Madrid. 11 places you must visit
If you are looking for a city with charm, an admirable beauty which also supplies an important range of leisure and culture… Madrid is the place for you. The capital of Spain is a modern city with many important museums, and an extended and interesting history. Also, one can easily walk through it as the main attractions are fairly near one from each other. Discover them in this list we’ve prepared, so you don’t miss any!
Puerta Del Sol. This square is situated right in the center of Madrid, calling it the 0 Kilometer. It is the point where all roads begin and has some famous elements such as “El oso y el Madroño”, a statue that has been there since 1967, or the statue of King Charles the 3rd. You can find many shops, restaurants and malls around it. The “Puerta del Sol” owns its name to the morning sun which hit the building with its early rays.
Every year, many people go to this square to celebrate New Year’s Eve given the fact many TV channels transmit the year change from the square.
Museo Del Prado. This Museum opened its doors in 1819 with the mission of conserving and exposing the most important Spanish art collections. Its main paintings range from the 16th to the 19th century, and one can find the “Las Meninas” painting from Velazquez, “Las Tres Gracias” of Rubens or the “Maja Desnuda” from Goya among others. Its schedule is from 10AM to 8PM Mon-Sat and 10AM to 7PM Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Catedral de la Almudena. The Cathedral of Madrid was a project designed by the Marquis of Cubas back in 1879, but it was modified by Fernando Chueca and Carlos Sidro in 1944. These modifications were done in order to adapt the size of the building to the structure of the Palacio Real. The huge and colorful glasses let much light inside the building, creating a peaceful environment. Architecture lovers will like it as it combines many styles as neoclassic, neogothic, and neoromanesque. The building is 73m tall and 102m wide and features a great dome with 12 statues on it which represent the 12 apostles, as well as the two towers crowning the main entrance.
The schedule here is from 10AM to 7:30PM. The entrance is restricted during liturgical celebrations.
El Parque Del Retiro. This is one of the green lungs of the city and the ideal place to go walking, cycling, play sports and even sunbathe on the grass during summer. The place was open to the public in 1868 and was furnished with wonderful sculptures, fountains and gardens. In the Palacio de Cristal, a metal and glass structure built in 1887 one can find modern art expositions.
Plaza Mayor. Close to the Puerta del Sol you will find this square, where many artists join in to show their skills to the tourists. In its center there is a statue of Philip the 3rd riding a horse. The square is surrounded by many bars offering the city’s delicatessen, the “Bocata de Calamares”, which is a sandwich of deep-fried squid, a very interesting and tasteful option.
Plaza de España. Between the Gran Via and Princesa street we find this square that has a statue of Miguel de Cervantes, with the company of its two worlds famous characters, Don Quijote and his loyal servant Sancho Panza.
Templo de Debod. Quite close to the Plaza de España and the Palacio Real. It was a gift from Egypt, as a way to thank the help in preserving the Nubia Temples. More than 2000 years ago it used to be funerary temple, and nowadays we can enjoy it for free and see it in a wonderful state thanks to the restoration works performed on it. Right at the end of the monument there is a balcony which is said to have the best sunset of the city.
La Puerta de Alcalá. This is one of the symbols of the city, and is situated in the round about of “Plaza de la Independencia”. It was first shown in 1778, and owns its name to its location, as it’s on the way to Alcalá de Henares. Don’t forget to take a picture with it when you visit the city.
Plaza de Cibeles. Its name comes from the goddess Cybele which is found in the middle of the fountain. Its first use was as a water provider for the inhabitants of Madrid until it was considered a decorative monument. Nowadays, Real Madrid fans use it as the gathering point for their celebrations, and it is also the place chosen to celebrate the Spanish National Football Team victories. Where do Atlético de Madrid celebrate? In the Neptuno fountain, the great God of the seas.
Palacio Real. The palace was built in the 18th century over what was a Muslim castle. It’s considered as the official residence of the Royal family, where ceremonies and official gatherings happen, although nowadays they live in the “Palacio de la Zarzuela”. Right next to the palace one can also visit the “Campo del Moro”, with its elegant gardens full of statues. The visit can be guided or one can go by him/herself.
Casa de Campo. It’s the biggest park in the city, and entertainment is never to be missed there as there is an amusement park, the zoo and sports facilities among others.
We hope we’ve made a good selection of places to visit in the city regarding culture and free time. Tell us which your favorite spots are so we can make it even better next time.
Thanks for reading!