Highlights: Things to do in Madrid


View of Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Madrid is one of my favorite cities in Spain. After spending almost 14 months living here, I have done and seen so much. It gets oftentimes ignored by tourists for the more flamboyant city of Barcelona, but Madrid has a special place in my heart, and I encourage everyone to check it out if they are in the country. I have compiled a checklist of things to do if you have a few days to spend. One of the best things about Madrid is how central it is (literally the center of the Iberian Peninsula). You can use Madrid as a base and go visit a number of smaller cities and towns as day trips, which I highly recommend! Do you have suggestions? Let me know in the comments section below!


Tour the city:

  • Royal Palace & Jardines de Sabatini
  • Almudena Cathedral
  • Puerta del Sol
  • Barrio de Las Letras
  • Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro) – spend the day, have a picnic…
  • Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Carmen y San Luis
  • Callao Cinema
  • Palacio de Linares
  • Take a Walk Down Gran Via
  • Anden 0
  • Bernabeu Stadium (Estadio Santiago Bernabeu) see a soccer game
  • Parque El Capricho
  • Walk through the Barrio de Salamanca
  • Check out Plaza de Cibeles
  • Alcala Gate (Puerta de Alcala)
  • Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande
  • Plaza Mayor
  • Templo de Debod
  • Atocha Railroad Station (Estacion Atocha)
  • National Library of Spain
  • Malasana
  • Chueca
  • La Latina
  • St. Jerome the Royal (San Jeronimo el Real), near prado

Do the “Art Triangle” Tour:

  • Prado Museum
  • Reina Sofia Museum
  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza)
  • Bellas Artes Center

Go see a bullfight (not for everyone!!!)

  • The Matadero
  • See a Tablao Flamenco Show; Corral de la Moreria
  • Eat Tapas in Cava Baja
  • Visit the Mercado San Miguel
  • Eat Churros con chocolate in San Gines
  • Eat (or visit) Botin, worlds
  • Take a Walk along the Madrid Rio Manzanares
  • Visit the Sorolla Museum
  • Go to a bullfight at Las Ventas
  • Visit the remains of the old medival city wall
  • Go dance your heart out at madrid’s biggest club: Kapital
  • Enjoy a cereveza at a Cien Montaditos
  • Drink Sangria
  • Eat jamon and visit the museuo del jamon
  • Go shopping at El Rastro


  • Aranjuez
  • El Escorial
  • Valley of the Fallen (Valle de los Caidos)
  • Alcala de hernanes


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