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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- 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
Celine was a most pleasant guide to spend two hours with, as she imparted her impressive knowledge of how Madrid grew from a Moorish fortress through to the Habsburg reinvention of the city. She tailored the tour to suit our interests, and she offered this in very digestible bits, tied to where we were walking in Old Madrid. She also shared what she loves about her relatively newly adopted home, so she has a perspective that reflects a true interest in the culture of Madrid but also can see it more objectively, perhaps. All in all, a very good way to spend two hours getting to know this fascinating city!
From the collection in a private minbus to the after flight breakfast the trip was highly professional, safe and fun! Lots of attention to detail to make it very special. Following the flight the trip included a guided city tour with a friendly informative guide ensuring that you had some free time for coffee and rest break as well as entrance into the cathedral and palace. Thank you get your guide!
Nice big tour bus with a restroom. Our male guide was fluent in English & Spanish. (Forgot his name!!) Charming & helpful. So nice to not have to worry about driving or parking. Saw plenty in both towns. Good to be able to quickly get in to the alcazar & the cathedral. Just wish the day had more hours so we could have spent even longing. Would have loved to wonder & shop more. Next time!!!
Everything was perfect. From the moment we entered they welcomed us very warmly. The theater is small and cozy. From the first second till the end of the performance it was breathtaking. They love what they do and you can feel it in all emotions they share with the public and between them on the stage. I really recommend it, and I'm sure you'll love it :)
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.