24 Best Things to Do in Madrid

2,923 Views

Many people around the world have heard about the awesomeness of Madrid and the fact that it is a place that people go to visit because it houses some fantastic areas, but from a distance, there are so many people that have issues as regards why they need to visit this place, hence a reason to have a checklist of areas that they need to be in Madrid.

It should be noted that when it comes to the best of sight-seeing, Madrid might not be the best of choices to make for you, because there are other places on your checklist, but this doesn’t make it a site that is short of so many excellent places to visit. It should be noted that the fact that it is a place which is situated in Spain makes it one place that you need to visit. Everyone knows about Spain and the fact that it has some adorable areas that you need to consider at one point or the other, but the best of these places are also situated in Madrid.

To mention but a few of the many reasons why you should visit this place would include the fact that it has some of the best historic places of all times, it is notable for having some world-class arts, it has incredible places where you can taste the best of Spanish meals, the awesome parks are something to speak about. This brings us to the checklist of some of the most amazing places that you need to visit when you are in Madrid, Spain.

Here is the list of best things to do in Madrid

1. Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor
Credit Unsplash

The plaza mayor is one fantastic place that has seen it all, talk of the best events that there are; from the best of coronations to the best of circumstances, you would find all here. In more recent times, it is said that these place houses some of the best places in Madrid to stroll and also get some of the best Spanish meals and this is the more reason why you need to visit this place.

2. Royal Palace

Royal Palace
Credit Unsplash

This place is tagged as the official residence of the royal family in Spain and in more recent times, the area has been used for the best ceremonies. Many people visit this place because of the bulk load of paintings that the place houses and these are not just paintings that were made by recent artists but some of the top-notch names in the field of arts and carving.

3. Retiro Park

Retiro Park
Credit Unsplash

When it comes to one of the best places in Madrid that have the finest of sights when it is dark, you can count on Retiro Park for this. The state of the art edifice is not just about the view, but also the beauty that it encompasses. The park has a lake where you could row your way while you enjoy the awesome breeze that emits from the environment. As it stands today, the park is tagged as the most magnificent park in all of Madrid, and this is also a place that has so many fun places that you could quickly spoil yourself in.

So many people that come to the place, come in a group and the reason is not farfetched from the fact that it is a beautiful place to create beautiful memories.

4. Tempo de Debod

Tempo de Debod
Credit Flickr

This temple is so impressive because it was a movement from Egypt to Madrid. However this “move” that we mean is not in the literal sense, but you must have at one point, or the other heard about the Egyptian temple; this is one place that is an archetype of that temple from the Madrid perspective. In recent times, a lot of reviews that have been gotten at this place have indicated that it is a lovely place to watch the setting of the sun. Hence, a reason why you need to visit this place, especially when you are craving some amazing and memorable pictures.

5. Kio Towers

Kio Towers
Credit Flickr

This place is tagged as the first leaning skyscraper in all of Madrid, and this is because of the height of the tower. It is considered as one of Madrid’s financial center, and this is because the place gets so much money for the country. It is a place to visit by you and your loved ones.

6. Gran Via

Gran Via
Credit Flickr

Gran Via as a cinematic view that keeps a lot of people coming to the site. So many people have visited the place because it has been used in so many movies that we see. I would suggest that if you have to visit this place, you might want to have your 3D glasses on because it is that beautiful.

7. Rooftop Bars

Rooftop Bars
Credit Unsplash

One thing that makes rooftop bars awesome in Madrid is the fact that you can easily see the beauty of Madrid from those rooftops. So, if you happen to be that kind of person that has a craving for seeing Madrid in one glance, then you need to try some of the rooftop bars that Madrid houses.

8. Mercado San Miguel

This is one of the oldest and most open food markets in Madrid. Inviting not just to appreciate its beauty, but the tables decorated beautifully waiting to be served you with the delicacies from tapas to caviars to delicious chocolate desserts. It is one of the world’s renowned gastronomic markets. Every single food item available is tempting and mouth-watering — a perfect place for foodaholics. Lively ambiance adds to the beauty and gives a festive look. The stalls serve the best tapas, the finest fishy pintxos, marinated meat, pickled goodies, fresh seafood from arriving daily from Galicia, Iberian ham, Mediterranean rice, swordfishes, burgers and special cheeses from Castilla, Asturias or the Basque Country. Not just the eatables. But, the finest of drinks can also be enjoyed here. The wines, ciders, all available here to delight your taste buds. You can bask in essences and flavors from every corner of Spain all in one place.

Mercado San Miguel
Credit flickr

9. Plaza de Cibeles

This is the iconic symbol of Madrid delineated by four prominent buildings, the Bank of Spain, the Palacio de Buenavista, Palacio de Linares, and Palacio de Cibeles. The whole place is a square with a complex of marble sculptures with fountains. The complex seems to have drawn its inspiration from the classical art and culture of classical antiquity. The fountain is named after a Phrygian goddess, Cybele. Here, the team victories are celebrated by placing a Real Madrid flag and scarf on the statue by the team captain.

Plaza de Cibeles
Credit flickr

10. El Rastro Market

It is the famous open-air flea market of Madrid. You can enjoy checking in on Sundays or public holidays between 9 am to 3 pm in the barrio de Embajadores being busiest around 11 am. This is an economic market selling both new as well as used products.cThe items for sale in this market are generally not available in shops or malls. Here, you can find antiques, rarities, and curiosities with different ethnicities. You can enjoy bargaining, little sightseeing, and some local food delights. El Rastro Market also offers a variety of special items such as domestic animals, birds, and associated impedimenta, art supplies and pieces of art for sales such as drawings and paintings, magazines, cards, stamps, old and rare books, souvenirs, funky clothing, and accessories. An amazing feature is here you can find young children trading with each other. The main street is lined by the trees. So, you are not subject to direct heat.

El Rastro Market
Credit flickr

11. Have a meal at Sobrino de Botín

If you are in Madrid, I recommend to have a meal at Sobrino de Botín, a place with its name inked in the Guinness Book of Records for being the continuously operated (since 1725) oldest restaurant in the world. The famous Spanish artist had served as a waiter in this famous restaurant before getting accepted into the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Here, you can enjoy the original recipes. They have an ongoing flame burning in the oven continuously never to be extinguished. The signature dishes served are the Cochinillo Asado (roast suckling pig) and Sopa de Ajo (an egg, poached in chicken broth, and laced with sherry and garlic).

Sobrino de Botín
Credit Wikimedia

12. Catedral de la Almudena

It is a catholic church and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid. The Cathedral is an amazing work of art with Neo-0gothic interior. The changing genera of art can be viewed in the chapels and statues of the contemporary artists where historical art forms can be revealing on one side and the pop-decor popping on the other. The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is featured with a mosaic from Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik.and the paintings in the vault are the beautiful works of Kiko Arguello. The entry to the church is free, but visiting the rooftop has a nominal fee. I insist you should visit the rooftop to enjoy an amazing view of Madrid. The opening hours are between 10 am to 2:30 pm. An incredible place of architecture offering a place to sit, relax, find peace, and enjoy dramatic views.

Catedral de la Almudena
Credit flickr

13. Puerta del Sol

Located in the heart of the city, it is the busiest place in Madrid. It is the center of Spanish roads with radial alignment serving as the kilometer zero, from where all roads are measured. It is a public square also featuring the eminent clock, the bell of which marks the beginning of the New year. The heraldic symbol of Madrid, the statue of The Bear and the Strawberry Tree is located here. Other famous spots are the statue of Charles III of Spain and Tío Pepe lighted sign.

Puerta del Sol
Credit pixabay

14. Calle de Cava Baja

It is a lively and beautiful street with a friendly ambiance offering an extensive selection of tapas. Ranging from local flavors to excellent and exclusive wines, this is a one-stop-shop. Traditional and contemporary famous tapas bars are all straight in line along the street. It is connected to the rest of the city by buses as well as the metro. The buildings along the street are beautifully colored in varying shades adding to the charm of the street. Not just the wines, but you can enjoy specially brewed coffee in any of the Coffee lounges also lined alongside the taverns. Simply a street with so many restaurants condensed beautifully in a narrow, walkable area.

Calle de Cava Baja
Credit flickr

15. San Ginés for churros

For the yearning lovers of chocolate, this is the must-visit place when in Madrid. Founded long back in 1894, located in the passage of San Gines, it is the lively cafe which invites every desire for chocolate. The place is always crowded with people to cherish the famous chocolate with churros. Dark, rich chocolate neither too sweet nor too chocolatey, just perfect for dipping with an air-light buttery churro, crunchy outside and spongy inside The classic chocolate with 6 churros ample for 3 people snack has the heavenly taste and is a must-try if in Madrid. Plus point is they are open 24-hours a day.

San Ginés for churros
Credit Wikimedia

16. National Archaeological Museum

Located on Serrano Street, National Archaeological Museum shares its building with the National Library. Founded in 1867, the museum exhibits the collections of archaeological, ethnographic, numismatic and pieces of the decor of the Spanish monarchs. The building is designed in the neoclassical style. The pieces of the collection range from the Iberian Peninsula, from Prehistory to Early-Modern Age. There are many other collections from ancient Greece, Magna Graecia, Ancient Egypt, The key objects of the museum include a replica of the Altamira cave, Lady of Galera, Lady of Elche, Dama del Cerro de Los Santos, Lady of Baza, Biche of Balazote, Sphinx of Agost, Bull of Osuna, Mausoleum of Pozo Moro, Treasure of Guarrazar, Crucifix of Ferdinand and Sancha, Lex Ursonensis, Pyxis of Zamora, one of the Alhambra vases and many more. You may need at least 3 to 4 hours to have a glimpse of all the collections. Saturday entrances are free.

National Archaeological Museum
Credit flickr

17. Flamenco Tablao

These are the shows exhibiting professionals trained in art-form based on folkloric music traditions of Andalusia, Spain. Their origin and style are purely Andalusian. The shows exhibit the cross-cultural interchange between native Andalusians, Sephardi Jews, Romani, Moors, and Castilians. Flamenco has been recognized as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. You can buy tickets for any show. But, a few best ones are Tablao Flamenco La Quimera, It is a small restaurant located away from the town and inexpensive too. The quality of dance and the dancers you will witness here is heart throbbing. The dance is split into two halves each of 35-40 minutes. The spectacular dance without feeling loss of even a speck of energy is worth watching. Even the food offered here is delicious. The show starts with a drink and then comes in the salad, a potato dish, sausage, and Jamon Iberico. Next came the paella. At least, it deserves one of your evenings, and you’re going to love it.

Flamenco Tablao
Credit flickr

18. Parque de El Capricho

It is a beautiful park in Madrid open from 9 am to 9 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The park has eye-arresting features like a lake, a maze, Hermit’s house, pedestrian bridge. This bridge is the first iron-bridge of Spain. The park is accessible by both the bus and the metro. You can always find large-sized squirrels and flock of parrots in the park. The food is not allowed inside the park. But, the lockers are available to keep in any stuff that is prohibited inside. It is well maintained and green all the time, but spring season add on the colors of beautiful blooming flowers.

Parque de El Capricho
Credit Flickr

19. Teatro Real

Teatro Real or El Real was found in 1818. It is a big opera house hosting large productions for showcasing the talents of legendary figures in opera singing, musical direction, stage direction, and dance. It has a seating capacity for 1746 people in the auditorium. Besides, it has a large stage, workshops, and rehearsal rooms. It hosts about 17 opera titles, two or three major ballets and many recitals every year. The house offers guided tours daily ranging from 50 to 90 minutes.

Teatro Real
Credit Wikimedia

20. Teatro Lara

Founded in 1880, the Lara theatre is a cozy place to enjoy art forms and theatre plays. The place is small, but it has been very nicely condensed to give the look and feel of a bigger theatre. It is an open and dynamic space that accommodates innovative theatre performances and let the artists exhibit their talents in dance, music, and other artistic expressions. The ticket office is in the theatre hall and is open from Tuesday till Sunday.

Teatro Lara
Credit Wikimedia

21. Reina Sofia Museum

Inaugurated in 1992, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the national museum of art and was named for Queen Sofia. It is located near the Atocha metro station. It is the southern wing of the Golden Triangle of Art. The marvelous building showcases the excellent collections of Spanish art, with major contributions from the works of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The brilliant masterpiece of the collection is Picasso’s painting Guernica. Other outstanding collections include The Great Masturbator by Salvador Dalí and Equal-Parallel/Guernica-Bengasi by Richard Serra. It has been recognized as one of the largest museums for modern as well as contemporary art in the world. After 7 pm, the entry in the museum is free. You can also climb up the rooftop to catch the picturesque view of the city.

Reina Sofia Museum
Credit Wikimedia

22. Temple of Debod

It is an ancient Egyptian temple which was rebuilt in Madrid in the Parque del Oeste, near the Royal Palace. The best time to visit here in the early morning during sunrise or during sunset.

Temple of Debod
Credit pixabay

23. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

This museum comprises of the third wing of the Golden Triangle of Art. Collections ranging from medieval art to contemporary pop art are showcased here. The collections are organized in an imposing manner. The place also has a little cafeteria, and gift shops to buy souvenirs.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Credit Wikimedia

24. Prado Museum

Designed in 1785 and founded in 1819, this masterpiece work of art is officially known as Museo Nacional del Prado. It is the best place to start your tour. It’s the national art museum of Spain, located in Central Madrid. Europe is acclaimed for its unique works of art, and this museum exhibits one of the world’s magnificent collection of European art. The museum has collections of paintings and sculptures with significant contributions from the famous artists Francisco Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Diego Velázquez. 

As on date, the collection in the Prado Museum comprises of 8,200 drawings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures. Many historical documents and other pieces of art have always been added and keep on doing so. This museum has the maximum number of visitors. The most famous work displayed here is the work of Las Meninas by Velázquez. 

Museo Nacional del Prado and the two nearby museums Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Museo Reina Sofía, together form the Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art. Currently, it is under the direction of Miguel Falomir.

Prado Museum
Credit Flickr

Conclusion

Madrid might not be the biggest city that there is to visit, but it is a place for the best of amazing sights. If there is anything that you do not want to miss about Madrid, it is our checklist of amazing places to visit in Madrid.

My Purpose

You deserve to relax and enjoy your vacation. Being stressed in the process is not part of it. This is why I decided to create this blog to guide the new savvy travelers. It will guide you on where to go and provide more information about the holiday destination of your choice.

Categories

Recent Posts

PINSPIRATION

Sign up for our Newsletter

Join our community to receive more travel tips!

Scroll to Top