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TOP 15 PLACES TO SEE IN MADRID

Madrid is Spain’s capital and largest city. There are numerous things to see and do and it can be really hard to choose where to start on your first visit.

Culture, history and good food are literally everywhere and even after I spend almost a week there I feel there were so much to see!

To help you with your trip I’ve lined up the Top 15 places you have to visit on your first time in Madrid.

1. Gran Vía

As a place to start discovering Madrid I suggest a walk along the Gran Vía. It’s one of the most famous streets full of shopping, bars, restaurants and cultural attractions leading up to Plaza de España.

2. Plaza de España

On a walking distance from Gran Vía is Spain Square. Lots of skyscrapers surround this small square. You can stop here for to watch busy locals run to the many public transports around.

The beautiful fountain in the middle of the square with the statue of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza is an iconic scene.

Madrid

3. Royal Palace

The official residence for the royal family in Madrid it’s nowadays just used for important royal ceremonies.

It was built for King Philip V and it’s the largest royal palace in Western Europe, double the size of Versailles Palace! A visit inside it’s a must as you will the able to be see all the rich decorated rooms, paintings and furniture.

Madrid
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid

Outside the palace the Sabatini Gardens are another place to stop. The labyrinth garden and the beautiful trees are the perfect place to stop for a snack and enjoy the sunshine.

Madrid
Madrid


4. El Retiro Park

The park also known as Parque del Buen Retiro it’s one of the most beautiful places in Madrid to stroll around at any time during the week!

With numerous gardens, fountains and statues, the large pond in the middle gives it a summer feeling throughout the year. There are many activities you can do in the park: picnic, grab a cup of coffee, do your jogging or just simply relax on the grass. You can even rent a rowboat!

Madrid
Madrid
Madrid

I visited in January and felt like it was a proper summer day sitting down outside enjoying a delicious ice cream.

Don’t miss a visit to Crystal Palace inside the park. The iron and glass pavilion holds different exhibitions from time to time and you will see how gorgeous the effect that the rays of sun have on there.

Madrid
Madrid

5. Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol or Sun Gate is the most famous square in Madrid. It’s also a symbol and meeting point for tourists and locals as its very central located.

There are lots of crowds at any time of the day with multiple entertainers doing all sort of stunt performances. One of the most known symbols of this square is ‘El Oso y el Madroño’ or ‘The Bear and the Strawberry Tree’ statue and it marks 0Km of all the motorways in Spain.

Madrid Puerta del Sol
Madrid Puerta del Sol

6. Plaza  Mayor

One of Madrid’s most iconic places that you will end up visiting is Plaza Mayor. Where nowadays hundreds of tourists and locals pass by was once the place for bullfights and even public executions.

The residential buildings with their characteristic red colour bricks, together with the many arcades, makes the square a unique architectural and historical place to visit.

Madrid
Madrid

I recommend you to stop there for a coffee and soak up the atmosphere while watching the crowds. Be careful with the restaurants and cafes as most are overpriced.

Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor

7. San Miguel Market

Not far from Plaza Mayor is this beautiful market that still preserves the early 20th century glass walls and iron building. Most people go just for a stroll around the many vendors but it’s also a great place to have lunch or dinner.

Madrid
Madrid

From any kind of tapas to larger meals you can enjoy a little bit of most Spanish traditional dishes. Olives, cheese, seafood, empanadas, fried croquetas, slices of the famous jamón ibérico and patatas bravas, fresh juices, burguers, fresh fruit you name it!

Madrid
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid

8. Chocolatería de San Ginés

Since 1894 San Ginés has been serving their original recipe of churros and porras (bigger churros) to tourists and locals on a large scale every day. They also serve together with churros a mug of warm dipping chocolate, also made there.

It’s located on a walking distance from Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor tucked in an alleyway and it’s definitely worth the stop as it’s so tasty!

Churros and Chocolate

9. Templo de Debod

This Egyptian temple was located originally in Egypt and was given to Spain in appreciation for the efforts that the Spanish archaeologists did to save it from being destroyed by the rising waters of Lake Nasser.

It’s located on a short distance from Plaza de España, where you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets ever and enjoy the views over the city.

Templo de Debod
Templo de Debod
Templo de Debod

10. Royal Botanical Garden

The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid it’s located next to the Prado Museum and is home to more than 30,000 plants and flowers and 1,500 trees all divided in three major terraces and two greenhouses.⠀

Even if you don’t really understand a lot about plant species it’s still a place worth visiting as it feels like you’re in the middle of a tropical forest.

Discovering pretty places in Madrid 🍃🌸⠀ ⠀ The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid it’s located next to the Prado Museum and is home to more than 30,000 plants and flowers and 1,500 trees all divided in three major terraces and two greenhouses.⠀ ⠀ Every time I visit a city and there is a Botanical Garden I always go and check it out as I think it’s really relaxing to walk around in the middle of such nature collection. Do you feel the same?⠀ ⠀ @visita_madrid ⠀ ⠀ •••••••••••••••••••••⠀ #madridspain #madridgram #madridcity #madridcapital #visitmadrid #spaintravel #visitspain #spain_gallery #littlefoottribe #adventureawaits #travelista #lovetheworld #femmetravel #traveltagged #traveldreamseekers #speechlessplaces #girlsthatwander #letsflyawayto #girlsmeetglobe #thewanderingtourist #dametraveler #thetravelwomen #digitalnomadgirls #travelcommunity #travelinladies #femaletravelbloggers #girlsabroad #nature #garden @spain

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11. Cibeles Square

Plaza de Cibeles is located in between many remarkable places to see in Madrid across three important neighbourhoods: Centro, Retiro and Salamanca crossing the Alcalá Avenue, Recoletos and Prado Avenue.

 

Puerta de Alcalá
Puerta de Alcalá
Paseo del Prado
Paseo del Prado

In the middle of the square it’s the impressive Cybele Fountain with a Roman goddess driving a lion-drawn chariot.

Madrid
Plaza de Cibeles
Plaza de Cibeles

12. Madrid’s Art Triangle

On Paseo del Prado you will find this triangle of three museums: Museu Del Prado, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Museo Nacional de Reina Sofia.

Museu Del Prado has some of the most recognizable works of art in the world while Thyssen-Bornemisza features the Thyssen’s collection which both classical and modern art. Museo Nacional de Reina Sofia is a modern art museum with both Spanish and world artists being represented. Don’t miss Pablo Picasso’s Guernica.

13. La Latina Neighbourhood

Venture yourself around Cava Baja Street with the many tapas bars and restaurants. Do it like the locals and head there at night time; the atmosphere is great and the prices for food and drink even better.

La Latina
La Latina
La Latina
La Latina


14. Chueca

The popular neighbourhood of Chueca is popular for having lots of trendy restaurants and shops and also because it’s Madrid’s gay centre.

Most clubs, shops and bars focus on the gay community and it’s great to see such a lively area to walk around!

Chueca
Chueca
Mercado de San Antón
Mercado de San Antón
Mercado de San Antón
Mercado de San Antón

15. Casa de Campo

The largest park in Madrid, which is five times bigger than New York’s Central Park it’s a paradise to spend some quality time during warm days.

There is a large lake where small boats practice for competitions. Also, there are lots of green grass areas for picnics and other outdoor activities.

Unfortunately when I visited the pond was empty and they were doing some constructions but I really recommend a visit because it was a bit more calm and spacious then El Retiro Park.

Have you visited Madrid? What did you think of the city? Any other places you would add to this list? Let me know!

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Madrid Top 15 places to see

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Tags : ArchitectureCityCultureEuropeHistoryMadridSpain

27 Comments

  1. I actually quoted Madrid as being one of the cities that are on my bucket list and it is very easy to see why. Not only am a fan of the sound of ‘El Tiro Park’ which has stunning natural scenery and the tranquil serene vibe that I need right now, but it also has amazing royal palaces which is ideal for a history nerd like myself!

  2. Both plazas and the Mercado are my fave! I especially love the Prado and that little square it is in. Have you been to Salamanca?

  3. Madrid is so beautiful no one wouldn’t love being there. Right from Gran Via, the place is terrific! But obviously, El Retiro park for me, I love that the park has too much too offer especially admiring fountains! Sounds sweet!

  4. I am so happy I found your blog post. My husband and I are going to Madrid in April and we didn’t know what should we see. Now we are even more excited.

  5. Such a beautiful place and you look like you had so much fun. I’ve always wanted to go on a tour through Europe and Madrid is definitely on the list. One day, hopefully!

  6. I love the architecture. And all that glorious food! And seriously, any place that feels like summer in January is a dream. I cannot wait to visit.

    1. It’s true, I have not seen a place like that in Europe for a while, could not believe it myself it look like we were in summer!

  7. Your photography is incredible, everything looks so perfectly amazing. I’ve never been but now I’m wishing I had, Madrid looks and sounds like perfection to me

  8. Madrid looks absolutely beautiful! I really like the sound of the market. We’re trying to agree on a honeymoon destination for next year, will definitely be suggesting here!

  9. The San Miguel Market definitely has my attention but everything is worth seeing and exploring. I think Madrid is a beautiful place to go to especially if you adore good food, history, and culture!

  10. Wonderful post, your photography is amazing. My father just returned from Spain (he was on a business trip) and he was all amazed. I think Spain is a great destination during the winter time, to get some sunshine and some lively positive vibes from the lovely Spanish people. Definitely on the bucket list!
    PS.: Congrats on being finalist at UKBA 😉

  11. I have never been to continental spain. Just Gran Canaria! Madrid has been on my travel list for so long! I really want to visit the city! Your pictures are fantastic and all the places sound amazing!

  12. I’ve been to Madrid about two years ago as apart of my Eurotrip adventure. It was very nice, I still remember Plaza de Espana and the Egyptian temple. Nevertheless, seeing some other places in Spain too I have to admit I liked Barcelona much more 🙂

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