One of the most famous art galleries in the world, boasting the finest collection of Spanish paintings by Goya, Velázquez and El Greco. Visitors should allow plenty of time to take in all of the rooms in both the neoclassical building designed by Juan de Villanueva and the modern extensions by Rafael Moneo, and explore this magnificent collection of European art from the 12th to the 19th centuries.
Museo del Prado, Paseo del Prado, Madrid, España
Banco de España / Atocha / Retiro (metro)
+34 902 10 70 77
Mon-Sat 10 am to 8 pm. Sun and holidays 10 am to 7 pm
A journey through the last seven centuries of European art, from the early 13th to the late 20th century. Dürer, Frans, Hals, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Kirchner are just some of the great masters on display in the Villahermosa Palace.
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Paseo del Prado, Madrid, España
Banco de España (metro)
+34 902 76 05 11
Tue-Sun 10 am to 7 pm. Mon 12 noon to 4 pm
Picasso’s Guernica is the jewel in the crown of this museum specializing in contemporary art, where Spanish artist take pride of place. This is a chance to see works of art from the late 19th century to the present day (don’t miss the works by Dalí and Miró). The museum’s new wing was designed by Jean Nouvel.
Museo Reina Sofía - Edificio Nouvel, Ronda de Atocha, Madrid, España
Atocha / Atocha Renfe (metro / train)
+34 91 774 10 00
Mon-Sat 10 am to 9 pm. Sun 10 am to 7 pm. Tuesday closed
In 1617 Juan Gómez de Mora was commissioned by Philip III to renovate the medieval square of El Arrabal and adapt it to accommodate public spectacles. The result was one of the largest squares in Europe, a vast open area accessed through three arches, nine gateways and open-air passages. Subsequently damaged by fire, in 1790 the space was enclosed and refurbished by Juan de Villanueva. The equestrian statue of Philip III and the Casa de la Panadería or Baker’s Guild building are its most symbolic features.
Plaza Mayor, Madrid, España
Sol / Ópera (metro)
This square is located in the area known as Habsburg Madrid and is home to buildings dating from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries: the Los Lujanes houses and tower (the oldest civic building in Madrid), the Casa de Cisneros building, and the Casa de la Villa or old City Hall.
Plaza de la Villa, Madrid, España
Sol / Ópera (metro)
Commissioned by King Philip V, this 18th century palace houses a magnificent art collection (including Goya, Velázquez and Caravaggio) as well as an impressive armoury. Changing of the Guard: at 12 noon of the first Wednesday of each month, visitors can watch the ceremonial changing of the guard (except in summer or during official events). Throughout the rest of the year, the changing of the guard takes place at 11 am every Wednesday at the Puerta del Príncipe entrance.
Palacio Real de Madrid, Calle de Bailén, Madrid, España
+34 91 454 88 00
1 October to 31 March: Mon-Sun am to 6 pm
This neoclassical-style gate was built by Francisco Sabatini to commemorate King Charles III’s triumphal entrance into Madrid in 1778.
Puerta de Alcalá, Plaza de la Independencia, Madrid, España
Created in the 17th century as the garden of the Palace of El Buen Retiro during the reign of Philip IV, is the most important historical-artistic park in the city, and one of the most beautiful green urban spaces in the world. Its most interesting features are the gardens of Cecilio Rodríguez, the monument of Alfonso XII, the pond, the Crystal Palace and the fountain of the Fallen Angel. A unique place for strolling, cycling, taking a boat trip, or watching a puppet show at the permanent theatre. Another interesting option is to visit the National Astronomical Observatory.
Parque de El Retiro, Madrid, España
Retiro / Príncipe de Vergara / Ibiza / Atocha (metro
October to March: Mon-Sun 6 am to 10 pm.
It is the neuralgic point of Madrid. Probably there is no other place in the city that represents better the cultural mixing, and the image of an open and cosmopolitan place. There are many symbols that have been collected by this square throughout time: the Clock that bells each December 31st, the El Oso y el Madroño statue, the Cero Kilometer and the last survivor of many neon advertising that had light the buildings, Tío Pepe’s.
Puerta del Sol, Madrid, España
After visiting the Art Walk, many may prefer to wander through the streets of the neighborhood Madrilenians refer to as Barrio de las Letras and take home a long sought-after antique book. Once the residence of the great writers of the Spanish Golden Age, the Literary Quarter, now almost entirely pedestrianized, is living a new era. Old and new businesses rub shoulders with each other, including second-hand bookshops, vintage furniture stores and even 21st century artisan craft workshops.
Sevilla / Antón Martín (metro)
Dating back to the century and selling everything from furniture to antiques and books, El Rastro is Madrid’s most popular flea market. Stores in the area open every day.
Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, Madrid, España
La Latina / Tirso de Molina / Puerta de Toledo (metro)
Sun and holidays 9 am to 3 pm
Along with those of Neptune and Apollo, this fountain has adorned the Paseo del Prado since the 18th century. It was designed by Ventura Rodríguez, although the lions were the work of Roberto Michel. This is the place where the Real Madrid football team celebrates its victories.
Fuente de La Diosa Cibeles, Calle de Alcalá, Madrid, España
Banco de España (metro)
This is the most famous street in Madrid. Designed in the 19th century and begun in 1910, this was the great urban project that modernized the city and linked the historic center to the new neighborhoods of Salamanca and Argüelles. Its most outstanding landmarks include the Metrópolis, Telefónica and Carrión buildings.
Gran Vía, Madrid, España
Banco de España / Gran Vía / Callao / Plaza de España (metro)
Opened in 1929, this bullring built in the neo-Mudéjar style holds over 23,000 people and is the work of the architects José Espeliú and Muñoz Monasterio. The best way to see it from close up is to take the Las Ventas Tour, an official guided visit around the whole site that offers a different view of the bullring. Las Ventas has a Bullfighting Museum Inside.
Las Ventas, Calle de Alcalá, Madrid, España
The tour of the Real Madrid stadium includes access to the trophy room, the players’ tunnel, the dressing rooms, the president’s box, the press room and stroll around the edge of the pitch itself.
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Avenida de Concha Espina, Madrid, España
Santiago Bernabéu (metro)
+34 902 31 17 09
Mon-Sat 10 am to 7 pm. Sun and holidays 10:30 am to 6:30 pm.
Calle de Alcalá, 17, 28014 Madrid, España
+34 91 521 17 35
Calle de Sagasta, 14, 28004 Madrid, España
+34 915 910 112
Calle de Moratín, 36, 28014 Madrid, España
+34 911 276 085
Paseo de la Reina Cristina, 23, Madrid, España
+34 91 434 83 38
Plaza de San Miguel, 3, 28005 Madrid, España
+34 915 42 49 36
Calle de Colón, 13, Madrid, España
+34 915 214 979
Calle de Goya, 5-7, Madrid, España
+34 91 577 00 25