The capital of Spain is known for its great cultural and nightlife, its bustle, its squares, its history, its gastronomy and its markets. Perfect for a weekend getaway or to stay many more days, you won’t get bored. Whether you have been or not, take note of these 10 things to see and do in Madrid.
In the heart of Madrid de los Austrias, Plaza Mayor was created in 1619 and is a perfect example of Golden Age architecture. Rectangular in shape, the square is completely enclosed by three-storey residential buildings, with 237 balconies overlooking the square. One of the most famous buildings is the beautiful Casa de la Panadería, one of those small architectural secrets to be seen in Madrid. In the centre is an equestrian statue of King Philip III. The Plaza Mayor in Madrid, besides being beautiful, is the perfect place to have a drink on one of its terraces while enjoying the sun. And if you’re hungry (and you don’t mind spending some money) eat something at Casa Botín restaurant, the world’s oldest restaurant (it was founded in 1725).
Being in Madrid and not going through Gran Vía is something like being in New York and not strolling through Times Square. It may not be the most relaxing walk in the world, but it is still one of the places to visit. It begins in Alcalá Street and ends in Plaza de España and was built at the beginning of the 20th century to connect the northwest and the city centre. Today it is an important area for shopping, tourism and leisure, as in the stretch from Plaza de Callao there are many musical theatres, becoming the “Broadway Madrid”. Day or night, take a walk around and enjoy neon lights, people and architecture. If you feel like having a cocktail at one of Hemingway’s favorite venues, stop by the Chicote Museum. If you don’t know what to do in Madrid, drop by Gran Vía and improvise. Sure you won’t be bored!
The Prado Museum is the most important museum in the country and you shouldn’t miss it. What to see? Everything is impossible in a few hours, as it houses more than 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures and much more. So if you need advice, we recommend that you don’t miss his collection of Spanish painting, which is the best in the world and among which stand out the works of Goya or Velázquez, such as the famous “Meninas”. The Prado Museum, a visit that never fails, one of those things to do in Madrid yes or yes.
Reina Sofía Museum
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is very close to the Prado and is its perfect complement. After a dose of classical art, it is time for contemporary art. This former neoclassical 18th century hospital is the southern corner of the “Triangle of Art in Madrid”. In his permanent collection there are many things to see, works by great 20th century Spanish artists such as Picasso (see the Gernika in person is quite an experience), Dalí, Miró or Gargallo. Highly recommended, of those museums that are well worth seeing in Madrid.