In 3 days, it was possible for us to visit the essentials of Madrid. Nevertheless, it was very short in our opinion. That’s why we decided to spend the end of year celebrations in Madrid.
If you have an extra day in Madrid, you can visit the neighboring city of Toledo
Below is a short guide of things to do in Madrid in a few days:
01 – Prado Museum
It is the most visited place in Madrid
There are collections made up by the kings of Spain. The largest collection in the world of Spanish masters is on display here. There are also Italian and Flemish works
Address: Paseo del Prado, s/n
Nearest station: Banco de España or Atocha
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: €8 (Free from Monday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. / Sunday and public holidays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
02 – Royal Palace
One of the most beautiful jewels of Madrid. It is also the most visited tourist spot in the Spanish capital, after the Prado Museum.
Right next to the palace, you can see the Nuestra Señora de la Almudena Cathedral.
Address: Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071
Nearest station: Opera
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. 09:00-15:00 on Sunday
Price: €11, free on Wednesdays
03 – La Puerta del Sol
It is the Heart of Madrid. A plaque on the ground indicates km 0 of all the spanish streets. This square is also the center of most bus lines and metro of Madrid. In the middle of the square, there is a statue representing the Bear and the Arbutus (El Oso y el Madroño), symbols of the city of Madrid.
In the past, Puerta del Sol has been the scene of many events:
– May 2, 1808: Rebellion against the Napoleonic occupation.
– Proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931.
– Protests for freedom of expression in the 80s
– In 1997: Demonstrations against terrorism.
Address: La Puerta del Sol
Nearest station: Sol
04 – La Plaza Mayor
It is the second important place in Madrid and one of the most typical and lively places. You will find good tapas bars there.
Address: Plaza Mayor
Nearest station: Sol
05 – Cibeles Square
It is one of the most famous squares in Madrid. In its center, you will see the fountain created by the architect Ventura Rodriguez which represents the goddess Cybele in a chariot drawn by two lions.
Address: Plaza de Cibeles
Nearest station: Banco de España
06 – San Miguel Market
It is an indoor modern food market. Like the Boqueria in Barcelona, you can do your shopping there, taste some specialties, have a drink…
Address: Plaza de San Miguel
Nearest station: Opera / Sol
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 00:00 a.m.
07 – Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo is the largest park in Madrid. It hosts a zoo, swimming pools, a lake… It is one of the favorite places on weekends.
Open every day with free access (attractions payable). It is accessible by cable car (€4.65 round trip).
Nearest station: Casa de Campo
08 – El Retiro Park
It is a charming park full of life. There, you can enjoy an artificial lake where you can rent a small boat.
In Retiro Park :
- Palacio de Cristal : designed by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco and used as a greenhouse during the exhibition on the Philippines.
- Palacio de Velazquez : It is the only existing monument built by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco for the National Mining Exhibition in Retiro Park
next to the park you can see The Alcala Gate, built by Francisco Sabatini to replace an old baroque gate and celebrate the arrival of King Charles III
Nearest station: Retiro
Hours: daily from 6 a.m. to midnight, 10 p.m. in winter
09 – Teatro Real de Madrid
Opened in 1850, it can host 1 800 spectators. It is one of the greatest opera houses in Europe
Address: Plaza de Isabel II, s/n
Nearest station: Opera
10 – Fuente de Neptuno and Monumento del Dos de Mayo
These 2 monuments commemorate the revolt against the Napoleonic occupation
Address: Plaza Canovas del Castillo
Nearest station: Antón Martín / Banco de España
11 – Metropolis Building
In is a very lively district of Madrid whith restaurants, cafes and shops. The Edifice Metrópolis building is recognizable with the Schweppes brand sign
Nearest station: Metro (Banco de España / Sevilla / Gran Via)
12 – Atocha Station
It is the central station known with the attacks of March 11, 2004. It a beautiful station full of life
Address: Glorieta Carlos V
Nearest station: Metro: Atocha
13 – Temple of Debod (Temple of Amon)
It is a curiosity of Madrid. It houses rare Egyptian architectural remains
Address: Calle Ferraz, 1
Nearest station: Ventura Rodriguez
14 – Plaza de la Villa
It is a charming square in the heart of old Madrid
Nearest station: Sol / Opera / La Latina
15 – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
If you are a fan of Real Madrid or just football, you can visit the Santiago Bernabéu stadium: Panoramic view from the top of the stands, visit the changing rooms, the tunnel that leads to the lawn, the trophy room…
Address: Av de Concha Espina, 1
Nearest station: Metro (Santiago Bernabéu)
Hours: daily from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Price: 20 €
Some well-known places to eat in Madrid:
Mercado San Anton
It is the second market of the city after San Miguel. It is much less touristy.
Going there for lunch is a good idea.
Address: Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24B
Hours: daily from 11 a.m. to midnight. Friday and Saturday, at 1:30 a.m.
Chocolateria San Gines
The most famous Churros with hot chocolate in Madrid: a must
You will see on the walls of the establishment the photos of all the celebrities who have visited this place.
Address: Pasadizo San Gines, 5
€2.75 and €2.85 sandwiches made in front of you (take the calamari sandwiches !).
Address: Calle Ciudad de Rodrigo, 3
Opening hours: every day from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
It is a tapas bar chain that you will find everywhere. Small sandwiches are 1€ or 2€.
Hundreds of choices on the menu. It is a meeting place for the young people of the city.