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  • Laurie J

15 Best Things to See in Madrid


Spain is the perfect destination to explore, from stunning beaches to beautiful places in the north to the most epic Spanish cities. This is especially true when you go for a city break, like in Madrid. There are many incredible things to see in Madrid that can be overwhelming when trying to squeeze them all in!


Throughout Spain’s capital, you will find beautiful monuments and the best of history and modern culture to be explored. You will not be disappointed wherever you go!

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



In addition to being Madrid’s most famous museum, the Prado is one of the world’s most popular museums. Filled with paintings and sculptures, the Prado exhibition showcases Spanish, Italian, and Flemish art.


2. Stroll the Plaza Mayor



Located in the heart of the historical district, this Renaissance square offers you the opportunity to enjoy the cafes and bars while admiring the historic 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

Also, a popular thing to see in Madrid is the Puerta del Sol area. This area allows visitors to experience the culture and life of the city. At night, it is filled with nightclub parties and is a great place to wander and enjoy street performers.


5. Royal Palace



For more than 200 years, this luxurious palace was home to the kings of Spain and includes 3,000 rooms, some of which are open to the public. See displays of Spanish artwork and royal armory.


Now, as this is one of many things to see in Madrid, the palace can get busy at times with lineups. If you are an EU citizen, you get in free from Monday to Thursday after 4 pm.


6. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art

If you are looking for more art experiences, this museum offers more than just Spanish pieces. View Renaissance paintings by artists like Rembrandt and impressionists like Monet and Degas.


7. Gran Via

Another area to experience Madrid life enjoys shopping spots throughout the day or nightclubs at night. It is also full of architecture dating back to the early 1900s.


8. Bernabeu Stadium

Soccer fans will love this beautiful stadium filled with the history of the Spanish league’s legendary team Real Madrid. See panoramic views and visit the players’ dressing rooms and dugouts.


9. Casa de Campo

Casa de Campo is the largest public park in Madrid and boasts more than just open space for picnics and relaxation. Enjoy the amusement park, zoo, and cable car rides.


10. Queen Sofia Arts Center

With more than 21,000 pieces of art, including works by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, the third-greatest museum in Madrid focuses on modern and contemporary art.


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.


12. Mercado de San Miguel

Food lovers will enjoy this vast marketplace that offers drinks like coffee, 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 giant flea market offers everything from art to souvenirs, antiques, and household items. Experience live music as you browse the massive variety.

Visiting any of these locations will make your trip to Madrid unforgettable. If you have been wondering which city to visit in Spain, or any stop in Europe, be sure to consider Madrid as a top choice.


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