the Royal Apartments, Grand Staircase, Throne Room, Royal Chapel, and Armory. The exterior of the palace is just as impressive as the interior, with its large courtyards and ornate facades. In front of the palace is the Plaza de la Armeria, where you can see the changing of the guard ceremony.
The Palace Gardens are a beautiful oasis in the middle of Madrid. They include manicured lawns, fountains, sculptures, and an outdoor theatre. The Sabatini Gardens are located on the north side of the palace and are known for their formal Italianate style. The Campo del Moro Gardens are located on the south side of the palace and feature Moorish-style landscapes with palm trees and orange groves.
The Museo del Prado is adjacent to the palace complex and is one of Spain’s most important art museums. The museum houses works by Spanish masters such as Velázquez and Goya, as well as European masterpieces by artists such as Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando is another museum located near the palace. The museum is dedicated to Spanish paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries and includes works by El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is a must-see for any visitor to the city. It’s a living reminder of Spain’s rich history, culture, and art.
The Prado Museum
The Prado Museum is one of the must-see attractions in Madrid. With a collection of over 7,000 paintings and 500,000 other objects, the Prado is one of the largest and most important art museums in the world.
Some of the most famous paintings on display at the Prado include works by Diego Velázquez, Francisco Goya, and Peter Paul Rubens. The museum also has an extensive collection of Spanish art from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.
The Prado also houses a library of more than 6,000 books and a conservation laboratory. There are both permanent and temporary exhibitions in the museum, along with educational activities and interactive displays.
The Prado is open every day except Monday and is free to visitors under the age of 18. Adults can purchase tickets for €14 or use the Madrid Tourist Card to gain access.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Spain and its art, then a visit to the Prado Museum is a must.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world and is home to Spanish giants Real Madrid. A visit to the stadium is a must for any football fan, and even if you’re not a fan of the sport, the stadium tour is still worth doing.
The tour includes access to the press room, dressing rooms, presidential box, and pitch side. You’ll also get to experience a panoramic view of the stadium from the Presidential Box and there is an interactive museum where you can learn more about Real Madrid’s history.
On the tour, you’ll get to see the changing rooms, walk through the tunnel onto the pitch, sit in the VIP seats, and more. You’ll also learn about the history of the club and the stadium, which first opened its doors in 1947.
If you want to catch a match at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, then you’ll need to buy tickets in advance as they sell out quickly. The atmosphere inside the stadium on matchday is electric, so it’s definitely an experience not to be missed.
Gran Via is one of Madrid’s most popular shopping streets. Located in the city center, it is home to many high-end stores as well as more affordable shops. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes to enjoy. Gran Via is a great place to people-watch and do some window shopping.
Gran Via is also a great place to take in the city’s history. The buildings that line the street are some of the oldest in Madrid and feature stunning architecture. For example, the Metropolis Building was designed by famous Spanish architect Jose Grases Riera. It is one of Gran Via’s most iconic landmarks.
The street is also known for its vibrant nightlife. On any given night, you can find bars and clubs filled with locals and tourists alike, enjoying a lively atmosphere.
Temple of Debod
The Temple of Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple that was gifted to Spain in 1968. The temple was originally built in the 2nd century BCE and was dedicated to the god Amon-Ra. It was moved to Spain piece by piece and reassembled in Madrid, where it now stands as a testament to the strong connection between Egypt and Spain.
The temple is a popular tourist attraction for both locals and visitors to Madrid. Visitors can explore the intricate hieroglyphs and carvings on the walls, as well as the many artifacts that are housed inside. The temple also offers a beautiful view of the city with its location atop a hill in the Parque del Oeste.
Every year, on August 21st, there is an event held at the Temple of Debod where artisans from around Spain come to demonstrate their craftsmanship and perform ancient Egyptian rituals to pay homage to Egyptian culture. This event is free and open to the public, making it an exciting way to learn more about this unique piece of history.
Visitors to the Temple of Debod can explore the different chambers of the temple, learn about its history, and take in the stunning views of Madrid from its location on a hilltop. The temple is open daily from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, with the last entry at 7:30 pm. Admission is free.
El Retiro Park
El Retiro Park is one of Madrid’s most popular tourist attractions. The park is enormous, and there is something for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can take a stroll through the gardens, go for a paddle in the boating lake, or explore the many sculptures and monuments. There is also a funfair and an outdoor cinema in the park.
The park was originally a royal hunting ground, but it has been open to the public since 1868. Today, visitors come from all over the world to enjoy its lush gardens and tranquil atmosphere. There is something for everyone – whether you want to relax in the shade or get active with a game of tennis or paddle boating, El Retiro Park has it all!
Plaza Mayor is one of Madrid’s most iconic and well-known landmarks. The grand, central plaza dates back to the 16th century and is a beautiful example of Spanish Renaissance architecture. It’s a great place to people-watch, grab a bite to eat, or simply admire the stunning buildings that surround it.
The plaza is framed by nine stunning arches, which lead to shops, restaurants, and other attractions. At the center of the plaza stands a statue of King Philip III on horseback. Other notable monuments at the Plaza Mayor include statues of Felipe IV, Carlos II, and Fernando VII.
Plaza Mayor hosts many events throughout the year, such as concerts and festivals. It’s also a popular spot for locals to gather and socialize. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll or a lively evening out with friends, there’s something for everyone at Plaza Mayor in Madrid!
Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol is one of Madrid’s most iconic and popular tourist destinations. The square is home to a number of important landmarks, including the Royal Palace, the Cibeles Fountain, and the famous statue of Bear and Strawberry Tree. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes in the area.
Puerta del Sol is also the site of a major cultural event, La Noche de San Juan, which celebrates the summer solstice. During this time of year, thousands of people flock to the square and enjoy concerts, parties, fireworks, and other activities. Other popular events in Puerta del Sol include New Year’s Day celebrations and Christmas markets.
The area around Puerta del Sol is also home to some of Madrid’s most iconic attractions, such as the Plaza Mayor and Gran Vía. The area is easily accessible via public transportation or on foot and provides an ideal base for exploring all that Madrid has to offer.
Cibeles Fountain is one of Madrid’s most iconic landmarks. The fountain, which depicts the goddess Cybele on a chariot pulled by lions, is located in the Plaza de Cibeles square. Visitors can view the fountain from various angles and take photos of it from all sides. The best time to see the fountain is at night when it is illuminated by lights.
The Bear and the Strawberry Tree
The statue of the bear and the strawberry tree is located in Puerta del Sol. This iconic piece of art is a symbol of Madrid and has become a popular attraction for visitors to the city. It depicts a bear climbing up a tree while holding a strawberry in its paw. The sculpture was created by sculptor Antonio Navarro Santafé in 1967 and is considered one of Madrid’s most beloved monuments.
Madrid Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Almudena, is the main church of Madrid, Spain. Construction of the cathedral began in 1879 and wasn’t completed until 1993. The cathedral is a mix of different architectural styles, including Neo-Gothic, Renaissance, and Plateresque.
The Madrid Cathedral is located on Calle de Bailén in the city center of Madrid, next to the Royal Palace. It’s easily reachable by public transportation or on foot. The nearest metro station is Ópera, about a 5-minute walk away.
Once inside the cathedral, you’ll be amazed by its size and grandeur. Be sure to visit the crypt, where you can see the remains of Spanish Kings Alfonso XII and XIII. Also, make sure to check out the beautiful stained glass windows and paintings.
If you’re visiting Madrid, the Madrid Cathedral is a must-see!
Madrid is a wonderful city with plenty of iconic sights and unique experiences to offer. Whether you are looking for history, culture, food, or just some fun in the sun, Madrid has something for everyone. By following our top 10 list of things to see and do in Madrid, you can experience this amazing city like a local and make sure that your trip will be unforgettable. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head off on an adventure to explore all that Madrid has to offer!