For beautiful sunny weather, one of the world’s best food scenes, and endless entertainment and activities morning to night, Madrid will be an unforgettable adventure. Teeming with culture and history, excitement and tradition, heading out to explore Madrid will leave you with some of the best memories of your life. Here are ten things you need to see when hitting up Spain’s most vibrant city.
1. The Royal Palace
Europe’s largest palace, built in the 18th and 19th centuries, still houses Spain’s royal family during important events. Inside, you will see beautiful tapestries, paintings, frescoes and porcelain figures.
2. Gran Vía
The Gran Vía is Madrid’s hub for shopping, nightlife and entertainment. During the day you can update your wardrobe with cool Spain finds and sample the restaurants along the street. At night catch some flamenco dancing, one of Broadway’s top shows on the tour, or head to a nightclub.
3. Plaza Mayor
Experience Madrid’s beautiful architecture in the city’s spacious main square. Head over to the tourist centre located to brush up on the fascinating history of the area, from ceremonies to bullfights to Spanish Inquisition executions.
4. The Prado
Madrid is home to one of the most famous art museums in the world: the Prado. Here you can see renaissance and baroque era art featuring masterpieces by El Greco, Rembrandt, Velázquez and Botticelli. It is also the home of Caravaggio’s heroic David with Head of Goliath.
5. Temple of Debod
While in Madrid, take a moment to see one of only four Egyptian temples that have been deconstructed and rebuilt out of its home country. It is free to visit and easily accessible from central Madrid.
6. Queen Sofia Arts Centre
Another of Madrid’s world-class art museums, this collection of modern works includes pieces by art greats like Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and Picasso.
7. Retiro Park
Located close to the Prado museum, this once royal garden is now a natural haven for the public to escape the hustle and bustle of daily Madrid. Visit one of the many gardens, unwind under one of the park’s 1,500 trees, paddleboat around the central man-made lake, or go to one of the many exhibits hosted in the park.
8. Puerta Del Sol
This popular square is packed day and night, often with tourists. There are restaurants, shops, cafes and street performers to entertain you all day, while some of Madrid’s best clubs and bars light up the night.
DriverXo is Madrid’s highest-rated restaurant, boasting three Michelin stars. The dishes take “work of art” to another level as they are served on canvasses with sauces painted on. The style of food is fusion, so you might see such seemingly incongruous combinations as Pork skin on black sesame brioche.
10. Mercado San Miguel
Visit this century-old 200-stall market of food, tapas and drinks to sample the best eats Spain has to offer. As Europe’s largest municipal market, the Mercado San Miguel will never leave you feeling dissatisfied after a day spent grazing the stands.