Top 20 sights of madrid
Madrid is a vibrant and cultural city that offers plenty of attractions for visitors. Whether you are interested in art, history, nature, or entertainment, you will find something to suit your taste in the Spanish capital. Here are some of the top sights of Madrid that you should not miss:
One of the world’s leading art galleries, the Prado Museum boasts works by Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, Titian, Rubens and Hieronymus Bosch, among others12. You can admire masterpieces such as Las Meninas, The Third of May 1808, and The Garden of Earthly Delights.
El Retiro Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, El Retiro Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city. You can stroll along its paths, enjoy its gardens and fountains, row a boat on its lake, or visit its monuments and museums2.
The largest royal palace in Western Europe, the Royal Palace is a stunning example of Baroque architecture. You can explore its lavish rooms, admire its artworks and collections, and witness the change of guard at the Plaza de la Armería.
The grand central square of Madrid, Plaza Mayor is surrounded by arcades and historic buildings. It has been the stage for various events, from coronations and markets to bullfights and executions. Today, it is a lively spot where you can enjoy a coffee or a meal at one of its cafes and bars.
Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum
Part of the Golden Triangle of Art, the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum houses one of the finest collections of European art from the 13th to the 20th century. You can see works by Dürer, Hals, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Kirchner2.
Puerta del Sol
This bustling square is located in the center of Madrid and is one of the city’s most famous sites. It features landmarks such as the statue of the bear and the strawberry tree (the symbol of Madrid), the clock tower (where the New Year’s Eve countdown takes place), and the Kilometer Zero plaque (the starting point of Spain’s radial roads).
This beautiful fountain at the start of the Art Walk is one of Madrid’s most renowned icons. It depicts the goddess Cibeles on a chariot pulled by lions. It is also a popular meeting point for celebrations, especially for Real Madrid fans.
Reina Sofia Museum
The Reina Sofia Museum is home to one of the best collections of contemporary art in the world, including Picasso’s iconic Guernica. You can also see works by Dalí, Miró, Kandinsky and Tàpies2.
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
If you are a soccer fan, you should not miss the opportunity to visit the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, where Real Madrid plays its home games. You can take a tour behind the scenes, explore the club’s fascinating museum and step into the players’ changing rooms.
El Rastro is Madrid’s famous flea market that takes place every Sunday and public holiday. You can find everything from antiques and books to clothes and souvenirs. It is a great place to experience the local atmosphere and culture2.
Gran Vía is Madrid’s main avenue and shopping street. It is lined with impressive buildings, theaters, cinemas and stores. You can admire its architecture, catch a musical show or shop till you drop1.
Temple of Debod
The Temple of Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple that was donated to Spain by Egypt in 1968 as a gesture of gratitude for helping to save its monuments from flooding. It is located in a park near Plaza de España and offers stunning views of the cityscape.
The Almudena Cathedral is Madrid’s main church and one of its newest buildings. It was completed in 1993 after more than a century of construction. It has a mixture of styles, from neo-Gothic to neo-Romanesque to modernist. It has a mixture of styles, from neo-Gothic to neo-Romanesque to modernist. It also houses a museum that displays relics and artworks related to the history of the cathedral and the city.
Plaza de Cibeles
Plaza de Cibeles is one of the most emblematic squares in Madrid, where several important buildings and monuments are located. The most famous one is the Cibeles Fountain, which depicts the goddess of fertility on a chariot pulled by lions. The fountain is a symbol of Madrid and a popular meeting point for celebrations, especially for Real Madrid fans. Other notable buildings include the Palacio de Cibeles (the former post office and now the city hall), the Banco de España (the national bank), and the Palacio de Linares (a 19th century palace).
Mercado de San Miguel
Mercado de San Miguel is a historic and gastronomic market that offers a variety of products and dishes to delight your senses. You can find fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, wines, pastries, tapas, and more. The market is housed in a beautiful iron and glass building that dates back to 1916. It is open every day until midnight or later, making it a perfect place to enjoy a snack or a meal at any time2.
Plaza de España
Plaza de España is a large and impressive square that features a monument to Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. The monument consists of a statue of Cervantes, a fountain, and sculptures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. The square is also surrounded by two skyscrapers: the Torre de Madrid (the tallest building in Spain when it was built in 1957) and the Edificio España (a landmark of Francoist architecture). The square is currently undergoing renovation works that aim to make it more pedestrian-friendly and green.
Museo Sorolla is a charming museum that showcases the life and work of Joaquín Sorolla, one of Spain’s most renowned painters. The museum is located in Sorolla’s former house and studio, which preserves his personal belongings, furniture, and artworks. You can admire his luminous and colorful paintings, which capture scenes of everyday life, landscapes, portraits, and historical events. You can also enjoy his lovely garden, which inspired many of his paintings.
Puerta de Alcalá
Puerta de Alcalá is a monumental gate that stands at the entrance of the Retiro Park. It was built in 1778 by Carlos III as part of his plan to modernize Madrid. It was designed by Francesco Sabatini in a neoclassical style, with five arches and various sculptures and reliefs. It is one of the most iconic symbols of Madrid and one of the first examples of a triumphal arch in Europe.
Museo del Prado
Museo del Prado is one of the world’s leading art galleries, boasting works by Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, Titian, Rubens and Hieronymus Bosch, among others23. You can admire masterpieces such as Las Meninas, The Third of May 1808, and The Garden of Earthly Delights.
El Escorial is a majestic complex that includes a palace, a monastery, a basilica, a library, and a royal pantheon. It was built by Philip II in the 16th century as a symbol of his power and piety. It is located about 50 km from Madrid in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains. It is considered one of the most impressive monuments of the Spanish Renaissance and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.