Top attractions in Madrid
Top sights 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
This energetic and extravagant shopping street is also the pulse of Madrid's nightlife, hence its nickname: "The Spanish Broadway!"
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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- 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
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What people are saying about Madrid
Cuenca was beautiful and The Enchanted City was one of the highlights of our trip to Spain. I highly recommend that you take this tour if you're in Cuenca. We were especially lucky to have had Jorge as our guide for the Enchanted City as his English was excellent and he was so knowledgeable and excited about The Enchanted City and he made the tour so interesting and fun! The only thing that I would suggest to the tour guides is that you change the lunch schedule. We opted out of the lunch to eat on our own but we were dropped off in Cuenca for lunch at 3pm just at the time that everything was closing. There were limited options to eat and all stores in the city were closed during our free time. It would've been more enjoyable if we were able to use that time to walk around the city and shop and choose an eating option. You might want to just consider having lunch with the group if you take this tour.
“The tour was very good and complete, we had a great day! Our guide Paula was great and managed the tour very well in both languages (English and Spanish). Our driver Enrique was also very nice. All three towns were beautiful and we spend a good amount of time in each to see the main places. Lunch was also good. I do recommend both the tour and the company. My only suggestion would be to have a larger vehicle (more space, not more people) because the vehicle we had was pretty small for such a long day and the visibility was limited because of the tall seats and small windows”.
Very knowledgable and friendly guide. I appreciated the small size of our tour (8 people total). Our guide took us through at a perfect pace and definitely knew the palace. Our only complaint, was that the meeting spot was difficult to find and we had trouble reaching the tour company to figure it out.
Lots of riding on the bus, but we managed to have enough time to enjoy both cities. Great value. Museum/castle visit at Segovia is included, but not the cathedral in Toledo, which may not be worth the 10 euros to visit. Guide was excellent Enough time to visit, but not for shopping.
So happy we booked this tour of the Reina Sofia. Paola was such a great tour guide. She helped us understand so many of the abstract pieces and provided information that we would remember and appreciate. She was super sweet and friendly. Made the entire experience 1000 times better.