Europe

The Best Madrid Landmarks To Visit on Your Next Vacation! (Guide)

Updated on:  
October 21, 2021
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Armela Escalona
Armela Escalona
Contributor
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Learn more about the rich history beneath the beautiful and spectacular Madrid attractions, from art and culture to their daily lives, everything has a backstory that makes the attractions so fascinating. Keep reading to find out more!

They say if you want to experience real Spain, go to Madrid.

Located along the River Manzanares, Madrid is known for its ancient architecture, food, and its rich royal past. But it’s not all history and renaissance buildings - in Madrid, you’ll find some of the most exciting and unforgettable tourist spots. 

As Spain’s capital and largest city, it’s also home to the biggest drive-in cinema in all of Europe.

You can also find the oldest restaurant in the world in Madrid.

Are you visiting Madrid for the holidays? Whether it’s just a week or for a few days, be sure to include these spots on your itinerary!

Top Madrid Attractions

Madrid is overflowing with exciting spots to explore. Today, there are many ways to explore Madrid such as guided tours, mapped routes, day-tours, etc. If you’re looking for the most exciting spots, look no further. The following attractions are a must-visit!  

plaza mayor Madrid attraction.
Photo by Eduardo Rodriguez on Unsplash

Plaza Mayor 

Known for its fancy restaurants and cafes that serve some of the best Spanish wine and tasty tapas — Madrid’s main square is a great place to start your Madrid tour. Almost always packed with tourists, the square has history written all over it. From its benches which display Spanish history to its statues and surrounding buildings, it manages to captivate any history-loving tourist who comes to visit. 

Royal Palace of Madrid  

Located in Western Madrid, the Royale Palace of Madrid is said to be Madrid’s most visited attraction and one of Europe’s largest palaces. It used to be the official residence of the Spanish royal family. Today, it’s mostly used as a venue for state ceremonies. The whole palace has a floor space of 135,000 square meters and a total of 3418 rooms. 

Retiro Park 

Retiro Park is a 125-hectare green oasis located at the center of Madrid. It was once called “Parque del Buen Retiro” or Pleasant Retreat Park. Originally planned in the 1550s, the park was redesigned based on Gaspar de Guzman, chief minister to King Philip IV’s design. He added place and theatre to the original design. 

Gran Via Madrid Spain attractions.
Photo by Jorge Fernández Salas on Unsplash

Gran Via 

Gran Via is one of the key boulevards in all of Madrid. It’s often called “the street that never sleeps” because of its bustling ambiance with hundreds of boutiques and shops nearby. There’s also a plethora of things to enjoy such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, and theatre. If you’re looking for the best nightlife experience, go to Gran Via.  

Prado Museum 

Among the popular tourist attractions in the city, Muse del Prado is perhaps the grandest. Designed by architect Juan de Villanueva, the museum holds the world’s best and finest art collections. In fact, it is considered one of the greatest art museums in the world. Some of the art collections you can find here are the works of legendary Spanish artists such as Francisco Goya, El Greco, Diego Velazques, and Peter Paul Rubens. 

What is Madrid famous for?

Europe’s most elevated capital city, Madrid is a real gem for travelers around the world. From their authentic food to unique spots, there’s way more to this city than you may think. So, here are things Madrid is famous for. 

Real Madrid Football FC Stadium
Photo by Vienna Reyes on Unsplash

Football (Real Madrid) 

Madrid is known for its legendary football stars. You might know them even if you’re not a fan of sports. Names like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Zinedine Zidane are just some of their top athletes. 

Delicious Calamari Sandwiches 

Calamari sandwiches are basically baguettes with fried squids inside. It’s a local delicacy that’s a must-try for anyone traveling to Madrid. The best part? They’re literally everywhere. You can find them in little bars, cafes, and even sophisticated restaurants that have their own twists and additional ingredients when serving these sandwiches. 

World’s Oldest Restaurant 

For food lovers, you’ll be thrilled to know that the world’s oldest restaurant is in Madrid! As noted in Guinness World Records, the place called Sobrino de Botin was founded in 1725 and still operates to this day.

What is the culture of Madrid?

Madrid architecture and culture.
Photo by Tania Fernandez on Unsplash

Most people associate Spanish culture with Madrid, which is the center of everything: architecture, fashion, history, and art. 

History - Madrid’s history is influenced by a variety of things. It was once a city filled with royals and noble families. When it was invaded by Napoleon’s troops in the 19th century, a three-decade-long civil war broke out in the city. 

Art - Madrid is known as Spain’s art capital. It also holds some of Europe’s largest and grandest museums and galleries. 

Cuisine - Madrid’s cuisine is inspired by the different localities in Spain. They also have some of the best tapas, veggie stews, and meat dishes in all of Europe.  

Daily Life -  The city of Madrid is known for its very social lifestyle. Public spaces such as plazas, parks, and avenues are frequently bustling with people. Madrid residents are also known for their love for parties and nightlife. The city is brimming with clubs, bars, and amazing restaurants. 

What should I see in Madrid Spain?

Madrid is a city influenced by Latin culture. If you’re ever in Madrid, we highly recommend watching an authentic flamenco show. The city theatre has performances of these dances throughout the week. 

Plan Your Trip to Madrid with Pilot 

Planning your next vacation can be difficult without help. From booking your hotel to navigating the city for the first time.

Fortunately, Pilot is here to take the stress out of things. Whether you’re going on a holiday with family or with your partner, Pilot can help make trip planning easy. What are you waiting for? Try it out now.

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