Things to do in Madrid – 15 Places to visit in Madrid

Plaza de Cibeles with Cybele Palace (City Hall) and Cybele Fountain, Madrid, Spain
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Looking for some Things to do in Madrid? Here are 15 Places to visit in Madrid which you definitely would not want to miss! Madrid is one of the easiest cities to fall in love with. The capital of Spain is the country’s largest city and a cultural hub, packed with enough attractions to make a tourist’s head spin.

Be captivated by sights, sounds and people around you from sun-soaked days to wild nights. The atmosphere of Madrid is enchanting, so make the most of your time here and take pleasure in getting lost in this wonderful city.

Hospital of Maudes, Madrid, Spain
Hospital of Maudes, Madrid, Spain by Luis García

Things to do in Madrid – Places to visit in Madrid

1. Royal Palace

The sheer size of Madrid’s Royal Palace is awe-inspiring; it’s known to be the Europe’s largest palace. Fifty of the building’s 2,500 lavish rooms are open to the public, including the royal armory with thousands of exhibits spanning the past 600 years.

The famed throne room feature some of the most important frescoes of Baroque master artist Tiepolo.

Royal Palace of Madrid, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Royal Palace of Madrid, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Håkan Svensson

2. Temple of Debod

Madrid is a vibrant tapestry of cultures. The Temple of Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple gifted to the Spanish city in the 1960s and the monument is immaculately preserved with original ornaments inside.

Its construction started in the 2nd century BC in the southern Egypt, where was dismantled and moved to the Parque del Oeste.

Temple of Debod, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Temple of Debod, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Jiuguang Wang

3. Puerta del Sol

Madrid and apparently the whole country has its center in Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate). All roads have its center right here where they start from point zero (0km). It is also a home to the the symbol of Madrid – statue of a bear with madrone tree.

Puerta del Sol, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Puerta del Sol, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Mike Norton

4. Plaza de España

Another square you simply must visit in Madrid is Plaza de España. It is one of the most emblematic squares in Madrid. You will find it just few steps from Royal Palace.

It is a place where 2 large streets Gran Vía and Calle de Princesa meet. Square provides a nice combination of exhibition halls, cinemas, pubs and restaurants and a large park – Parque del Oeste.

Plaza de España, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Plaza de España, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by malouette

5. Chueca

Although quite small but very beautiful is Chueca square. It is nestled between the boulevards of Paseo de Recoletos and Calle de Fuencarral.

Chueca, in short, is a gay neighborhood of Madrid and more than any other part of the city has the energy and atmosphere just like that in New York city.

Chueca, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Chueca, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Delaina Haslam

6. Prado Museum

The world-class Prado Museum is one of the city’s busiest tourist spots. It houses one of the finest art collections worldwide with thousands of works that date back to the 12th century.

The most famous Spanish artist Francisco Goya is featured prominently in Prado Museum, along with masterpieces by El Greco, da Ribera and many more.

Prado Museum, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Prado Museum, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Wenjie, Zhang

7. Retiro Park

Retreat to the Retiro Park for a moment of peace and quiet. Lush grounds envelope the 350-acre oasis and an artificial pond nearby is a good spot for kayaking and canoeing.

Stroll through tree-lined paths to the delightful rose garden and the Statue Walk.

Retiro Park, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Retiro Park, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Carlos Delgado

8. Gran Via

If you are looking for excitement, there’s no better place to go than the most famous street of Madrid: Gran Via.

Choose among an assortment of shops, restaurants, bars and theaters, all which line the entertainment strip that comes irresistibly alive when the sun comes down.

Gran Via, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Gran Via, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Fernando García

9. Plaza de Cibeles

The Plaza de Cibeles is one of the most significant sites in the city because of the Fuente de Cibeles (Fountain of Cybele) that’s considered a symbol of Madrid.

Depicting the Roman goddess Cybele, the marble fountain was created in 1782 by Francisco Gutiérrez and Roberto Michel.

Plaza de Cibeles with Cybele Palace (City Hall) and Cybele Fountain, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Plaza de Cibeles with Cybele Palace (City Hall) and Cybele Fountain, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Alberto de Francisco

10. Mercado de San Miguel

Enjoy tapas and drinks with new and old friends at the Mercado de San Miguel, a shopping center that offers a dizzying variety of delicacies. Hit this hotspot for a fun nightcap.

Mercado de San Miguel, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Mercado de San Miguel, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Herry Lawford

11. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

For a change of pace, visit a contemporary art museum – one of the best. The Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is a sleek three-storey building that accommodates masterpieces from top artists including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

Step out into the courtyard where there are more modern sculptures to enjoy.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Museoreinasofia

12. Plaza Mayor

There are many more plazas in Madrid, but few can measure up to the grandiose of Plaza Mayor. The cobblestone square is surrounded by elegant 18th century apartments with beautiful frescoes and charming balconies.

Tourists can sit in cafes and bistros bordering the expansive plaza.

Plaza Mayor, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Plaza Mayor, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Rick Ligthelm

13. Casa de Campo

There are over 40 parks in Madrid covering an area of approximately 33 square kilometers. The largest park in Madrid is that of Casa de Campo. It is really large and offers plenty of attractions.

There is a large lake where you can go boating, complex of public pools, tennis courts, zoo and aquarium as well as amusement park.

Casa de Campo, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Casa de Campo, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by mcxurxo

14. Puerta de Alcalá

Once in Madrid you will also need to find Plaza de la Independencia, a square that boasts amazing 18th century Neo-classical monument Puerta de Alcalá.

You will probably see it before your visit to Retiro Park as it is very close to its main entrance.

Puerta de Alcalá, Things to do in Madrid, Spain
Puerta de Alcalá, Things to do in Madrid, Spain by Carlos Delgado

15. Flamenco show

In Madrid, the capital of flamenco, it is essential to drop by at least one flamenco show. Many bars in the city feature the flamenco music and/or dancers, so tourists won’t find it tough to scour the city looking for a show.

Flamenco dancer, Things to do in Madrid
Flamenco dancer, Things to do in Madrid by Flavio~

So these were 15 tips on things to do in Madrid. Haven’t found your favorite place here on the list? Let us know below in the comments!

Julius

I am someone who left his open-spaced cubicle after spending there 8 years of his life. Someone who started to live more outside! :) I am in travel blogging since 2010 and with Traveltipy I am going to conquer the world :)

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19 Responses

  1. Charlotte says:

    I am looking for a city break for my birthday in June and just can’t decide between Milan or Lisbon!! So difficult but your guide has been helpful

  2. Nic says:

    My inlaws are always going over to Madrid and have told us on a few occasions how much we would love it…but man, I had no idea how amazing it was! So many beautiful places to see, no wonder they went back!

  3. I’m hopefully going to be going here next year so perfect timing! Thanks 🙂

  4. Grietje | TravelGretl says:

    You got some great historic places in there, and great pic from the Flamenco show!!! Love it!

  5. Divina CA says:

    Wow great list! Will defintely bookmark this for future use. Would really love to explore Madrid!

  6. Claudia says:

    I should go be ashamed of myself. I have been to Spain many many times and never to Madrid. I know, I know. It is time to go. At least now I know what I can’t miss when I go there!

  7. christine says:

    So much to do!! I only got to Barcelona, looks like I missed out!

  8. Revati says:

    I’d always imagined Madrid to be much like Barcelona, but your post brings out a completely different character!

  9. Alexandrea says:

    Madrid looks a very cool place to visit.

  10. Natasha Amar says:

    Such a comprehensive list of things to do in Madrid! I might be visiting early next year and will use this as a starting point to plan my trip there.

  11. Jesper says:

    It is as if you KNEW I was going to Madrid this weekend..! Living in Barcelona for a couple of months I guess it’s inevitable to go there at some point, even though the rivalry between the cities is HUGE, hehe. One thing for sure we’ll do is having a café con leche on plaza mayor (google it). Thanks for the list, mate!

  12. Marta says:

    I love Madrid and this is a great selection of places! If I can add one, Madrid has a great hammam: I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I find it one of the most relaxing experiences ever

  13. Jessica says:

    Planning to go here next year by May/June. Have 15 places not to missed. Thanks for this compilation.

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