26 Top Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Madrid
Madrid is one of the most touristy areas in Spain. There are many beautiful streets in Madrid, as well as manicured parks like Buen Retiro. Paintings by Goya and Velázquez and other Spanish masters may be found in the Prado Museum. Downtown historic Hapsburg Madrid is centered on Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace and Armory.
Madrid is a modern metropolis with a distinctly Spanish feel. Attractive parks break up the gridlock of congested streets.
Andalusia’s traditional charm and Barcelona’s beauty are missing from Madrid, but the city’s café culture and nightlife are bustling. Visitors to this bustling metropolis will be spoiled for options.
Because Madrid is so vibrant and rich in culture, it’s difficult to do it credit in a few paragraphs. City art museums house Renaissance masterpieces and 20th-century works of art.
1- Museo Nacional del Prado
In Madrid, art lovers are in heaven. Many of the city’s galleries and museums are free to enter. Some people are always free, whereas others are only free on certain days or times of the year.
The Museo del Prado is the most popular tourist site in Madrid. More than a hundred galleries house 2,300 works of art.
The Museo Nacional del Prado is Madrid’s most important national museum of fine arts. From the 12th century until the early 20th century, it boasts one of the world’s finest collections of European art and Spain’s finest collection. It was originally established in 1819 as a museum dedicated to paintings and sculptures, but it now houses a wide range of noteworthy items. The Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain, is one of the world’s busiest and finest art galleries. El Greco, Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Diego Velázquez are among the artists whose works are most frequently on display, along with Goya. The biggest collection of Italian masterpieces outside of Italy was brought to Spain by Velázquez.
Among the art and documents in the collection are 8,200 drawings, 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures. In 2012, the museum displayed 1,300 objects in its primary structures and 3,100 on loan to other museums and institutions. The rest was saved.
Visit the museum’s official website at https://www.museodelprado.es/.
2- Buen Retiro Park and the Crystal Palace
There are various cast-iron structures in Madrid. There’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site at El Retiro Park’s Glass Palace! For an exposition on the Philippines in 1887, it was built as a greenhouse. Exhibits at the Reina Sofa Museum may be found there all year round.
Ricardo Velázquez Bosco was the architect. Joseph Paxton’s 1851 Hyde Park Crystal Palace served as inspiration for his design. In addition to adorning the Velázquez Palace and the Church-Convent of Santa Teresa in Madrid, Daniel Zuloaga’s ceramic tiles also beautify the glass and cast iron edifice. Forests of horse chestnuts frame the palace, which was rebuilt in 1975. Nearby is the Velázquez Palace, which the Reina Sofa Museum uses for temporary exhibits, and a pond with ducks.
An iron structure and ceramic-decorated brick foundation make up virtually all of the Palacio de Cristal. The cupola is 22 meters high. For the most part, the curving shape of the Palacio de Cristal is inspired by British architects such as Joseph Paxton (who constructed London’s Crystal Palace) and Decimus Burton (who designed Madrid’s Delicias station in 1880). (who was responsible for the Palm House at Kew Gardens). The Philippines Exposition’s Palacio de Cristal was one of its most important locations in 1887.
Three years after the Velázquez Palace, Ricardo Velázquez Bosco created the Crystal Palace. The glass dome was inspired by London’s Crystal Palace. It used to be a massive greenhouse dedicated to displaying the flora of the Philippines. The Palacio de Cristal is occasionally used by the Reina Sofia Museum. A fountain in a fake pond adds to the opulence of the structure. In the English language, Pleasant Retreat is a fitting name for the park.
The museum’s official website is https://www.museoreinasofia.es/.
3- Royal Palace and Gardens
Charles III through Alfonso XIII are all represented at the Royal Palace of Madrid. The royal family no longer lives in their traditional residence.
Magerit was chosen by Emir Mohamed I as a safe haven for Toledo from Christian invaders. The Alcázar became known as the Antiguo Alcázar in the 14th century (Old Fortress). As a result, it became the home of Charles I and Philip II. The Palace of Los Austrias was damaged in a fire in 1734, so Philip V had it rebuilt.
After Filippo Juvara’s untimely demise, Juan Bautista Sachetti finished the palace’s design. Philip V’s undertaking took 17 years to complete, starting in 1738. The first monarch to reside in the rebuilt palace was Charles III, renowned as the “Mayor of Madrid” for his reforms and initiatives. Both Charles IV and Ferdinand VII embellished the Hall of Mirrors with timepieces, furnishings, and chandeliers.
Overlooking a huge courtyard with galleries and parade ground, this square castle was inspired by Bernini’s plans for the Louvre in Paris. The rooms and layout of the palace have changed over time to meet the needs of its many residents.
There are over 3000 rooms, including a Throne Hall with a Tiepolo ceiling, a Gasparini Room with its grand 18th-century floral decoration, a Royal Chemist’s with natural medicine cabinets, ceramic pots from La Granja factory, and royal prescriptions; and the Rococo Room, which was converted into the Guard Room by Charles III.
There is no official residence for the King of Spain in the Royal Palace (Palacio Real), but it is here that state functions such as royal ceremonies and feasts are performed. Near Madrid, the king lives in Zarzuela Palace. “Palacio de Oriente” in Spanish is sometimes misnamed because of its proximity to the “Square de Oriente” plaza.
The rulers of Castile, who erected the ancient Alcázar stronghold in the 16th century, used a defensive system designed by the Muslim kingdom of Toledo. On Christmas Eve, 1734, the Alcázar burned down, and the new Royal Palace was built in its place. The Borbon palace was erected by Felipe V of Spain. The new castle was designed by Filippo Juvara. He wished to build a grand mansion in the style of Versailles. Because the vaults were made of stone and brick rather than wood, they were at risk of being destroyed in a fire.
Carlos III lived there between 1738 and 1755. Spanish marble, stucco, mahogany doors and windows, and murals by Giaquinto, Tiepolo, Mengs, and his Spanish pupils Bayeu and Maella were some of the luxurious materials used to decorate the interior. As time goes on, the Royal Palace of Madrid’s decor evolves.
The “Plaza de Armas” on the south side is the primary entrance to the building. The Almudena Cathedral may be seen from this courtyard. There are 870 windows, 240 balconies, and 44 stairwells in the Palace of Westminster.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is often regarded as one of Europe’s finest by many. Although many visitors complained about the long lines, they were nonetheless astonished by the palace’s opulence and splendor. Avoid the crowds by arriving early.
It costs 10 euros for adults, while youngsters pay 5 euros. On weekdays from October through March, 10 am to 6 pm (PST). From April to September, it’s open till 8 pm. Consider the gardens if you’re not interested in seeing the palace. On the street level, there is an elevator that takes visitors up to the Sabatini Gardens. It’s a good idea to avoid the crowds at the palace by heading down an adjacent street to the Campo del Moro Gardens. With the Prncipe Po metro station and the palace at Pera or Plaza de Espaa, you may reach the Campo del Moro Gardens.
Royal Palace of Madrid’s official website can be found here: https://www.patrimonionacional.es/en/visita/royal-palace-madrid.
4- Retiro Park
More than 15,000 trees cover the 125-hectare El Retiro Park. A 400-year-old Mexican pine is housed in the Parterre Francés, which is part of the Jardn de Vivaces, an Andalusian-inspired classicistic garden, the Jardines del Arquitecto Herrero Palacios, and the Rosaleda rose garden.
At the same time, it is a popular location for strolls, sports, exhibits, and puppet performances. Rowing boats may be rented at a lake in the park, which is also home to two Reina Sofa Museum galleries: Velázquez Palace and the Glass Palace. It was built for a Philippine fair in 1887 and is one of the world’s most beautiful glass pavilions. One of the finest cast-iron structures in all of Spain.
The Monument to Alfonso XII, which overlooks the lake and features an observation deck, was opened in spring 2018 and is one of El Retiro’s most renowned sculptures and fountains. An unusual monument honoring the devil may be seen near the Rose Garden: the Fallen Angel monument. It also has a fountain dedicated to Princess Isabella II, Europe’s only puppet theater and a reservado for King Ferdinand VII when the park was opened to visitors, which he maintained for himself and his family. The king’s “whims,” small buildings or monuments designed as retreats for the monarchs to rest and relax, can be found in El Retiro between Calle O’Donnell and Calle Menéndez Pelayo: the Casa del Pescador, the Montaa Artificial, and the Casa del Contrabandista, which now includes Florida Park, a modern leisure and catering space that was a nightclub for years.
Madrid’s largest park, Retiro, is a popular tourist draw. It covers an area of 118 hectares, making it the largest urban greenspace in the world.
King Felipe IV of Spain created this urban park in the 1700s. A substantial portion of the park was destroyed during the American Revolutionary War, but it was rebuilt and reopened to the general public.
El Retiro is a kaleidoscope of monuments, galleries, sculptures, lakes, and stunning architecture. Yoga, rollerblading, puppet shows, singers, fortune tellers, and food and merchandise shops are all part of the daily schedule.
Tourists can rent rowboats or bigger boats to cruise the pond at the gardens’ vast artificial lake. Near the Alcalá gate. Inaugurated in 1922, this huge memorial to King Alfonso XII honors the monarch’s reign. The area around this monument is alive with music on Sundays.
Located in a wooded area with a small artificial lake inhabited by tortoises, the Crystal Palace was constructed in 1887. It was a greenhouse at one time. Located near the Palacio de Cristal, a free art gallery, this gallery features rotating exhibitions of contemporary art. This is a must-read for art lovers.
Plaques honoring the country’s past leaders may be seen along the Paseo de la Argentina. The first sculptures for the Royal Palace were ordered by Ferdinand VI.
The lords’ penchant for hunting may be seen in the elaborate aviaries and cages for wild animals seen in many of the post-Renaissance parks. Eventually, public parks were made more civilized and orderly. As a refuge from the bustling metropolis of the mid-19th century, a green area became important. Examples include Birkenhead Park in England, Bois de Boulogne outside Paris, Central Park in New York City, Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, and Akashi Park in Kbe, Japan. Design has a romantic feel to it. Passive leisure, such as strolling and taking in the scenery, was the primary goal.
Modern parks are characterized by opportunities for physical activity. Climate, cultural perspectives, social habits, and hobbies are reflected in their designs. A Spanish family may have a picnic under a shady bosque next to a fountain on the Generalife grounds. Banners and candles may be part of a Venice midnight procession. A brass ring may be picked up by children riding the Buttes-Chaumont merry-go-round. During the summer weekends, residents of Stockholm tend allotment gardens rented from the city. Basketball, soccer, and kabadei are popular in Israel, Iran, and Pakistan, whereas volleyball, tennis, and sumo are popular in Japan. Everybody understands the importance of recreational opportunities and the civic duty to provide them.
Zoos, concert halls, historical exhibitions, and food and dance concession stands are just some of the attractions that can be found in the park. Boating, fishing, and skating rinks are all accessible. There’s always the chance that the park’s core goal of delivering nature to city inhabitants may be overlooked in favor of having fun. Urban life’s briskness and demand for heavy use have accelerated, making it hard to maintain homeostasis.
Visit the official website at https://www.esmadrid.com/informacion-turistica/parque-del-retiro.
5- National Archaeological Museum
After a six-year renovation, the National Archaeological Museum (MAN) reopened in 2014. Prehistoric through 19th century items from the Mediterranean region are on show in the museum.
It covers a broad range of topics, including Greek pottery, Visigoth votive crowns, and Spanish Islamic ivories, that are not featured in the nearby Art Walk’s main museums. New museological design has put this 1867 museum on show, allowing visitors to interact with the displays, which include touchable panels, mockups, and re-creations.
The museum was erected in 1867 by Isabella II to hold the family’s extensive collection of numismatics, archaeology, ethnography, and decorative arts. Despite the efforts of the Royal Academy of History, a museum of antiquities never existed. It opened in the Embajadores area of Madrid. Once Francisco Jareo had finished his neoclassical masterpiece, it was time to migrate. In 1968, it underwent extensive restorations and extension, doubling its size. In April of this year, the museum underwent a major makeover and reopened to the public.
Artifacts from the American Ethnography section of the collection were moved to the Museum of the Americas in the 1940s, while those from other parts of the world were sent to the National Museum of Ethnography and the National Museum of Decorative Arts.
Prehistoric to Early Modern Iberian artifacts are part of its current collection. Ancient Greece, both metropolitan and Magna Graecia, as well as Ancient Egypt, as well as “a limited number of artifacts” from the Near East, are included in the museum’s holdings.
Altamira’s old cave paintings have been recreated, and it is a famous tourist destination (in northern Spain in 1868). For conservation reasons, original access is restricted. There are pictures of bison, horses, and pigs.
It is a bust of a wealthy 5th-century BC Iberian lady named Lady of Elx. Unlike the typical Spanish mantilla or hair comb, her headdress is a far cry from the usual. In 1859, a discovery of Visigothic votive crowns from the eighth century was made. Palencia choir stall from the fourteenth century. Tiberius statues may be seen among the exhibitions in Ibiza, Paestum, and Rome, as well as Greek and Roman mosaics. They have one of Spain’s most impressive collections in Madrid’s National Archaeological Museum. To put it another way, it’s inexpensive (and sometimes free, depending on the month), educational, and engaging.
If you’re interested in learning more about the museum’s past, take your time and read the placards.
http://www.man.es/man/home.html is the official webpage for the organization.
6- Puerta del Sol
One of Madrid’s most famous landmarks is the Plaza de la Revolución. These major thoroughfares are all connected by their semicircular shape: Mayor, Arenal, Alcalá and Preciados. Additionally, it serves as the starting point for all major Spanish radial routes.
Tourists should not miss the historic city gate, Puerta del Sol. The landmark clock may be seen atop the Casa de Correos building, which houses the regional government offices in Madrid. New Year’s Eve was once marked by Americans eating 12 lucky grapes as the clock struck midnight.
Spanish Kilometer 0, the beginning of all major radial roads, is commemorated with a stone monument outside the Casa de Correos. Oso y Madroo is located at the beginning of Madrid’s longest thoroughfare, Calle Alcalá. Madrid’s national symbol and most visited landmark is the bear cuddling a strawberry tree.
There is a replica of La Mariblanca at the beginning of Calle Arenal, which leads to Teatro Real. In Casa de la Villa, the 17th-century original is presently displayed in a fountain. The third and largest statue at Puerta del Sol is that of King Charles III of Spain on a horse. His administration was marked by so many inventive reforms and a complete transformation of the city that he became known as Madrid’s greatest mayor .’s
There are three Madrid landmarks in the Puerta del Sol:
The coat of arms of Madrid, depicting a bear and strawberry tree, guards the entrance to Calle Alcalá. Built-in 1967, it’s one of the most popular places to hang out in Sol. In the Real Casa de Correos, you’ll find the renowned clock that’s been keeping track of the Spanish new year’s tradition of eating twelve grapes since 1962. Real Casa de Correos is where Kilometer 0 is located. At the heart of Madrid, distances are measured. It was in Puerta del Sol that the Second Republic was declared in 1931, as was the 15-M Movement in 2011.
7- Saint Michael Market
In 2009, the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid became the city’s first gourmet market, which was established in 1916 as a neighborhood food market. It was resurrected in 2018 with the help of international chefs.
Madrid de los Austrias attracts more than 10 million visitors each year. Inside, you may sample the best of Spain’s culinary offerings, from Galician seafood tapas to gourmet cheeses from all around the country, as well as a wide variety of fresh produce and pastries at the market’s 30 stalls.
Many other options are available, such as the natural and handmade ice cream by Joan Roca (3 Michelin stars) at Rocambolesc, and classic rice dishes by Rodrigo de la Calle (1 Michelin star) at Paella, and traditional tapas from the Arzabal Group at Madr by Arzabal among others.
The Saint Michael market had to close for nine months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it reopened in July 2021 with four new stands: Madreamiga, an artisan bakery run by baker Begoa San Pedro, chef Clara Villalón, and co-founder Hugo Rodrguez de Prada of Grosso Napoletano; Prrimital, which sells premium meat; Picolisto, which serves mouthwatering tortillas; and Quesera Quesoba,
Official Website www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/en
8- Debod Temple
The Cuartel de la Montaa Park in Madrid houses a 2nd-century BC Egyptian temple. To save the temple from the Aswan Dam, the Egyptian authorities relocated it to Spain.
In the 2nd century BC, Mero King Adijalamani began construction on the temple by erecting a chapel dedicated to Amun and Isis. It features carvings in this chapel. Temple expansion was a priority for the Ptolemaic dynasty. Hadrian and even Tiberius may have completed the building when Egypt was conquered by Rome.
The temple was abandoned after Nubia’s conversion to Christianity in the sixth century AD. Egyptian authorities gave the temple to Madrid in the twentieth century because of the dam, and the temple was rebuilt stone by piece. In 1972, it opened its doors for the first time. The building’s east-to-west orientation was preserved in the Madrid renovation. Visitors can gain a better understanding of the location’s purpose, decorative motifs, and history through scale models, videos, and wall projections.
There used to be a military fortification on Mount Prncipe Po called the Cuartel de la Montaa, where Napoleon’s French soldiers hanged 2 May 1808 uprising rebels, as shown in Goya’s painting, The Third of May 1808 or The Execution. It was erected between 1860 and 1863. The Spanish Civil War was launched by a military rebellion in this location in 1936. After the conflict, the barracks had to be destroyed.
At the time of its construction, the shrine was situated between the first Nile cataract and the Isis temple at Philae, some 15 kilometers from Aswan in Nubia. The Kushite monarch of Mero, Adikhalamani (Tabriqo), started building by erecting a little chapel to Amun. The Temple of Dakka was based on a Meroitic church that was built and decorated in the same style. A small temple dedicated to Isis of Philae was built there during the periods of Ptolemy VI, Ptolemy VIII and Ptolemy XII. It was embellished by Augustus and Tiberius.
There are three stone pylon entrances to the temple’s stone-built encircling wall that lead from the docks. The pronaos was toppled in 1868 and has since vanished. There was an offering table chamber beyond it, as well as a later sanctuary with side chambers and roof stairs behind it.
Trees, shrubs, and grass surround the Temple. A popular spot for people to congregate in the spring and summer, as well as in the fall and winter to relax and enjoy the scenery. Debod Temple is best seen just before sunset, when the setting sun illuminates the temple. It’s worth staying an extra night just to see the monument all lit up.
It’s a good idea to explore the shrine’s free interior. Hieroglyphics and sculptures adorn the building’s interior walls, providing insight into Egyptian mythology and history. The temples of Nubia are shown in miniature on the upper level. Augustus, Adijalamani, and Naos are the three vestibules of the temple (Naos Vestibule). Mero built the Adijalamani Chapel, which is the oldest part in Debod. Relieved depictions of the Egyptian pharaoh are shown on its walls.
Views of Madrid’s western suburbs may be enjoyed from the temple complex. Reflect the flaming temple walls in the ponds across from Plaza de Espaa at sunset.
9- The Gran Via and the Fuente de Cibeles
The lion-drawn chariot of Cybele, the Greek goddess of the underworld, graces the Cibeles Fountain. The fountain that is currently a tourist attraction in Madrid used to supply the city’s water. Real Madrid and Spain’s national basketball and football teams gather here to celebrate their success. The Gran Via, Madrid’s biggest thoroughfare, offers a wide range of things to do and see. As a result of its numerous events, it has been called Madrid’s Broadway.
There was a fountain dedicated to the Roman fertility goddess Cybele in Cibeles Square, which inspired the square’s name (pronounced Cibeles). An aerial view of Cybele shows the two lions Aphrodite made from Hippomenes and Atalanta to carry her for all time, Cybele the quadriga
In the second half of the 18th century, the progressive King Carlos III of Spain took steps to beautify Madrid. Many eye-catching features were added to the city’s roads and sidewalks during his time in power. Neptune and Cibeles, two adjacent fountains, were designated as the city’s mascots. Original location: Buenavista house (now army headquarters) in Linares park, Linares park fountain. The Neptune fountain in Canovas del Castillo is located on Paseo de Recoletos, just a few blocks away. In 1895, both fountains were moved.
In 1777, Ventura rodrguez built the fountain. Cybele and her chariot were sculpted by Francisco Gutiérrez; the lions were carved by Roberto Michel; and the ornaments were designed by Miguel Ximénez. 1782: The opening of the fountain. Two pools with springs shaped like dragon and bear sculptures were added to the fountain in 1791 at the request of Madrid mayor Juan de Villanueva. These sculptures were taken from the city center in 1862 when the fountain’s centerpiece sculpture had flowing water, since they did not fit.
10- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
One of Madrid’s major boulevards, the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum (or simply the Thyssen) is a famous art museum in the city. In addition to the Prado and Reina Sofa, it is part of “Golden Triangle of Art.” Prado’s Italian primitives and works from the English, Dutch and German schools; Reina Sofia’s Impressionists, Expressionists, and 20th-century European and American paintings are covered by the Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Once boasting a collection of 1,600 pieces, it was only second in size to that of the British Royal Collection. After failing to extend his Museum in Lugano, Baron Thyssen initiated a competition in 1987–88 to find a new home for the collection’s core (Villa Favorita).
Throughout the Middle Ages until the late 20th century, this Art Walk museum houses a major collection of European artworks from the continent. The museum’s almost 1000-piece collection includes Italian primitives, German Renaissance art, 19th-century American art, Impressionism, German Expressionism, and Russian Constructivism..
Thyssen-collection Museums in Spain are enriched by Bornemisza’s work. Duccio di Buoninsegna’s Christ with the Samaritan Woman and Jan Van Eyck’s The Annunciation Diptych grisaille are two of the museum’s finest late-medieval works. Ghirlandaio’s Giovanna Tornabuoni and Carpaccio’s Young Knight in a Landscape are two of the museum’s 15th-century portraits. European art’s 16th to 18th century may be traced thanks to artists like Dürer, Caravaggi, Rubens, Frans Hals, and Canaletto.
The Dutch school of the 17th century and American artists of the 19th century both included landscapes and genre scenes prominently. Artists like Friedrich, Monet, Degas, and Gauguin, as well as Post-Impressionists like Vincent van Gogh and Theo van Gogh, were all affected by these works.
You’ll also find pop art and fauvism in this collection. Only a few examples come to mind: Picasso’s Harlequin with a Mirror, Kandinsky’s Picture with Three Spots No. 196, Dali’s Dream Caused by the Flight of the Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Waking, Chagall’s The Cuckoo, and Lichtenstein’s Woman in Bath.
There is a Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, which includes works from the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as works from the 19th and 20th centuries, on the second floor. One hundred and eighty artworks from the Carmen Thyssen collection may be found on the museum’s lower floor.
11- The Mayor’s Plaza
Historic Hapsburg Madrid is home to Madrid’s majestic central square. Starting your exploration of one of Madrid’s most desirable districts may be as simple as seeing the square’s ancient monuments. It’s a great place to relax on a sunny terrace or to pick up a souvenir from an old-fashioned shop. It’s in this neighborhood that you’ll find the city’s Easter drum march, outdoor concerts, and its annual Christmas market.
At one time, the streets of Madrid were lined with little lanes and alleys that evoked visions of buccaneers and con artists.
In the 16th century, Madrid’s most popular market, Plaza del Arrabal, was replaced by the Plaza Mayor. When he moved the Spanish court from Toledo to Madrid in 1561, King Philip II began planning a rebuild of the plaza; however, his son and successor, King Philip III, completed it. This open space, used for local festivals, bullfights, beatifications, coronations, and even auto-da-fés during the Spanish Inquisition, gained architectural regularity thanks to Juan Gómez de Mora.
Located at one end of the plaza, Casa de la Panadera was the focal point of the area. The 1590 building designed by Diego Sillero only has the basement and the lowest floor remaining. San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Academy of History, and Royal Bakery have all been housed in this building since it was built. A tourist information center and a souvenir shop have been established in Plaza Mayor. Some of Carlos Franco’s 1992 paintings, like Cybele, reflect famous figures from Madrid’s history.
Arch of Cuchilleros
The square has had its share of fires over the years. In 1790, it was on the verge of destruction. It was restored by Juan de Villanueva (architect of the Prado Museum and Royal Observatory) and is now the plaza we see today. To create plaza entrances, he lowered the floors of the buildings to two and walled off the four corners of the square. Stairs leading down from the Arco de los Cuchilleros lead to Calle de los Cuchilleros. The route is bordered by constructions with buttresses that rise above the norm. Knifemakers from Cuchillero, a town in the Plaza Mayor area, set up shop there and supplied the Plaza Mayor butchers. Casa de la Carnicera, the butcher’s guild, is located on the other side of the square from Casa de la Panadera. Meat was preserved and sold there (carne is the Spanish word for meat). Pestana Plaza Mayor is located at Casa de la Carnicera, the home of the Pestana Plaza Mayor Hotel.
The statue of Philip III
The equestrian statue of King Philip III dominates the square. Pietro Tacca, a disciple of Giambologna’s, finished it in 1616. When Queen Isabella II of Spain moved it from Casa de Campo Park in 1848, it became known as Plaza Mayor.
The original name of Plaza Mayor was “Plaza del Arrabal,” and it served as the town’s major market in the 15th century. A new plaza in Madrid opened in 1561. Juan de Herrera was commissioned by King Philip II to remodel the region. In 1617, Philip III began work on the project. 1619 saw the completion of the modifications by Juan Gómez de Mora. Plaza Mayor was decimated by three major blazes. The first one was in 1631. The plaza was reconstructed by Juan Gómez de Mora after the fire. After a second devastating fire in 1670, Tomás Román set about restoring the property. A third of the square was destroyed by fire in 1790. Plaza Mayor was created by Juan de Villanueva. Reconstruction of 1790 was overseen by him. Previously, the area was bordered by five-story buildings. Huge entrances were created by Juan de Villanueva by cutting down adjoining buildings and making them only three levels high. It was completed in 1854 by Antonio López aguado and Custodian Moreno after several years of work.
There is now a constant shape and size to the Plaza Mayor. Plaza is 129 meters in length by 94 meters in width (423 ft x 308 ft). There are 237 balconies on the three floors overlooking the Plaza. With ten entrances, the Plaza Mayor is accessible by way of nine separate entrances. Felipe III, Felipe VII, Arco de Triunfo, and 7 de Julio are the northern entrances; Sal (East), Zaragoza (East), Botoneras (South), Toledo (South), and Ciudad Rodrigo (West) are the other entrances. In 1848, a statue of Philip III astride a horse was erected in the plaza. Several events have taken place at Plaza Mayor. It’s been to the end of the line. It’s transformed into a holiday bazaar for the season. Bullfights and soccer games are also popular. A stamp and coin market is open on Sundays and public holidays.
12- KIO Towers (Gate of Europe)
Madrid’s skyline is dominated by the twin Kio Towers. Because of their location in Plaza de Castilla, their height (377 feet), and their architecture: two leaning towers aligned with the La Castellana axis, producing a futuristic entrance defying gravity.
John Burgee Architects New York Studio designed the Kio Towers, which were completed in 1990. As of the fall of 1995, they have been put together. The 115-foot-square bases of the towers serve as their foundations. Towers have a 14.3 degree inclination.
With a total floor area of 12,900 square feet, each of the 24 office floors is divided into three basements and one ground floor. Each tower has a helipad on the top floor. Eight elevators are available on the upper floors. Due to the tilt of the structure, only four people are able to reach the 13th floor. Because the elevator area changes, this tilting distinguishes each floor. Glass, aluminum, and stainless steel make up the structures’ sparkling bands.
13- Rooftop Bars in Madrid
At nightclubs, sophisticated pubs, and after-hours clubs, the best rooftop bars in Madrid can be found. While you’re on your way home, the fun is just getting started in this metropolis. Your trip’s high point may be a night out at one of the city’s clubs or bars.
Spectacular nighttime views of Madrid can be had from several of the city’s rooftop bars, which provide a variety of speciality cocktails and entertainment. There are stunning views of Madrid from rooftop patios. There are 26 rooftop patios featured in this post that you’re sure to like.
If you’re in Madrid, be sure to check out one of the city’s chic rooftop bars. Spectacular scenery, delicious food, and engaging people may be found all throughout the place. Swimming and sunbathing on the city’s rooftop pools is a popular pastime during the summer months.
14- Cine Dore
Near the Anton Martin covered food market, you’ll find Cine Dore, one of Madrid’s original movie theaters. The 1923 single-screen theater was constructed by Crispulo Moro. Manuel Lopez Mora’s improvements in 1925 and 1932.
Press and artists’ large-scale protest in the 1980s saved a cinema from being demolished. Every day, the National Film Institute of Spain (Filmoteca Nacional Espanola) displays a variety of masterpieces from the 1920s, as well as quirky or commercial international films (all in their original language versions). The movie theater features a cafe and a bookshop.
For screenings from the Film Archive and other promotional events such as conferences, seminars or presentations, it was built in 1923 and is now in use.
Salón Doré was established in 1912 in Madrid, Spain. Early triumph for Cine Doré. It dwindled in popularity and closed in 1963. In 1982, it became the permanent home of the Spanish Film Archive. Following an extensive restoration that retained the building’s original Modernist architectural and decorative features, it reopened in 1989. Salón Doré’s original cinema is recreated in one room. There is an outdoor cinema that is open throughout the summer months.
Offial Website: https://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/cultura/areas/cine/mc/fe/cine-dore.html
15- El Rastro
The biggest outdoor flea market in Spain is Rastro. Every Sunday and holiday, it’s held between Calle Embajadores and the Ronda de Toledo (just south of La Latina metro station and Puerta de Toledo station). Through Plaza de Cascorro and La Ribera de Curtidores, the Toledo ‘Ronda’ is completed. Market stalls line the main street, but the real “treasures” may be found in the back alleys.
El Rastro is a store that offers both brand-new and pre-owned merchandise. Local antique shops are open on Sundays. A weird and interesting journey is provided by El Rastro with each step. Previously, anybody could buy or trade antiquities. Currently, the majority of merchandise on the market is new, including apparel, jewelry, handbags, and other accessories.
After a day of shopping, head to La Latina, Madrid’s oldest neighborhood, for a drink and some tapas. Pickpockets are attracted to the large crowds on Sunday. Keep valuables out of sight and out of reach to avoid losing your wallet or bags.
El Rastro Market on Sunday
This open-air market, which has been around for 400 years, sells everyday items as well as others that are more unusual. The Rastro Market may be found at La Ribera de Curtidores and the surrounding lanes. Many kiosks in Ribera de Curtidores sell kitchen equipment, apparel and furniture items, jewelry, as well as comic books.
Name that’s a little out there.
“El Rastro” is a term derived from the area’s tanneries, which are located nearby. The word “El Rastro” comes from the blood trail left by animals being transported from slaughterhouses to tanneries.
Vendors and shopkeepers
Neighboring streets to Calle Ribera de Curtidores sell specialty goods. The following are some of the most well-known:
Because street vendors used to sell birds and other animals, this street is known as “Bird street.” There are still bird shops. “Painters’ street” is the name given to Calle de San Cayetano. Paintings, art, and painting supplies can be found in a variety of locations.
There are shops in Calle de Rodas, Plaza General Vara del Rey, and Plaza de Campillo del Mundo Nuevo where you can buy magazines and greeting cards, as well as stickers.
Used-book streets like Calle del Carnero and Calle de Carlos Arniches exist.
El Rastro is a neighborhood shopping center.
Everything is for sale in El Rastro. Few! This flea market in Madrid has both new and used items for sale. The antique shops in the vicinity stay open late just for market attendees.
Clothing, jewelry, wallets, and even live birds may be found. You won’t get bored with El Rastro. Can you provide a hand in the effort to save costs? El Rastro’s market stalls and shops are among the best in the city.
Hipermarket El Valenciano: This leather shop was started more than a century ago by the grandfather of the current owners. In the neighborhood, this is the only tannery. You may buy equestrian goods and handcrafted bottles of wine at this location. At the Ribera de Curtidores 22 ceramics booth, Rastro’s (and Madrid’s!) best pottery is sold by a father-son-uncle team. Handcrafted and hand-painted, the pricing of the family’s ceramics is unbeatable.
If you’re looking for antiques in Spain, go no further than Galeras Piquer. Rastro’s origins as a secondhand market can be traced back to this building. Pedro is the third generation to run this Rastro stall in Plaza General Vara de Rey at the corner of Calle Amazonas. Pedro is caught in the between “new Rastro” and “old Rastro.” Although he continues to offer used and antique objects, he has modernized them to fit in with the times. Actress Lorena Toré established Santa y Seora, which includes a microtheater.
16- Almudena Cathedral
The cathedral in Madrid has had a brief but eventful existence. During the reign of Queen Maria de la Mercedes, Francisco de Cubas sketched out the church’s first plans in 1879. When Pope Leo XIII established the Madrid-Alcalá bishopric in 1885, the designs for the church were altered to include a cathedral, which was completed in 1886.
In a larger and more complex concept, Cubas incorporates elements of French Gothic architecture from Reims, Chartres, and León into the design. The Romanesque crypt in this design was the first of its kind. The Cathedral was intended to be a public temple of worship, but because of a lack of funding, it has been years since it began construction. When the Marquis of Cubas died in 1899, Miguel Olabarra, Enrique Maria Repullés, and Juan Moya took command.
For several years, the building of the crypt had to be put on hold due to the Civil War, but it was revived in 1939. From that point forth, the stark contrast between gothic cathedrals and the rest of Europe was judged an aesthetic no-no. In a 1944 competition to develop a new architectural solution, Carlos Sidro and Fernando Chueca Goitia won. The cloister was completed in1955, and the main façade was completed two years later. It was finished in 1993. Pope John Paul II dedicated it on June 15, 1993, during his fourth visit to Spain.
You’ll find an effigy gallery honoring St. Isidro Labrador and St. Mary of the Almudena in the museum and a seven-sacrament exhibition. The Almudena Cathedral in Madrid is the city’s most well-known landmark. It was Pope John Paul II’s first cathedral to be consecrated outside of Vatican City. In 1883, King Alfonso XII of Spain set the groundwork for the Almudena.. The project was designed by Francisco de Cubas.
Unlike other cathedrals of the time period, the ceiling and stained-glass windows of the temple are painted in a manner that is far from classical.
17- La Almudena Cathedral Museum
The antiques from Madrid’s diocese are on exhibit in La Almudena Cathedral Museum. Mosaics, Episcopal symbols, and vestments may be seen throughout twelve corridors. Previously, the site of Almudena Cathedral was a mosque and a chapel dedicated to Santa Mara de la Almudena, the patron saint of Madrid.
The Gothic revival edifice was overseen by Francisco de Cubas. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, building was halted, and Fernando Chueca reworked the design to incorporate Baroque elements. The Cathedral was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993.
In terms of square footage, the Cathedral covers an area of 104 by 76 meters. Dome with a diameter of 20 m. The structure is located south of the “Plaza de Armas” of the Royal Palace. Neo-Gothic and “pop-art” elements coexist in Almudena Cathedral’s interior, which has chapels and sculptures by contemporary artists.
18- Atocha Train Station
Atocha, Madrid’s first railway station, was inaugurated on 9 February 1851, along with Spain’s second railway line between Madrid and Aranjuez.
Madrid’s second-largest station (after Chamartn) was expanded twice, in 1865 and 1892. Both of these structures have a striking feature in their roofs. One of the most recognizable structures in the city, this 152-meter long by 48-meter wide by 27-meter high work by Saint-James.
Since Rafael Moneo’s redevelopment of Atocha in 1984-1992, there are now two distinct stations: the old and the new. Rail traffic, the high-speed rail terminal, long-distance trains, and local services are served by the contemporary station, while the old station contains RENFE offices and a retail and leisure complex with a tropical garden with 400 species and more than 7,000 plant life.
Visitors like taking the Cervantes train from Atocha to Alcalá de Henares, the birthplace of Don Quixote. Estación de Medioda (Atocha-Medioda means south in old Spanish) established in 1851 as Madrid’s first railway station.
The MZA railway company restored the building following a fire in 1892. The replacement was designed by Gustave Eiffel colleague Alberto de Palacio Elissagne. Henry Saint James was also a participant. The station’s name is derived from the nearby Our Lady of Atocha Catholic Church. The 157-meter-long inverted hull roof of the train platforms reached a height of 27 meters. Two brick buildings are separated by a steel-and-glass roof.
The railroad expanded throughout time. Rafael Moneo began a major refurbishment in 1985. New shops and cafes were built on top of the original terminal in 1992. Atocha’s concourse, like the Orsay Museum in Paris, is now a 4,000-square-foot tropical garden.
In addition, Moneo designed and built a modern train station for high-speed, regional, and local lines. Commuter and regional rail stations are located near the Paseo de la Castellana tunnel’s entrance. There are two metro stations that serve this location: the Estación del Arte and the Atocha Renfe. Access to Line 1 is provided via this structure, which was built in conjunction with the terminal’s new structure. Beginning in November 2022, construction on a connection to Line 11 will last until 2026.
It will be renamed “Atocha” on December 19, 2021, as a result of the liberalization of the Spanish rail industry and the entry of new companies. Tocha-Constitución del 78 was the intended name of the station when it was announced by Vice President Ignacio Aguado on February 16, 2021, and proposed by Citizens (Cs), his political party. However, after Cs lost all its seats in the Assembly of Madrid in the 2021 Madrilenian regional election, the project was halted. Changes to signs, maps, and station announcements were made effective on 1 February 2022 as a result of the name change. Puerta de Atocha will be renamed in honor of Almudena Grandes, a Spanish author who died four months ago.
19- Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Our city’s three professional football teams are Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, and Rayo Vallecano. It’s a must-see on every trip to Madrid because the club provides its historic stadium to football and sports fans 363 days a year. Over 80,000 people can fit within the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, which was built in 1947 and named after the club’s legendary manager from 1943 until 1978. There are 245 available VIP boxes.
Tour the Bernabeu
In order to complete stadium improvements, Real Madrid Museum will be relocated to the east side of the stadium. The Bernabéu Tour will be back on June 1st. For the time being, visitation will be limited due to construction. Costs and routes might be affected by stadium redevelopment.
The museum, a recreation of Santiago Bernabéu in the 21st century, picture montages with the players (optional), a panoramic view, and the Official Shop are all available to visitors.
One of the most modern Bernabéu
Building a large cornice at the New Santiago Bernabeu’s main entrance is GMP-L35-Ribas. The new Bernabéu’s 2,000-square-foot doorway will float over the surrounding plaza without any support from the earth. The east stand of the stadium, which will be rebuilt in late 2022, will be somewhat taller than the current one, although the stadium’s capacity will remain the same at 80,000. All-weather use and noise pollution prevention can be achieved with the addition of a moveable roof.
Website of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium
20- Alberche Beach
A modest river beach at Aldea del Fresno is an ideal Spain attraction for families with young children (and even dogs, which are allowed if they are tied). Because the Alberche and Perales rivers meet here, it’s an excellent spot for a swim. It’s not covered, but there are kiosks, shaded picnic areas, showers, and drinking fountains available. You may unwind at the water’s edge while lying on a secluded sandbar. This is a summer paradise about 50 miles from the capital.
Read about the most visited beaches in Spain
Gran Via is the city’s principal street. The avenue was once known as “Avenida de Rusia” or “Avenida del quince y medio” since Russia backed the Spanish Republic. Gran Via was renamed “Avenida de José Antonio” under Franco’s dictatorship in Spain.
Gran Va took decades to build. Designed in 1862, the street’s original layout dates back to that time. The architects José López Salaberry and Francisco Octavio Palacios submitted their final design in 1899, and construction on the boulevard was completed in 1929.
One of Spain’s most challenging urban projects, Gran Va required the removal of almost 300 buildings and 50 roadways. This route connected the heart of Madrid with the northeastern region of the city.
Officially and unofficially, Madrid’s Gran Va is known as a variety of things. The path to conception was broken. Between 1910 and 1917, the Calle del Conde de Pealver was built in Madrid. From 1917 to 1921, the second part of the project was underway. Political figure Pi y Margall inspired the name of the street. Calle Eduardo Dato Iradier was the name of the third and last segment of the road, which was renamed in honor of another politician.
Street names were renamed three months before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War as a result of leftist influence. The C.N.T. Avenue (“C.N.T. Avenue”). It was originally called Avenida de Rusia because of Russia’s support for the Spanish Republic during the Civil War, but it was later renamed Avenida de la Unión Soviética because of Russia’s support for the Soviet Union (“Soviet Union Avenue”). The road was known as Avenida de los obuses by the Nationalist forces loyal to Francisco Franco’s bombing campaigns (“howitzer avenue”). During shellings, the “Edificio de Telefónica” (the Spanish phone company) served as a reference point because of its height.
After the conflict, the rebels in Madrid dubbed Avenida de José Antonio in honor of Falangist leader José Antonio Meade. A total of 27 streets were renamed following the restoration of democracy in Spain in 1981 by the socialist mayor, amongst them Gran Va. (“Great Way”). Now more than ever, Gran Va abounds with life and color. Larger walkways for window shopping and bar hopping were part of the 2018 reconstruction, as was a bike lane connecting Callao and Plaza de Espaa. It has bike and pedestrian-friendly seating, lampposts, traffic lights, and trees.
Numerous dining options may be found at Madrid’s Gran Va. The Boulevard is lined with eateries serving everything from fine Spanish tapas to international fusion food, authentic Italian, and classic American fare.
22- Centro Comercial Príncipe Pío
The Estación del Norte train station in Madrid, built in the late 1800s, now houses this shopping center. There are year-round shopping opportunities as well as leisure activities.
Visitors may shop for top-name products at the boutiques in Plaza de Espaa and the Royal Palace, just 5 minutes from Madrid Ro, or unwind in one of the many restaurants or 3-D movie theaters nearby. It’s an unique and easily accessible location that’s well-connected to the city via subway, bus, and suburban rail.
Stradivarius, H&M, Eurekakids, Mango, Tapioca, Zara, Tintoretto, Bottega Verde, Natura, Parfois, Pull & Bear, and Colonel Oisho are among the retailers in the three-story mall. You’ll come across companies that sell gifts, sports gear, cosmetics, and more. Restaurants, cafes, a McDonald’s, eight theaters, and nightclubs are all within walking distance.
At the foot of Prince Pius Hill, the first Centro Comercial Prncipe Po was created. Estación del Norte was the original name of the Centro Comercial Prncipe Po. A Metro station, Prncipe Po, is located close the Paseo de la Florida, making it easy to go about. Buses 25, 33, 39, 41, 46, 75, and 138 all stop at the mall.
Shopping in the mall includes eight shops that sell everything from clothes to jewelry. There are banks, opticians, furniture stores, and sports stores. In spite of the building’s modern appearance, the Centro Comercial Prncipe Po has a rich past. Young and old alike are welcome here.
In January of 2005, Centro Comercial Prncipe Po launched at a budget of $3.39 million. In close proximity to several tourist hotspots, the newly restored building awaits. The Templo de Debod is located north of the Centro Comercial Prncipe Po. Theater Real and Santa Mara la Real de La Almudena are located to the southeast and to the south, respectively.
23- Casa de Campo
This 1,722-hectare park sits outside of Madrid. Philip II purchased this mansion and its gardens in 1560 or 1561. The estate with a view of the Manzanares River belonged to the Vargas family. For his own pleasure, he transformed it into a Renaissance mansion complete with lush gardens. Using descriptions and the ruins of structures, it is feasible to reconstruct a Mannerist-style area that includes grottoes, mazes, ‘giochi d’acqua’ (concealed jets of water that spray unsuspecting guests), and dense trees grown in the period, in a true oasis surrounded by deep foliage.
To go to Casa de Campo from the city center, head towards the Manzanares River. The Rio neighborhood in Madrid has been renovated and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. To go to Casa de Campo, go to Principe Pio Station and cross the river. Attractions at Casa de Campo include the Zoo, IFEMA, the Madrid Pavilion, and the Teleférico (a multi-sport venue). Walking, drinking, and renting boats are all popular pastimes in the lakeside neighborhood.
24- Campo del Moro
One of Madrid’s secret treasures is Philip II’s gardens. They were designated an Artistic-Historical Monument in 1931 along a green corridor near Madrid Ro. To recapture Madrid after the death of King Alfonso VI, the Muslim leader Al Ben Yusuf attempted an assault on the citadel from a riverbank hill in 1109. Tents were set up in the grounds for his soldiers.
The Campo del Moro park in Madrid. Designed by Queen Maria Cristina in the nineteenth century in an English-style romanticism, it was completed in 1902. As a result of the enormous garden’s height difference from the Royal Palace, its creation was delayed. It has been transformed into one of Madrid’s most picturesque vistas in recent years. It takes its name from an attack on the Fortress of Manzanares by the Muslim commander Ali Ben Yusuf in the 12th century. This area was taken over by Muslim soldiers during the battle.
In the 16th century, King Philip II bought land close to the Alcazar and developed it into a pleasant place for the court. After the Madrid Alcazar fire in 1734, this area was of little historical value.
The Gardens were created by Narciso Pascual y Colomer (1844) during Isabella II’s reign. Both the Felipe de Castro and Manuel Lvarez (1775) Conchas fountain and the 16th-century Italian Tritons fountain from La Isleta at Aranjuez’s Infante Don Luis Palace in Boadilla del Monte were transported from Boadilla del Monte. Ramón Oliva worked on the restoration of the park under Maria Cristina of Habsburg’s regency (1890).
It had never been developed as a garden since it was too far from the Royal Palace to be used for that purpose. The Royal Palace was framed by a green tapestry surrounded by large fountains in a vast and shady lovely garden at this site.
A public entrance to Campo del Moro is being constructed through the gate at the intersection of Paseo de Felipe V and the Cuesta de la Vega, where the museum’s group entrance will be, in anticipation of the Royal Collections Museum’s opening (end of 2022). Floor -3 of the museum will be at the height of the gardens. The east-west Bonaparte (or Juan de Villanueva) Tunnel will connect the gardens to Madrid Ro.
During the Almoravid siege of 1110, Madrid’s early days may be glimpsed from the park’s ruins. The Almoravids fled to the south, but the Christian garrison held out until they were driven out of the citadel (today’s Palacio Real).
They were first established in the 18th century and redesigned in the early 19th century.
25- Madrid Disneyland Resort
In Madrid, there’s a must-see location. I don’t know what to call it. Visit these well-known spots while you’re in the area. There is a mini-Disneyland at Madrid’s Amusement Park (Parque de Atracciones).
No one has heard of this amusement facility. People are more likely to talk about Paris’ Disneyland than Madrid’s, although they don’t seem to know about it. You may argue that it’s better this way because there are no lines at theme parks (or almost does not). Weekends in the summer when the weather is nice are always busy. It’s speedier than Disneyland, with a wait time of around an hour at the most. On sometimes, I ride the same route twice a day.
Plaza Espaa is just two metro stops away from the Madrid theme park. Park on the Casa de Campo lot (one of the biggest parks in Madrid if not the biggest one). The entrance is right outside Batán metro station.
It’s a great park, and it deserves praise. It has a variety of roller coasters for all ages, including thrill rides for adults and children. With the help of tornado, Abismo, and tarantula, your knees will be shaking. On hot days, visitors to Madrid may enjoy two water coasters. Several kid-friendly attractions may be found in Nickelodeonland.
Pregnant women, those with heart conditions, and people who are taller than 187 cm are exempt from these restrictions. My brother, who is 192 cm tall, is unable to ride. There will be no allowances made if a youngster falls short of the minimum height standard.
Thrill-weary? Enter competitions to win plush bears and other goodies. Hungry? Take a bite of a hotdog or some Spanish tapas.
26- Flamenco tablaos
Flamenco theaters, restaurants, and concert halls may all be found in the city of Madrid, which is renowned for its music and culture of Spain. Attend a flamenco show at Tablao. Flamenco may be found in these locations.
For the atmosphere, purity, and the fact that flamenco greats have played there for many decades now. Authentic flamenco performances may be seen in tablaos.
Ticket rates for close proximity to the stage. It offers daily concerts at varied prices depending on how close you are to the stage. 39 to 49 cents. Because the seats further away from the stage are taller than those closer to it, everyone can see everything perfectly.
Performing arts ambassador Antonio Canales collaborates with Juaares on the productions. Incomparable.
In Madrid, everyone is Flamenco.
Cardamomo is an open-air flamenco tablao where everyone may take part in and enjoy the passion of the art form. The flamenco scene in Madrid relies heavily on the confidence of both the crowd and the artists.
There is no smoking in Cardamomo, a smoke-free, family-friendly venue dedicated to flamenco. Accessible spaces are available at our facility. If you have any special requests, please let us know when you make your reservation or when you get in touch with us.