Madrid, the capital of Spain, is the third largest city in Europe, so it’s also one of the Europe’s most bustling and vibrant cities, but not so that Madrid lacks the signature cultural characteristics or typical architectural style of Spain. If you have an opportunity to visit Madrid, I recommend you not to miss these experiences. And if possible, stay at least 3 days in Madrid to feel a city that harmonizes this ancient and modern beauty. So, what to do in Madrid? Here are my suggested 7 top things to do in Madrid including must do in Madrid and best things to do in Madrid for you to refer to on your upcoming trip to Madrid.
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Must do in madrid: Visit stunning squares
Every European city has at least one square, but with Madrid, it has too many beautiful, spacious squares, each square has its own a distinctive and colorful architecture with red tiled roofs, painted walls of surrounding buildings. That’s reason why Madrid was dubbed the city of squares. Usually, these will be the places where you can enjoy street art, feeling the rhythm of the city life, watching people back and forth with full of vibrant and bustling. My two favorite squares are Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Mayor. Both are located quite close to each other, so you can take advantage of the visit on one journey. In addition, near my hotel is the Plaza de Espana which is quite majestic with many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings.
Best things to do in Madrid: Watching Flamenco performance
Flamenco is an integral part of Spanish culture, sometimes you will see flamenco performed on the streets at squares. But if you don’t want to go to the square, you can buy a show ticket of about 28 euros per person, including a 1 hour 30 minute performance show with drinks to enjoy. The show tickets are usually sold at tour agents and tourism services, you buy there will be cheaper than buy online. You can also buy tickets online here.
Top things to do in Madrid: Prado National Museum
2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Prado National Museum, the whole museum is being decorated with abstract textures and there are special exhibitions to celebrate this event. Inside the museum is a treasure trove of sculptures and paintings of Spain, Italy, Greece, etc., so it will take you a few hours to explore it all. The entrance fee is 20 euros. Note: You are not allowed to take pictures in the museum!
Address: Calle de Ruiz de Alarcón, 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Phone: +34 913 30 28 00
Atocha Station Tropical Garden
Traveling to Madrid to visit the station?! Sounds strange right? But Atocha Cercanias railway station is this Madrid’s largest station built in 1851 has a perfect green space with a lush green garden inside. Just walking in, you feel like stepping into a tropical forest in a greenhouse. If you have the opportunity to go to other cities by train from, it is sure for you to stop by Atocha Cercanias, spend some time to walking here.
Address: Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, 28045 Madrid, Spain
What to do in Madrid: Mercado de San Miguel Market
Coming to Madrid, if you feel surrounded by countless restaurants and don’t know what to choose, Mercado de San Miguel will be an interesting choice. This is a modern market selling all kinds of dishes from traditional Spanish cuisine to international cuisine. In addition, the architecture of the Mercado de San Miguel is also a part that makes this place more special than other traditional markets.
Address: Plaza de San Miguel, s/n, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Best things to do in Madrid: Shopping at Gran Via
Also known as the Broadway of Spain, this is the largest shopping street and owns the most cinemas and theater stages in Madrid. This is also where fashionistas will flock to because there are many stores close together with leading worldwide luxury brands. If you don’t like shopping, Gran Via still delights you with the contemporary Spanish architecture with its skyscrapers creating the feeling of walking in the middle of Times Square in New York.
Visit the magnificent Royal Palace
The Royal Palace of Madrid (Spanish: Palacio Real de Madrid) is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family in the city of Madrid, but it is used only for state ceremonies. The palace has an area of 135,000 square meters of floor space and contains 3,418 rooms. It is the largest and largest active Royal Palace by floor area in Europe.
Address: Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid, Spain.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Madrid you can refer to
- Toledo and Segovia from Madrid
- Toledo Half Day Guided Tour from Madrid
- Avila and Segovia Full Day Guided Tour from Madrid
- Prado Museum Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket
- Madrid City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
- Royal Palace of Madrid Guided Tour with Fast Track Access
- Real Madrid Santiago Bernabéu Stadium & Museum Entrance Ticket in Madrid
- Eurail Pass for Spain (3, 4, 5, 6 or 8 Days)