It is the perfect city for those who are looking for sun, marvelous art galleries, lush gardens, and traditional tapas bar for the most authentic Spanish experience.
Madrid is a typical, traditional European city with a modern, fresh spirit. It is the perfect city for those who are looking for sun, marvelous art galleries, lush gardens, and traditional tapas bar for the most authentic Spanish experience.
It’s impossible to compare Madrid’s vibe to any other European city. The city center pulses with vivid boutiques, cafes, and gastro bars, surrounded by iconic historical monuments and museums, positioning Madrid in the top rankings of the most-visited cities in Europe.
Madrid is home to an enormous variety of colorful neighbours, all of which should be visited in order to enjoy this experience to the fullest. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve picked out the top five places in Madrid that visitors to the city can’t miss:
Built during King Philip III’s reign (1598-1621), the Plaza Mayor is situated in the heart of the capital. Now populated by a variety of bars and restaurants, Plaza Mayor was once used to host different public events such as bullfights, theatre performances festivals, and even inquisition trials. Surrounding the square, you can admire a three-story residential building with 237 unique balconies directly facing the Plaza, making it one of the most unique architectural sites in the city.
Museo del Prado
Founded in 1819, the Museo del Prado is among the best art museums in the world. It holds one of the finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century up to the 20th century. Home to nearly 27,000 total works, the museum holds art by Francisco de Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Diego Velázquez. The Prado is a real sanctuary of classic and contemporary art.
Parque del Retiro
With an area of 125 hectares and more than 15,000 trees, the Parque del Retiro is the city’s most beloved park. Its innumerable gardens makes Retiro the perfect destination for locals and tourists alike to take a break, play sports, go for a walk, or have a picnic. For a more romantic experience, you can rent a small rowboat at the gorgeous lake in the center of the park. Retiro is also home to art exhibits, sculptures, and beautiful fountains, adding the perfect touch to a this historic park.
Palacio Real (The Royal Palace)
The official residence of the Royal Family, from King Carlos III to Alfonso XIII, the Royal Palace is evidence of the enormous impact the Spanish monarchy has had on Spanish history and culture. Although the current monarchs don’t live in the palace, it is still official royal property used for state ceremonies. It also serves as a museum, and visitors are welcome to explore its 135,000 square meters, and over 3,000 rooms.
Gran Via is the most important street in the entire city. If you’re looking for a weekend dedicated to shopping, then this is the right place. Many of the buildings are currently being renovated into shopping centers by some of the most iconic brands in the fashion world, such as H&M, Primark, Zara, Cortefiel, Mango, and many others. Also known as the Spanish Broadway, Gran Via offers some of the city’s best nightlife. In Madrid, Gran Via is the street that never sleeps!
These top five iconic places in Madrid are proof of the amazing variety this city has to offer. But there is so much more to discover! Start with these five sites, and then take your time to explore Madrid. This city has something for everyone!