There are many things to be done in Madrid, so choosing where to go and what to see can be stressful. Here we profile the ten most fun, interesting and unique things to do in Madrid, so no matter if you are spending two days or ten in this amazing city, you will be sure to have covered the top things the city has to offer.
Visit the museums: Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza; Reina Sofia and Sorolla
Madrid has many beautiful art museums, famous around the world for their majestic architecture and their awe-inspiring permanent collections. Some of the best ones are Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo Reina Sofia and Museo Sorolla. Each of them has different styles of art, ranging from the classic to the contemporary and they often have temporary exhibitions. Be sure to check out their websites for more information.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Parque del Buen Retiro
It can be overwhelming to sight see all day in such a busy city, so if you are tired of all of the hustle and bustle head to Madrid’s most beautiful park, El Retiro, and relax. Lie down on the grass, have a picnic or hire one of the boats and row around the park’s lake. This is something that the locals do too; everyone needs to take a moment to relax and breathe in this amazing city, and going to El Retiro is one of the best things to do in Madrid.
Eat a squid roll while walking around the Plaza Mayor
Squid rolls are one of the most typical dishes in Madrid, and many restaurants and bars sell them around the Plaza Mayor area. One of the best things to do in Madrid is to buy one and eat it while you discover the city’s most famous square. You can enjoy the taste, atmosphere and views of the Spanish capital all at once for an authentic experience.
Templo de Debod
This is an Egyptian temple that was gifted to Spain in 1968, located on a hilltop by Casa del Campo. Templo de Debod has amazing views of the Palacio Real and Catedral de la Almudena on one side, and of Casa del Campo and the mountains on the other, especially during sunsets and at night. Go here for a relaxing picnic or a stroll and take some incredible photos of the city.
The Royal Palace
The Palacio Real is of course one of the must-sees when you are in Madrid. It is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family (although they really reside in the Palacio de la Zarzuela, in the outskirts of the capital), but who knows, if you are lucky you might just stumble upon a royal who is standing behind a closed door! Take in and enjoy the vast art collection and the beautiful Stradivarius that are housed in this majestic palace.
Atocha train station
This train station has a very original ‘jungle’ inside: where you least expect it you will find tropical trees, a beautiful turtle pond and hear birds chirping. The architecture is original and the inside is really one-of-a-kind. Take a train or the metro to another part of Madrid, or even to one of the many towns worth visiting in the surrounding area, such as Alcala de Henares (Cervantes’ hometown) or El Escorial (the site of a beautiful monastery and a town where Spanish royalty used to live).
Stroll around the Puerta del Sol area
Puerta del Sol is right in the center of Madrid, and it is definitely one of the top places to visit when you are in the capital. This is where the locals come to celebrate New Year’s Eve, amongst other things, and it is an iconic landmark of the city (and possibly Spain’s most famous square). Stroll around the area and discover all of the great restaurants, bars and shops whilst enjoying the local culture and the Spanish pace of life.
Shop in Gran Via
Gran Via is undoubtedly one of the busiest and most famous streets in Madrid. All of the typical high-street chains can be found here: Zara, H&M and Bershka all feature, as well as some higher-end boutiques. Check out the Spanish brands (which are more affordable in Spain than elsewhere, of course) to get a good deal and visit one of Spain’s most iconic department stores, El Corte Ingles, which can be found nearby, for all upscale brands and a truly Spanish shopping experience.
This beautiful building houses more than 30 million books and is over 300 years old. The National Library is one of the most interesting and unique places to visit in Madrid. Take one of the guided tours and learn about the history of the building, how its books are preserved and visit its beautiful rooms. If by the end of the tour you still want to spend more time in the library, you can finish the visit on your own and explore it at your own pace.
Go for tapas in La Latina
Tapas are, without a doubt, one of the first things that come to mind when one thinks of Spain. Head to La Latina area for great restaurants and bars, and do as the locals do: order a drink and you will usually get a free tapa, then head over to the next bar. You will not only discover the neighborhood but you will also be able to taste a great variety of Spanish drinks and tapas at an affordable price!
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