Must-see attractions in Madrid

  • Prado Museum facade and Cervantes statue in Madrid, Spain
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    Museo del Prado


    Welcome to one of the world's premier art galleries. More than 7000 paintings are held in the Museo del Prado’s collection (of which only around 1500 are…

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    Centro de Arte Reina Sofía


    Home to Picasso’s Guernica, arguably Spain’s most famous artwork, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is Madrid’s premier collection of contemporary art.

  • Visitors look at the pictures in the museum Thyssen-Bornemisza.

    Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza


    The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is one of the three points composing Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art along the Paseo del Prado (Art Walk), together with the…

  • Basílica de San Francisco El Grande. The Royal Cathedral of St. Francis the Great (Real Basílica de San Francisco el Grande), XVIII century. @Valery Rokhin/Shutterstock

    Basílica de San Francisco El Grande

    La Latina & Lavapiés

    Crowning Madrid’s oldest neighborhood of La Latina is an architectural and visual masterpiece that is the Basílica de San Francisco el Grande (Basilica of…

  • The exterior of Las Ventas Bullring 'Plaza de Toros' in Madrid.

    Plaza de Toros Las Ventas


    One of Spain’s most atmospheric arenas, the Plaza de Toros Las Ventas has hosted everything from Beatles concerts to motocross competitions during its…

  • Templo de Debod at sunset

    Templo de Debod


    Few people would ever guess that a 2200-year-old Egyptian temple exists in the center of Madrid. Yet the Templo de Debod is in no way a Vegas-style…

  • Spain, Madrid, part of the exterior of the Museo Lazaro Galdiano.

    Museo Lázaro Galdiano


    This imposing early-20th-century Italianate stone mansion, set discreetly back from the street, belonged to Don José Lázaro Galdiano (1862–1947), a…

  • Traditional market in Madrid during a sunny day with many people shopping, Rastro de Madrid

    El Rastro

    La Latina & Lavapiés

    A Sunday morning at El Rastro flea market, Europe's largest, is a Madrid institution. You could easily spend the entire morning inching your way down the…

  • Plaza Mayor


    Madrid's grand central square, a rare but expansive opening in the tightly packed streets of central Madrid, is one of the prettiest open spaces in Spain,…

  • Plaza de Santa Ana square outdoor restaurant Madrid Spain

    Plaza de Santa Ana


    Plaza de Santa Ana is a delightful confluence of elegant architecture and irresistible energy. It presides over the upper reaches of the Barrio de las…

  • Goya fresco painting at Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida.

    Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida


    The frescoed ceilings of the restored Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida are one of Madrid's most surprising secrets. The southern of the two small…

  • Aerial view of Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid

    Estadio Santiago Bernabéu


    Football fans and budding Madridistas (Real Madrid supporters) will want to make a pilgrimage to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, a temple to all that’s…

  • MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 4: Roof of Circulo de Bellas Artes  in Madrid, Spain

    Círculo de Bellas Artes


    For some of Madrid’s best views, take the lift to the 7th floor of the ‘Fine Arts Circle’. You can almost reach out and touch the glorious dome of the…

  • Palacio Real


    Spain's jewel-box Palacio Real is used only occasionally for royal ceremonies; the royal family moved to the modest Palacio de la Zarzuela years ago.

  • The Metropolis Building on the corner of Calle de Alcala and Gran Via in Madrid.

    Edificio Metrópolis


    Among the more interesting buildings along Gran Vía is the stunning, French-designed Edificio Metrópolis, built in 1905, which marks the southern end of…

  • Gran Vía

    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    It’s difficult to imagine Madrid without Gran Vía, the grand boulevard lined with towering belle-époque facades that climbs up through the centre of…

  • Plaza de Oriente


    This graceful square is one central Madrid's most beautiful, home as it is to a royal palace that once had aspirations to be the Spanish Versailles,…

  • Locals and tourists walk though a modern bridge over the Manzanares River in the public park of Madrid Río in Madrid, Spain, with the Matadero building (a former slaughterhouse converted to an arts centre) in the background.

    Matadero Madrid

    La Latina & Lavapiés

    This contemporary-arts centre is a stunning multipurpose space south of the centre. Occupying the converted buildings of the old Arganzuela livestock…

  • Restaurant tables in Plaza de la Paja, Madrid, Spain.

    Plaza de la Paja

    La Latina & Lavapiés

    Around the back of the Iglesia de San Andrés, the delightful Plaza de la Paja slopes down into the tangle of lanes that once made up Madrid's Muslim…

  • Plaza de la Villa


    The intimate Plaza de la Villa is one of Madrid’s prettiest. Enclosed on three sides by wonderfully preserved examples of 17th-century barroco madrileño …

  • The Crystal Palace (Palacio de Cristal), in Buen Retiro Park.

    Palacio de Cristal


    Hidden among the trees south of Parque del Buen Retiro's lake is the Palacio de Cristal. Built in 1887, it's a magnificent metal-and-glass structure and…

  • Barrio de las Letras


    The area that unfurls down the hill east of Plaza de Santa Ana is referred to as the Barrio de las Letras because of the writers who lived here during…

  • Plaza de la Cibeles


    Of all the grand roundabouts that punctuate the Paseo del Prado, Plaza de la Cibeles most evokes the splendour of imperial Madrid. The jewel in the crown…

  • Mirador de Madrid


    The views from the summit of the Palacio de Comunicaciones are among Madrid's best, sweeping out over Plaza de la Cibeles, up the hill towards the sublime…

  • Plaza de la Puerta del Sol.

    Plaza de la Puerta del Sol


    The official centre point of Spain is a gracious, crowded hemisphere of elegant facades. It is, above all, a crossroads: people here are forever heading…

  • One afternoon in Chamberí

    Estación de Chamberí


    Estación de Chamberí, the long-lost ghost station of Madrid's metro, is now a museum piece that recreates the era of the station’s inauguration in 1919…

  • Royal opera theater building in Madrid, Spain.

    Teatro Real


    Backing onto Plaza de Oriente, Madrid’s signature opera house took on its present neoclassical form in 1997 although, viewed from Plaza de Isabel II,

  • The entrance to Iglesia de San Ginés  from Calle Arenal.

    Iglesia de San Ginés


    Due north of Plaza Mayor, San Ginés is one of Madrid’s oldest churches: it has been here in one form or another since at least the 14th century. What you…

  • The Spanish flag flies outside of the Museo del Romanticismo.

    Museo del Romanticismo


    This intriguing museum is devoted to the Romantic period of the 19th century. It houses a minor treasure trove of mostly 19th-century paintings, furniture…

  • Convento de las Descalzas Reales


    The grim plateresque walls of the Convento de las Descalzas Reales offer no hint that behind the facade lies a sumptuous stronghold of the faith. The…

  • Exterior of Sociedad General de Autores y Editores building, Malasana.

    Sociedad General de Autores y Editores


    This swirling, melting wedding cake of a building is as close as Madrid comes to the work of Antoni Gaudí, which so illuminates Barcelona. It’s a joyously…

  • Madrid cable car



    One of the world’s most horizontal cable cars (it never hangs more than 40m above the ground), the Teleférico putters out from the slopes of Parque del…

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    Museo de Historia

    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    The fine Museo de Historia (formerly the Museo Municipal) has an elaborate and restored baroque entrance, raised in 1721 by Pedro de Ribera. Behind this…

  • The facade of the Natural Science museum.

    Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales


    The Museum of Natural Sciences is a favourite for families, with permanent exhibitions including dinosaur skeletons, rocks and minerals, and fossils of…

  • Monument to The Fallen Angel (El Angel Caido) by Ricardo Bellver in El Parque del Buen Retiro.

    El Ángel Caído


    At the southern end of the park, near La Rosaleda with its more than 4000 roses, is a statue of El Ángel Caído (The Fallen Angel). Strangely, it sits 666m…

  • Campo del Moro


    These gardens beneath the Palacio Real were designed to mimic the gardens surrounding the palace at Versailles; nowhere is this more in evidence than…

  • Museo Cerralbo


    The former home of the 17th Marqués de Cerralbo (1845–1922) – politician, poet and archaeologist – is a study in 19th-century opulence. The upper floor…

  • Museo de San Isidro

    La Latina & Lavapiés

    This engaging museum occupies the spot where San Isidro Labrador, patron saint of Madrid, ended his days around 1172. A particular highlight is the large…