The capital city of Spain is a traveller’s paradise, with a host of places to see in Madrid that are deeply rooted in the country’s history, its love for the arts or passion for food. But with so much to see and such little time, narrowing down the most important places to visit in Madrid is no easy feat.
When it comes to sightseeing in Spain, we have barely scratched the surface. At SOTC, we have been helping people experience Spain for many years. So have a look at the Madrid packages and Spain tour packages on our website and we will help you plan a little fiesta of your own.
To help you in planning out your days in the capital, we have put together a handy list of some of the best places to go in Madrid
The Royal Palace of Madrid, known as Palacio Real de Madrid in Spanish, is the official residence of the royal family of Spain; however, today, it is usually only used for official, state ceremonies. With over three thousand rooms, it is actually one of that largest royal palaces that is still in use today, in all of Europe. The good news is, many of these rooms are open to the public – and we highly recommend paying this iconic landmark a visit. If you are visiting Madrid during the peak season of summer, you may want to purchase your tickets online in advance, to avoid long queues.
As a capital city, Madrid is constantly buzzing. When you need to take a time-out from the hustle and bustle, pay a visit to El Retiro Park, a beauty green paradise nestled in the heart of the city. You can take a stroll around with your fellow travel companions. Feast your eyes on the oldest tree in Madrid that calls this park its home, hire a bike and explore the park on two wheels or just sit by the large lake inside and soak it all in. There are plenty of outdoor cafes and eateries in and around the park, so grab a bite and take it easy for the afternoon.
Also known as Prado Museum, this is the most prominent Spanish art gallery. It is considered to be one of the best in the country, and also, in the world. It is thought to have one of the best and widest collections of European art, and most importantly, the finest collection of Spanish art. It features over eight thousand paintings and one thousand sculptures. It is famous for showcasing Las Meninas by Velázquez, who is considered to be one of the most influential Spanish painters and was the most famous artist for the court of King Philip IV. Whether you are an art connoisseur or not, do note leave the capital without a visit to this gallery – it is one of the most notable places to visit in Madrid.
Plaza Mayor simple translates into ‘Main Square’ and that is exactly what it is. This square was built in the 1500’s and was once the heart of Old Madrid; today, it is located in centre of modern Madrid and is one of the most popular places to visit in Madrid of eating, shopping, drinking, walking and soaking in the Spanish sunshine. In the centre of the square is a magnificent bronze statue of King Philip III who commissioned the square to be built. Located a stone’s throw away from Plaza Mayor is Puerta de Sol, another major public square in Madrid. If you’re wondering, the name translates into ‘Gate of the Sun’ and this space marks ‘kilometre zero’ in Madrid from which all routes are then measured.
One of the most famous streets in Madrid, Gran Via is often referred to as ‘the Spanish Broadway.’ It captures the buzz of the city in one place. While it is best known for being a fantastic destination for shopping, it also houses a host of hotels and theatres. What makes this street particularly interesting is the architecture – it is a confluence of many different styles and movements that come together beautifully. When you’re new in the city, Gran Via is always a good place to go in Madrid – just grab a coffee and take a leisurely stroll.
An interesting place to visit, the Temple of Debod is an Egyptian temple that was first erected in Egypt near the Nile. In the 1900s, it was dismantled and rebuilt in Parque del Oeste in Madrid, to avoid being damaged by dam construction that was taking place near its original location. It features a beautiful quay with a long walk way that takes you to the main structure of the temple – and the sense of peace you will find here is unlike anything else.
Whether you are a foodie or not, San Miguel Market must be on your list of places to visit in Madrid. It is a covered market that was originally built in the early 1900’s, and is one of the hotspots of the capital till this very date. Here, you will find the very best of Spanish cuisine and ingredients from all around the country. So you can either stop buy for some tapas or pick up some fresh ingredients to take home with you from your holiday