I visited Spain several years ago. Although we spent most of our time in the southern part of the country, we made sure to spend a few days in Madrid before we left. We were not disappointed. Spain's capital city is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, but also in all of Europe. With so much to see and do, both historical and modern, a trip here can never disappoint. Madrid offers something for everyone, whether you love art, the outdoors, or sports. Here are some of the best places to make your visit fabulous.
1. Prado Museum
The Prado is not only Madrid’s most famous museum, but it is one of the most popular in the world. Filled with paintings and sculptures, the museum showcases Spanish, Italian, and Flemish styles of art. You need at least half a day to fully appreciate the museum.
2. Plaza Mayor
This renaissance square dates back to the early 1600s and surrounds you with cafes and bars where you can enjoy a drink while admiring the beautiful architecture and atmosphere.
3. El Retiro Park
This luscious park offers activities for the whole family. Enjoy walking among formal gardens, including a rose garden filled with over 4,000 roses. Let the kids enjoy the playgrounds and take the entire family on a paddleboat ride.
4. Puerta del Sol
This area is the heart of Madrid, where the culture and life of the city can be experienced. Nightly it is filled with parties at the nightclubs and makes for a perfect place to wander and enjoy street performers.
5. Royal Palace
This luxurious palace was the home of the kings of Spain for almost 200 years and includes 3,000 rooms, some of which are open to the public. Enjoy a display of royal armory and Spanish artwork.
6. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art
If you’re looking to experience more art, this museum offers more than just Spanish works. View renaissance paintings by artists such as Rembrandt and impressionist pieces from Monet and Degas.
7. Gran Via
Another top spot for experiencing life in Madrid, enjoy popular shopping spots during the day or nightclubs after dark. It is also filled with architecture dating back to the early 1900s.
8. Bernabeu Stadium
Soccer fans will adore a tour of this gigantic stadium filled with the history of the great successes of the famous team Real Madrid. Enjoy panoramic views and visits to the players' dressing rooms and dugouts.
9. Casa de Campo
As the largest public park in Madrid, Casa de Campo boasts more than just open space for picnics and relaxation. Enjoy the amusement park, zoo, and cable car rides.
10. Queen Sofia Arts Center
The third great art museum in Madrid focuses on modern and contemporary art. The 21,000 pieces of art include works by Salvador Dali and Picasso.
11. Flamenco tablaos
Flamenco is Spain’s most famous dance, and though not native to Madrid, it is best experienced in the tablaos there. You can even enjoy some Spanish food while taking in the performance. We wandered down a little street from our hotel to a little tablao and spent a wonderful evening enjoying some tapas and exquisite dancing.
12. Mercado de San Miguel
Food lovers will enjoy this vast marketplace that offers drinks like coffee and cocktails, tapas, fruit, meat, and seafood.
13. Matadero Madrid
Here art has taken over an old slaughterhouse, filling it with dance performances and vendors of art, crafts, and fashion pieces.
14. Plaza de Cibeles
Considered the most famous plaza in Madrid, Cibeles is home to some of the best architecture, including a palace and a fountain of a Roman goddess.
15. El Rastro Market
This market is a giant flea market offering everything from art, souvenirs, antiques, and household items. Experience live music as you browse the massive variety.
Visiting any of these locations is sure to make your trip to Madrid one to never forget. If you’ve been wondering which city to visit in Spain, or any stop in Europe, be sure to consider Madrid as a top choice. Contact me and we can begin planning your Spanish adventure.