21 Destinations in Madrid

Madrid is much more than just its downtown and its most recognisable landmarks. The city is composed of 21 districts filled with monuments, parks and many other sites just waiting to be discovered. What's more, we’ve designed 21 tshirts featuring the icons of each district that you can purchase for just 14.90€ from Madrid Shop at the Plaza Mayor Tourist Information Centre.

 

DISCOVER ALL 21 DISTRICTS

  • ARGANZUELA: Matadero Madrid

    Matadero Madrid. Distrito Arganzuela

    Pure cultural and artistic life

    The former municipal slaughterhouse, a cluster of neo-Mudéjar style pavilions built on the banks of the Manzanares River in the early 20th century, has now been transformed into a veritable city of culture; it hosts exhibitions, concerts, performances and more. Inside the venue you'll find various spaces, including Cineteca, Casa del Lector, Central de Diseño and the Naves Matadero - International Living Arts Centre, which boasts a programme that includes all sorts of performing and visual arts. In summer its central courtyard buzzes with music and a whole host of activities. Not to be missed!

  • BARAJAS: El Capricho Park

    Parque de El Capricho. Distrito Barajas

    An indulgence that's not as far as you think

    El Capricho was designed in the late 18th century at the express wish of the Duchess of Osuna, who wanted to replicate the Petit Trianon of Versailles on her estate, which at the time was located on the outskirts of Madrid. She wanted to have her own wharf… and she did. She also got fountains, a small temple devoted to Bacchus, a hedge maze and even an apiary. To occupy pride of place in one of her mansion’s rooms, Francisco de Goya painted The Spell (Las Brujas), which is now displayed at the Lázaro Galdiano Museum. In the park there is a bunker from the Spanish Civil War, built by the Republican faction during the conflict.

  • CARABANCHEL: Colonia de la Prensa

    Colonia de la Prensa. Distrito Carabanchel

    A not-so-hidden Art Deco neighbourhood in the city's wonderful south

    This cluster of little holiday hotels was designed by architect Felipe Mario López Blanco in 1905 for the writers and journalists of the association Los Cincuenta. At that time the fields that are now found in the district were a semi-rural area frequented by the wealthy during the summer months. What sets these little houses apart from others is their unique Modernist style, particularly appreciable in the two towers that serve as an entrance to the colony, which were also once a tram stop and a call shop.

  • CENTRO: The Corralas

    Las corralas. Distrito Centro

    A place to live and to cohabit

    As traditional as you can get. Corralas are a type of residential building typical of 17th, 18th and 19th century Madrid. For a long time they symbolised cohabitation between neighbours and the open, diverse and simple nature of the city's residents. They're very easy to recognise: they are buildings which are generally made of wood and have balconies overlooking an inner courtyard. There are still quite a few in the neighbourhoods of La Latina and Lavapiés, and you can view a very typical one between Sombrerete and Tribulete streets which has been declared a National Monument.

  • CHAMARTÍN: Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

    Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Distrito Chamartín

    The history of Spanish football and a historic site in Chamartín

    This is the home stadium of Real Madrid, one of the city's three football teams, which was named the best football club of the 20th century by FIFA. It's a site of pilgrimage, as it were, for fans from all over the world. It first opened in 1947, and since then it has undergone various expansions. It bears the name of the man who was a player, coach and president of the club for 35 years, and under whose leadership it won six European Cups. And it is, of course, the trophies won by the white-clad team that are the main attraction on a tour that also offers visitors access to the changing room, the pitch and the bench area.

  • CHAMBERÍ: Sorolla Museum

    Museo Sorolla. Distrito Chamberí

    A piece of the Mediterranean in Chamberí

    This museum has preserved the original décor of the home and studio of painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (Valencia, 1863-Cercedilla, 1923). It also houses the most comprehensive collection of his works: paintings full of colour that radiate light and vitality. It's one of the most complete and best preserved artists' homes in Europe, and its garden, which was also designed by Sorolla, is a beautiful oasis in the city. Its exhibitions are always very interesting.

  • CIUDAD LINEAL: La Almudena Cemetery

    Cementerio de La Almudena. Distrito Ciudad Lineal

    The residents of this place lie in rest with Madrid in the background

    This cemetery was built rapidly in 1884 as a burial place for those who had died that year from cholera. For some time it was thus popularly known as “Epidemic Cemetery”. The arcade leading into the graveyard and the chapel, built in 1925, are Modernist in style. The tombs of Enrique Tierno Galván, who was Mayor of Madrid, of writer Benito Pérez Galdós, of folk singer Lola Flores and her son, singer Antonio Flores, and of Juanita Cruz, the first female bullfighter, are some of the thousands of graves found in this cemetery, which is one of the largest in Europe.

  • EL PARDO-FUENCARRAL: El Monte de El Pardo

    El Monte de El Pardo. Distrito El Pardo-Fuencarral

    A natural wilderness in a town inside the great big town of Madrid

    It's one of the best preserved Mediterranean forests in Europe, located just 15 kilometres from the city centre. Monte de El Pardo Forest Area is a site that has been tied to Spanish history ever since in the mid 15th century Henry III of Castile made it one of his favourite hunting grounds. Later on, Charles V (Charles I of Spain) built a palace on the site. During the reign of Philip V it became the regular seat of the Court over the months of January, February and March. After the Spanish Civil War it was Franco's official residence, until 1975. The taverns in El Pardo, which are surrounded by nature, are wonderful places to eat in the spring.

  • HORTALEZA: El silo de Hortaleza

    El silo de Hortaleza. Distrito Hortaleza

    A reminder of the agricultural lands that surrounded that city

    This commanding polygonal tower stands out against the backdrop of the Huerta de Salud Park, which was designed in the late 19th century by lawyer Pedro Tovar, who acquired the land from the Duke and Duchess of Frías. It was he who converted the recreational site into an agricultural-industrial complex. In its heyday the silo, the granary and the dovecote, which were both eliminated in the 1970s, formed a much-admired triad of landmarks. The storks that nested on top of them announced the arrival of spring to residents of the area.

  • LA LATINA: Segovia Bridge

    Puente de Segovia. Distrito Latina

    Madrid's oldest bridge, which connects the historic city centre to the city's young south-east end

    Although some modern rivals have emerged –the nearby Arganzuela Bridge, designed by Dominique Perrault–, this bridge continues to be an iconic symbol of ancient Madrid, offering views of the north and south of the Manzanares River and of the fountains of Madrid Río Park, which are located in its lower gardens. In its day it connected Madrid to the road that led to and from Segovia, which was one of the main points of entry to the city. It was built in 1574 under the reign of Philip II, and architects Gaspar de Vega –first– and Juan de Herrera –later on– were involved in its design. You can count its eyes! It has nine.

  • MONCLOA: Faro de Moncloa

    Faro de Moncloa. Distrito Moncloa

    From Madrid to Heaven… and in between, El Faro

    El Faro ("The Lighthouse") is actually a former transmission tower which was built in 1992, the year that Madrid was declared the European Capital of Culture. It boasts an observation deck located 92 metres above ground level, a flying saucer-style platform from which you can make out the nearby Guadarrama Mountains and most of Madrid's most iconic buildings, such as the Royal Palace and the Telefónica building on Gran Vía. Riding to the top in its glass lift is quite the experience. Not for those with a fear of heights!

  • MORATALAZ: Moratalaz Park

    Parque de Moratalaz. Distrito Moratalaz

    Madrid is its neighbourhoods and neighbourhood life

    Its grand opening was in May 1969, when by all accounts it boasted 604 shade trees, 150 avenue trees, 2,600 rose bushes, a waterfall and a pond. Also known as "Park Z", it is a very pleasant place to walk, and it holds another surprise: a reproduction of the Bulls of Guisando, a set of Iron Age sculptures located in El Tiemblo (Ávila). It was next to the bulls that the treaties proclaiming Isabella “The Catholic” heir to the throne of her brother, Henry IV, were signed.

  • PUENTE DE VALLECAS: Cerro del Tío Pío Park

    Parque del Cerro del Tío Pío. Distrito Puente de Vallecas

    From its seven hills you'll enjoy the best sunset ever

    One of the best views of the city is from Cerro del Tío Pío, whose perfectly cone-shaped hills have led Madrid's residents to nickname it “Parque de las Siete Tetas” (Park of the Seven Boobs). It is located in the very north of the district on the site of what was once –between 1940 and 1960– a slum settlement. Its hills are set above the entire city of Madrid, and from them you can make out the large buildings on Paseo de la Castellana: the Colón Towers, the AZCA skyscrapers, the leaning towers in Plaza de Castilla and, finally, the Cuatro Torres Business Area.

  • RETIRO: The Lake in El Retiro Park

    Estanque del Parque de El Retiro. Distrito Retiro

    One of Madrid's green lungs: history and nature while you row

    El Retiro Park, created in the 17th century as a recreational site for Spain's monarchs, is the city's major green lung. Taking out one of the boats on the lake dominated by a statue of Alfonso XII is a favourite pastime among Madrid's residents. Another is strolling along the park's many paths, where you'll find fountains like that of the Fallen Angel –one of the few outdoor monuments devoted to the devil–, buildings like the Glass Palace and Velázquez Palace, which have been transformed into exhibition centres, and trees... a whole lot of trees. Among them is a Montezuma Cypress that was planted where it stands in the year 1630.

  • SALAMANCA: Dalí's Dolmen

    Dolmen de Dalí. Distrito Salamanca

    A tribute by the brilliant artist to humanity, science and Madrid

    In 1985 Madrid's mayor, Enrique Tierno Galván, decided to dedicate a space in the city to Salvador Dalí, just opposite the Palacio de los Deportes Arena. For his square the Catalan artist created a monument devoted to science and technical skill, as an expression of man's greatest achievements. To this end he chose a dolmen, humanity's first construction, and the figure of Isaac Newton, the father of the law of gravity, whom he depicted in bronze. A letter is engraved on each of the sides of the pedestal that supports the statue, spelling out the name of the painter's wife: Gala.

  • SAN BLAS-CANILLEJAS: Quinta de los Molinos

    Parque Quinta de los Molinos. Distrito Canillejas

    Almond trees in full bloom, not that far from the centre

    The best time of the year to visit this park near the end of Calle de Alcalá is the month of February, right when the almond trees start to bloom. You'll find loads of them –some 6,000– inside the park. Their pink and white canopy is a source of inspiration for myriad painters… Are you up for it? Strolling along the park's paths, you'll find a pre-Rationalist style mansion with reddish walls and a large tower known as the Casa del Reloj (Clock House), as well as two molinos, or windmills, which were imported from the United States in the 1920s and give the place its name.

  • TETUÁN: Maravillas Market

    Mercado de Maravillas. Distrito Tetuán

    Here you'll find tasty goods and a piece of Madrid's history

    Opened in 1942, the Mercado de Maravillas is not the only market in the district of Tetuán: there are four other municipal ones in the area. It is, however, the largest, not only in the neighbourhood but in the whole of Madrid. Its nearly 9,000 square metres of space harbour 250 stalls that sell almost everything: fruit, meat, fish, bread... Particularly noteworthy among the structure's original architectural features are its saw-tooth roof, which allows natural light to pass through large panes of glass, and the façade of the main entrance, which was designed by architect Pedro de Muguruza.

  • USERA: The Lady of the Manzanares

    La Dama del Manzanares. Distrito Usera

    A lady who watches Madrid from the south

    Manzanares Linear Park (Parque Lineal del Manzanares) is the main green lung of the south end of the city. It's a modern area where nature blends with architecture– it was created by Ricardo Bofill– and with design. The park's vantage point at the top of a hill offers a beautiful panoramic view of Madrid's skyline, with the Guadarrama Mountains in the background. On this little summit, a wonderful offering by sculptor Manolo Valdés lies in wait. The Lady of the Manzanares (La Dama del Manzanares) is an enormous bronze and steel head which you can skate, walk or bike around. Alternatively, you can simply stand next to it and enjoy the view.

  • VICÁLVARO: Church of Santa María La Antigua

    Parroquia de Santa María La Antigua. Distrito Vicálvaro

    A real gem

    Located in the historic centre of Vicálvaro, this temple is one of the district's most important buildings, built with Castilian brick and featuring three very large naves and a narrow tower. The first document describing this parish church dates to the year 1427. A little later on, on 19 September 1592, King Philip II issued a royal decree ordering works to expand it. 1602 saw the construction of a Baroque altarpiece, and a pipe organ was built in 1760. Both of these were destroyed in 1936. They can still be viewed today, however. Reproductions of the originals shine with the same splendour thanks to the efforts of the neighbourhood's residents.

  • VILLA DE VALLECAS: Church of San Pedro ad Víncula

    Iglesia de San Pedro ad Víncula. Distrito Villa de Vallecas

    Its narrow tower presides over the town

    Until it was annexed into Madrid in the year 1950 the town of Vallecas was an independent municipality. Its main church was built in the early 17th century by Juan de Herrera, although its tower was the work of another illustrious architect, Ventura Rodríguez, who designed it in 1775. Two of the temple's most striking features are its fabulous façade, which depicts the Deliverance of St. Peter, and the geometric mouldings on the vault of its central nave. Also of particular note are its baptismal chapel, the Chapel of Christ of Health, the Chapel of The Nazarene and the Chapel of The Trinity.

  • VILLAVERDE: La N@ve

    La N@ve. Distrito Villaverde

    A space from the present that looks to our future

    The former municipality of Villaverde, which was absorbed into Madrid in 1954, was an important industrial hub between 1950 and 1980. Of all of the district's buildings, this spectacular reinforced concrete construction is particularly striking. It was built to serve as the former Boetticher y Navarro factory, which specialised in the production of lifts, escalators, turbines and sluices. Today it houses a centre for inspiration, education and open innovation where societal stakeholders (citizens, entrepreneurs, companies, SMEs, students, universities, etc.) come together. It was remodelled by the Ch+Qs architectural firm.

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