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17 Top Things To Do In Madrid, Spain

  • avatar
    Jonathan Chum


Madrid is one of the most visited cities in Europe, with nearly 9 million tourists coming to see its cultural and historical landmarks every year. Madrid has so much to offer! If you're planning a trip there soon then here are some things that you should make sure to do while visiting this amazing city:

Puerta Del Sol

The Puerta del Sol is the center of Madrid. It's the largest square and one of the most popular tourist sites in Spain. The square has been an important meeting place for many centuries, and it's still a major hub for locals today.

You'll find shops, restaurants, and hotels around the entire perimeter of this circular plaza (hence its name). If you're looking for souvenirs from your trip to Madrid or want to find out where your favorite restaurant is located---this is where you'll want to start. You'll also be able to get some great photos here, as there are often musicians playing on their guitars or other instruments while children run around laughing with each other on their way home from school.

Plaza Mayor

The Plaza Mayor is the most famous square in Madrid. It was once the site of bullfights, executions, and bullfighting festivals. In more recent times it's been home to numerous political demonstrations as well as a popular tourist attraction.

The plaza has undergone several major changes over its history---most recently in 1854 when it was rebuilt by an Italian architect. The current plaza retains some remnants of its original layout, including its central fountain, but many buildings surrounding it were constructed after it was remodeled.

Today you'll find plenty of restaurants around the edge where you can sit outside and people-watch or shop at one of Madrid's many street markets (Mercado de San Miguel).

Royal Palace Of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid is a majestic palace, built by King Philip V in the 18th century. The palace's construction was commissioned by King Philip IV in 1623 following the destruction of the old royal residence after it was set ablaze by rioters during the War of Succession. The new palace was built on traditional lines and came to be known as Palacio Real (Royal Palace).

The present-day Royal Palace had its beginnings when Charles III decided to build an entirely new palace instead of completing works on Charles V's original building project. Construction began in 1738; it took over 30 years for workmen to finish their projects. When it was finally completed in 1760, Madrid's population numbered about 300 thousand people; today almost three million people are living here!

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

  • Location: Calle Princesa, 8

  • History: The museum opened in 1992 and exhibits works from the collection of German industrialist Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, including paintings by Titian, Van Gogh, and Velázquez. It also hosts temporary exhibitions.

  • Exhibitions: "Visions for Eternity" features some of the most important works from the museum's permanent collection.

  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10 am--8 pm; closed Mondays except for public holidays; special opening hours may apply during holidays (check website for details)

  • Admission: €10 adults; €5 students and seniors with valid ID; free for children under 17 accompanied by an adult

Prado Museum

The Prado Museum is the most important art museum in Spain. It's located in central Madrid, and it has a large collection of European paintings from the 13th to 20th century.

The collection includes works by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Goya, Rubens, and Velázquez.

Templo De Debod

The Templo de Debod is a modern temple located in Madrid, Spain. It was built in 1968 and is located in the Parque del Retiro. The structure was originally erected as a temporary structure, but it has remained standing since then.

The temple was designed by architect Josep Lluis Sert who also designed other notable buildings around the world. He used traditional architectural elements such as palm trees, papyrus plants, and reeds when designing this building to pay homage to ancient Egypt's past.

Templo de Debod is considered one of Madrid's most popular attractions and will provide you with beautiful views while you're there so don't miss out on your chance!

Parque Del Retiro

The Parque del Retiro is the perfect place to relax and take in some culture. With gardens, fountains, museums, and even a castle to explore you will be entertained for hours.

The Royal Botanical Garden is one of my favorite spots in Spain. It has two parts: The Orto Botanico (botanical garden) with over 5,000 species of plants from all over the world; and La Casa Del Labrador (house of Labrador) which is an 18th-century palace that now houses a museum on the history of Madrid.

Plaza De Cibeles

Plaza de Cibeles is one of the largest squares in Madrid and a major tourist attraction. It is located in the heart of Madrid, Spain. The Plaza de Cibeles was named after Cybele, an ancient Roman goddess who was thought to be the mother of all gods.

It is surrounded by some of Madrid's most important buildings including:

  • Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

  • Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace)

  • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Museum National Center for Art Reina Sofia)

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

A visit to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is a must for art lovers. The museum was founded in 1993 and is located in the former Royal Palace of El Pardo, west of Madrid. It is the largest museum in Spain and contains many works by Spanish artists such as Picasso and El Greco.

The best time for visiting this interesting place would be in summer when it's not too hot outside so you can enjoy your time there without feeling uncomfortable.

Museo de San Isidro

If you're looking for a museum that's a little more unique than your average art gallery, check out Museo de San Isidro. Located in Madrid, this beautiful church was built in 1620 and served as the patron saint of Madrid until 1868 when Pope Pius IX moved his remains to Rome. Nowadays, it's home to an impressive collection of religious artwork and relics from all over the world.

Plaza Mayor Square

Plaza Mayor, or Plaza Mayor Square, is one of the most popular and historic areas in Madrid. The plaza was built in 1619 and has been used for various events such as bullfights, political rallies, and even executions!

The plaza has a lot to offer--you can check out its beautiful architecture or grab a bite at one of its many restaurants. You can also visit Casa de la Panaderia (House of Bread), which is an iconic bread store that's been around since 1790.

There are various ways to get there: you can take the metro or walk from anywhere in town if you're feeling adventurous!

Plaza de la Villa

Plaza de la Villa is a great place to start your exploration of Madrid. Located in the city center, the plaza is surrounded by some of the most important buildings in Madrid, including the Royal Palace and the National Library.

The Plaza de la Villa was designed by Juan Gómez de Mora and built between 1631 and 1645. If you look closely, you'll see that it's shaped like a ship---the same kind of ship Christopher Columbus sailed on when he discovered America!

There are plenty of things to do at this plaza: check out some art or history exhibitions at either or both museums (the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Museo del Prado), go shopping at one of its many stores (including Zara), grab lunch/dinner at any number of restaurants around it...or just sit back on a bench and enjoy all there is to see.

El Rastro

El Rastro is one of the most popular markets in Madrid and a great place to see Spanish culture in action. The market begins at around 9:00 am and runs until 2:00 pm on Sundays, though you can visit it any time before noon if you want to avoid crowds. El Rastro offers an impressive variety of things to do and see, including beautiful antiques, vintage clothing, and souvenirs from all over Spain; however, if you're looking for something specific (or even just a little bit unusual), there's probably an open-air vendor selling exactly what you're looking for! Although many people only visit El Rastro during their first few days in Madrid due to its popularity among tourists, it's worth going back multiple times because there are so many options available within this marketplace that won't be found anywhere else in town---and who knows? You might find yourself coming here every Sunday after all!

Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

Located in Madrid, Palacio Real is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. The palace was built in 1737 and has been used by Spanish monarchs since then.

The first thing you'll notice about Palacio Real when you visit is its size---it covers an area of approximately 12 acres (5 hectares). When it opened to the public in 1992, it was Spain's most visited monument with over 1 million visitors annually.

Visitors can enjoy a tour through this beautiful palace on certain days during the week or month depending on which rooms are open for viewing; however, certain areas remain off limits including King Felipe VI's private quarters and those belonging to his wife Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (Princess Letizia).

Museo del Prado

The Prado Museum is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. Its collection includes masterpieces from painters like El Greco and Goya, as well as sculptures by Rodin, Miro, and Picasso. It also contains one of Spain's most important collections of European art from the 13th to 18th centuries.

The Prado Museum has around 8400 paintings on display (including 5200 portraits), 1000 sculptures, and 800 drawings which are housed in 19 rooms covering an area of 16000 square meters! If you want to take a tour around this museum then do it either early morning or late evening because during these times there are fewer people inside the building which means less waiting time for you outside as well!

Almudena Cathedral

The Almudena Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the heart of Madrid, Spain. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Madrid, and the mother church of the Archdiocese of Madrid. Located on Calle de Bailén (Bailén Street), just off Plaza de Colón, it can be considered one of all eight Cathedrals in Madrid.

The construction began in 1868; however, due to a lack of funding, it was halted until 1870 when King Amadeus I donated funds for completion which took place between 1883 and 1993. Upon completion, it became one of the most visited churches not just in Spain but also Europe with up to 2 million visitors per year.

Templo de Debod

If you love history and want to see some ancient relics, you can't miss the Templo de Debod. The temple was built in the early 2nd century BC in Egypt and moved to Madrid in 1968. It's dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who is often depicted as a woman wearing a headdress with horns on her head. Because of this association with horns (and don't forget about those temples!), some people think that she may have been inspired by the Greek god Pan!

The temple itself has been restored nicely and it now serves as an exhibition space for artists from around the world. There are also statues outside of it depicting famous figures like Charles Darwin and Karl Marx!


Madrid is a city with a lot of history and culture, and it's easy to see why so many people love it. If you're planning on visiting soon, make sure to check out some of these places!