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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

This energetic and extravagant shopping street is also the pulse of Madrid's nightlife, hence its nickname: "The Spanish Broadway!"

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.

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

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

Wonderful experience getting to know Madrid.

Our tour guide did an amazing job of introducing us to her beloved city. She created a customized tour for us based on our interests and needs. I would highly recommend this tour company and our guide for anyone you wants a personalized and unique experience in visiting this beautiful city.

Private Customizable Madrid Tour With a Local Reviewed by Calvin, 12/03/2017

Excellent tour and great value for money, well worth doing.

The tour exceeded our expectations in both information content and food and beverage content. Andy was our guide and he was a great ambassador for the company and for Madrid. We had expected very small samples of tapas but we were very comfortably full by the end of the second venue. Definitely would recommend and we are thinking of doing another tour with this group.

Madrid Tapas Experience Walking Tour Reviewed by Jo, 11/20/2017

The guide was very informative and passionate about art

It was the best decision to get a guide for the Prado museum tour or else we would be wandering in the museum and missing out on valuable details in these art. The guide was very good and we can see that he is very passionate about art as he took us through the museum showing us important pieces and how to look at a painting properly. Very highly recommended and 3 hours just flew by so quickly.

Madrid: 3-Hour Private Prado Museum Tour Reviewed by Eiling, 11/19/2017

Review for Madrid tapas & history tour 7pm

We originally booked this tour at 4pm but because we wanted to make the most of the weather we upgraded to the Madrid Tapas & History: Lunch/Dinner Walking Tour which is also run by Pedro. It was very fun! We enjoyed every minute. Pedro has lots of knowledge and the four bars we went to were fab, especially the ham and fish bars. In total we had around 5 glasses of wine and lots of food. We were in great company including Americans, Australians and New Zealander's in our group. We finished off at a churo bar which was a great end to the night. Would definantly recommend this tour, thank you Pedro!

Madrid: 2.5-Hour Wine Tasting, Ham & Tapas Tour Reviewed by danielle, 11/14/2017

Fantastic way to try so many different things!

Only being in Madrid a few days, I wanted to try a lot of foods and this was the perfect way to do so! We went to the first bar and got Spanish omelettes and crochettas and fried potatoes with garlic mayo as well as a wine/soda mixture. Then moved onto the next bar with a meat and cheese platter and a drink of choice. I recommend the Summer wine as it was sweet and very good. Then we went to the last bar and had red wine with paella and olives and bread with meat on top. While I had the meat options, they are very accommodating for vegetarians. My tour guide Andy was very nice and energetic! I loved his attitude and the way he lead the tour. I do however wish he would have been wearing or carrying something more recognizable while walking because I felt I might lose him at times. Overall had a wonderful time and it was nice to try so many foods over such a short time. I will say my tour was closer to two hours than three but that didn't bother me.

Madrid Tapas Experience Walking Tour Reviewed by Cassandra, 11/11/2017