Visit Madrid – Top things to Do in Madrid, Spain
Rich culture, lively nightlife, striking splendor, delicious Spanish cuisine and a wealth of historical sites including art museums are some of the reasons that Madrid is a must-see. Most travelers are delighted by the historic sights and the Spanish empire’s background that spanned the globe in the 16th and 17th centuries, but there is plenty to appreciate. Below are some of the city’s draws that won’t leave you the same.
Start with the Prado
With its great exhibit, the Prado is amongst the World’s prominent art museums. It features an overwhelming collection of masterpieces done by artists from different countries. Velazquez and El Greco represent Spain, Titian, Caravaggio, Tintoretto and Botticelli form the Italian contingent and Low Countries are represented by Rubens, Van Dyck and Rembrandt.
Put up in the early-1600s, Plaza Mayor is a handsome renaissance square. It is completely sequestered by historic three-storey residential buildings. This square has nine entrances and dotted by multiple cafes where you can have a cup of coffee while enjoying a match for Real Madrid football club. If not that you can stroll up to the 400-year-old bronze statue of King Philip III.
Mercado San Miguel
From Plaza Mayor, you can extend the adventure to Mercado San Miguel. This art nouveau marketplace dates to 1916. Although there are grocery stalls, this place is more of a gastronomic destination where you can buy some products like pimento, Saffron and cava. Moreover, Mercado San Miguel is home to several tapas bars that serve all favorites like gambas al ajillo, patatas bravas and a glass of beer.
If you are looking for a place to spend your day time, it is El Rastro. It is the largest flea market in Madrid and consists of over 3500 stalls. Its streets are lined by antique shops and cafes that are always open for visitors.
Located east of the Prado, Retiro is the city’s green heart. It is full of elegant gardens and was a royal property up to the end of the 19th century. Besides that, the park includes the iron and glass pavilion that was put up to house the Philippine exhibition in 1887. If you are visiting this place with kids, make sure not to miss paddling on the Grand pond. It is full of fun on a sunny afternoon.
Built-in the mid-1700s, this monument is the largest royal palace in Western Europe. It differs itself unique with a blend of baroque and neoclassical styles. The palace welcomes visitors with stunning exterior designs but once you get inside it’s another story. You won’t fail to appreciate a great exhibit of the royal collections that include watches, tapestries, silverware, porcelain and works by Goya, Velazquez and Caravaggio.
Tour the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
It is very rare to visit Real Madrid and miss out Santiago Bernabeu more so if you are a supporter of Real Madrid football club. Accommodating over 85000 people, this stadium is the home of this club and a place where history has been several times. A tour around rewards with scenic views of the inside part and includes a visit to the dressing room, press room and other parts of the facility.
Check out the National Archaeological Museum
One of the highlights for a trip to Madrid is the National Archaeological Museum. It gathers a lot of valuable pieces including the items that predate the Roman period, Iberian treasures and sculptures. More to admire are the votive crowns that date to the 600s and the treasure of Guarrazar a Visigoth set of crosses.
Puerta Del Sol
Don’t leave Madrid without reaching this grand square. It is located near Casa de Correos and rated a popular meeting place in the city. Once you are heading to this iconic spot the first thing to recognize is the clock at the top of Casa de Correos. Another captivating allure in place is the El Oso y El Madrono statue (a symbol for Madrid since the middle ages).
For a glimpse of the city’s unending charms, don’t omit a walk along the Gran Via. This place is the city’s shopping, cultural nerve and entertainment center. During the day it welcomes shoppers who browse different malls and high street stores available, then at night, it’s a ground for night clubbers.