Luxurious Royal Madrid is one of the centers of European tourism. Millions of foreigners visit the city annually. The Spanish capital began to develop after ascending the throne of the Bourbon dynasty in the 16th century. Then magnificent churches and palaces began to be built, monuments to the heroes of the nation were erected.
Walking around Plaza Mayor and tasting tapas at the central market of San Miguel, you can feel the spirit of Madrid - strict, solemn and at the same time dynamic and looking to the future. The former grandeur of the Spanish nation is carefully stored in the treasures of the Prado Museum, sealed within the walls of the Palacio Real Palace, walled up in the stone bridge of the Plaza del Sol.
A trip to the Spanish capital is a journey into the world of art, elegant architecture and breathtaking gastronomy, as well as an immersion in a vibrant and authentic culture.
Where to go and what to see in Madrid?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a brief description.
1. The Royal Palace
The real Spanish Versailles, one of the most beautiful royal palaces in Europe, built in the 17th century. On the west side of the complex are the magnificent gardens of Campo del Moro. During the reign of dictator Franco, the palace was nationalized, so the royal family no longer lives here, but only arranges official receptions. The rest of the time the building is open for tourists.
2. The Cibeles Palace and Fountain
One of the main squares of the Spanish capital is the Plaza de Cibeles. Here is a monumental fountain of the 18th century and a palace built in the early 20th century. Since 2007, the building has been hosting the residence of the mayor. In past centuries, citizens took drinking water from the fountain, and the palace building served as the main post office throughout the 20th century. Today, the Plaza de Cibeles is a popular destination for tourists and residents of Madrid.
3. "Gateway to Europe"
Two tower skyscrapers in the Plaza de Castilla, built at an angle of 15 ° to the surface of the base. The buildings were designed by American architects D. Burge and F. Johnson in 1996. The towers are 114 meters high and contain 25 floors; private helipads are located on the roofs. This attraction has become a symbol of modern Madrid.
4. Gran Via Street
One of the main thoroughfares of the capital, as well as the main "walking street" for local residents. In the evenings, especially on weekends, hundreds of citizens go here to the famous Spanish “March” - a long walk from bar to bar (there are plenty of these establishments on Gran Via), during which you can chat, meet friends, drink a glass of wine and join in the fun a crowd of other loungers.
5. Plaza Mayor Square
The central square of Madrid, from where most of the famous tourist routes start. Plaza Mayor appeared in the 17th century during the reign of Philip III. Since then, important state events have taken place here: executions, bullfights, coronations of Spanish kings, public holidays and formidable courts of the Inquisition. Nowadays, street artists, artists and curious onlookers gather in the square.
6. Puerta del Sol Square
The name of the place is translated from Spanish as the "gate of the sun." Here is the famous symbol of Madrid - a bear supporting a strawberry tree. In the middle of the square is a monument to Charles III. Puerta del Sol is always full of people. Here, sellers of the Christmas lottery get lost in groups of Chinese tourists with huge cameras, and shopaholics run from one store to another in search of discounts.
7. Park Buen Retiro
Green area in the city, a favorite place for walking Madrid. The park has many picturesque alleys, fountains, buildings of past centuries. Citizens come here as whole families on weekends to eat ice cream or take a boat ride on a small lake. Translated from Spanish, the name of the park sounds like "good privacy."
8. Park Casa de Campo
A vast park area, somewhat remote from the central quarters of Madrid. In the past, there were royal hunting grounds. The park has a large zoo with an aquarium and dolphins, as well as an amusement area with dozens of slides, labyrinths and other carousels. Also for hungry visitors there is a whole street of Paseo de Gastronomy restaurants.
9. Prado Museum
An invaluable collection of works of art that cost even more than the Paris Louvre. Outstanding representatives of Spanish painting are exhibited here: Velazquez, Goya, El Greco Murillo. The Prado Museum owns extensive collections of Italian painters and canvases by masters of the Flemish school. For public visits to the exhibition opened in 1819.
10. Reina Sofia Art Center
Included in the "golden" three art galleries of the Spanish capital, along with the museums of Thyssen-Bornemisza and Prado. The exposition was opened in 1992. in the former building of the capital’s hospital. The Arts Center was named after the Spanish Queen Sofia. The place is famous for its rich collection of works of modern art. The most famous painting is “Guernica” painted by the grandiose Pablo Picasso.
11. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Until 1993, the museum was a private collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, then the state bought it. Here are paintings by artists who have been "ignored" in the Prado and the Queen Sofia Center for the Arts. The works of Italian primitivists, Russian constructivists, Dutch and English painters are constantly exhibited. There are also many masterpieces in the style of pop art and geometric abstraction.
12. Museum of America
Museum dedicated to the discovery of the Americas. In all of Europe he will not find analogues. It houses collections showing the history and life of the indigenous population of America before the Spanish conquest. Visitors can look at weapons, household items, clothing, religious objects of the Indian tribes. The weapons of the conquistadors and samples of colonial art are also exhibited.
13. National Library of Spain
The largest collection of written and printed exhibits in the country: books, maps, prints, brochures, magazines, musical scores, posters. The library appeared during the reign of King Philip II at the beginning of the XVIII century. Funds are constantly replenished by providing for storage a copy of each printed work published in the country. Over the three centuries of its existence, the library has accumulated 26 million samples.
14. The Royal Theater
The main opera stage of the capital, exists from the middle of the XIX century. As a result of wars and revolutionary events, the theater repeatedly lost its functions and alternately served as a barracks, now as a warehouse, or as a building for parliamentary meetings. In 1977, the scene was returned to its original function, in 1997 only operas and other musical works began to be staged here.
15. Cathedral of Almuden
The monumental and majestic cathedral of Madrid, where magnificent public services are held and celebratory mass is served. The temple is dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Almudena - the patron saint of the Spanish capital. The first foundation stone was laid by King Alfonso XII in 1884. The cathedral was finally completed only at the end of the 20th century. The architecture of the building is a mixture of neoclassicism and baroque elements.
16. The Escorial Monastery
The monastery is located about an hour from Madrid at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. The harsh fortress served as the residence of the Spanish kings. Construction continued from 1563 to 1584. Despite the strict and fairly simple appearance, the interior of the palace is striking in splendor and luxury. Here lies the remains of all the Spanish monarchs, starting with Charles V.
17. The Monastery of Descalsas Reales
The existing monastery of the XVI century in the city limits of Madrid, located near the Puerta del Sol. The monastery gave shelter to women from noble families who escaped under her vaults from hated and imposed relatives of grooms. Thanks to the rich dowry of failed brides, the monastery quickly became one of the richest in all of Europe. In one of the parts of the monastery is a museum of painting.
18. Temple of Debod
Ancient Egyptian temple, which is about 2000 years old. Originally intended to worship the god Amon, then became the center of the cult of the goddess Isis. The temple was donated to Spain by the Egyptian authorities in gratitude for the salvation of the historical relics damaged during the construction of the Aswan Dam. The structure was dismantled into stones, transported to Madrid and installed in West Park.
19. Gates of Alcalá
They are located on Independence Square in the center of the capital. The design is made in the neoclassical style, has three large and two small spans on the sides. The facade is decorated with a sculptural group and an inscription, which immortalized the name of Charles III. In the XVII century, the road to Alcalá de Henares passed through the gate. The monument became one of the symbols of the modernization of Madrid in the era of Charles III.
20. Atocha Station
The main and largest railway station in Spain, from where a high-speed trip to all regions of the country, as well as commuter trains depart. The building consists of two terminals. In the old terminal of the XIX century there is a tropical garden, cafes, shops and entertainment venues, the new one is used for its intended purpose for sending and arriving trains.
21. Arena Las Ventas
The arena intended for the famous Spanish national show - bullfighting. From May to October, bullfights are held here every Sunday, from April to November you can visit the bullfighting museum. Also quite often the venue is used for concerts and festivals. The construction appeared at the beginning of the XX century to replace the old building located in the city center.
22. Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Home arena of the popular football club Real Madrid. You can get to the stadium with a guided tour, during which visitors can learn about the history of the team, inspect the Trophy Hall, look into the locker room and sit in the stands. The arena seats up to 80 thousand spectators. On the opening day of the stadium in 1947, Real Madrid played against the Portuguese Belenensis and won 3-1.
23. Flea market El Rastro
Shopping area or, more precisely, a flea market where you can buy interesting things - from antique furniture and musical instruments to sweets, rare books, clothes. The market is open on Sundays in the La Latina quarter. This is often visited not only by tourists, but also by local residents, as they often sell rare and necessary mechanisms and parts on the market.
24. San Miguel Market
Gastronomic market near Plaza Mayor. Bright metropolitan attraction where tourists rush to taste various Spanish tapas. Here you can taste fresh oysters with a glass of champagne or delicious jamon seasoned with herbs and spices. You can try the delicacies endlessly, as each counter offers something different.
25. Warner Brothers Amusement Park
The city of attractions in the suburbs of Madrid, covering an area of 55 hectares. Here you can have a wonderful rest with your children. The park is divided into several zones: Hollywood Boulevard (main avenue), the world of superheroes, the city of cartoons, the Wild West, and a film studio. Each zone is unique and interesting, exciting performances are organized everywhere, and there are fun attractions.
3. Arena Las Ventas
More than 90 years ago, the largest bullfighting site in Spain was created on Alcala Avenue. The sight of this Madrid landmark is striking in its luxury and grandeur: the arena seats over 23,000 guests, its diameter is more than 60 meters. The object is decorated with vaulted arches and ceramic decor. If you do not know what to visit in Madrid in March-October, but are fond of bullfights and bullfights, buy a ticket for bullfighting. You can also visit the local museum, or become a spectator of concerts, sports and festivals held here.
5. Gran Via Street
Where to go in Madrid for free? On the main boulevard of the capital, which "never falls asleep." The street, arranged in 1910, stretches across the entire city center, and offers you to visit numerous shopping centers, restaurants and boutiques. The most famous object of Gran Via is considered Telefónica (formerly the most high-rise building in Europe).
Watch magnificent views of Madrid in this beautiful video!
6. Plaza Mayor Square
Also one of the main squares of the Spanish city, made in the shape of a quadrangle. About 135 original buildings surround it around the perimeter - with images of magical creatures on the facades, with arches and balconies. In the center of the square is a sculpture of Philip the Third in bronze. In previous years, public executions and bullfights were held here. Today, artists are performing at Plaza Mayor, and city celebrations, fairs, shows and carnivals are being organized. Such best sights of Madrid will appeal to fans of modernity and history lovers.
7. Puerta del Sol Square
Like the largest hotels in Madrid, this square does not stop for a minute. The territory is made in the shape of a crescent: rising to its zero kilometer, tourists make wishes. There are many restaurants and cafes in the nearby streets serving national cuisine. In the dark, Puerta del Sol is illuminated by three hundred protectors: in their light, the fountains and monuments of the square seem like fabulous decorations.
8. "Gateway to Europe"
The modern symbol of the city is two glass “falling” skyscrapers, 115 meters high. Buildings are inclined to each other, and form a kind of gate. On the roofs are platforms for helicopters. The development of the object was carried out by architects from the USA During the construction, innovative materials and technologies were used. On the eve of Christmas, between the skyscrapers set the main Christmas tree of Spain. In addition, incredible light performances are held here annually.
9. The Royal Theater
The building was built in the middle of the 19th century, and has since been considered the main opera stage in Spain. Numerous revolutions and wars more than once destroyed the theater, turned it into a warehouse, a venue for important meetings, and the military barracks. Since 1997, only operas and other musical productions are given on stage.
10. Almuden Cathedral
The temple, erected in memory of the patroness of Madrid - St. Maria Almudenskaya is decorated with stained-glass windows, a giant 75-meter dome and a facade of gray-blue literate stone. The building is located opposite the Royal Palace. The complex includes a large observation platform, allowing you to see the whole panorama of the city. Inside the temple is a magnificent altar made of emerald green marble.
12. The Escorial Monastery
The temple is located near Sierra Nevada, and was formerly a residence for royal families. The construction of a harsh fortress lasted more than 21 years. The luxurious and magnificent interior design contrasts with the laconic and rather simple facade of the building. In the inner rooms are stored the remains of all the kings of Spain (from Charles the Fifth).
15. Park Buen Retiro
The best place for those who want to relax from the hustle and bustle. The park’s own attractions include the Prado Museum branch, a crystal and metal pavilion that hosts exhibitions of artists, and the Fall of the Angel sculpture group. In addition, there is an artificial lake and boat rental. Getting to the park, located in the central part of the capital, is not difficult.
19. Queen Sofia Center for the Arts
The first thing you pay attention to is the original glass elevator, adjacent to the facade of the center and brought out onto the street. The second is a zinc-aluminum red canopy. The collections feature works by avant-garde artists of Spain of the 20th century. Temporary installations are also held at the exhibition premises. The key picture of the museum is “Guernica”. For the Spaniards, this is the most illustrious canvas by Picasso. In addition, visitors can view the works of Salvador Dali, sculptures and artworks of Miro.
22. Temple of Debod
Not far from the Royal Palace, in the central part of Oeste Park is the most unusual sight of the capital. The temple complex was erected in honor of Isis (the goddess of Egypt) and was previously located on the banks of the Nile River. Many years ago, when arranging the dam in Egypt, it was decided to transfer a couple of architectural and historical values - otherwise they would have been destroyed by the flood. The Spanish authorities decided to help Egypt in the construction, for which, as a sign of gratitude, they received this beautiful temple from a hot country.
23. Atocha Railway Station
The country's largest railway station found its name in memory of Atocha (the temple of Our Lady is nearby). The first building of 1851 was not preserved, now instead of it there is a shopping center with an exotic garden, restaurant, boutiques and a night club. A beautiful modern terminal handles high-speed commuter and intercity trains. Terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of a large number of people brought sad glory to the sights. In memory of them, a memorial was opened at the station.
24. Flea market El Rastro
The largest, most visited and famous bazaar in the capital, with over 35,000 outlets. Enumerate products that can be purchased in local tents, can be infinitely long. There are the most unimaginable products. Pay special attention to unusual, rare and valuable items offered in antique shops. Compare the market with a giant flea market. However, a huge number of "trash" can give customers an incredible surprise, for example, in the form of beautiful vintage clothing and accessories. Do not forget about the possibility of bargaining. Even if you are not inclined to shopping, come here for the unique and colorful atmosphere of Spain.
25. Market San Miguel
Bright gastronomic market, where you can taste and purchase any delicacies and food. Spices, herbs, jamon, fresh oysters that will be served with a glass of sparkling drink. At each counter you will be offered the opportunity of tasting (however, it should not be abused, treat local merchants with respect).
We are sure that those sights of Madrid, photos with names and descriptions of which you just saw, aroused your genuine interest. Come to the hospitable Spanish capital and book the services of experienced guides. With them, your excursions will be even more exciting. Read also about the sights of Malaga and be inspired to continue your trip to Spain.
1. Prado Museum
To start your visit to the Spanish capital is to visit one of the most famous museums not only in the country, but also in the world - Prado. This treasury contains a colossal collection of over 6 thousand paintings, more than 400 sculptures, as well as various jewelry.
What to do in Madrid, in Prado, you can see the works of such famous Spanish artists as Goya, Velazquez and El Greco, and also canvases by Italian and Dutch painters: Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck and others.
Address: Paseo del Prado
Working hours: daily, except Sunday, from 10:00 to 20:00. On Sundays and holidays - from 10:00 to 19:00. January 1, May 1 and December 25 are days off. On December 24 and 31, as well as on January 6, the museum is open from 10:00 to 14:00.
Ticket price - € 14. For seniors over 65, members of large families and holders of youth cards - € 7. For children under 18 years old, students (18-25 years old) and people with disabilities, admission is free. You can enter the museum for free on Sundays and two hours before closing time.
LIFE HACK: You can save a lot if you buy a Paseo del Arte card: it allows you to visit the three largest museums in Madrid - the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum - with a 20% discount on tickets. Moreover, the card is valid for a year from the date of purchase.
You can learn more about the famous canvases and understand the painting schools on the tour “The main thing in the Prado Museum”.
2. Reina Sofia Art Center
In Reina Sofia, unlike the pompous and traditional Prado, you can get acquainted with the history of art from the twentieth century to the present. In particular, the museum presents an extensive collection of works by avant-garde artists (Juan Gris, Picasso) and surrealists (Dali, Miro, Magritte). It is here that you can see the famous "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso.
Address:Santa Isabel Street 52. The building is located next to Atocha Station (within walking distance). You can also get there by metro (line No. 1 and No. 3, Atocha and Lavapies stations, respectively) or by bus.
Working hours: The Arts Center is open on Monday and Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 21:00.
Ticket price - € 8, for temporary exhibitions - € 4.
3. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Together with the Prado and the Reina Sofia Center, this museum is part of the so-called “Golden Triangle of Arts” of Madrid - a small area in which various museums of the capital are concentrated.
In the museum you can easily “get lost” for several hours, examining the collection of paintings collected here, because it covers a period of 800 years! Here you can find pictures of all movements and styles: Picasso, Chagall, Kandinsky and Dali, as well as the delightful works of Italian masters of the XIII-XIV centuries. Everyone will find something to their liking: Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, impressionism and post-impressionism - the diversity of the collection will not leave anyone indifferent.
Address: Paseo del Prado, 8 (next to the Banco de Espana metro station, line 2).
Ticket price - € 10, for preferential categories of visitors - € 7.
Working hours: permanent collection - from 12:00 to 16:00 on Monday and from 10:00 to 19:00 on other days. The working hours of temporary expositions are always different, so you should check it on the museum website.
How to get there: You can get to the museum, except for the metro, by bus (No. 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15, 20, 27, 34, 37, 41, 51-53, 74, 150)
4. The Royal Palace of Madrid
Like many royal monasteries in Europe, today the Royal Palace is used only for official events, and the rest of the time it is open for tourists and guests. The building is beautiful in itself, but inside strikes with exquisite interiors and a rich collection of works of art. In addition, the palace has a museum and an observation deck, which offers magnificent views of the city.
The uniqueness of Madrid
Madrid is a very small region in the heart of Spain; other cities separate it from the sea and ocean.
Madrid is not just the capital, but the personification of the culture and life of all of Spain. It is called one of the most spectacular cities on the world map due to its powerful cultural heritage. Medieval architecture and countless museums coexist with state-of-the-art business centers, department stores and nightclubs. What is the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum with paintings by Goya, Rubens and Velazquez.
The unforgettable beauty of the city can be seen in this video:
In addition to architecture and museums in Madrid, you can see the famous flamenco, taste culinary delights and delicious Spanish wines. Not the last place in the list is Madrid shopping. We recommend the most courageous tourists a visit to the capital of Spain from March to October to watch the bullfight.
As the only land and highest European capital, Madrid is too hot in the summer and quite cold in the winter season. The best time to come is spring, as well as autumn, when the weather is nice.
Madrid is the highest European capital, located 655 m above sea level on the Meseta Plateau. Madrid lies right at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range, which protects the city from the moist northern winds. The city can be hot and stuffy, but only an hour drive out of town - pine forests, ski resorts on the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Another property of Madrid is parks, such as 130 ha Buen Retiro, which can be called a local oasis.
Photo: Park Buen Retiro in Madrid
And 10 km from Madrid is the geographical center of Spain - the Hill of Angels with the monument “Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ”. This is a great holiday destination with conifers and a pleasant atmosphere.
Madrid is also the sunniest capital of Europe. Summer here is very hot (in average +32 ° C in July), and relatively cold in winter (+6 ° C). Autumn and spring are mild - on average (+ 16 ° C).
How to get to Madrid
The best option for time and budget is flight. A direct flight is provided from Moscow or St. Petersburg to Madrid - 5 hours by plane and you are at Barajas airport. The average price for a flight is 350-450 €, but if you get a share, then a round-trip flight can be bought for 200 €.
From the airport to the city center is only 12 km and you can get in 3 ways: by metro to the Nuevos Ministerios station (15 minutes, 5 €), a yellow special bus to Atocha station (40 minutes, 5 €), by taxi (from 30 € )
Citizens of the Russian Federation need a Schengen visa to visit Spain, which can be issued at the Visa Center or Consulate General in Moscow or St. Petersburg. Visa fee 35 € (additional 1000 rubles for registration).
Madrid public transport
Madrid has one of the best public transport systems. The Madrid Metro is the second largest in Europe and covers the city almost completely. This is the most convenient and cheapest option for traveling around the city for a tourist.
Metro map - https://www.madrid-tourist-guide.com/en/karta/shema-metro-madrida-versiya-dlya-pechati.html.
A trip by metro or bus for 10 trips costs 12.2 €. Tickets and tickets can be purchased in advance in the metro or newspaper stall.
When to go
Spring and autumn are the most pleasant times for hiking in Madrid and its environs. In May, two fiestas are traditionally celebrated: the mini-festival of Madrid Autonomy and the feast of St. Isidro. In winter, Madrid invites you to ski slopes, in February the 5-day flamenco festival Caja Madrid takes place. In the summer it is very hot, besides Madrid is not a resort town.
The development of Madrid as a metropolitan city is rather unusual. In 1561, King Philip II chose the invisible and small town of Madrid for his residence. An unpretentious city began to become overgrown with infrastructure, and by the 20th century, people began to move here in large numbers from nearby settlements.
The horse of Madrid is a rich cultural life that attracts millions of tourists. These are 3 world-class art exhibitions:
- The Prado Museum with the masterpieces of Caravaggio, Velazquez, Goya, Rembrandt, etc.,
- Reina Sofia Museum with the valuable work of “Guernica” by Picasso’s hand,
- The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum perfectly complements the Golden Three with paintings by Italian, English, Dutch and German artists.
It is worth mentioning the literary component of Madrid - there is even a literary quarter Las Letras, where Cervantes and Lope de Vega lived. In the past, literary parties took place in the city and there were many thematic cafes and clubs. Tourists can visit one of these cafes - Gijon or Chicot, where Ernest Hemingway liked to be.
Madrid themselves know a lot about “beautiful life” - they sleep almost an hour less than other Europeans, adoring bars and clubs. The very atmosphere of the Madrid movement is conveyed in the films of Pedro Almodovar. Madrid is considered very sociable and it is easy to find a common language with them.
What to see in Madrid
The most interesting sights of Madrid:
Central madrid square puerta del sol - This is the most crowded place and the zero point of all roads in Spain, as evidenced by a special plate.
Photo: Central Madrid Square Puerta del Sol
Royal Palacewhich is the official royal residence.
Photo: Royal Palace
Almunden Cathedral founded in 1884 by King of Spain Alfonso XII. The cathedral was supposed to be the tomb of the king’s wife, who died six months after the wedding from tuberculosis.
Photo: Almunden Cathedral
National Prado Museum in scope can be compared with the Louvre and the Hermitage. Here are paintings by El Greco, Velazquez, de Goya, Botticelli, Rubens, Rembrandt and others. Secret: from 18:00 to 20:00 you can go for free.
Photo: National Prado Museum
Plaza Mayor Square (Main Square lane) with unique architecture and frescoes on the walls along the square perimeter. Here you can visit the oldest restaurant "Botín" (1725) from the Guinness Book of Records.
Photo: Plaza Mayor
Temple Debod - An ancient Egyptian temple, donated by the Egyptian authorities of Spain for saving from the flooding of the temples of Abu Simbel during the construction of the Aswan Dam.
Photo: Temple Debod
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum - The largest private collection of paintings.
Photo: Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Sorolla Museum - a romantic place with a picturesque garden and a house-museum, in which the impressionist artist Joaquin Sorolla once lived.
Photo: Sorolla Museum
Retiro Park - a symbol of cultural Madrid, where you can enjoy the splendor of the territories with fountains, the Crystal Palace, alleys of strawberry trees and a large lake.
Photo: Retiro Park
Not far from Madrid, there are two unique parks:
Botanical Garden "Enchanted Forest" - a strange and fabulous place with labyrinths, bushes in the form of people and animals, waterfalls and streams (in San Martín de Valdeiglesias - 70 km from Madrid).
Photo: Enchanted Forest Botanical Garden
Park "Europe" gathered all the sights of Europe: Michelangelo, the London Bridge, the Trevi Fountain (Rome), the Berlin Wall, the Eiffel Tower, the Danish Mermaid and the Brussels boy Manneken Pis, the Brandenburg Gate and the Spanish Gate Puerta de Alcalá (Torrejón de Ardoz - 20 km from Madrid).
Photo: Europa Park
What to do in Madrid
Ideas for a busy leisure in Madrid:
- To get acquainted with the city by visiting the main squares - Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor with their attractions on their own or taking a sightseeing tour for 3-4 hours,
- Go to one of the many restaurants and try the local delicacy - octopus or oysters will do,
- Visit the Atocha station, appreciate the architecture and scope, as well as visit the tropics - the station’s grand waiting room with huge palm trees, turtles and fish in the pond.
- Take a walk through Madrid's indoor markets, tasting local ice cream, tapas, churros, wine and beer,
- Enjoy the paintings of the greatest artists of the world at the Prado Museum,
- Relax in the magnificent Retiro Park,
- Visit the Serralbo Museum - the mansion of the wealthy Spaniard, the Joaquin Sorolla Museum - the artist’s house and courtyard,
- Increase adrenaline by visiting the bullfight in the largest arena in Spain - Las Ventas (every day from May 1 to July 8),
- Spend a charming and expressive flamenco evening in one of Madrid's restaurants.
- Go shopping in one of the outlets and purchase clothes, shoes and inexpensive leather accessories from Spanish brands,
- You can buy a rare old little thing, dissolve among the locals, look at street musicians and drink coffee or home vermouth at the Rastro flea market,
- Get to know Madrid at night by visiting one of the bars on Gran Via, where cocktails are treated like art.
Beautiful views of Madrid can be seen in this video:
What to buy in Madrid:
- Clothing of popular inexpensive Spanish brands Zara, Mango, Stradivarius, Adolfo Dominguez, etc.
- Footwear of the Spanish brands El Naturalista, El Dantes, Camper, Pikolinos, Zinda, etc.
- Leather accessories from local brands, such as high quality bags and belts. Choose unknown Spanish brands - it will be cheap, but soundly.
- Jewelry - here are luxurious products from Carrera y Carrera from 2,000 € (even the Queen of Spain wears such), and an economical version from UNO de 50 (jewelry with a dusting of gold or silver).
- Cosmetics with olive oil (see pharmacies).
- Jamon, chorrizo (local sausage), cheeses (especially sheep “manchego”), wine (recommend Rioja), olive oil and spices.
Shopping streets and malls
We recommend starting a shopping tour from Preciados Street and in the vicinity of Puerta del Sol (Carmen, Arenal, Carretas St.). A lot of outlets are concentrated here: popular fashion stores Mango, Zara, etc., shops with souvenirs, books, CDs and even antiques.
Madrid has many huge shopping centers where you can shop and even go ice-skating (Palaciode Hielo), skiing or snowboarding (Xanadú).
Madrid outlets are a paradise for shoppers, for example, Factory chain, two trading villages - Las Rosas Village and La Roca Village.
Prices in Madrid
Prices in Spain are set in euros: 1 € = 64 rubles. In Madrid, prices are slightly higher than in other cities in Spain. A cup of coffee will cost about 1,5 €, wine 0,7l - 5 € (local even 1,5 €), local beer 1 €, bread - 1 €, 1 kg of cheese - 13-14 €, 1 kg of chicken - 4- 5 €, 1 kg of potatoes or apples - a little over 1 €.
For tourists, the Spanish capital can be divided into two zones - old and new Madrid. Old Madrid is located in the heart of the city - Puerta del Sol, ul. Gran Via and the ancient areas of the 17th century around. Everything breathes with old Spain - luxurious centuries-old hotels or cozy inexpensive apartments.
New Madrid is suitable for wealthy tourists who want to shop and eat in restaurants. This is the Castellana district with ultramodern expensive hotels and business centers, the fashionable Salamanca with beautiful architecture, the best shops and restaurants, as well as the Chamartin region in the north, breathing life of bohemians. The cost of hotel accommodation here starts from 60 € per night (4 stars) and 150 € per night (5 stars).
Cheap hotels of Madrid
The best options for hotels in Madrid:
- Ibis Budget Madrid Centro Las Ventas is a modern hotel right next to the metro station at a reasonable price (from 45 € per person per night).
- SLEEP’N Atocha - Atocha train station guesthouse with the best price / quality rating (from 88 € per person per night)
The farther from the center, the lower the price, for example, Hotel Escuela Madrid on the outskirts costs from 36 € per person. per night.
Hostels of Madrid
But even in the center of Madrid you can live quite inexpensively - in hostels, which are located near almost all the notable places of the city (from 10 €).
Good and affordable hostels in Madrid:
- RC Miguel Angel - cheap hostel in the center of Madrid (from 13 € per person per night)
- Hostal La Casa de La Plaza - an excellent hostel in the city center (from 20 € per person per night),
1,3,7 days travel plan to Madrid
Madrid is a huge spectacular city in order to visit as many interesting places as possible, based on our experience and feedback from tourists, we made an approximate plan for the day.
|1||Royal Palace and Almunden Cathedral||Plaza de España and the monument to Don Quixote, Sabatini Gardens||Temple of Debod with night illumination|
|2||Puerta del Sol||Souvenir shopping, walking to the luxury area of Salamanca||A visit to the restaurant with an unusual serving of dishes La Tasqueria de Javi Estevez|
|3||Plaza Mayor and the old cafe Botin||Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Sibles Fountain and Alcalá Gate||Retiro Park and Crystal Palace|
|4||Atocha Station, walk through the Royal Garden||A hearty snack at the Jamon Museum before a busy evening||A brilliant flamenco evening and dinner at La Taberna de Mister Pinkleton restaurant (entrance 25 €)|
|5||Prado Museum of Painting||Free time, rest in a cafe or restaurant||Bullfight on Las Ventas|
|6||Car rental and a trip to the ancient capital of Spain Toledo or the incredibly beautiful Segovia (preferably at night)|
|7||Factory Outlet Shopping Tour||Wine and cheese purchases at the Mercado San Anton indoor market, tapas tasting||Rest in one of the restaurants|
Madrid Food & Best Restaurants
The cuisine of Madrid has absorbed the best of Spanish traditions - this is a gourmet city.
10 dishes that you should definitely try:
- Gazpacho (cold tomato soup),
- Paella - a dish of rice, seafood and vegetables (in Taberna el Arco),
- Madrid Stew - A hearty meal of chickpeas, beans, meat and sausages (at Casa Carola).
- Calos - beef tripe.
- Cosido - beef with vegetables.
- Grilled octopus (at El Cogollo de la Descarga).
- Fried pig ear.
- Rice with lobsters (at CalidaDe Restaurant).
- Tapas with octopus and cod (on the Mercado San Anton indoor market).
- Churros are Spanish donuts.
Tourists highly recommend visiting the Spanish fast food Cerveceria Gandario - an average check of 10-15 €. It serves french fries with toppings: beef, chicken, pork and delicious sauces.
Choose an institution by the availability of local ones - if there are any, then the place is good.
Another place where you can eat deliciously, spectacularly and cheaply is the Madrid market, of which there are many. The best option is the Mercado San Anton indoor three-level market, where the best prices are not as crowded as in others. There are food courts, bakeries, bars, wine shops, shops with Spanish dishes. We recommend tapas with octopus and cod in the Bacalao shop for 1-2 €, as well as oysters for 1.5-5 € / pc in Mariscos.
We recommend 3 excellent tours of Madrid.
A sightseeing tour of Madrid is the best way to quickly get to know the city. Walk through modern areas and romantic old streets with stories about each attraction.
You can visit Madrid in absentia by watching this beautiful video about the city:
For gourmets there is a special tour "gastronomic Madrid" with a tasting of octopus, paella, local wines in the best bars and restaurants of Madrid. The guide will tell you about places that are not in the guide, but where you can taste the best dishes and drinks.
For football fans, an excursion to the home stadium of Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu with a panorama and a trophy museum can be an unforgettable experience.