72 hours in Madrid

  • Terraza Sabatini © Álvaro López del Cerro

If this is your first time visiting Madrid, and you only have 72 hours, make sure you plan a bit in advance so you can pack in as much of the city as possible... 

Start with the essentials

The landscape of Light, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Las Meninas de Velázquez en el Museo del Prado

The Landscape of Light, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2021, covers El Paseo del Prado between Cibeles and la Plaza del Emperador Carlos V in Atocha, El Retiro Park and the neighbourhood of Los Jerónimos. A unique space full of art and nature that will astound you.

Visit three of the most important museums in the world (the Prado Museum - showing masterpieces by Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, Titian, and Rubens - the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum, which houses Picasso's famous Guernica), El Retiro Park and the Royal Botanical Garden as well as famous monuments such as La Puerta de Alcalá and fountains dedicated to Cibeles, Apollo and Neptune - simply unmissable stops on your tour.

Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol

This is the liveliest spot in the city and there are three things you should not leave without photographing yourselft next to the them: the statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, a symbol of the city which also appears on Madrid’s coat of arms; the Kilometre 0 plaque, which marks the starting point for all Spanish roads; and the famous Real Casa de Correos clock, which Spaniards watch on their televisions every year to see it chime at midnight on New Year’s Eve in Spain. 

La Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

Built in the 17th century, Plaza Mayor is Madrid's most popular square. In its centre stands a statue of King Philip III on horseback, and at two ends of the square you'll find two monumental buildings: Casa de la Panadería, which houses the city's main tourist information centre, and the Casa de la Carnicería.

Wander around the covered archways that house typical restaurants and traditional shops that have been here for well over a century, including the hat shop La Favorita.

The most "royal" Madrid

Palacio Real de Madrid

Feel like royalty as you stroll about the Royal Palace and the Sabatini Gardens. Don’t miss the beautiful views of the Campo del Moro Park and Casa de Campo from the Mirador de la Cornisa viewpoint at the Royal Palace. Find out more about the history of the Spanish monarchy with a visit to the Royal Collections Gallery.

You can also enjoy some stunning views from the dome of the Almudena Cathedral and visit the crypt. Just around the corner is the Teatro Real, one of the world's finest opera houses.

Take a stroll down Gran Via, the street that never sleeps

La Gran Vía

This is undoubtedly Madrid’s most iconic street. Nicknamed the “Broadway of Madrid” because of all the musical theatres found here, it is also jam packed with cinemas, restaurants, and fashion boutiques.

The spectacular rooftop terraces at hotels along this street, such as El Jardin de Diana (Hyatt Centric Gran Via hotel) and the Roof Top Bar (Pestana R7 Gran Via hotel), offer stunning 360º views of the city.

Are you a football fan?

Solamente en Madrid

Only in Madrid can you see 13 European Championship Cups all together at the same time, the most prestigious trophy in the world of Football. If you want to get a picture of yourself with them, take a trip to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, home to Real Madrid (which is currently being refurbished), and take the Bernabeu Tour. If you’re more of an Atlético fan, Atlético Madrid also offers a tour of its brand-new stadium, Cívitas Metropolitano.

Go for a stroll

Jardines del Príncipe de Anglona

Madrid is a very "walkable" city. Wander through the historic neighbourhood known as El Madrid de los Austrias or La Latina and discover streets brimming with history at every turn, where you will find unique spots such as La Plaza de la Villa, the Principe de Anglona Gardens and the Christian city wall.

The finest food

Few capital cities can boast our culinary variety. Discover it for yourself at our city’s markets, restaurants, and bars. Go for Tapas in the San Miguel Market, the modern San Antón Market (Chueca) or the Cebada Market in La Latina. Once you’re there, check out the area of La Cava Baja where you’ll find countless traditional bars and restaurants.

If you're celebrating, treat yourself to a Michelin “starred” restaurant experience at Saddle, DiverXO, Coque or Paco Roncero. Restaurants where booking is practically essential. The Galería Canalejas Food Hall offers a unique gastronomic experience in Madrid with more than a dozen restaurants of different specialities and nationalities.

So much flair

El Corral de la Morería

Have you ever been moved to see all the flourishes of a flamenco dancer’s footwork, or hear the heart-breaking laments of a flamenco singer? Madrid is the capital of flamenco, the most authentically Spanish art form. Allow your senses and emotions to run high at flamenco venues (‘tablaos’) such as the Corral de la Moreria, Cardamomo, Las Tablas, Torres Bermejas, Tablao Flamenco 1911 (formerly Tablao Villa Rosa) and the Tablao de la Villa (where Café de Chinitas stood for many years) and enjoy the best singing and dancing shows in new venues such as Teatro Eslava or the Teatro Flamenco Madrid, a space dedicated exclusively to the art of flamenco, which is located inside the Teatro Alfil. You won’t be able to resist the clapping! You’ll soon be clapping along!


"You mean you went to Madrid and didn’t bring me anything back? That is a fairly unforgivable sin... Have a wander around the Casa de la Panadería Shop and pick up a little souvenir for your friends and family.

Once that’s ticked off your list, mosey around the neighbourhood of Salamanca and, because charity begins at home, treat yourself at one of Spain’s leading fashion boutiques, with famous brands such as Loewe, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Felipe Varela, and major high end international labels.

Another good option is the neighbourhood of Malasaña, a hot spot in Madrid for vintage fashion and underground culture  with a bustling shopping district and the hippest residents. Or the narrow streets and squares of Conde Duque, a neighbourhood that is home to unique more intimate boutiques and traditional bars.

The WOW Concept mega store on the Gran Vía, a multi-brand, multi-product shopping centre; and the Galería Canalejas, an exclusive shopping gallery, which has become the new icon of luxury in Madrid, are also worth mentioning.

With your heart beating nineteen to the dozen!

Parque de Atracciones

If you love getting your fix of adrenaline, you can visit one of Madrid’s unmissable theme parks, Amusement Park or Warner Theme Park Madrid. Another must see if you’re visiting with children is the Zoo Aquarium, a fascinating space to see animals from all across the planet. 


As you will see for yourself, 72 hours is just not enough to see everything that Madrid has to offer, so... start planning your next visit right now. 




Want to know everything there is to see and do in Madrid? Ask our artificial intelligence assistant to find out.

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The city’s new official sightseeing and tourist travel pass.

An observation deck at 92 metres.

Our online store (in Spanish) sells artisan souvenirs.