Top Attractions in Madrid

Learn Spanish in Madrid and you will be treated by some world-renowned attractions. Below is a description of some of the Spanish capital’s major attractions:

Parque del Buen Retiro

Parque del Buen Retiro is considered the lungs of the city, and few cities in Europe and the world can boast such a huge park (around 118 hectares) in a central location. It features a spacious boating lake and three art galleries (Palacio de Cristal, Palacio de Velázquez, and Casa de Vacas).

On holidays and weekends, the park fills with locals and foreign tourists, watching all sorts of performances, from miming and juggling to painting and singing. Fortune tellers and puppet masters are also an attraction here. Built in the 17th century as a royal park, it was the exclusive reserve of the aristocracy until 1868.

Museo Nacional del Prado

Museo Nacional del Prado is one of the most important museums in the world. It displays paintings by Velázquez, Goya, Zurbarán, Murillo, Ribera, El Greco, Titian, Tintoretto, Boticelli, El Bosco, Van Dyck, Rubens, Durer, and Poussin. Carlos III commissioned the design and building of this beautiful architecture.

In 2005, its total space doubled, allowing for 500 more works to be showcased. Two years later, the annex opened exhibiting a collection of Spanish artwork from the 19th century. This enabled the museum to regain its glory as Europe’s crown jewel.

Safari Madrid

Safari Madrid is for the family. It houses giraffes, ostriches, bucks, zebus, bears, zebras, monkeys, rhinoceroses, and a lot more. It also features a reptile house as well as a bird park where you can see impressive birds of prey such as falcons, golden eagles, and Griffon vultures.

Casa de Campo

Casa de Campo is Madrid’s largest parkland area, attracting thousands of locals and visitors during hot weather. Many people flock to this place to have a picnic and spend quality time with family or friends. As for entertainment, the park has an amusement park, the Zoo Aquarium, a cable car, and a boating lake. You will also find here some good restaurants.

Palacio Real

Palacio Real used to be a royal residence. It houses an impressive collection of paintings by Goya, Velázquez, and Caravaggio. It also showcases ornate furniture, sculptures, gold and silverware, glassware, medals, tapestries, musical instruments, and porcelain. Must-visits include the rooms decorated by Gasparini, the Library, the Royal Pharmacy, as well as the Royal Armory. King Felipe V commissioned the design of Palacio Real, and the construction started in 1738 and was completed in 1770.

Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol is the most commercial area in Madrid’s old town. It was just another city gate 500 years ago. Today, the square has become famous for being the epicenter of Spain’s road network. The distance between the Spanish capital and every other part of the country is measured from here. Crowds gather in Puerto del Sol once a year, awaiting the chimes of the clock that announces the coming of New Year.

Plaza Mayor

This gorgeous central square is a perfect place to stroll around and appreciate architecture and murals. You can even buy here watercolor from pavement artists. During the Dark Age, merchants met here to sell their wares. When Felipe II built the Court in Madrid, this square was reserved for special occasions. Plaza mayor started to take its current shape from 1790 onwards.

Madrid Flea Market

Madrid Flea Market or El Rastro de Madrid is, hands down, the city’s most popular open air flea market. The market get crowded every Sunday and holidays during the year. You will find El Rastro along Ribera de Curtidores and Plaza de Cascorro, between the Ronda de Toledo and Calle Embajadores. Various used and new products are found here. Some antique shops are also open every Sunday.