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15 Best Things To Do In Madrid

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Madrid

If you are looking for things to do in Madrid, welcome! This is our guide where you will find everything necessary to discover Madrid on your own.

The first question is always: where to start? Madrid is a European metropolis that offers rich content. Travelers gladly visit it and return full of impressions. We have selected for you 15 things to do in Madrid.

We believe that they will be useful for your future trip. You may have already visited some of them, and include those you haven’t in your wish list. Although it is a young metropolis, Madrid is, next to London, one of the largest cities in the European Union.

1. Center of old Madrid – Plaza Mayor de Madrid

Things to do in Madrid
Center of old Madrid – Plaza Mayor de Madrid | Photo Credit – manuel m. v.

If we translate the name of this location into English, it would mean Main Square. When you go on a tour of Madrid, this can be your starting point.

It used to be the center of old Madrid. A today is a meeting place. There is a murmur of people all around. Everyone goes to their agreed places, waits for friends, or enjoys after a long working day.

This place has always been important for the life of people in Madrid. It has changed its name throughout history, but its purpose has remained the same. Energy changes every day and it depends on the visitors. You will love this place right away!

2. Heart of Madrid – Puerta del Sol

Things to do in Madrid
Photo Credit – JasonParis

Even though you haven’t been to Madrid, you’ve heard of the Puerta del Sol. You probably know that it is one of the most famous places in the city.

It is also very busy, which can be noticed at any time of the year. If you are in Madrid for the first time, you will think that some manifestation is being held in the city. The Puerta de Sol is located in the very heart of Madrid.

It serves as the kilometer zero from which all radial roads in Spain are measured. This is demonstrated by a plaque on the floor of the square, marking the exact point of Km.0. The right place to go exploring the capital of Spain.

3. The Royal Palace

Things to do In Madrid
Royal Palace | Photo Credit – Robert Lowe

We can only tell you about this place – a must-see when in Madrid. It fully justifies its name and is truly royal. This is the official residence of the Spanish royal family.

Although members of the royal family do not live there, the palace is in use. When some ceremonies are held, it is in the Royal Palace. Best of all, for $ 10 you can tour the entire complex. It is best to buy tickets online.

This will give you an advantage when entering the facility. If you have time, we recommend that you go on a tour in the morning. This way you will avoid the crowds and you can enjoy your visit in peace.

4. Shopping area – Gran Via

Things to do in Madrid
Shopping area – Gran Via | Photo Credit – Dimitry B.

Welcome to the Spanish Broadway! Did you know that Gran Via is often called that?

There is a good reason for that. This is a small street and leads from Calle de Alcalá, close to Plaza de Cibeles, to Plaza de España. In her environment are the shops of the most famous fashion designers. Until 20 years ago, there were several theaters here.

In the last couple of years, they have mostly closed. Shopping centers have been opened at their locations. If you are a fashion lover, you know what your next stop is.

There are also buildings here whose architectural styles never leave anyone indifferent. Shopping and culture, are there better combinations?

5.The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Photo Credit – BruceW.

Men are often not fans of shopping. Maybe it’s just another stereotype, but some women swear it is.

Although, there are those women who do not like to go shopping, so it all depends on the person. One thing many agree on: football is the most important sideline in the world.

Even if you are a fan of another club, you will not miss the opportunity to visit The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. It is one of the most famous stadiums in the world and is a real attraction. You can choose from several ticket packages.

The best one costs around $ 15 and includes a visit to the museum and a panoramic view. Other packages are more expensive but offer more. Our advice is to buy tickets online.

6. Bullfighting in Madrid

Photo Credit – George M. Groutas

If anything can be said to be an association with Spain, then it is a bullfight. It is part of the Spanish tradition. They were banned a few years ago but were re-approved because they are considered part of the cultural heritage.

Although it is considered a dangerous activity, it has many fans. Tourists like to watch bullfights. They are usually held from March to October. The most famous arena in Madrid is Las Ventas. The ticket price depends on where you want to sit.

Those that have a better view are more expensive. The starting price is around $ 15, so anyone can be a part of this story.

7. El Rastro de Madrid

Photo Credit – Míriam Pérez

Do you know where you can best feel the soul of a city? In the center of city events? If you are a fan of urban style, then this is the right answer.

If you are looking for a slightly different experience, then we suggest something special. El Rastro de Madrid or just El Rastro is the most popular open-air flea market in Madrid.

If you notice that there aren’t many people on the streets of Madrid on Sundays, don’t worry. They did not fall asleep or flee the city. Everyone is shopping at El Rastro that day, so why not you too?

Here you can find unique gifts for yourself and friends. Much better than a postcard, right?

8. Buen Retiro Park

Buen Retiro Park | Photo Credit – Mary Salazar

This is one of the largest parks in Madrid. It belonged to the Spanish monarchy until the beginning of the 19th century, and then it became a public park.

We suggest you visit it in the morning. Then the freshness feels best and you will be able to enjoy the silence. It is visited at any time of the day, so young and old can be seen in one place.

Everyone loves to hang out and enjoy a sunny day. The green oasis in the heart of the city is the venue for numerous events. The book fair is one of them and if you find yourself in Madrid in October, stop by and buy a couple of books.

9. Museo Nacional del Prado

The Prado Museum is the Spanish National Museum located in the capital. It contains works by the world’s most famous artists.

The collection, which can be envied by larger cities, has more than 35,000 art objects. Here you can see Velázquez’s work “Young Nobles“. Every year several million people visit this museum.

The expansion of the museum began in the last century and is constantly ongoing. Titian, Caravaggio and Goya are just some of the artists whose works are preserved in the Prado Museum.

Tickets are around $ 15, and free admission is possible on certain days (Monday and Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.).

10. Casa de Campo

Photo Credit – Jose A.

If we do not translate into English, the name of this place means “country house”. That makes sense, because when you look around, you will notice greenery everywhere.

This park was one of the hunting locations for some time. It belonged to the royal family, and today it is the largest public park in Madrid. It is a popular destination not only among tourists. Madrid residents often spend weekends and days off here.

You thought Central Park was huge? This park is about five times larger in area. From time to time he had a bad reputation for prostitution. However, it is known as a place to rest and you will not go wrong if you visit it.

11. Paella and churros

Photo Credit –

One of the most beautiful and easiest ways to get to know the culture of a nation is through the kitchen. Try their national dishes. This is good for several reasons.

First, you are eating something you have not eaten before. Secondly, you can discover dishes that will become part of your menu. The dish we suggest you try is paella. You will find it on the menu of every Spanish restaurant.

This is a traditional Spanish dish. The original recipe includes rice, seafood, chicken and sausages. We recommend that you try churros while walking around the city. You can buy them at stalls from street vendors and support small businesses.

Everyone has their own recipe, but originally everyone smells like sugar and cinnamon. Nothing without chocolate, of course.

12. Temple of Debod

Photo Credit – Daniel Dionne

There is one place that we have included in the list of things to do in Madrid, and which is not very traditional Spanish. It is definitely one of the attractions in Madrid and is important for the city.

Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple. Dates from the second century and was a gift for the Spain. It is the only one of its kind found in the entire country. It is one of the favorite places of photographers because they can take amazing photos here.

If you are a fan of light and reflection on the water, then this is the place for you. You will take magical photos even if you are an amateur photographer. It is especially interesting if you come in the evening, before sunset.

13. Circle of Fine Arts

What did you first think when you read these words? Probably a museum or gallery. Not far from the truth.

This building plays an important role on the cultural and artistic scene of Madrid. It caught our attention because it is a skyscraper. You just can’t help but notice it in the panorama of the city. If you like to look at the city from a different perspective, you know where to go.

From the roof of this building there is an enchanting view of Madrid. Throughout the year, you can order a affordable drink at the very top. You sit down, enjoy the company of dear people in the new city. Tickets are more than affordable, so adults pay around $ 5.

14. Sangria

Photo Credit – Valentina Buj

One of the associations to Spain is sangria. Alcoholic drinks that are loved by all generations (those whose age allows them to consume it, of course).

The origins are from the Apennine Peninsula, from Spain and Portugal. It is known all over the world and is made according to various recipes. We still recommend that you leave yourself in the safe hands of experienced masters and try it in its original form.

The Spaniards make excellent sangria. The good thing is that you can drink this drink at any time of the year. When you return home, you can have a party and serve this drink to the company according to your recipe.

15. Photo for the end of the adventure in Madrid

Photo Credit – Angel Abril Ruiz

Do you know that the bear is a symbol of Madrid? This animal is the protector of the city.

How important it is, you can see in the Puerta del Sol. There is a statue of a bear eating strawberries. It certainly represents the fertility of the Spanish land. The tree represents the aristocracy and it is very symbolic.

Since it is located in the heart of the city, it is easy to find. If you started the tour, as recommended, from this square, then you can also return to that point. At the end of the adventure, take a photo with a bear and strawberries.

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