Madrid
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Top attractions in Madrid

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Top 10 things to do in Madrid

Madrid's culture is one that seems to emphasize living and leisure over hard work, yet its history has seen it produce some of Europe's most awe-inspiring artworks and buildings. Here are just a few of the best places to visit in Spain's capital!

Plaza de España

The metro station of the same name takes you to the Plaza de España, where a huge statue of Miguel de Cervantes presides over those of his characters Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Soccer fans can tour the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home of Real Madrid, walk the pitch, visit the dressing rooms, and marvel at the club's huge trophy cabinet!

Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

The Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art boasts one of the foremost collections of 20th and 21st-century Spanish art, with highlights including Picasso's Guernica.

Museo del Prado

If traditional art is more your thing, the Museo del Prado exhibits the world's most extensive collection of Spanish art from the 12th to 19th centuries.

Palacio Real

Madrid's most famous landmark Palacio Real is one of Europe's most spectacular palaces, built from Spanish marble and surrounded by beautifully landscaped courtyards and gardens!

Plaza Mayor

Once the place to see bullfights and carnivals, you can find some of Madrid's best restaurants where the historic market square Plaza Mayor meets the "Austrias" neighborhood.

Gran Vía

This energetic and extravagant shopping street is also the pulse of Madrid's nightlife, hence its nickname: "The Spanish Broadway!"

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Completing Madrid's "Golden Triangle of Art," along with the Reina Sofia and Prado museums, the collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is owned by a former Miss Spain and is perhaps the most eclectic of the lot.

Photo: jacinta lluch valero @Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Círculo de Bellas Artes

Another key player on Madrid's art scene, this gallery's rooftop terrace offers stunning panoramas of the whole city! It's the best view of Madrid by quite a margin.

Parque del Buen Retiro

Of Madrid's many green corners, Retiro Park's statues, fountains, and floral features offer the city's most scenic respite for joggers, picnickers, boaters, and you!

Planning Your Madrid Visit

Best time to visit?

Summer is peak season despite the intolerable heat that drives even the natives to close up shop and head to a cooler climate! It's better to go in spring or fall, although if it takes more than a mild winter to put you off, hotels are considerably cheaper in winter!

How many days?

Madrid has enough life in it to enjoy a week there. If that turns out to be a little too long for you, the city is also well positioned for day-trip opportunities. For instance, consider visiting historic Toledo or Segovia, if not the Ribera del Duero wine region for a tasting or two!

How to get from the airport to the city?

Barajas International Airport is one of the world's largest, which means it's busy but pleasantly well connected! Taxis are available but the Renfe train is the cheapest and quickest option, however, at rush hour it might be less stressful to get the airport express bus. There is also the Metro, although this isn't advisable when carrying plenty of luggage.

How to get around?

Buses and the Metro are reliable, well connected, and cheap. Visitors might find it easier to purchase a Madrid Tourist Travel Pass, valid on all trains and buses for 1, 3, 5, or 7 days. Taxis are also very affordable compared to most European cities, and well regulated, too.

Good to know

  • Language
    Spanish
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +34
  • Best time to visit
    Spring and Fall offer milder temperatures and fewer tourists

Things to Do in Madrid

Top Attractions in Madrid

Cities in Spain

Other Sightseeing Options in Madrid

Want to discover all there is to do in Madrid? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Madrid

Excellent and a high light of the trip to Madrid

Fernando the chef who conducted the class was wonderful, friendly, and very professional. I picked up a lot of new food techniques and info, Would highly recommend this class for any body's visit to Madrid, Great time and met lots of new people.

Really enjoyed. Everything went smoothly. Loved our guide Lola.

Lola our guide was very knowledgeable about history of Segovia and conveyed the information in an engrossing manner. Loved Segovia. Wonderful buildings and fabulous aqueduct.

From Madrid: Day Trip to Segovia by Train Reviewed by Susan, 09/09/2018

Even though the line was short I was happy to skip the line

Exactly on this Friday it was important to skip the line due to the fact that the museum offered a free guided tour at 11 o’clock.

Skip-the-Line Prado Museum Entrance Ticket Reviewed by Bente Roende, 02/09/2018

The best tour of its kind I have ever done.

The Amigo Tour to Toledo and Segovia was a big day-eleven hours, but it was well paced and the time went quickly as there was so much on offer. The bus was good, the driving excellent especially for the final leg home from Segovia to Madrid. Our tour guide Jose was such a lovely fellow and thoughtful and knowledgeable. I’m so glad we did this tour of the two towns as both are so interesting and beautiful, the walled town of Toledo is spectacular and Segovia has the aqueduct which has to be one of my top tourist highlights, ever.

Very good and easy to visit the important sightseeing place in madrid

I stay around gran via hotel. That is so easy and fast to get in the hop on and off bus when I present the online ticket. And the audio is very clear , somemore got usb so that I can charge my handphone battery and keep snap my picture when bus is go around. Route 1 & 2 is Madrid main historical and new place to going too. But one thing I hope it can finish at 11pm cuz still hv many tourist still around those area. But we r lucky can get the last bus went back to our hotel.

Madrid City Tour (Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour) Reviewed by Hie Kiong, 30/08/2018