The top 10 things to see in Madrid, Spain

Spain Madrid Palacio Real

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Recently I spent some days in Madrid and I loved it! This city is vibrant, classy, full of nice architecture and with great infrastructure that facilitates tourists to move and explore all its awesome sites. Let me share with you which are the top 10 places you should visit and some specific information about each one that will make your life easier when you are there and want to visit them.

1. Prado Museum

You can start your tour at the Prado Museum. It is the main national art museum, considered to have one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century. The entrance is 15 Euro, and there’s free entry for ages under 18, students 18-25, and visitors with physical impairments.

More information: Museo del Prado

Espana - Madrid - Museo del Prado
Espana - Madrid - Museo del Prado

2. Parque El Retiro (The Glass Palace and Lake Rowboats)

This is one of the most beautiful parks I’ve been to, it’s full of kids playing, dogs, musicians and good vibes. You can visit the Palacio de Cristal (The Glass Palace) and there is a lake with rowboats to rent.

More information: Parque El Retiro

Espana - Madrid - El Retiro

3. Puerta de Alcala and Plaza de Cibeles

They are both on the same street. The Puerta de Alcalá was a gate of the former Walls of Philip IV, its name originates from the old path from Madrid to the town of Alcalá de Henares.

More information: Puerta de Alcala

Espana - Madrid - Puerta Alcala

The Cibeles fountain shows Cybele, the Greek goddess of fertility and nature holding a sceptre and a key while being pulled by two lions on a chariot. On each of the 4 corners of the Plaza de Cibeles square, you will find an interesting building. The Palacio de Buenavista currently houses the Spanish Army’s headquarters; the Palacio de Linares is owned by the Casa de América organisation and the Madrid City Hall.

More information: Plaza de Cibeles

4. La Gran Via

Gran Vía is the street known as the Spanish Broadway. I loved the architecture of all its buildings, it’s an ornate and upscale shopping street and it is one of the streets with the most nightlife in Europe.

More information: Gran Via

Spain Madrid Gran Via
Spain - Madrid - Gran Via

5. The Royal Palace of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. The entrance costs around 10 euro.

More information: Royal Palace of Madrid

Spain Madrid Palacio Real
Spain - Madrid - Royal Palace

6. Almudena Cathedral (Sunset on the hill)

The Almudena Cathedral is a Catholic church, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid. After visiting the cathedral you can cross the bridge with glass siding and at the end, you will see a little area to the right with a fence and a hill. There you can take a seat and watch the sunset.

More information: Almudena Cathedral

Spain Madrid Catedral Almudena

7. Plaza Mayor and San Miguel Market

The Plaza Mayor was built during Philip III’s reign and is a central plaza in Madrid. It’s located very close to another famous plaza, the Puerta del Sol.

More information: Plaza Mayor

The San Miguel Market is a covered market where you’ll find all the tipycal spanish food, gourmet delicatesens and a great atmosphere to taste many different flavours.

More information: San Miguel Market

Spain - Madrid - San Miguel Market
Spain - Madrid - San Miguel Market

8. Wine & Dine in La Latina (Visit El Rastro market on Sunday)

La Latina is Madrid’s neighbourhood for beer on tap, tapas, mojitos and terraces, and good vibes.

More information: La Latina

Spain - Madrid - La Latina
Spain - Madrid - La Latina

9. Arganzuela Footbridge

Designed to link the neighbourhoods on the right and left banks of the Manzanares river, was designed by the french architect Dominique Perrault.

More information: Arganzuela Footbridge

Spain - Madrid - Arganzuela Footbridge

10. Debod Temple

Is an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid. I really liked to visit it during the night because it had a kind of mystical vibe.

More information: Debod Temple

Spain - Madrid - Debod Temple
Spain - Madrid - Debod Temple

How to visit Madrid?

If you are on a quick trip you can visit Madrid’s highlights in 2 days:

  • First day (walk in the City Center): you can start at the 1) Prado Museum, then walk around 2) El Retiro Park and afterwards go north to see the 3) Puerta de Alcala and Plaza de Cibeles. At the end of the avenue you’ll find 4) La Gran Via which you can walk west to get to 5) The Royal Palace of Madrid. From there you can walk south to 6) Almudena Cathedral and watch the sunset on the hill. Finally, in the night you can walk east to 7) Plaza Mayor and San Miguel Market.
  • Second day (by metro, taxi or walking – a lot!): you can start by having breakfast or lunch in 8) La Latina, then go south to see 9) Arganzuela Footbridge, and finally finish by visiting 10) The Debod Temple (in the night preferibly).
Madrid - Spain - Europe - Map

Are you interested in traveling around the world? In the Travel Section you can find detailed travel guides for different cities, touristic activities, recommendations, tips, and much more!

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  1. 19/09/2017 / 8:56 AM

    Your first two list items are what I most think of in Madrid. Nice to learn about some other places to visit in Madrid, too.

  2. 14/09/2017 / 5:09 AM

    Your travel blog is fantastic! I have always wanted to visit Madrid. If I only had a few days in Spain where would you recommend visiting?

    • Pilar
      14/09/2017 / 10:58 AM

      Thank you very much Kaitlynn! I’m super glad you like the blog 😀 I added a new section at the end of the blog post explaining how can you visit Madrid in 2 days, hope you find it useful!… later on I’ll make a more general post about the places you should visit in Spain 😉

  3. 29/07/2017 / 9:29 AM

    Oh wow one of my places to visit in the world ! Pinning to keep for when that trip happens. 🙂

    • Pilar
      14/09/2017 / 10:54 AM

      Amazing Louann! Hope you find the post very useful when you visit Madrid! 😀

  4. darlingceo
    28/07/2017 / 8:54 PM

    Gorgeous photos! I would LOVE to go to Madrid. This post makes me long for this much more. Thank you for sharing.

    • Pilar
      14/09/2017 / 10:52 AM

      Thanks sweetie! I’m glad you liked the post! 😀

  5. 28/07/2017 / 6:35 PM

    Super jealous of your travels! I hope to have the adventures you have experienced!

    • Pilar
      14/09/2017 / 10:51 AM

      Thanks Kimberly :p , I’m sure you’ll have lot’s of great adventures too! 😉

  6. 28/07/2017 / 6:19 PM

    Great post! The pictures make me want to hop on a plane! Hope to be able to travel someday!

    • Pilar
      14/09/2017 / 10:50 AM

      Thank you very much Mary-Ellen! Hope you are able to visit Madrid soon! 😀

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