Top 10 Things to do in Madrid
The main attractions of this city are within walking distance from one another. You will be a short distance from Tapas bars, bustling plazas, outdoor markets, and hidden hotspots.
You also may consider visiting the historical sites, leisure parks and see all the beautiful art in the museums. This can be overwhelming especially if you would like to have the best experience in the city.
If you are planning your trip and looking for more about Madrid, read this blog.
To help you out on things to do while in Madrid that will be worth your while, here are the top 10 things to do.
1. Tour the famous Prado Museum
We start with the most essential place in Madrid, the Prado museum. It is one of the best and most popular art museums in Spain and the world.
In this museum, you will find impressive masterpieces from the renaissance and baroque era. Something not to miss out while here is Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and David with Head of Goliath by Caravaggio.
Works by famous artists are represented here such as Velázquez, El Greco, Rembrandt, Brueghel, van Dyck, Rubens, Titian, Caravaggio, Botticelli and Tintoretto.
The most prized works in this museum include Las Meninas by Velázquez. It is a painting that shows the royal family life during the Spanish Golden age.
2. Go shopping at Gran Via
Gran Via is one of the busiest streets in Madrid. It has most of the high-end designer stores and boutiques you would want to stop by. Walking through this esplanade, you will get the 20th-century vibe from the architecture.
There are Spanish brands too that you can check out too, these local brands have nice deals at affordable prices that you cannot get from elsewhere.
This famous street starts from Calle de Alcalá, close to Plaza de Cibeles, to Plaza de España. You will also find movie theatres, hotels and restaurants and cafés too.
It is the one-stop-shop for entertainment and shopping while in Madrid.
It gets livelier at night with movie fans, couples, late-night and merrymakers.
3. Spend some time at Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is Madrid’s grand central square. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit while in the city.
The medieval architecture filled with picturesque tales that is reflected on the streets. The tourism office is found here, the annual Christmas market is always held here.
The square is lit up by the warm colours of the buildings together with wrought iron balconies and murals from the 17th century Real Casa de la Panaderia. Some of the murals were done in 1992 by Carlos Franco.
There are several outdoor cafes in the square where you can get your favourite drink.
4. Visit the Royal Palace
The Palacio Real is one of the places you got to visit when in Madrid. It is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. In this vast palace, you will get to see an array of beautiful art collection together with the attractive Stradivarius.
This palace was built in the 18th century for King Philip V, its site used to be where the former Madrid Alcazar fortress was located. The fortress got destroyed by a huge fire in 1734.
Walking through the palace you will notice the baroque and neoclassical styles used harmoniously. Inside the palace are the royal collections such as watches, tapestries, porcelain and silverware and beautiful murals.
You will also find works by famous artists like Goya, Caravaggio and Velázquez.
5. Go to Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
If you are a football fan and a supporter of Real Madrid then you already know that this team remains to be Europe’s most successful club.
This, therefore, means visiting the stadium where all the action is at. The stadium has a seating capacity of 85,000.
When you are here you will get to take in the panoramic view of the stadium and take photos too. You will also get to see the dressing room, see their amazing trophy collection, the press room and the presidential box.
This is the second-largest football stadium in Spain, the largest being in the Community of Madrid.
6. Learn some history at the National Archaeological Museum
This national archaeological museum has a rich history from all corners of Spain and beyond. The museum is at the Neoclassical building together with the National Library.
It was established in 1867 following the royal decree of Isabel II. She wanted to preserve some of the countries the archaeological, ethnographic, decorative arts and numismatics.
Some of the items you will get to see in here were used before the Roman period. The pieces are more than 2 centuries old such as the sculptures.
Look out for the bust of the Lady of Elche, note the intricate details of her headdress and the coils of her ear.
7. Relax or take a refreshing stroll at Parque del Buen Retiro
This park is the best place to spend your time after hectic days in the city or on that day that you want to take it easy. It is also a great place for children to spend some time running or playing freely.
You can hire a boat and spend time in the park’s lake. Both locals and tourist cherish this park, especially at the weekends.
The garden at the park is one of the most beautiful you will ever stumble upon in a European city. In there you will see beautiful marble monuments, well-manicured lawns, and other interesting buildings.
8. Marvel at Templo de Debod
This is an Egyptian temple that was gifted to Spain in 1968 and is found on a hilltop by Casa del Campo. It was shipped in small pieces and then reassembled in Spain.
Its original home was Aswan in Egypt near the cataracts of the Nile and was dedicated to goddess Isis.
Visit this place to enjoy a picturesque view of Palacio Real and Catedral de la Almudena. You will also get to see the magnificent mountains in the distant, the perfect place for photos, especially at sunset.
9. Buy souvenirs at El Rastro Flea Market
There are more than 3000 stalls in this market selling antiques and other rustic items. You will find antique books, t-shirts, cutlery, porcelain and many other decorative items.
Take your time walking through the market as it might be slightly overwhelming. This market has been home for traders in Madrid since 1740 and is the largest flea market in the city.
The best time to visit this market is on Sunday and showing up early is a good idea when it is not crowded and loud.
To break from walking, sit at one of the cafes at the market and enjoy some delicious meal.
10. Finally enjoy some delicious Churros at San Ginés
San Ginés is a national sensation and has been since the 19th century. This is the one place you need to go to for some hot churros and Porras.
If you’d like to try something new, you could churros and café con Leche or Cola Cao. But if you’d rather stick to the traditional style go for melted dark chocolate.
It can be so rich and thick you may need a spoon or dip in the churro and enjoy.