According to CANCERMATTERS, the capital, Madrid, which is centrally located in Spain, is one of the largest cities in Europe with about six million inhabitants in the metropolis of Madrid. Madrid is the economic, political and business heart of Spain. The importance of the city is noticeable in the enormous traffic chaos that is noticeable in the center of the city and on the access roads. You will also notice that life in Madrid is faster with a more businesslike slant. The long history of Madrid has ensured that the city has numerous attractions that make it attractive for tourists to come to Madrid for a weekend or a few days.
We can reassure those who are afraid of ending up in a very busy city where you get a bit lost. Madrid is big and grand in some respects, but in many places very atmospheric and even so relaxed that you often have the feeling that you are in a medium-sized city instead of a metropolis where millions of people live.
TIP: the Madrid Pass
With the Madrid Pass you have a package of the essentials in Madrid in your hands. For example, you will be picked up at the airport by a private transfer, you will receive skip-the-line tickets for the Prado Museum, you can participate in the Real Madrid Stadium Tour via skip-the-line tickets and you can use the hop for 24 hours -on-hop-off buses in Madrid. You will receive a 20% discount on other tickets and excursions. The Madrid Pass can only be purchased online. You will receive the vouchers via email.
Top 10 sights of Madrid
#1. The Royal Palace
Palacio Real is the royal palace of Madrid. This working palace of the King of Spain has no less than 3418 rooms and is the largest royal palace in Europe after Versailles in France. The palace still retains a lot of splendor from previous centuries. Several chandeliers decorate the different rooms in this palace. Feel free to take an hour or two to discover the royal palace and don’t forget to also pay a visit to the Museum of Weapons, which is located in a separate building within the grounds of the palace.
#2. Museo del Prado
This wonderful museum is one of the largest and most famous art museums in the world. The museum offers more than 5000 drawings, 1000 coins and medals, 700 sculptures, 8600 paintings and 2000 other art forms. Various names of greats in art pass by, such as El Greco, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Rembrandt, Jheronimus Bosch, Peter Paul Rubens, Velázquez, Titian and Joachim Patinir.
#3. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
This museum is very important for modern and contemporary art in Spain. In short, it is referred to as ‘Museo Reina Sofía’. Together with Museo del Prado and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, the museum forms the so-called golden triangle, near the boulevard Paseo del Prado. The masterpiece of this museum is without a doubt “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso from 1937. The museum has a very large collection of art by various artists.
#4. Real Madrid stadium
The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home of the legendary football club Real Madrid, is definitely worth a visit during your stay in Madrid, especially if you like football. Many top football players have played in the Bernabeu Stadium, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy, David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane. During a stadium tour you can see the inside of the station and also visit the Real Madrid Museum. Buying tickets online in advance is recommended because of the crowds that often prevail at the cash registers.
#5. Retiro Park
It is good to stay in this very large city park ‘Parque del Buen Retiro’ in Madrid. Madrilenians make frequent use of this incredibly beautiful Retiro Park. In the weekends, everything is organized for young and old. It is also possible to rent a boat and see everything from the water. There are 130 trees, planted in memory of the victims of the Madrid attacks.
#6. Puerta de Alcalá
This monument is probably the most famous in Madrid. The gatehouse was built in neo-classical style and served as a replacement for a much smaller gatehouse. After the city wall was demolished in 1869, the gate had no further function and the current square was created ‘Plaza de la Independencia’ (Square of Independence).
#7. Almudena Cathedral
This Almudena Cathedral was built in 1883. Although a Gothic architectural style was first chosen, this was later changed to the neoclassical style. This choice was made to better match the royal palace. The inside of this cathedral is definitely worth a visit.
#8. Flea market El Rastro
Every Sunday there is a very large market in the El Rastro district, spread over many winding streets. The main street of this market mainly sells clothes. But if you occasionally turn off in a side street, you will find more special goods there. Think of art, antiques, books, furniture and crafts. If you start at Plaza Mayor and continue down the road to Puerta de Toledo, you have the right direction for this cozy but busy market. Along the way there are plenty of bars and terraces to enjoy a nice drink with a tapa.
#9. Templo de Debod
An Egyptian temple in the heart of Spain? That is possible, because the Egyptians donated the Temple of Debod to Madrid last century after the Spaniards helped them save important archaeological treasures during a massive flood. The Templo de Debod was demolished in Egypt and rebuilt on the west side of Madrid. You can visit the temple for free.
#10. Plaza Mayor
This quite large, impressive and lively square is often used by street performers to show off their talents. Around the square you will find various shops behind the pillars of the buildings. Knights and bullfights used to take place here. Major events are now regularly held. The enormous surface and shape of the square make Plaza Mayor an ideal place for all kinds of performances, parties and events.