The hot city of passion and football, the capital of Spain – Madrid, is one of the best places in Europe to enjoy your holidays. The largest city in Spain is nothing but the best place to relax, due to its positive and sunny aura, and the local people who enjoy everything they do, from football to cooking. The deliciously flavored scent coming from restaurants and cafes will blow your mind, and the nightlife will guarantee the best sensations to the juvenile tourists. The artwork and the architecture can grasp a connoisseur’s breath, while the shops and the entertainment will provide you with a quality time even if you’re with your family or alone. So let’s explore the hidden treasures of this beautiful and amazing place to find out what to do in Madrid.
Art Is in the Air
Museo Nacional del Prado is definitely one of the most iconic places in Madrid. And when you do stop for it, do not forget to pay attention to Picasso’s works, as well as other great Spanish artists’ works.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum might have the best impressionist and post-impressionist collection on Earth! Check this out, do not miss it!
To see the amazing works of Sorolla go to his private home, with its lovely design and peaceful garden, where all of his great works are collected. The Cerallbo Museum also was a private house, and thus gives you a lot of information on 19th century Madrid higher class’ everyday life. The artworks are amazing, and the house has a nice-told history, so visit it and enjoy the story.
To see a collection of masterpieces from 19th century to the post-Second World War times, head towards Fundacion Mapfre Recoletos. You will also get to know what Mapfre is, how that organization is linked to art and a lot more. And the Museo Lazaro Galdiano suggests the collection of a brilliant painter – Lázaro Galdiano.
For all those naval-geeks out there – the Naval Museum of Madrid gives a perfect view of the evolution of ship models over the years, and shows some quality artwork. The Museo del Romanticismo suggests a collection of different artifacts from the 19th century for those obsessed with the age of Romanticism.
Another place that you must visit is the Queen Sofia Arts Center where you can see Picasso’s greatest painting – Guernica. And a small gift to the history-geeks, the National Archeological Museum has a bright collection of amazing archeological artifacts and you can download an app-guide to help you in exploring the museum. And, trust us, you will need that! The museum is so enormous that you will not explore the whole of it in just one day, so if you do not have a lot of time, then look at the guide and find out what you simply can’t miss.
It Towers All The Way Up to The Sky!
Palacio de Cibeles is one of the most celebrated and famous buildings in Madrid. This construction has an amazing ability to make you feel like you are in an organically complete area, the feeling of completeness it gives you is incredible. And Plaza de Cibeles is the most magnificent square in Madrid!
Plaza de Oriente is the best place to sit under a tree, watch the people and enjoy the calmness. Metropolis is the true face of Madrid, its spirit, and it portrays the catchiest and most amazing habits of the Spanish people. The amazing ornaments on the walls of the Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real) will shock you to your bones, and the beauty of the charming Alcala Gate is simply breathtaking.
Puerta del Sol (meaning “Gate of the Sun” in Spanish) is not only the center of Madrid, but also the entire country, where the zero kilometer is located – the main reference point of the Spanish roads. The square gained its name due to the fact that in the XV century the city’s gates were located there, through which the travellers could enter the capital. The charm of the square is the old royal Post Office with its amazing façade decorated with a clock, but other than that you’ll find lots of modern shops and cafes there. And of course, it’s here that you’ll meet the real symbol of Madrid – The Bear and The Strawberry Tree, which represents a 20-ton statue of a cute bear eating strawberries from the tree. If you happen to be there in New Year, get ready to celebrate it with the crowd of Spanish people, who gather there every year to take part in the festivities!
The Plaza Mayor might not seem very beautiful, but its historical significance cannot be overestimated. Cybele’s Fountain is a good place to sit and watch the water in the nighttime. The Matadero is also an exciting sight, but it’s aimed only at those with guts, because the place was a former slaughterhouse and is not the nicest place in Madrid. Palacio de Cristal is a beautiful building of glass, and it creates an illusion of fragility, but is stronger than you might expect.
A bookworm’s dream – the National Library of Spain is not just an amusing collection of worthy books, but also a magnificent and elegant building. And, of course, the representation of Madrid’s religious history – the churches – is no less exciting and beautiful. First, go straight to the Cathedral of Madrid. This classy and snazzy building will catch your mind for the whole day. Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande is a calm and peaceful church for those tired of the Cathedral’s crowdedness, and it’s just a mile away from the Cathedral of Madrid. Templo de Debod is a not ordinary temple with an unusual and grasping setting, and the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida is fascinating in that this tiny, comfortable chapel is where Goya found his last rest. The Iglesia de San Antonio de Los Alemanes catches your eye with its amazing wall-paintings, worth of an in-detail exploration.
And do visit the Bernabeu Stadium – that’s where the legendary team – FC Real Madrid – played so many times.
Shop And Walk Like A Pro
Gran Via might be a good starting point for those seeking gifts for their relatives or some cool things for themselves. San Anton Market is an idyllic place to find fresh food or products, and Cava Baja is a very atmospheric and Spanish place to go. It is filled with small crowded bars, nice tiny shops and an atmosphere of true Madrid, true Spain.
Madrid has great places for a nice walk. Madrid Rio might be one of the best-suited places for that purpose, with its curved road and the murmur of water. Another place with the terrific and calming sound of water is the Paseo del Prado. The Retiro Park is one of the most inspiring and aspiring green areas in Madrid, and it’s so huge that you’ll need an entire day to discover all its corners, so take your time and soak in the joy!
Oh That Grace…
To enjoy the local passionate dances head to Casa Patas – the best flamenco shows whatsoever! Las Tablas is also a place with qualified dancers, but the costumes might disappoint you a bit. Better head to the Cardamomo Tablao Flamenco, and for a magical show visit the Essential Flamenco. Another good place for pastime is the Nuevo Teatro Alcala with its amazing musicals and colorful costumes. And to enjoy some of the best modern tricks, go to Teatro Circo Price.
Fill Up the Hunger
Eating in Madrid might be one of the most amazing experiences you have ever had. You only have to know the right places. La Terraza del Casino is an amazing place with a mouth-watering scent and the most influential chef in Spain – Ferran Adria. Andria and his protégé – head chef Paco Roncero – both earned Michelin stars, and these experienced chefs suggest a menu consisting of twenty-three courses! Hmm, gourmands, this is your heaven. Oh, and, while in there don’t forget to try their vanilla-flavored mashed potatoes. Trust us, though they do taste as unusual as they sound, they still are a huge delight.
Sergi Arola Gastro has a restaurant named after himself, which he runs alongside his wife, and it’s astonishing! In just three years’ time this restaurant gained two Michelin stars. Which is no surprise, at the end of the day these pros change their menu every month. Impressive, huh?
But if you did not plan spending a lot of money on food, don’t panic. There are many good and affordable places to eat in Madrid as well. El Tigre, in particular, disproves the belief that there’s no such thing as free food. The lunch here is absolutely free! Well, actually, it’s awfully crowded so you will have to demonstrate the agility of your mind to get in… But we know that is not a big deal for you, so go ahead! La Musa Latina is also great! Taste the famous tapas there. This place has a wide choice for everyone. Roasted vegetables for vegans, and mixed grill for the really hungry people!
Stay the Night
Only You Hotel and Lounge is a perfect place to get a rest and enjoy your breakfast. This fabulous hotel with a caring stuff that provides high-quality attention to every single one of your wishes and pleas will make your holiday unforgettable! The Westin Palace is another wonderful place for e heavenly rest. Its delicious food and the beautiful pavilion will leave you with nothing but good memories.
A great budget hotel is Urban Sea Hotel Atocha 113. It is located at the center, has Wi-Fi, air conditioning and tasty food. Do young students need more?