14 Cool (Mostly Free) Things To Do in Madrid, Spain
- 1 Best Things To Do in Madrid:
- 2 Plaza Mayor
- 2.1 The Prado Museum (Museo del Prado)
- 2.2 The Royal Palace (Palacio Real)
- 2.3 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
- 2.4 Centro de Arte Reina SofÃa
- 2.5 Cerralbo Museum
- 2.6 Camp del Moro and Parque de Atenas
- 2.7 Casa de Campo
- 2.8 TÃo PÃo Park
- 2.9 Plaza de los Toros
- 2.10 Mercado de San Miguel
- 2.11 Parque del Buen Retiro
- 2.12 JardÃn El Capricho
- 3 Take in a Theater Performance
Best Things To Do in Madrid:
Plaza MayorThe first on many lists of the best things to do in Madrid, Plaza Mayor is a large open area in the center of bustling Madrid. Here you will find many cute cafes lining the sidewalks, as well as impressive architectures, statues, and even regular street markets and festivals. In December, you can also visit the large Christmas Market in Plaza Mayor.
The Prado Museum (Museo del Prado)The national art museum of Spain is absolutely worth a visit. The Prado museum has one of the best collections of European fine art in the world. And it is huge. Which means huge variety, and beautiful artwork in every corner. See all the European masters, plus modern art, sculptures and more. If you want to splurge, you can even take a private tour of the Prado Museum and learn extra interesting facts and local secrets.
The Royal Palace (Palacio Real)Magnificient inside and out, whether you want to view it and take in the exquisite gardens outside, or visit inside and see the beautiful frescos. Outside you will find a rich cultural center with gardens, fountains, and often live music, too!
Museo Thyssen-BornemiszaThis exquisite once private collection is now a museum showing the vast variety of art on display. All the major artists are here, including an extensive collection of the impressionists and early modern art.
Centro de Arte Reina SofÃaAs you can see, Madrid is excellent for art. Centro de Arte Reina Sofia houses an extensive collection of primarily Spanish art. The main draw is Picassoâ€™s most famous work, Guernica, but you can also see pieces by Salvador Dali Joan Miro, as well as less well known Spanish artists.
Cerralbo MuseumThis museum is a classic example of rococo dÃ©cor. Think of the Palace of Versaille or the most over the top Baroque dÃ©cor youâ€™ve seen, and that gives you an idea. The museum is of the art collection of the Marquis who lived here, which includes 50,000 objects that range from beautiful to baffling. As this museum is lesser known, even in mid-summer it will not be crowded, but will provide a welcome respite from Madridâ€™s heat.
Camp del Moro and Parque de AtenasBeautiful large park behind the Royal Palace, are more like gardens looking out to the promenade of the palace. With beautiful flowers, flowering trees, and fountains. The gardens were designed by the same gardener who did the gardens of Versalles near Paris.
Casa de CampoWith over 3500 acres, Casa de Campo, set directly behind the Royal Palace is a natural oasis in the city. In addition to lots of natural space, the park has a zoo, an amusement park, and both a large lake and swimming pool. It is popular for all types of outdoor activities for locals and tourists alike. The arrival is itself a destination. The best way to reach Casa de Campo is by a 10- minute cable car ride from the city center near the Royal Palace!
TÃo PÃo ParkOverlooking all of Madrid, Tio Pio Park is a local favorite. It is about a 20 minute bus or metro ride from the city center and is a perfect location to relax, unwind, and take in the city from afar. You can walk on one of the many trails; sit on the hillside relaxing in the sun; or stop in for a drink or some food at the little local cafÃ©.
Plaza de los TorosYes, the most famous ring for bullfights in the world can be found in Madrid. Plaza de los Toros (literally, plaza, or gathering area, of the bulls). Take it in for the architecture, and to understand the history of the bullfighting tradition. Museo Taurino is located in the Plaza de los Toros. For those with no interest in bullfights provides, the museum includes interesting insight into the architecture of the building. There are still bullfights held here from May through September, so plan your trip accordingly.
Mercado de San MiguelMercado de San Miguel is filled with lively food stalls, tapas bars, farmersâ€™s produce. It is set in a building with huge glass windows, giving a lively, timely atmosphere. You can come to get your groceries, have a meal, or a snack and a cafÃ©. The lively atmosphere and comraderie makes it a classic Madrid experience. Be sure to stock up on olives and olive oil, saffron, traditional Spanish cheeses and pastries to take home!
Parque del Buen RetiroParque del Buen Retiro, filled with ancient monuments, marble statues, a beautiful pond for boating, and lots of manicured lawns for lounging, playing, and walking is a perfect city escape. It might also be the most picturesque park in Madrid, with its fountains and boating pond. You can always find a quiet place to sit and contemplate nature or meditate, but the park comes alive in the evenings and on weekends, when families and friends gather in this beautiful communal space.
JardÃn El CaprichoAnother extremely beautiful park in the city, known mostly to locals. JardÃn El Capricho has a labyrinth, as well as a lake, a creek for splashing, and some beautiful buildings.
Take in a Theater PerformanceWith many theaters featuring broadway classics and local productions alike, Madrid is a lively cultural center for theater. Check out a show in english, or practice your Spanish with a local production!
Egyptian Temple in MadridLocated in Parque del Oeste, you will find a completely intact Egyptian temple, the only of its kind in Spain. Called the Templo de Debod is more than 2,200 years old and is dedicated to the gods Amon and Isis. It was transported brick by brick from Egypt and is a marvel to behold.
Wrapping UpThere are so many incredible experiences in Madrid, from parks to theaters, art museums and even an Egyptian temple. Experience the best of Europe, in one of the most colorful, joyful cities in the world! Want to see more of Spain? Check out this post on Barcelona and this post on Mallorca! Cheers! Kimberly P.S. If you want a downloadable map with all the destinations mentioned in this article, you can download it here. I will receive a small commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you (a subscription is the best deal!) Want to remember this? Post these 14 Cool (Mostly Free) Things To Do in Madrid, Spain to your favorite Pinterest board!
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