Madrid Things To Do
The Spanish capital has so many things to do at any time of year. While it might not be as famous as London and Paris, it’s definitely worth a visit on any trip to Europe. Here you’ll find some of the historically significant things to do in Madrid, but don’t leave without tasting some sangria and tapas.
Tour the Royal Palace
Dating to the 9th century, the palace is the official palace of the king of Spain. However, he’s moved to Zarzuela palace, leaving this one for the people during official celebrations. Take a guided to tour and see rooms such as the dining room, the royal chapel and dozens of other places in what is an official museum as well as a palace. The palace is also home to many historic paintings including works by Goya and Velazquez. Once you’re done with the interior, head outside to visit the elaborate gardens. Outside, the palace is surrounded by the elegant Plaza del Oriente, the wonderfully fragrant Sabatini Gardens, and the Campo del Moro, a lush walk decorated in the Moorish style.
The Prado and the Queen Sofia Museum
One of the world’s most famous art museums, the Prado is a must stop even if you aren’t an art fan. Dozens of galleries and two buildings house the finest collection of Spanish art anywhere in the world. You’ll also find drawings and sculptures. You’ll get free admission Monday through Saturdays from 6-8 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m. on Sundays. Get on line early for free admission so you can beat the rush. More modern art can be found at the Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia. You can also get free admission here but the days and hours vary so check in advance.
Retiro Park, the Gran Via and the Plaza Mayor
Head outside to enjoy the largest park in Madrid. You’ll find fountains, sculptures, a crystal palace and a large lake where you can go boating. When you’re done strolling the park, head down the Gran Via, the is the main street of Madrid. Stretching across the heart of the city, it has shops, cafes, restaurants and a theater district. Look up and you’ll some of the loveliest buildings in Madrid with facades that date back to the 1920’s or before. It’s also where you’ll see modern Madrid architecture. At night the theaters fill and the street becomes the ideal place with lots of lights. The Plaza Mayor is the major square of Madrid and another place to catch all kinds of cultural performances.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Madrid.