This huge European city offers visitors the quintessential Spanish experience and memories that last a lifetime. Combining the hustle and bustle of a major city with leisurely but invigorating activities, Madrid has quickly established itself as one of the main tourist destinations of all time. Offering sightseeing, exotic cuisine and hospitable locals, Madrid is a tourist haven that will not disappoint.
The capital of Spain, Madrid is located in the south-west of Europe, and is counted as the third-largest European city. This cosmopolitan city is the fusion of modern architecture and cultural heritage. There are many things to do in Madrid, if you are traveling here for the first time. From museums to restaurants, bars, parks, and shopping outlets – tourists are offered a lot to explore here. Most of the buildings here look like castles. To learn about the history and facts of this city, one of the things to do in Madrid is visiting the variety of museums it has in store. Sorolla Museum, Prado National Museum, Museo Cerralbo, Naval Museum, Museo del Romanticismo, Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Casa Museo Lope de Vega, Museo del Ferrocarril de Madrid, Museo Geominero, Museo Lazaro Galdiano, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, are some of them. These museums are based on science, culture, and artwork. Here you will find paintings of famous painters and many other interesting things. Other top things to do in Madrid comprise of a survey of all the parks in the city. There is a lot of greenery here, and the parks such as Casa de Campo, Madrid Arena and el Parque del Buen Retiro are quite famous.
If you are looking for a memorable night out, then the places to visit in Madrid are plentiful. Cardamomo Tablao Flamenco, Casa Patas, Flamenco en Vivo, The Madrid Wine Experience, The Madrid Pub Crawl, and El Burladero are a few of the bars and pubs here. You can have a drink or dance the night away at these places. Since the city is old, there are palaces situated here as well, such as Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real, and Plaza de Santa Ana. These palaces are delicately made, behind which many historical tales are hidden. Getting different kinds of tour is one of the interesting things to do in Madrid. Sandeman’s New Madrid Tours, Adventurous Appetites Tapas Tour, Segway Trip Tours, Bravo Bike - Day Tours, and Ogo Tours are a few you can benefit from, and make the most of your trip. Other top landmark places to visit in Madrid are Madrid Cathedral, Plaza de Orientes, Plaza de Cibele, Plaza de la Vill, and Templo de Debod. These are the churches, temples and palaces present in the city. As the day ends, one of many energizing things to do in Madrid is trying Chocolate Con Churros in any traditional Spanish restaurant such as Chocolatería de San Ginés.
Located in the heart of Madrid, at a walking-distance from the famous Plaza Mayor, this is a must visit place for foodies and those who want to explore Spanish gastronomy. The Market of San-Miguel was first built in the year 1916 and is the last remaining iron-market hall in the city of Madrid featuring cast-iron pillars. It is a historic market that is also considered as a site of cultural-interest for tourists.
The San Miguel market comprises of more than 33 vendors selling the widest range of top quality, fresh and seasonal food products along with a host of mouth-watering delicacies that leave tourists and locals craving for more.
The concept of this market aims to depict the multi-faceted culture of Spanish gastronomy and aims to become the Center-for-Culinary-Culture in Spain. This day is not far as this market has already become a cultural-phenomenon.
Here, you can find wine bars, grocery stores and gourmet tapas stalls, and easily shop for everything you need. Vendors in this market sell a variety of food items including but not limited to freshly-prepared hams, tapas, baked goods, olives and more.
It is a great place to explore the food culture of Spain and treat yourself to some delicious Spanish delights.
Built in the year 1903, this museum was initially the residence of the famous Spanish journalist and art collector Jose Lazaro Galdiano who had one of the finest and largest Spanish art collections during that time. At the time of his death, Jose owned approximately 12,600 artworks, mostly from the Romantic and Old Master periods.
After Jose Lazaro Galdiano’s death, his residence was converted into a museum, hence the name. The museum features significant and valuable artworks collected by Lazaro Galdiano. It also includes great artistic works from the 19th century with Liberian focus.
Here, you can view masterpieces from legendary artists like Bosch, Lucas Cranach, Goya, John Constable, David Teniers, Giulio Clovio, Lorenzo Tiepolo, Joshua Reynolds, Federico de Madrazo and El Greco to name a few. Besides paintings, here, you can also see collections across categories like sculptures, jewelry, marble items, weapons and fabrics.
The Museum of Lazaro Galdiano is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4:30pm and on Sunday from 10am to 3pm. However, it is closed on Monday. The entry is free for children but not for adults. You will have to get a ticket to see the amazing collection inside the museum.
Nestled in the heart of Madrid, Museo Nacional Del Prado is one of the greatest museums not only in Spain but around the world. Built in 1785 by Juan de Villanueva, this museum features some of the finest European art collections from around the world, dating back from the twelfth century to the early nineteenth century.
Though initially, it was founded as a museum to showcase sculpture and paintings, it now consists of various other types of valuable woks such as prints and drawings. In fact, currently, the museum houses approximately 7,600 artworks from legendary artists, over 1000 sculptures, nearly 8,200 drawings and 4,800 prints and a large number of historic documents.
Here, you can view amazing works from legends like Francisco de Goya, Titian, Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco and Diego. Museo Nacional Del Prado is the most visited museum in Spain attracting tourists from all over the world.
Due to the large influx of tourists visiting this museum annually, the authority responsible for maintaining the museum continues to invest in the expansion of this building. By 2007, the museum’s exhibition-area was increased by 50 percent. The extensions of the building were designed by Rafael Moneo, a famous Spanish architect.
Located near Columbus Square, the National Archaeological Museum of Spain was first built in the year 1867 by Isabella II. This museum houses a wealth of exhibits not only from Spain but valuable works from all over the world ranging from prehistoric and Renaissance times. The architecture of the building reflects a Neo-classical style.
The National Archaeological Museum shares its roof with the city’s National Library. This museum was built with the purpose to save the archaeological, decorative art, ethnographic and numismatics that Spanish monarchs had collected at the Royal-Cabinet-of-Natural-History.
The main highlights of this museum are the underground-replica of prehistoric cave-paintings that were discovered in Altamira northern Spain in the year 1868. These paintings give the new generation a good idea of how art looked back in the days. Most of the paintings feature horses, boars and bison.
Another highlight of this museum is the Lady-of-Elx from the 5th century. It is a beautiful sculpture of Iberian woman featuring an elaborated head gear.
Other interesting things that you might want to see here are the Roman mosaics, Greek vases, Spanish lusterware from Renaissance time, Andalusian glassware from the 17th century, and a variety of exhibits from Paestum, Rome and Ibiza. The museum also houses statues of Tiberius.
Designed by the famous architect Ricardo Velazquez, Palacio de Cristal is a gorgeous glass palace modeled after the Crystal Palace in London. This palace was constructed in 1887 in central Madrid, 36 years after the London Crystal Palace was built. Palacio de Cristal is situated in the center of the city’s popular park, Buen Retiro.
The intricate design and glasswork reflects quality workmanship that continues to attract tourists from around the world. This palace resembles the shape of a Greek cross. It is entirely made of glass in an iron-framework on a brick-base which is complemented with decorative ceramics. The palace features a dome shaped roof that is 22 meters high. In front of this beautiful palace is a huge artificial lake with geese, ducks, terrapins and black swans.
This is a beautiful architectural monument which is often used as a venue for artwork displays and exhibitions held in the city. Although it is not open for public, nonetheless, tourists still come to visit this palace to view Ricardo Velazquez’s architectural brilliance and craftsmanship.
The tourists come here to enjoy a relaxing time in the Buen Retiro Park while appreciating this historic marvel that is truly one of a kind in Spain.