The 17 Finest Matters to See and Do in Madrid

The historic skyline of Madrid, Spain at sunset
Posted: 6/25/2020 | June 25th, 2020

Madrid is an brisk metropolis recognized for its late nights, historic websites, and scrumptious delicacies. It’s an enormous metropolis bursting with lovely structure.

I’ve been to town quite a few occasions. It’s an unimaginable metropolis the place little alleys reveal hidden eating places and bars and locals who like to begin their nights late and go early into the morning. (It’s positively an evening owl metropolis.)

Because the capital of Spain, there’s a variety of historical past and artwork right here. You could possibly spend weeks right here. There’s an countless quantity of matters to see and do in Madrid.

That will help you benefit from your journey, listed below are my favourite matters to do in Madrid, from museums to meals excursions to cultural experiences and extra:

1. Take a Free Strolling Tour

Travelers exploring a historic plaza in Madrid, Spain
I like taking free strolling excursions. They’re a budget-friendly option to see the principle sights, be taught some historical past, and get a really feel for town. You get entry to a neighborhood information who can reply all of your questions and offer you insider recommendations on the place to go and what to do. Free Strolling Excursions Madrid and New Europe each supply complete excursions. Simply ensure to tip your information on the finish!

For a extra in-depth tour, Take Walks provides the perfect paid excursions within the metropolis. It’s my go-to strolling tour firm as a result of its excursions are tremendous detailed and insightful.

2. Go to the Royal Palace

Building started in 1735, and the palace was residence to Spain’s monarchs till the 1930s. The palace is just used for official state capabilities now. You’ll be able to go to and discover the historic buildings and grounds by way of each guided and self-guided excursions. The palace has over 3,400 rooms and encompasses an enormous 1.Four million sq. toes. The inside is lavishly adorned with huge vaulted ceilings, work, murals, and complicated wooden carvings.

Oriente Sq., +34 914 548 700, Open day by day 10am–6pm (8pm in the summertime). Admission is 14 EUR ($15.75 USD).

3. See the Cathedral of Madrid

The exterior of the Catedral de la Almudena in Madrid, Spain
The Catedral de la Almudena, which took over 100 years to finish, is the principle cathedral in Madrid. It opened in 1993. Constructed within the Gothic Revival fashion, it provides some lovely views overlooking town.

Almudena Sq., +34 915 422 200, Admission is free, however donations are accepted. Please costume respectfully, as it is a place of worship.

4. Chill out in Plaza Mayor

Courting again to the 15th century, this sq. is the guts of Madrid. It’s a preferred place for locals and vacationers to assemble, eat, and store. It’s a bit overpriced nowadays however it provides some good people-watching, and there are additionally often occasions and live shows through the summer time.

5. Take a Meals Tour

Madrid is a foodie’s dream. For those who aren’t positive the place to begin, I recommend taking a meals tour. I took the Devour Madrid Meals Tour run by fellow bloggers and ex-pats Lauren and James. It was informative, scrumptious, and completely filling. You’ll be able to be taught extra on this video right here:

For extra on their tour, go to their web site Devour Madrid.

6. Wander the Mercado de San Miguel

This coated market was an enormous central market. Opened in 1916, it will definitely fell into disrepair however was just lately revitalized with wonderful eating places and meals stalls. There are a variety of eating places and stalls to search out inexpensive tapas and drinks. It’s extremely popular with the after-work crowd.

Plaza de San Miguel, +34 915 424 936, Open day by day 10am–midnight.

7. See the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales

Constructed within the 16th century, the Convent of Las Descalzas Reales (which implies “Monastery of the Royal Barefooted”) was the previous palace of Emperor Charles V and Empress Isabel of Portugal. Single noblewomen have been invited to reside right here as nuns, bringing with them any wealth that they had accrued prior. As we speak, it’s residence to only a few nuns who take care of the grounds and its relics, which embody (alleged) items of Jesus’s cross in addition to the bones of St. Sebastian.

Plaza de las Descalzas, +34 914 54 88 00, Open Monday-Saturday 10am–2pm and 4pm–6:30pm in addition to Sundays 10am–3pm. Admission is Eight EUR ($9 USD).

8. Go to the Naval Museum

The Museo Naval de Madrid highlights the historical past of Spain’s historic naval capabilities and accomplishments. It covers the 15th century to the current, with info on ships, wars, and colonies and the way these all associated to Spain as a world energy. The museum has every kind of maps and drawings in addition to weapons and navigation tools. It additionally homes the oldest map of the Americas, which was made within the yr 1500. There’s an in depth part on the (failed) Spanish Armada that I discovered fairly insightful too.

Paseo Prado 5, +34 915 238 516. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am–7pm (3pm in August). Admission is Three EUR ($3.40 USD).

9. Stroll Across the Royal Botanical Backyard

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid, Spain
Based in 1755, this park is residence to lakes, labyrinths, squares, fountains, and many flowers. There are some 90,00Zero vegetation right here and over 1,500 bushes, in addition to greenhouses, sculptures, and a few immaculae gardens. It’s extremely lovely and serene.

Plaza de Murillo, +34 914 203 017, Open day by day at 10am; closes between 6pm and 9pm relying on the season. Admission is Four EUR ($4.50 USD).

10. Discover the Reina Sofía Museum

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is residence to the nation’s nationwide assortment of artwork from the 20th century. It has lots of Pablo Picasso’s works (together with “Guérnica”), in addition to artwork by Miró, Kandinsky, Dalí, and Bacon. Named after Queen Sofía, it’s the ninth most-visited artwork museum in the complete world!!

Calle de Santa Isabel 52, +34 917 741 000, Open day by day 10am–6pm (hours range in the summertime and winter). Admission is 10 EUR ($11.25 USD) however free from 7pm to 9pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

11. Chill out in El Retiro Park

People in rowboats on the lake in El Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain
Overlaying over 350 acres, that is Madrid’s major park. It’s the proper place to loosen up and lounge on a phenomenal day. There’s even a small lake the place you’ll be able to hire a rowboat. There’s tons of inexperienced area for picnics, strolling paths, and a monument to the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004. The well-known Crystal Palace (it’s made fully out of glass) encompasses a rotating assortment of artwork too.

12. Go to the Prado Museum

The Museo Nacional del Prado is the third most visited museum on the earth. Opened in 1819, it has round 20,00Zero works by Spanish artists resembling El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya; Flemish and Dutch artists, together with Rubens, van Dyck, and Brueghel; Italian masters resembling Botticelli, Tintoretto, Titian, Caravaggio, and Veronese; and German artists resembling Dürer, Cranach, and Baldung Grien. You need to go to if you’re right here.

Ruiz de Alarcon avenue, +34 913 302 800, Open Monday-Saturday 10am–8pm and Sundays 10am–7pm. Admission is 15 EUR ($16.90 USD); nevertheless, free entry is obtainable Monday-Saturday 5pm–8pm and Sundays 5pm–7pm.

13. Be taught Flamenco

Flamenco is a standard fashion of dance that originated in Spain. It’s a vigorous, expressive fashion recognized for its intricate footwork and hand actions. For those who’re trying to take a lesson, Madrid has a number of inexpensive courses the place you’ll be able to be taught the fundamentals:

For those who’d relatively simply soak up a efficiency, some venues value testing are:

Tickets for performances often begin round 20 EUR ($22.50 USD), whereas courses will value 15-30 EUR ($16.90 to $33.75 USD) per hour.

14. Watch a Soccer Match

Spaniards are loopy about soccer. Actual Madrid, the capital’s residence crew, is likely one of the most well-known soccer groups on the earth. They play at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, which has a capability of over 81,00Zero individuals. Video games listed below are tremendous standard, and followers take them fairly critically. In the event that they’re taking part in throughout your go to, remember to watch a recreation. It’s a tremendous expertise!

15. Discover the Museo de la Historia de Madrid

The Museum of Historical past of Madrid covers town’s evolution from the 16th century (when it grew to become the capital) to World Warfare I. Opened in 1929, it highlights day by day life all through the ages. There are many artifacts, maps, work, and sculptures to provide you a way more nuanced understanding of Madrid.

Fuencarral avenue, +34 917 011 863, Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am–8pm. Admission is free.

16. Get Off the Overwhelmed Path

The ancient Muslim Walls in Madrid, Spain
Madrid has tons of quirky and off-the-beaten-path sights to see. For those who’re searching for some extra distinctive experiences, listed below are a number of value testing:

  • Reverte Coma Forensic Museum – A macabre museum filled with deformed skeletons, torture gadgets, dissected fetuses, and far more. Insightful however unsettling!
  • The Muslim Partitions – These partitions date again to the ninth century when Madrid was below Moorish rule. They’re one of many oldest buildings left within the metropolis.
  • Rocker Grandma – Positioned within the Vallecas neighborhood, this statue commemorates Ángeles Rodríguez Hidalgo, who grew to become a neighborhood heavy steel fan when she was 70.
  • Guanche Mummy of Madrid – This mummy is situated within the Nationwide Archaeological Museum and was embalmed by the indigenous individuals of the Canary Islands between the 11th and 13th centuries.


17. Go to the Temple of Debod

The Temple of Debod is an Egyptian temple that dates again to the second century BCE. Initially situated close to Aswan in Higher Egypt, it was dismantled and given as a present to Spain by the Egyptian authorities in 1968 as thanks for serving to to relocate monuments from the Aswan Dam website. The temple can now be present in Madrid’s Cuartel de la Montaña Park. Though the within of the temple is off-limits, you’ll be able to nonetheless stroll alongside the surface.


Whether or not you’re a foodie (like me), a historical past buff (additionally like me), somebody searching for enjoyable nightlife, or a traveler simply hoping to soak in some unimaginable tradition, Madrid is a metropolis that gained’t disappoint you. Madrid has power and pleasure and this checklist of matters to do right here might help you faucet into that!


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Ebook Your Journey to Spain: Logistical Suggestions and Methods

Ebook Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite engines like google, as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is being left unturned.

Ebook Your Lodging
You’ll be able to guide your hostel with Hostelworld, because it has the most important stock. If you wish to keep someplace aside from a resort, use, because it persistently returns the most affordable charges for guesthouses and accommodations. I take advantage of them each on a regular basis. My favourite hostels in Madrid are:

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes mistaken. I by no means go on a visit with out it, as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions previously. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite firms that supply the perfect service and worth are:

On the lookout for the Finest Firms to Save Cash With?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the perfect firms to make use of if you journey! I checklist all those I take advantage of — and I feel they’ll show you how to too!

Need a Information?
Madrid has some actually attention-grabbing excursions. My favourite firm is Take Walks, which has skilled guides and might get you behind the scenes of town’s finest sights. It’s my go-to strolling tour firm!

On the lookout for extra info on visiting Madrid?
Take a look at my in-depth vacation spot information to Madrid with extra recommendations on what to see and do, prices, methods to avoid wasting, and far, far more!

Photograph Credit: 4- Richard Mortel, 6 – Jose Luiz

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