Contact Hotline


ที่อยู่ บริษัท:

From traditional tapas bars to frenzied flamenco shows, Madrid has so much to do © TravelCollection / Alamy

The top 12 things you cant miss in Madrid

Madrid is a fascinating city with a storied history that spans nearly a millennium and a thriving nightlife that will have you still dancing as the sun rises.

With architectural wonders, world-class gastronomy, famed art museums and even an Egyptian temple within the city limits, the Spanish capital offers sights and attractions to satisfy all visitors. Here are 12 experiences not to miss inMadrid.

Immerse yourself in the best experiences the world has to offer with ouremail newsletterdelivered weekly into your inbox.

The Prado is filled with a number of world-famous artworks © trabantos / Shutterstock

1. Visit the Golden Triangle of Art

Madrids Golden Triangle of Art consists of three renowned museums, theMuseo del PradoReina Sofaand theThyssen-Bornemisza, which are home to some of the worlds most valuable art collections. Even if youre not typically the gallery type, a stop at one of these venues is an essential Madrid experience.

The Prado houses several masterpieces by Spanish artists Diego Velzquez, Francisco Goya and Francisco Zurbarn. Arguably the most famous work people flock to see is VelzquezsLas Meninas, an oil on canvas considered among the most important paintings in Western art.

The Reina Sofa is the Spanish national museum dedicated to 20th-century art, exhibiting impressive collections of Surrealist and Cubist masters Salvador Dal and Pablo Picasso, including Picassos huge anti-war oil paintingGuernica.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, once the private art collection of Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his son Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, showcases nearly 1000 paintings of the worlds most celebrated European and American artists from the 13th to the 20th century. Its a real feast for art fans.

Want some help? LetElsewhereplan your next trip.

Tapas hopping, orir de tapas, is a national pastime and a satisfying prelude to dinner, which in Spain is typically eaten between 9pm and midnight. A tapa is a small plate of food usually paired with a glass of wine,caña(a small glass of beer) orvermt, Madrids popular aperitif.

You can join locals after work any day of the week, hopping from one tapas bar to the next to sample a selection of Iberian hams, charcuterie and cheeses.

Planning tip:Sunday afternoons are the best time to visit Cava Baja, a popular street in the historicLa Latinaneighborhood with vibrant little bars, taverns and restaurants that are perfect for a laid-back tapas crawl.

Every Sunday and on public holidays, you can take part in a 400-year-old shopping tradition atEl Rastro flea market. Open from 9am to 4pm, El Rastro stretches along the La Latina neighborhoods Plaza de Cascorro, La Ribera de Curtidores and Ronda de Toledo and features a labyrinth of open-air stalls peddling clothes, souvenirs, handicrafts, antiques and all the bric-a-brac you can imagine.

Planning tip:Many of the vendors only acceptefectivo(cash), so its best to take money out before heading to the market, or youll be left hunting for an elusive cash machine.

For the best birds-eye views of the Spanish capital, hop on theTelefrico(cable car) in Parque del Oeste, which connects toCasa de Campo, the citys green lung.

The dual cable transport system features 80 cabins, each of which seats six people, and it travels a distance of nearly 2.5km (1.5 miles). If you can brave the vertigo, the Telefrico reaches a maximum height of 40m (131ft) and offers spectacular vistas of the city and the Casa de Campo parkland below.

Hemingway did not drink here is a popular joke written on signs hanging in some Madrid establishments. Its no secret that the American literary giant, fondly called Don Ernesto, was Madrids adopted sybarite who loved to drink, eat, write and watch bullfights while he was covering the Spanish Civil War as a foreign journalist.

Fans of Hemingway can retrace his footsteps and enjoy some of his favorite haunts that still exist today, includingEl Sobrino de Botn, the worlds oldest restaurant, which houses a 16th-century cellar cradling dust-covered wine bottles.

Hemingway also used to frequentLa Venencia, a dimly lit sherry bar that is virtually frozen in time with its massive molasses-stained wooden barrels, antique cash register and fading sepia-hued posters.

Planning tip:Dont bother whipping out your camera phone at La Venencia snapping photos is still strictly prohibited, just as it was in the 1930s when the bar was wary of fascist spies.

Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrids most famous park, is an expansive 118-hectare (292-acre) area that was once reserved for Spanish royalty and aristocracy until it was opened to the public at the end of the 19th century. El Retiro is adorned with ornate fountains, statues of Spanish writers and heroes, gazebos and open-air cafes.

Different areas of the park reveal various landscaping styles, from French-inspired manicured lawns to craggy tree-lined pathways and the romanticLa Rosaledarose garden with more than 4000 roses that are in full bloom in May and June.

The parks grounds have several landmarks, including the grand Monument to Alfonso XII depicting the former Spanish king atop his horse, theFallen Angel statue(one of the only public statues of Lucifer in the world) and the oldest tree in Madrid, planted in 1633.

Planning tip:Dont missPalacio de Cristal, an architectural marvel of iron and glass that occasionally hosts events and reflects magnificently on the waters of the surrounding lake.

While Andaluca in southern Spain is the birthplace of flamenco, you dont need to venture far from Madrid to watch live shows of the Spanish dance. Dinner, tapas and drinks are usually served during the performance, providing a full evenings entertainment.

You can watch the frenetic spectacle in big touristy venues such asCardamomoandTeatro Flamencoor smaller cozy venues likeLas Tablas, which make up for their size with the big flamenco artists they attract.

Planning tip:For a truly luxurious experience, theCorral de la Moreriais an intimate space that also features a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Translated to Gate of the Sun,Puerta del Sol, or simply Sol, is Madrids busy central public square and main crossroads. A clock sits atop the plazas main building, the oldCasa de Correos(post office) now the headquarters of the Madrid regional government and every New Years Eve, thousands of revelers gather here to eat the traditional 12 grapes right before the clock strikes midnight.

All roads (quite literally) lead to Sol, as it is the symbolic center of Spain, marked by the Kilometer Zero plaque at the footstep of the Casa de Correos. At the plazas center is the equestrian statue of King Charles III, though his popularity is overshadowed by a more famous character on the east side of the square the Bear by the Madroño tree sculpture that represents Madrids coat of arms.

The Santiago Bernabeu is one of the most famous soccer stadiums in the world © Denis Doyle / Getty Images

9. Tour Madrids iconic soccer stadiums

Spain is a soccer powerhouse, with the mens international team winning both the World Cup and European Championships and its regional teams dominating European football.

Madrid has two teams, and soccer fans can enjoy a tour around both world-renowned stadiums theEstadio Santiago Bernabufor Real Madrid and theWanda Metropolitanofor Atltico de Madrid. Guided tours to the museums display the teams trophies, jerseys throughout the years and memorabilia narrating their long, illustrious histories.

At the heart of old Madrid, the beautiful, expansivePlaza Mayorhas been the stage for everything from royal crowning ceremonies and soccer games to outdoor markets, bullfights and public executions during the Spanish Inquisition.

Today, 237 balconies peer out from a three-story residential compound embracing the plaza. While its easy to get distracted by the buskers, its worth taking a seat at one of the buzzing (albeit overpriced) cafes and taking time to admire the magnificent frescoes painted between the balconies.

Planning tip:The square also plays host to the citys annual Christmas market, which has taken place since 1860.

Few people know that Madrid is home to an ancient Egyptian temple from the 2nd century BCE. Dedicated to the goddess Isis and the god Amun,Templo de Debodwas the Egyptian governments token of gratitude to Spain for helping restore the temples of Abu Simbel in southern Egypt. Templo de Debod was transported and rebuilt stone by stone in Madrids Cuartel de la Montaña Park, nearPlaza España.

Planning tip:The temple boasts some of the best panoramic views of western Madrid, particularly at sunset when the temples walls are reflected off the surrounding pools, making for incredible photos.

Although you wont find the Spanish king and queen living inPalacio Realanymore, it is still the official residence of the Spanish monarchy. Inspired by the Italian sculptor Berninis sketches for the construction of the Louvre in Paris, the palace faces a large central courtyard and contains 3418 rooms, making it the largest functioning royal palace in Europe.

The biweekly changing of the guard happens every Wednesday and Saturday, but the grander spectacle is the Solemn Changing of the Guard that takes place every first Wednesday of the month, showcasing a parade of horses and the Spanish Royal Guard, as performed during the time of King Alfonso XII.

This article was first published March 2020 and updated January 2023

Make the most of your time in Spain with Lonely Planets range of travel guides and phrasebooks. Be the architect of your own trip as you discover the best things to do in Spain through insider tips, suggested itineraries and handy maps.

Make the most of your time in Spain with Lonely Planets range of travel guides and phrasebooks. Be the architect of your own trip as you discover the best things to do in Spain through insider tips, suggested itineraries and handy maps.

Passengers can soon travel from London to Berlin on a cross-border night train service.

If you love train travel, youll love these new train services connecting European destinations in 2023.

Spain helps to ease the cost of living and travel with free public-transport schemes.

Cant decide where to go in Europe for NYE 2023? Senior editor AnneMarie McCarthy is here to help you decide.

Who says Christmas has to be conventional? Find out how the rest of the world celebrates this holiday season.

From the Pyrenees to the glinting golden beaches of the south, here are the best things to do in Spain.

Lace up your trekking boots, here are some of the best hiking routes within an hours drive of Madrids city center.

Commuter-friendly Madrid has several multi-modal, universally accessible options to get travelers around the city and its surrounding towns.

Explore Spains unique cultural heritage and savor its delectable cuisine with these incredible road trip routes.

Subscribe to Lonely Planet newsletters and promotions. Read ourPrivacy Policy.