If you are going to visit Madrid you will wonder what you can visit. Well here we advise you 10 places to visit.
This list of places to visit in Madrid will help you prepare a getaway to one of those cities that should be enjoyed day and night.
During the day you can get lost in the squares and streets of the most charming neighborhoods. Visit its famous museums and palaces, see its historical monuments, climb to its fantastic viewpoints, go shopping or relax walking through the green spaces and when night comes. You can not stop making a tapas and cane route through the neighborhood of La Latina, Chueca, Malasaña or the covered markets of San Miguel and San Antón. To finish in a trendy place until dawn and have a good hot chocolate breakfast with batons.
Based on the many times we have traveled to Madrid, for leisure and work, in the last we wrote this guide of what to do Madrid in some days. We have made a list of what we think, are the 10 places to see in Madrid essential. We start!
1. The Gran Vía
The Gran Vía is the most famous street to visit in Madrid and an essential walk for all who visit the city. Its construction dates back to the early twentieth century, in which large buildings such as Grassy. Telefónica or the Metropolis Building were built, one of our favorites to see in Madrid.
This street where you can not stop looking everywhere while you walk, is also famous for its great theaters. Which represent some of the best works and musicals of the moment such as the Lion King, Billy Elliot or Anastasia.
In addition, the Gran Vía is one of the main commercial hubs of the city, in which clothing and footwear stores of large national and international brands are located.
In case you like shopping, if you don’t have enough stores on Gran Vía, you can turn off Fuencarral Street, another of the most commercial in Madrid.
A good option to see the Gran Vía and the whole center with the best illuminated buildings is to book this night tour of Madrid by night with a guide, located among the best excursions in Madrid.
2. Plaza Mayor
The Plaza Mayor, located in the heart of the city a few minutes walk from the Puerta del Sol, is another essential place to visit in Madrid.
This rectangular square of 129 meters long and 94 wide, is surrounded by buildings and prominent places such as the Cuchilleros Arch. The Bakery House, the most important building in the Plaza Mayor and the Statue of Philip III, a gift from the Duke of Florence.
One of the best things to see and do in Madrid is to sit on one of its terraces to have a good cold beer or eat the traditional squid sandwich in the popular Bar La Campana.
If your visit to Madrid is at Christmas time, you can not miss the Christmas market, which is mounted in this point of the city. Where in addition to the typical Christmas stalls you can find the joke articles so characteristic in these dates, in the Spanish capital.
Another recommendation and participate in this tour that begins in this square at dusk, the ghost tour. Where you will discover corners with secrets and the dark side of the city, in addition to many of the places to visit in Madrid.
3. Museums of Madrid
The Prado Museum
This museum of more than 200 years has masterpieces of art such as The Three Graces of Rubens, The Knight of the Hand in the Chest of El Greco, La Maja Nude and May 3 in Madrid de Goya, The Garden of Delights of El Bosco and Velázquez’s masterpiece, Las Meninas. The best way to visit the museum is to book this guided tour with an expert in art and history. So you don’t miss out on any details and with which you will also skip the long lines. If you do not want to take a guided tour. We recommend you book this ticket in advance to avoid queues and for the same price as at the ticket office.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays and holidays, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free admission in the last two hours.
Reina Sofía Museum: this museum is the most visited in the city with more than 4 million visitors a year. Although he has great works by Dalí and Miró, among many eight, his jewel is the painting by Guernica de Picasso, one of the great masterpieces in the history of painting. To understand this painting and others of the museum we advise you to book this guided tour in Spanish with an expert or take this offer that also includes the visit to the Prado. If you want to visit the museum on your own, you can book the ticket online for a cheaper price than at the box office.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm (Tuesday closed) and Sundays, from 10am to 7pm. Free admission in the last two hours and on Sundays from 1:30 p.m.
This pinoteca has works by great masters such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Munch, among many others, most come from the old private collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family and others are provided by Carmen Cervera, widow of Baron Thyssen. To visit the museum you can book this guided tour with an art expert or buy the ticket online for the same price.
Visiting hours of Thyssen-Bornemisza: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm. Admission is free on Mondays from 12 noon to 4 pm.
4. El Retiro, one of the places to visit in Madrid
El Retiro, a historic park located near the city center, is perfect for disconnecting from city noise, playing sports, walking or simply sitting on a bench to read or be in touch with nature.
Although you can visit at any time of the day and week. We recommend you do it on a Sunday to enjoy a much more lively atmosphere in which there will be no lack of musicians. Different shows for children and adults and even sighted, which you can always ask How long will it take you to return to this amazing city?
The central park of Madrid
Within the Retreat you can not miss a visit to the Crystal Palace and the pond, one of the most famous images of the park. Where if you come in spring or summer, the stations preferred by tourists visiting Madrid and in good weather. You can rent a Boat to enjoy the surroundings.
To leave or enter the park we recommend you do it through the Puerta de Alcalá. The most famous of the five old royal gates that gave access to the city and another of the essential places to see in Madrid.
Near this door, going down Alcalá Street, is the Cibeles Fountain, one of the most emblematic of Madrid next to Neptune.
5. Neighborhoods of Madrid
Strolling through the streets of the most charming neighborhoods. Having a drink on the terraces of your squares or shopping at your local stores, is one of the best things to do in Madrid.
Among our favorite neighborhoods to visit in Madrid are:
Chueca: a reference for the LGTB collective, it is a perfect neighborhood for shopping in original stores. Enjoying art in galleries or having a drink on the terraces and taverns that are located around the squares of Pedro Zerolo and Chueca.
Malasaña: separated from the Chueca neighborhood by Calle Fuencarral. This trendy neighborhood has a young atmosphere in which you can go from having a drink in its trendy stores to entering one of its stores and bookstores. The most famous streets and squares are Calle Manuela Malasaña, Calle del Pez and Plaza del Dos de Mayo.
This neighborhood has a great atmosphere when it starts to get dark and the taverns of Cava Baja street are filled. A route through the neighborhood should also include Cava Alta Street, San Andres Square, the Plaza de la Puerta de los Moros, the Plaza de la Cebada and the Plaza de la Paja with a beautiful garden.
Las Letras: historic neighborhood in which the streets have famous names like Cervantes or Lope de Vega. In addition to touring these two streets, it is worth taking a long walk to find places such as Plaza Jacinto Benavente. Calle de las Huertas, Plaza Santa Ana and stop for tapas in local taverns.
6. Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace or Palacio de Oriente, was the official residence of the kings of Spain until they moved to the Palacio de la Zarzuela. Another of the essential places to visit in Madrid.
This huge palace, the largest in Western Europe, is currently used for tourist visits and is closed for state ceremonies and official events. The Palace is surrounded by the gardens of Campo del Moro and Sabatini. Where from the latter you get magnificent photos with the Royal Palace in the background.
It is worth entering inside to see the halls and royal rooms, the Royal Pharmacy and the spectacular Royal Armory. One of the most important in the world.
A good option to not miss anything about the palace and skip the long lines that form in the access is to book this visit with a guide in Spanish. This offer that also includes the guided tour of the Prado Museum, another of the places to visit in Madrid.
If you prefer to visit on your own, we recommend you book your ticket online in advance, you will save time.
For more information you can read this specific post about the Royal Palace of Madrid.
Visiting hours: every day from 10am to 8pm from April to September, in the other months it closes at 6pm.
7 Puerta del Sol
The Puerta del Sol, located in the heart of Madrid, is one of the most famous squares in Spain and one of the most beautiful places to see in Madrid. Some of the main and most commercial streets of Madrid end or pass through this square. So for sure, you will see it several times during your visit to the capital of Spain.
In this square, active 24 hours a day, there are several points of interest such as the Statue of the Bear and the Madroño. The Clock of the Post Office, that place that we have all seen at some time in the retransmission of the last bells of year. Where millions of Madrid meet that day to celebrate the start of the new year, and the “kilometer 0” of Spain, located in front of the City Hall.
Km. 0 of Spain
A few meters from this square you can have a delicious hot chocolate breakfast with batons in the San Ginés Chocolatería, one of the historic ones in Madrid.
A good way to start your visit to this amazing city. Knowing its history and curiosities, is to book this free tour of Madrid with a guide in Spanish for free!
If you have little time another option is to book the tourist bus that stops at the main points of interest and has comments recorded in Spanish of each of them.
8. Viewpoints of Madrid
Among the places to visit in Madrid, you cannot miss the best viewpoints of the city that. In addition to good views, are a perfect place to have a drink.
Here you have our favorites:
Círculo de Bellas Artes
From its roof you can make one of the typical, photos of Madrid with the Metropolis Building and the beginning of the Gran Vía.
Hotel Riu Plaza Spain
The English Court of Callao
Palacio de Cibeles
9. Almudena Cathedral
Considered the most important religious building in Madrid. The Almudena Cathedral was the first cathedral that was consecrated outside Rome in 1993 by Pope John Paul II. The cathedral is located in the historic center of Madrid, opposite the Royal Palace and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
It is worth entering to see its exquisite interior, very different from the rest of religious buildings and with a color that takes center stage in the stained glass.
You can also climb the dome of the cathedral that has a platform from where you will get good views of the surroundings.
Visiting hours: every day from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
10. Debod Temple
The Debod Temple, located in the west of the Plaza de España, is another of the great places to visit in Madrid. This ancient Egyptian temple of more than 2,200 years old. Was a gift from Egypt to Spain for the help it provided at the time to save Abu Simbel from the waters of the Great Aswan Dam.
The Debod Temple has become a beautiful place where you can enjoy tranquility and relaxation, especially in the late afternoon. From where you can contemplate a unique sunset that you will surely not forget.
A few meters from the temple at the back is a viewpoint overlooking the Casa de Campo, the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral.
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