The best things to do in Madrid
Madrid is a European city full of character, art museums, and unique gastronomy. Visiting Madrid for a long weekend is possible as the city is affordable and the weather is enjoyable. There are a lot of low-cost flights to Madrid which makes it a top place to visit. If it’s your first time in this city, a long weekend is sufficient to visit the must-see attractions including several museums. To help you in your organizational process, we gathered the best things to do in Madrid during a weekend or a longer stay.
The Royal Palace is one of the most stunning palaces in Europe. Built in the 17th century, it is the largest Royal Palace in Spain. This majestic palace will amaze adults and children alike. It is considered as one of the official residences of the Spanish Royal Family. Even if the palace is no more occupied by the King and his family, this monument has been home to kings like Charles III and Alphonse XIII. The actual palace has more than 3000 chambers.
Some places deserve special attention like:
- The majestic main staircase with its 70 steps
- The Royal Chapel and its collection of string instruments
Address: Bailén str, s/n, 28071 Madrid, Spain
How to get to the Royal Palace: ‘Opera Metro’ station served by lines 2 and 5
Working hours: October-March 10 A.M.-6 P.M. daily
April-September 10 A.M.-8 P.M. daily
Free entrance: May 18 and October 12
Flamenco is Spain’s most popular dance. Its movements are garnished with Spanish passion and love. Hundreds of Spanish artists come to perform in Madrid each year.
Here are some of the best establishments where it’s possible to watch a passionate flamenco show.
- Casa Patas: It is a tavern-restaurant which has a dedicated floorboard for flamenco shows. Besides giving shows, the restaurant also has a flamenco school and foundation to develop this type of art. It is recommended to book a place in advance as the tables are limited and the show is highly demanded.
Address: Casa Patas, Calle de Los Cañizares 10, Madrid, Spain
- Cardamomo: This is probably the best place to enjoy a flamenco performance. Cardamomo also has a foundation to support the flamenco’s development around the world.
Address: Cardamomo, Calle Echegaray 15, Madrid, Spain
Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo is the largest park in Madrid. it was used as a hunting ground by the king Philip II. Open to the public in 1931, it is now home to the most important attractions of the parks in Madrid. You can find attractions like the Madrid zoo, tennis courts, swimming pools, etc in Casa de Campo. Besides this, you can also observe an incredible fauna and flora during your bike rides or walks. Located on a high hill, it opens beautiful views of the city.
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
The Santiago Bernabéu stadium is a historical stadium built in 1945 to meet the growing number of spectators each year. Throughout its existence, the stadium has increased and decreased its seat capacity for many times. Today the stadium can host 81,044 seats. It is the official resident club of Real Madrid. The stadium has hosted 4 European Cup and Champions League finals. During your visit, you can have a tour of the history of Real Madrid. You can visit the trophy hall, have a panoramic view of the stadium, see the changing rooms and the tunnels leading to the changing rooms.
Address: Concha Espina av, 1, 28036 Madrid, Spain
Museo del Prado
The architect who stands behind the building of the Museo Nacional del Prado is Juan de Villanueva. The construction started in 1785. But the museum opened its doors to the public only in 1819. Throughout its existence, the museum has undergone many reconstruction and expansion processes to welcome more art works and visitors. The museum mostly represents European masterpieces of art from the 14th to 19th centuries. The most popular artworks in Prado Museum are those of Diego Vélasquez, Francisco Goya, Jérôme Bosch, etc. Besides paintings, the museum is home to drawings, sculptures, prints, and decorative objects.
Address: Ruiz de Alarcon str, 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Working hours: Monday to Saturday 10 A.M.-8 P.M.
Sundays and holidays 10 A.M.-7 P.M.
Trip to Toledo
Being 75 km away from Madrid, Toledo is an absolute day-trip attraction. Toledo has once been the capital of Spain before passing its status to the village of Madrid. Toledo has an important cultural and gastronomic heritage to be discovered.
Here are some of the main sightseeings you should absolutely visit:
- The El Greco trail: El Greco is to Toledo what Gaudi is to Barcelona: pride. This trail lets you visit the El Greco Museum, his cemetery, etc.
- Mercado de San Agustín: it’s a four-story building which represents 23 stalls. You can find delicious seafood, charcuterie, sweets, and fruits.
Paseo del Arte
Paseo del Arte is a boulevard that gathers a large number of artistic treasures in one place. It is the epicenter of cultural life in Madrid. This boulevard aspires to be included on the Unesco heritage list. The boulevard is part of the major axis that crosses the city from north to south. With the Paseo del Arte card you can visit the most popular museums in Madrid including Prado Museum, National Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza, Reina Sofia Museum. The entrance of the Paseo del Arte is free of charge. But, the visit to the museums will cost you money.
Retiro Park is the central lung of Madrid. Its numerous gardens including the garden of Vivaces, are a real natural heritage worth-visiting. Besides having the richest natural treasure in the city, Retiro park is home to cultural and sports events. Some of its historical and architectural elements are the Palace of Velasquez, the Palace of Christal. The park also has sculptures and fountains like the monument dedicated to Alfonso XII.
This park is one of the most preferred places for tourists and Spanish alike. It also has a lot of playing grounds for children.
Address: Independence square, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Hammam Baths and Spa
Here are some of the best Eastern hammams in Madrid.
- Hammam Al Andalus Madrid
You can choose the bath temperature and the power of the massage during your treatments. The place is nice and well decorated.
- Madrid Day Spa by Nuilea
This spa provides body rituals and massages, hammam and Turkish bath.
- Le Max Wellness Club
Here you can enjoy facial, body, aparatology treatments with their ritual massages and spa equipment.