One of the best parts of visiting Madrid is that the main attractions are really close to each other. If you are determined and you take some time to plan, you can find countless fun things to do in Madrid, all without spending a lot of time moving around from one spot to the next. Even people watching in Plaza Mayor can be a great experience. If you want to make the most out of Madrid, here are some of the travel attractions you are simply going to adore.
Plaza Mayor is filled with tradition and history, almost 500 years of it. This is the most famous square in the city, known for endless arcades, Flemish-style spires and brick-red apartments. In the past, it hosted numerous sporting events, public executions and bullfights. Nowadays, Plaza Mayor events are tamer but we are still talking about a huge cultural activity hub that hosts an incredible December Christmas market and countless dining opportunities you will surely love.
Museo Del Prado
Museo del Prado is an incredibly prestigious museum in Spain, a location that houses some universally recognizable art works dating between the twelve and nineteenth century. You can easily enjoy a Prado guided tour and an entire afternoon just browsing through the masterpieces. Numerous Spanish designers like Francisco de Goya, El Greco and Diego Velazquez have their works featured here, with Las Meninas being the most prized one there.
If you visit Spain, you need to enjoy tapas and a great way to do this is the tapeo in Madrid, which is basically a bar crawl focused on drinks and food. Tapa was originally just bread that was used to taper wine glasses. Nowadays, tapas are so much more sophisticated. You can even enjoy a tapas tour if you want a full experience. In so many local restaurants the ingredients used in tapas are as great as they could be. In fact, tapa making is close to an art in Madrid.
Every single weekend, numerous European tourists visit Madrid to party. Going to the club at 3 AM is something that often happens. You want to head to neighborhoods like Chueca, Barrio de las Letras and Malasana. Try to start the party with the primera copa at a cocktail bar like Macera so a mixologist can help you to get a truly wonderful experience. Then, you want to go to the Discoteca. Barco and Kapital are wonderful for electronic music lovers. If you want blues you want to go to La Coquette and rock’n’roll lovers should visit ThunderCat.
Plaza De La Cibeles
Plaza de Cibeles is a great place in Madrid since it is the intersection point of 3 popular neighborhoods, Salamanca, Retiro and Centro. This is a tremendous center for Spanish architecture. Linares and Buenavista are 2 palaces located on the plaza’s northerly corners. They are perfectly ornate by Palacio de Cibeles. Right in the middle of the plaza you can see the Cybele Fountain, a defining symbol of the city.
King Philip V built a house for himself after a fire in 1734 burned down a medieval Madrid alcazar. It ended up being the largest Western Europe palace, with 2,800 rooms, which is 2 times more than Versailles. You can enjoy a palace tour and if you are a food geek, make sure that you check out the Royal Kitchens, which became available to the public in the year 2017. Palacio Real is open to the public and free admission is available during Wednesdays, when you can enjoy the Changing of the Guards at 11 AM.
El Rastro Flea Market
If in Madrid, you have to seriously consider the beautiful open-air flea market known as Rastro. It features 3,000 stalls filled with t-shirts, books and so much more. However, remember the fact that crowds are jostling so you will end up haggling from time to time. El Rastro is definitely traditional, with shoppers and merchants congregating at the flea market ever since the year 1740.
Casa De Campo
Casa de Campo is the largest park in Madrid. It is 5 times the size of New York’s Central Park. It features picnic tables, bike trails and even pine forests. Wildlife is colorful, featuring animals like red squirrels, foxes and hawks. You can visit a zoo and an aquarium and have so much relaxing time that you can cover days.