Best Places to Visit in Madrid: Full of fascinating attractions, Madrid offers an immersive experience of the rich culture of Spain. The vibrant metropolis abounds with cafes, shops, art galleries, and theatres, offering endless recreational activities for everyone.
From soaking in grandeur at the 18th-century Royal Palace to exploring masterpieces at the impressive Prado Museum, there are many special experiences that draw millions of tourists to this charming city.
It also boasts a bustling entertainment and nightlife scene.
Going on an evening stroll to enjoy the high vibe of the city is almost a ritual here.
Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, a party person, or a foodie, this charming city won’t disappoint. The only challenge is to decide where to begin since there are so many attractions.
We’ve got you covered with our list of the 8 best places to visit in Madrid, Spain:-
Royal Palace #1
The abode of the King of Spain, The Royal Palace of Madrid features a stunning Neoclassical design. Various official state events are organised here. It was built in the 18th century by Philip V and is made from granite and white Colmenar stone.
Its columns and pilasters are made as per the designs by Bernini who intended them for the Louvre in Paris. It houses various mesmerizing artworks and beautiful French tapestries.
One of the most notable features of the palace is the impressive staircase at the entrance. It has a fresco of The Triumph of Religion and the Church and goes up to the main floor.
Visitors are also drawn to visit the stunning apartments of Charles III. If you’re an artsy person, head to the Throne Room. It features frescoes by Tiepolo, beautiful tapestries, mirrors, and chandeliers.
Interested in learning more about history?
Head to the Royal Armory where you’ll find 3,000 exhibits dating as far back as the Middle Ages.
Want to relax like a king?
Take a stroll in the Jardines del Campo del Moro, historic gardens from the time of Philip II. They feature a French-styled landscape and are adorned with fountains.
Museo Nacional del Prado #2
Housing over 8,000 paintings and 700 sculptures, Museo Nacional del Prado is a world-renowned museum. Exploring the displays spread over 100 rooms can be challenging.
It’s best to take self-guided tours or “routes” of select works. Some of the must-see works include Las Meninas from 1656 by Velázquez.
It portrays Felipe IV’s Spanish royal family. Other notable works include Jacob’s Dream by José de Ribera, Christ Embracing Saint Bernard by Francisco Ribalta, and The Immaculate Conception by Murillo.
If you don’t wish to wait in line, you can also opt for a skip-the-line tour where you’ll also be accompanied by a guide who’ll tell you about the historical context & significance of every notable artwork.
El Retiro Park & the Crystal Palace #3
Rejuvenate your senses at this oasis of serenity. Sprawled over more than 125 hectares, it features various gardens and beautiful tree-lined paths.
It was created in the 17th century for the Count-Duke of Olivares and was frequented by Spanish kings over the years.
You can soak in tranquillity in its beautiful rose garden or explore the Velazquez Palace art gallery. There’s even a lake where you can go boating.
One of the most notable features of the park is the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace), a cast-iron and glass pavilion that features contemporary art exhibitions.
It has a fountain and a small pool in the front which elevates its beauty.
Fuente de Cibeles and Gran Via #4
The Fuente de Cibeles (Cybele’s Fountain) depicts the Roman goddess Cybele riding a chariot drawn by lions. It was built by Francisco Gutiérrez and Roberto Michel in 1782.
Nearby this iconic fountain is the bustling Gran Vía, which is chock full of shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.
From sipping on your favourite drink in bars such as Joséalfredo to enjoying a meal with a view at rooftop bars like La Terraza de Macarena, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy here.
You’ll also find some notable buildings such as the Metropolis Building, and the Telefónica Building. As you wander through the area, you might also come across street performers occasionally.
The Plaza Mayor #5
One of the most popular places to visit in Madrid, the Plaza Mayor is an exquisite 17th-century plaza.
It was constructed during Philip III’s reign. Back in the day, it was used as a space for public executions and ceremonial events.
Today, it’s a spot for chilling where you’ll find many people clicking photographs of the statue of King Philip III. After a leisurely stroll, get a coffee at one of the numerous cafes.
The Plaza was renovated after the fire of 1790. Nine arches were built connecting it to Calle Mayor, Calle de Postas, Calle de Toledo, and others.
Real Madrid’s Stadium #6
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is the home of the Real Madrid Soccer Club. It also has a museum where you can explore team artefacts, trophies, and many such fascinating displays.
Boasting being “the greatest stadium in the world”, it features digital display screens, an underground car park, and a retractable roof.
No wonder it draws thousands of football fans.
National Archaeological Museum #7
Founded in 1867 by Queen Isabella II, this museum offers a peek into archaeological history, from prehistoric times to the 19th century.
Its impressive collection consists of decorative arts, ancient coins, archaeological finds, and ethnography.
One of the must-see displays here is the ivory Pot from Zamora and the bust of the Lady of Elche. You can also find Egyptian mummies, Visigothic crowns, and Mudéjar ceramics.
Puerta Del Sol #8
A lively place that draws tourists and locals alike, Puerta Del Sol is the vibrant town square that aligns with the rising sun.
It is also named after the old city gate’s sun emblem.
Various historic events have been held here. One of the most notable is the Spanish resistance to Napoleon on May 2nd, 1808. It also serves as a point from where distances on the Spanish national road network are measured.
You’ll also find many bus stops and metro entrance gates here. It’s home to many cafes and shops and is one of the most happening spots in the city.
Madrid is a bustling city that offers something for everyone.
So, start with the place that attracts you the most and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.
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Q. What is Madrid’s most visited place?
The Museo del Prado is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Madrid. Built in the 18th century, it houses one of the best art collections in the world.
Q. What is Madrid famous for?
Madrid is known for its delectable traditional Spanish food with unique combinations, and for being home to Sobrino de Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world. It’s also known for its impressive repositories of European art, including the collection of Prado Museum.
Q. Is 2 days enough in Madrid?
2 days in Madrid is enough time to see most of the notable attractions and get a glimpse of its rich history & culture.