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
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.
Very well organised. The app was very helpful. Our guide was cheerful, funny, friendly and informative. The bus company needs to fix the microphone in the bus for him though. Apparently this has been an ongoing problem and frustrating for him.
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.
I wouldn't have found some of the places we ate tapas, and the others I wouldn't have thought they were anything special. At each place we ate their specialty, and we learned about the origin of the food, as well as the history of Madrid.
Our guide, Pablo was very informative and entertaining. We did have to wait for some people in our group who were late to arrive. The earlier tour (9:00) was a plus for beating some of the crowds as well as the heat.