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

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

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!

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
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

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

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

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

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

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.

Círculo de Bellas Artes
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

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

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What people are saying about Madrid

I was sick, but we still really enjoyed the wine tour.

Alfonso did a great job of taking us around to several wineries and giving the history of wine in Spain. Since I ended up getting sick prior to the tour, we were unsure of whether to even go, but our tour was great and we are very glad that we took the chance to go on it.

Madrid Region Wineries: Guided Tour and Tastings Reviewed by steven, 05/14/2019

Very nice, instructive and efficient trip!

An excellent organization, Benny (Benito Aquillar - a great Spanish name! :) was an excellent guide with a very good English accent and with extremely complete information and a special sense of humor. Benito was the best possible guide! The driver drove elegantly and was always on time in the meeting places, we had lunch time, enough time to buy souvenirs, to take pictures. A great one-day trip! Thanks to GetYourGuide and the travel agency chosen for this trip!

Absolutely delightful! Ravishing! Exciting!

Absolutely delightful! Ravishing! Exciting! A magic, sensual, passionate dance! The impeccable outfit and the talent of the beautiful Juan Fernandez seduced me, I will never forget that ravishing look, so well matched with the movements of that dance, oh, that dance that triggers your desires and violates your decency, your inner silence, your mind... I was on the next night at another show, much better rated, but... it was not the same. It does not matter the speed and the difficulty of the dance, the most important is what the dancer expresses for the audience, the way he look at you, the way he makes you feel...

Madrid: Flamenco Show at Tablao Las Carboneras Reviewed by Adela, 05/09/2019

Joaquin was an excellent and informative guide.

Joaquin was informative, fun, and made the tour very enjoyable, I would absolutely reccomend him as a guide for this and other tours.

Madrid: The Spanish Inquisition Walking Tour Reviewed by Anonymous, 05/05/2019

Bilingual tour guide was very good and on time. No problems.

Meeting place at the statue was easy to locate. Tour guide did an excellent job at translating to English. The translation was very similar to the Spanish version (meaning that the guide did not add/exclude pieces of information for us English speakers)