Madrid is always a good idea!
After reading this post, you’ll have 10 wonderful places you must visit on your next trip to the spanish capital. The city has plenty of things to do, but I tried to narrow my list down to the 10 best things to do in Madrid.
Madrid is by far one of my favorite cities. I travelled to the city many times now, and I always seem to discover new places to eat and things to do. There is something about the atmosphere in the city, which makes it a really special place. Madrid is in many ways a different kind of European big city. Madrid has no Eiffel Tower, no Coloseum or no other attractions like that, which I believe is a good thing, actually. The lack of huge tourist attractions contributes to preserving Madrid and it’s special athmosphere .
10 best things to do in Madrid
1. Take a walk past Palacio Real
First stop on my list of best things to do in Madrid is visiting the royal palace.
I think the royal palace is worth seeing
there is no need to actually go into the palace,unless you are a big fan of royal residences.
You can see a lot from outside and the lines to get in, go on forever. It is better to save that time and do something else. You will notice there is quite a lot of tourists in the area around the palace, which also make it an interesting marketplace for street artist and street vendors of all kinds. Be very aware of pickpockets here.
2. Take a ride with the teleférico and see the views over the city
This is amazing!
From the teleférico you’ll have an amazing view over the city. It’s truly beautiful!
An idea would be to have lunch at Casa Mingo (see more below) first and then just go one way. The price of a oneway ticket is 4,5 € and a return ticket is 6 €. I think you should go one way, because the ride ends in a huge green area and it is a very nice place to take a walk and get away from the city for a while.
You could also pack a picnic basket and bring it along and have a picnic in the park.
3. Stroll along Gran Vía
Gran Vía is the main shopping street in Madrid,
so, of course, it made it to the top 10 best things to do in Madrid!
Gran Via has a lot of great shops. It is fairly touristic but definitely worth a visit.
In the end of Gran Vía, you’ll find Azotea rooftop terrace. I think it is a great place to have a drink and enjoy the view of the city. The drinks are a bit pricey, but they are very big, so I guess it is okay 😉
From the rooftop terrace, you can also take some very beautiful pictures of the famous Metropolis building (above) as well as you’ll have a clear view to Cibeles.
Cibeles is the place in the city where Real Madrid celebrates all its great victories. So if you are in the city at the same time as the team is playing a final (and winning it, obviously), this is where you want to go and have a party.
4. Go food shopping (and eat lunch) at Mercado de la Paz
If you have read my blog before,
You have probably noticed my love for food markets. One of the best things to do in Madrid is visiting some of its many food markets. One of my favorites is Mercado de la Paz because it has everything; amazing food, fruits, cakes, and drinks!
Another really good thing about this place is,
that it is less touristy and therefore also cheaper compared to the more famous Mercado San Miguel. Either way, Madrid is filled with markets and every time I visit the city I discover new ones, so I’m sure you’ll find a market you’ll love too!
5. Take a stroll through Parque del Retiro
A walk through beautiful Retiro park,
is basically essential for visiting Madrid.
The park is big, beautiful and right in the center of Madrid.
It is the perfect place to take a break from the stress and noise from the city and this is why I think it is one of the best things to do in Madrid!
It is really cozy to take a stroll through park or you can sail on the lake in the middle.
You can also visit Palacio de Cristal, which is a big glass and iron structure. It used to be a greenery, but today it is used for art exhibitions.
6. Visit Andén 0 – Estación de Chamberí
You can’t experience this anywhere else!
Andén 0 is a a former metro station, that is now closed. Today it is a museum for the metropolitan railway of Madrid. For instance the museum tells the story of how the citizens of Madrid hid themselves in the underground metro stations during the war.
I thought this place was quite fascinating. Also it was very cool to see how the stations of Madrid used to be.
7. Visit an art museum
Madrid is famous for art.
The city has countless museums, which have very famous works in their exhibitions.
Museo Reina Sofia has Pablo Picassos famous masterpiece “Guernica” in their exhibitions. The masterpieces tells the stories of the bombings of the Basque village of the same name. I visited this place on my road trip aroung Northern Spain and there are still reminders everywhere in the village of what happened then.
Museo Nacional del Prado is also worth a visit. Here you’ll find amazing pieces and the building itself is also beautiful!
8. Watch a football match at Santiago Bernabeu
Whether you are a football fan or not,
experiencing a game at Santiago Bernabeu is an incredible experience!
The Spaniards has a very strong culture around football, which I find quite fascinating. The fans will always let their team know how they feel about them and their competitors.
I don’t think I have ever experienced anything quite like when the team scored on a full stadium. It is like an explosion of happiness. When that happens it is completely okay to hug the person next to you and give high-fives to everyone around you. I think it is absolutely wonderful what football does to people here!
The games are much like a huge party. There are always someone singing and dancing!
9. See the sunset at Templo de Debod
If you are looking to see the most beautiful sunset,
this is where you have to go!
From Templo de Debod there is the most beautiful view over the city. Watching the sun go down from here with people you love is most definitely one of the best things you can do in Madrid. It is gorgeous!
10. Go on a tapas crawl in Calle Cava Bajo
My list of the 10 best things to do in Madrid would not be complete without a food recommendation.
You like tapas too?
If you want to eat good tapas in Madrid, Calle Cava Bajo is the street where you should go. The street is filled with lots of small restaurants and bars, which makes it easy to go from place to place and try different tapas and wines.
I especially loved Taberna Tempranillo. Which is a tiny, but super cool place!
Our favorite places to eat in Madrid
If I should mention one thing,
that I love about Madrid,
I would definitely say its food-scene. Yum!
Whether you go tapas-crawling in Calle Cava Bajo, eating your way through Mercado de la Paz or trying some of the many great restaurants the city has to offer, you’ll never be disappointed. Actually, I think I should have put EATING as number 1 on my list of best things to do in Madrid.
This is the place to go to eat chicken and drink their specialty, sidra (I prefer dulce). Trust me, you will not be disappointed! The restaurant is really authentic with wooden furniture, barrels on the backwall and rows of bottles of sidra over the bar. If you go here, I’d recommend to go for an early lunch or dinner, because it is super busy on normal spanish eating times and you will have to wait in a looooong line.
Bonus info: The restaurant is really close to Teleférico de Madrid from which you can get a really nice view over the city.
If you love great, italian food, this is the place you want to go! All the waiters speaks italian and are super nice, the restaurant is super cozy and you get the feeling of being in Italy for a short while. The prices are very fair for the quality of the food you get. I keep coming back to this place every time I’m in Madrid – I can’t get enough!
This is the cutest little restaurant in Calle Cava Bajo. There is only a few tables and behind the bar, the wall is filled with different bottles of wine. There is usually only one guy behind the bar. Make sure to ask him for his recommendations on which wines you should choose for your food, because he has a lot of knowledge about the wines!
If you enjoyed this list…
You might want to check out the archive with my other posts about Spain. Here you’ll find information useful for you trip to Seville, Barcelona and of course my second home, San Sebastián.
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