Top attractions 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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- 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
Initially I was apprehensive about our tour because the group was large and it looked like the tour was going to be given simultaneously in Spanish and English by one tour guide. However, a second guide arrived before we began, and we broke into two smaller groups - one for each language. Our group of five people was the perfect size. It made it easy to follow our guide as we moved through the exhibits. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, leading us through each exhibit in chronological order of the styles of art. She gave us a background on each style, information on each artist and his/her life, and pointed out details and symbolism in each piece. She brought along copies of related works from the Prado and other museums - a very thoughtful extra touch. My husband and I were very pleased with this tour, especially getting to see Guernica in person and exploring the museum at our leisure after the tour. Only complaint: quality of guide’s mic - audio was sometimes painfully crackly.
Ana picked us up at out hotel on time and we had a pleasant walk to the Prado. The visit to the museum exceeded the expectations for me and my wife. Ana's expertise in art and history was impressive but not overwhelming. The time flew by as we conversed for hours. Unlike many guides, the conversation was not one sided and the give and take was truly educational. At no point did we feel like Ana was on a clock or forcing us to move too quickly through the museum. We are still talking about our experience. Highly recommend!
Fantastic tour for football (soccer) enthusiasts and even for those with slight interest in it. The indoor interactive media was very impressive. Tour route was well landed and gave your really good insight into the stadium, the field, the teams. Highly recommend checking out this tour! Caveat: be ready to walk and climb some stairs up and down.
Hands down, Mateo (Matthew) put on the best tour adventure we went on during our 2 weeks in Europe! His knowledge of the area and passion for Madrid shines through. Th electric bikes were a blast and they made viewing Madrid a lot of fun. Great tour. Great guide, Great value.
The museum opened at 10.00 am, by using your service we entered the museum at 10.05 am. The museum exhibits are wonderful, well worth the visit for anyone interested in famous artists from a number of countries, particularly those from Spain.