Madrid is the capital of Spain, and a lively city that offers plenty to see and do. Its long history and rich culture make it a city where you can spend weeks exploring.
There’s something for everyone in Madrid, and you can get to know the city by strolling through its barrios or sampling its cuisine at the markets. Or you can sit on a rooftop terrace and drink in the city’s skyline.
El Retiro Park
Originally used as a royal retreat, El Retiro Park is now Madrid’s green heart. With its wide avenues and flat terrain, it is the perfect place to exercise or just relax in a quiet spot.
The park has plenty of attractions to entertain visitors, including sculptures and monuments, a boating lake and gardens. It is also home to a number of important palaces.
The Crystal Palace and the Velazquez Palace are two of the most famous buildings in the park. These buildings are a must-see, whether you are looking to take part in a cultural getaway or just enjoy a stroll.
The Royal Palace
Home to Spain’s royal family, the Royal Palace is a must see in Madrid. With a vast courtyard and views over the countryside to the west, this impressive palatial building is a sight to behold.
The palace is also surrounded by the beautiful Sabatini and Campo del Moro gardens. Admission tickets to the Royal Palace are budget friendly and usually include discounts for children.
Inside the palace you can find an array of art pieces. The Throne Room, for instance, has been used by the kings since it was decorated in 1772.
The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is the home of one of the most prestigious clubs in the world, Real Madrid. Inaugurated in 1947, it is the largest football stadium in Spain and is a must-see attraction for any sports fan visiting Madrid.
The stadium is home to the club’s storied trophy room and president box, which is open to visitors. The team also has a museum, where fans can learn about the history of the club and see its priceless objects.
The Plaza de Toros Monumental de las Ventas
The Plaza de Toros Monumental de las Ventas, commonly known as the Las Ventas Bullring, is one of the largest and most renowned bullfighting venues in the world. It was designed by the renowned architect Jose Espeliu in a Neo-Mudejar style with ceramic incrustations.
The bullring has a capacity for up to 25,000 people and an arena with a diameter of 60 meters. Seating is divided into ten “tendidos” (groups of 27 rows around the arena).
In addition to its historical importance as a bullfighting venue, the Plaza de Toros Monumental also serves as a tennis clay court and has been used for concerts and theatrical performances. It is also the site of a museum dedicated to the history of bullfighting.
The Puerta del Sol
The Puerta del Sol is one of the most famous and iconic places in Madrid. It is also one of the most crowded places in the city, filled with people and shops.
It is a large semi-circle square and a hub for public transportation. The Metro lines 1, 2 and 3 serve the area.
The square was named after one of the original entrance gates that surrounded the city in the 15th century. This gate faced east and was adorned with an image of the rising sun.
The Museo del Ratón Perez
If you are a fan of Raton Perez, the Spanish version of the Tooth Fairy, you will love visiting the Museo del Raton Perez in Madrid. This is an excellent family destination.
This museum is located in the same place where Raton Perez lived with his family. It also has memorabilia related to the character, and it offers a guided tour that is fun for kids.
The Museo del Raton Perez is open seven days a week, from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm. It is recommended for children aged five and up, but younger children can visit the museum on a guided tour with an adult.
The Teatro de la Zarzuela
The Teatro de la Zarzuela is one of the most traditional theatres in Madrid, and it’s famous for its zarzuela productions. This genre has been around for centuries and represents Madrid’s cultural heritage.
It’s a theatrical play that features musical acts and characters who represent the working classes: chulos (men wearing peculiar clothes and making extravagant gestures), ratas (thieves), nannies and policemen. It was a popular form of entertainment during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and it is still performed today.
The building was built in 1856 and became a famous venue for zarzuela productions. However, it was virtually destroyed by fire on November 9, 1909. The building was rebuilt by Cesareo Iradier and Maestro Luna raised the curtain with his orchestra in 1914 to reopen the theater.