Bookmark this little guide about all you must see when coming to Madrid – streets, monuments, squares, museums, customs and traditions…. everything!
The Royal Palace, whose architect drew inspiration from the sketches by Bernini for Paris’s Louvre, is a must-visit in a tour of traditional Madrid.
You can’t miss taking pictures in Plaza Mayor or the Kilometre zero marker in Puerta del Sol, from which the national roads starting in Madrid fan out. The plaque is located facing the former Royal Post Office building, currently home to the Regional Government of the Region of Madrid. The square is the epicentre of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Madrid. On 31 December every year, people gather to watch the huge clock that dominates the square ticking down to midnight. El Oso y el Madroño, a statue depicting a bear eating from a strawberry tree that also appears in the city’s coat of arms, is also in Puerta del Sol.
On your walk towards El Retiro Park, you’ll see the Cibeles Fountain, one of the symbols of Madrid, and Puerta de Alcalá gate, a triumphal arch that is one of Madrid’s most photographed landmarks.
If you’re an art lover visiting the capital of Spain, the Prado Museum and the Reina Sofía Museum (MNCARS) are places you can’t miss. The stars of the collection in the Prado are Goya’s The Nude Maja and Velázquez’s Las Meninas, while the collection at the Reina Sofía includes Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica, an artwork that can be described as a synthesis of the avant-garde movement. In this moving painting, the artist conveys the sufferings caused by the bombing of Guernica in 1937.
Things to do
Going shopping at El Rastro flea market and recharging batteries with a scrumptious cocido (chickpea-based stew) or just a few tapas and a refreshing beer are among the variety of things you can do in Madrid. Cocido madrileño is a traditional dish from the capital of Spain. It’s made with chickpeas, vegetables, meat, bacon and chorizo.
The Santiago Bernabéu and the Vicente Calderón football stadiums are two must-visit places for football fans, while flamenco enthusiasts have an array of traditional tablaos (flamenco clubs) to choose from.
Finally, Barrio de Chueca is worth mentioning too, as it’s great to go for tapas or window shopping. The trendiest shops are to be found in this neighbourhood.
Consider visiting off-the-beaten-track Madrid too!
From one of the largest Royal Palace in Europe to Real Madrid's stadium, discover the city's most popular sights and attractions.
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