10 Things to do in Madrid Spain- Best free guide

As the central capital city of Spain, Madrid is a city known for expansive boulevards and beautiful parks. There are tons of things to do in Madrid Spain and this article will help you list those things for you!

Madrid is the capital city of Spain and is the second-largest city in European Union. Madrid is located on the River Manzanares which is in the central part of the Iberian Peninsula. Madrid is a political, economic and cultural centre of the country and constitutes the second largest GDP in the European Union. The city is a hub of fashion, environment, media, culture, arts and science apart from politics.

The city is on an elevated plain of about 300 kilometres from the seaside. The climate of Madrid is moderately continental and has rainy winters. The summers are sunny and hot. The average temperature of the coldest month is 6.5 degrees Celsius. The warmest month in the city in July as the average temperature is 26 degrees Celsius.

Top things to do in Madrid Spain
Photo by Abhishek Verma: Things to do in Madrid, Spain

Top Things to do in Madrid Spain

As the city is filled with culture and life, there are many things to do! The city is rich in artworks, architecture and some of the best renaissance works. There are some of the best art museums on the continent as it houses many 20th-century works. There are many cafes in the stately squares for you to enjoy the lovely city. This article will brief you about the top things to do in Madrid Spain to make your trip worthwhile!

The Prado

The Prado or the Museo Nacional Del Prado was open to the public in the year 1819 as the Royal Museum of Painting and Sculpture. The building was designed by the architect Juan de Villanueva in the year 1785 and was designed in a way to house the Natural History section.

The final purpose of the building was decided to be the new Royal Museum of Painting and Sculptures. This decision was made by King Ferdinand VII and was encouraged by his wife Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza.

The royal museum was renamed the National Museum of Paintings and Sculptures later on. To witness one of the biggest masterpieces from the Renaissance and Baroque times, this museum is the place to be.

Retiro Park

Top things to do in Madrid Spain
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Retiro Park or El Retiro is one of the tops visited parks in Madrid. It is located in the east of the Prado Museum and was a Royal property till the 19th century and then it was opened to the public. This park was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 2021. El Retiro is one of the largest parks in the city.

The park has many distinct features as it was part of the royal family establishments. Some of these features include the artificial park known as the Estanque del Retiro. There are other features like the Rosaleda and the Fountain of Fallen Angel.

Royal Palace

Things to do in Madrid Spain
Photo by Esteban Arango: Top things to do in Madrid Spain

Built in the 1700s, the Royal Palace was the residence of King Philip V in Madrid’s Moorish Alcazar fortress-palace. The fortress-palace was burnt down in the year 1734. The Royal Palace is the largest royal palace in western Europe and displays baroque and neoclassical styles of architecture.

There are various royal artefacts which are displayed in the palace. There are works by Goya, Caravaggio and Velazquez. These designers designed a various range of royal products such as watches, tapestries, porcelain and silverware.

This grand Royal Palace took about 18 years to complete and covers a 1 million square foot area. There are over 3,400 rooms in the palace which are adorned with classical art pieces and detailed decor. The architecture of the place is beautiful and is a treat to the eyes. Do not miss the staircase, the Royal Library and the Royal Armory. The Armory displays artefacts dating back to the 13th century. The Royal Chapel and Crown Room which are located on the first floor are also a must-see.

National Archaeological Museum

Real Madrid is one of Europe’s most successful football teams. This museum houses one of the biggest collections of antiques and this museum was opened again to the public in the year 2014. The museum is located in the Salamanca District and covers history relating to universal art such as Greek ceramics, Visigoth votive crowns and Spanish Islamic ivories.

The rich collection found in this museum dates back to the year 187 and includes informative panels, mockups, and replicas.

Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol is a public square in Madrid and is known to be the busiest square in the city. The centre of the square is radial and the square consists of the famous clock which marks the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of the New Year.

The Puerta del Sol originated as one of the gates which marked the boundary of the city in the 15th century. In the present day, the square connects numerous commercial and recreational areas and the street is surrounded by shopping establishments which cater to both locals and tourists. There are many cafes and restaurants in this square.

Gran Via

Top things to in Madrid Spain
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Gran Via is a famous street in central Madrid ad leads from Calle de Alcala which is located on the route from Plaza de Cibeles to Plaza de Espana. The street is referred to as the Spanish Broadway and is one of the shopping hotspots. There is a large number of hotels and a large number of movie theatres. In the early 2000s, the theatres were replaced by the shopping centre.

In the mid-19th century, the project was initiated as a way to reach the Plaza de Espana. The project led to the demolition of many buildings and was named the axe blow on the map. There is a variety of architectural styles visible in the street such as Revival architecture, Art deco etc.

Plaza Mayor

Things to do in Madrid Spain
Photo by Mati Angulo: Top things to do in Madrid Spain

Plaza Mayor is another popular public square in the city of Madrid. The square was once the centre of Old Madrid. This square was built between 1580 to 1619 under the reign of Philip III. As the plaza belongs to the historical architectural period, it was designed in classical architecture.
The Plaza suffered 3 major fires in the history of its existence. In the present day, the Plaza is rectangular in shape and highlights the uniformity of the architecture. The plaza has 10 entrances and consists of three-storied residential buildings with balconies.

Mercado San Miguel

Top things to do in Madrid Spain
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Built over 100 years ago, the Mercado San Miguel is a wholesale food market. The historical building is one of the most gastronomical markets in the city. The visitors experience different favours and foods in Spain. The market is a walking distance from Plaza Mayor. There is a wide variety of freshly prepared tapas, hams, olives, baked goods and other foods. Alcoholic beverages are also available in the market.

El Rastro

Things to do in Madrid Spain
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Known to be one of the busiest flea markets, El Rastro is held on Sundays and all public holidays. There are a wide variety of goods available in the market and is known to be a bustling shopping area in the city centre. There are bars, historical sites and places like the Museum of Popular art. The street has multiple shops which specialize in mountain sports, handcrafted furniture, antiques, and photography.

The market has been designed in a way which showcases the beautiful architecture and the usage of 2 courtyards. There are multiple antique dealers in the squares as well as bookshops, scraps of fabrics, hardware shops and pet supplies in the market.

Reina Sofia Museum

Regina Sofia Museum, also known as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is a Spanish museum built in the 20th century and was officially inaugurated in 1990. The museum was named after Queen Sofia and is located near Madrid in the Golden Triangle of Art.

The museum is majorly dedicated to Spanish art and includes works of two prime Spanish artists: Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. The museum offers a mix of national and international exhibitions which makes it the largest museum for modern and contemporary art.

This city is heaven as it is a hub of art, architecture, food and culture. This itinerary gives a brief of the top things to do in Madrid for you to have a great time in the city!

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