Top ChoiceMuseum in El Retiro & the Art Museums

Museo del Prado

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 currently on display), acting like a window onto the...

Top ChoiceMuseum in El Retiro & the Art Museums

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

The Thyssen is one of the most extraordinary private collections of predominantly European art in the world. Where the Prado or Reina Sofía enable you to study the body of work of a particular artist in depth,...

Top ChoiceMuseum in El Retiro & the Art Museums

Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

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. In addition to plenty of paintings by Picasso, other major...

Top ChoiceGardens in El Retiro & the Art Museums

Parque del Buen Retiro

Parque del Buen Retiro

The glorious gardens of El Retiro are as beautiful as any you’ll find in a European city. Strewn with marble monuments, landscaped lawns, the occasional elegant building (the Palacio de Cristal is especially...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Salamanca

Museo Lázaro 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 successful businessman and passionate patron of the arts. His...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Sol, Santa Ana & Huertas

Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando

The Real Academia de Bellas Artes, Madrid’s ‘other’ art gallery, has for centuries played a pivotal role in the artistic life of the city. As the royal fine arts academy, it has nurtured local talent, thereby...

Top ChoiceSquare in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Plaza Mayor

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, a winning combination of imposing architecture,...

Top ChoiceStadium in Salamanca

Plaza de Toros

Plaza de Toros

East of central Madrid, the Plaza de Toros Monumental de Las Ventas (Las Ventas) is the most important and prestigious bullring in the world, and a visit here is a good way to gain an insight into this very...

Top ChoiceChurch in La Latina & Lavapiés

Basílica de San Francisco El Grande

Basílica de San Francisco El Grande

Lording it over the southwestern corner of La Latina, this imposing baroque basilica is one of Madrid’s grandest old churches. Its extravagantly frescoed dome is, by some estimates, the largest in Spain and the...

Top ChoicePalace in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Palacio Real

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.When the alcázar (Muslim fortress) burned down in 1734, Felipe...

Top ChoiceMarket in La Latina & Lavapiés

El Rastro

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 hill and the maze of streets. Cheap clothes, luggage, old...

Top ChoiceSquare in Sol, Santa Ana & Huertas

Plaza de Santa Ana

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 Letras and this literary personality makes its presence felt...

Top ChoiceGallery in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Ermita de San Antonio de 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 chapels is one of the few places to see Goya's work in its...

Top ChoiceStadium in Chamberi, Moncloa & Northern 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 extravagant and successful in football. Self-guided tours...

Top ChoiceArts Centre in Sol, Santa Ana & Huertas

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 Edificio Metrópolis and otherwise take in Madrid in all its...

Top ChoiceArchitecture in Sol, Santa Ana & Huertas

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. The winged victory statue atop its dome was added...

Top ChoiceRuins in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Templo de Debod

Templo de Debod

Yes, that is an Egyptian temple in downtown Madrid. The temple was saved from the rising waters of Lake Nasser in southern Egypt when Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser built the Aswan High Dam. After 1968 it...

Street in Malasaña & Conde Duque

Gran Vía

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 Madrid from Plaza de España then down to Calle de Alcalá. But...

Square in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

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 (Madrid-style baroque architecture – a pleasing amalgam of...

Area in Sol, Santa Ana & Huertas

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 Spain's golden age of the 16th and 17th centuries. Miguel de...