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Things To See in Madrid, Spain

Madrid Things To See

Home to one of the most renowned art galleries on the planet, Museo del Prado, Madrid is also the site two other principal museums, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Together all three make up the Golden Pyramid. Aside from these world famous museums, the city is also home to a host of other fascinating museums which most of you will probably never have heard of. Among these are the Museo Cerralbo, the Museo Municipal, the Museo de las Bellas Artes de San Fernando and the Panteon de Goya.

As well as its museums, Madrid is also well known for the wonderful parks which it has to offer. The Jardin Botanico or Botanical Gardens are probably the best known and are open until 8.00pm daily. Another favourite among visitors to the city is the Parque del Retiro. Larger than the aforementioned, this park consists of 130 hectares of unspoilt woodland which is home to over fifteen thousand trees. Finally, check out the Casa de Campo which is home to the city’s zoo and the Parque de Atracciones, a huge amusement park which you will find in the southern region of the Casa de Campo.

And, while it is seen by many as a barbaric and inhumane sport, bullfighting* is still a part of Spain's culture. If you ever wanted to check out a bullfight, Madrid is one of the best cities in Spain to do so.

*Hostelworld.com does not condone cruelty to animals via bullfighting or any other sport involving animals getting injured.

Attractions in Madrid

  • Museo del Prado

    Paseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

    Widely regarded as the world’s biggest art gallery, the Museo del Prado houses over two and a half thousand works of art dating from the 1400’s right up to the 1800’s. While a lot of the emphasis does lie with the great Spanish artists, El Greco, Goya and Velazques, you will also have the opportunity to see hundreds of works by Flemish and Italian artists including Botticelli, Mantegna, Bosch, Rembrandt and Ruebens.

  • Palacio Real

    Calle Bailen, Madrid, Spain

    Madrid’s Royal Palace contains over three thousand rooms making it the largest palace on the continent. Inhabited by the royal family until 1931, it is now only used for official state functions. As well as this, however, it houses some fascinating collections of armour, clocks, tapestries and art as well as five Stradivarius violins which are still used for concerts.

  • Thyssen Bornemisza Museum

    Villahermosa Palace, Paseo del Prado 8, Madrid, Spain

    The second of the golden triangle of Madrid’s museums, the Thyssen Bornemisza is home to a fascinating collection of almost eight hundred paintings which were purchased by Spain in 1993 for over three hundred million dollars. Works by El Greco, Rubens, Cezanne, Monet, Picasso and Dali among others make up this collection which really merits a visit.

  • Museo Arqueologico Nacional

    Calle Serrano 13, Madrid, Spain

    Tracing the history of human civilisation in Spain from prehistoric times up to the 15th century, the collections in this museum feature artefacts from the Iberian, Celtic, Greek, Egyptian, Roman and many other cultures. And, added to this is the fact that entry is free all day Sunday and after 2.30pm on Saturday.

  • Real Jardin Botanico

    , Madrid, Spain

    When all the art and architecture is becoming a little too much the Real Jardin Botánico, near the Prado, is a beautiful central park in which to relax. Live music, an odd painted clown and the tempting smells from nearby vendors and restaurants should be enough to entice any of you and on a sunny day, there's no better place to enjoy some Spanish lunch than these gardens.

  • Plaza de Toros Monumental de las Ventas

    Alcal 237, Madrid, Spain

    The world’s largest bullring, this is the best place in Spain to watch a bullfight (corrida.) Many visitors find this Spanish sport very cruel to animals, however, so if you’re one of them why not check out a football match when local favourites Real Madrid or Atlético de Madrid are playing at home. The Spanish football crowds are colourful and noisy, but really friendly and cheap tickets are easy to come by.

  • Plaza Mayor

    , Madrid, Spain

    Madrid’s largest square and its most impressive, the Plaza Mayor actually dates from the 17th century and has played a huge role in not just the city’s but the entire country’s history. In the past it has been used for bullfights, coronations, festivals and much more but its principal function today is as host to a wonderful selection of bars, cafes and shops. Adorned with brightly coloured murals, it is at its liveliest during summer but is a great place to hang out all year round.

  • El Rastro

    Ribera de Curtidores, Madrid, Spain

    Located in the heart of the city centre, this is widely regarded as the world’s largest flea market and takes place on Sundays and public holidays between 10.00am and 2.00pm. You’ll find everything from a pair of socks to a second hand TV on offer here but be prepared to haggle and look after your personal belongings with care as pickpockets are rife. Oh it’s also a good place to buy some Spanish wine to take back home.

  • Cafe de Chinitas

    Torija 7, Madrid, Spain

    Once upon a time this venue merely served as a café but today it is one of the best places in the city to catch a live, authentic flamenco show. As a result every performance is sold out well in advance so if you are planning to attend one we recommend that you book it early to avoid missing out.

  • Buen Retiro Park

    , Madrid, Spain

    The largest and most beautiful of all the parks in the city, the setting for this one is over 130 hectares of woodlands. Check out the renowned rose garden, stroll through the Cecilo Rodriguez gardens or hire a boat and sail around the lake which makes up the centre piece of the park. Either way you are guaranteed to have a thoroughly enjoyable visit where the hustle and bustle of the city is all to easily forgotten.

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