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Gran Via, main shopping street in Madrid | © Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock
Gran Via, main shopping street in Madrid | © Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock
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These 25 Pictures Will Make You Want to Book a Trip to Madrid Right Now

Picture of Lori Zaino
Updated: 12 June 2017
Madrid is one of the most stunning cities in Europe thanks to its grand architecture, floral and green parks and quaint streets. The food scene is up-and-coming with a great mix of cool food markets, trendy cuisine and historic restaurants. If you’re thinking about booking a trip to Madrid, these 25 photos will definitely convince you.

Monuments galore

You’ll spot gorgeous monuments left and right walking down Madrid’s busy city streets. Madrid’s famous Palacio Real and Catedral de Almudena are some of the most iconic.

Palacio Real | © Farbregas Hareluya/Shutterstock
Palacio Real | © Farbregas Hareluya/Shutterstock
Cathedral Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena in Madrid, Spain| © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock
Cathedral Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena in Madrid, Spain | © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

A monument tour just wouldn’t be complete without checking out the giant Cibeles Palace – it was once the post office but is now home to the mayor’s office, art exhibitions, a rooftop restaurant and more. Also plan to stop by the Puerta de Alcalá and the city’s beautiful Cibeles fountain, portraying a Greek goddess in her chariot.

Alcala Gate in Madrid. The Alcala Gate(Puerta de Alcala) is a Neo-classical monument in the Independent Place in Madrid| © milosk50/Shutterstock
Alcala Gate in Madrid. The Alcala Gate(Puerta de Alcala) is a Neo-classical monument in the Independent Place in Madrid | © milosk50/Shutterstock
Cibeles Palace, one of the symbols of the city of Madrid| ©Maks Ershov/Shutterstock
Cibeles Palace, one of the symbols of the city of Madrid | ©Maks Ershov/Shutterstock
The famous Cibeles fountain and monument | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
The famous Cibeles fountain and monument | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio

Even if bullfighting isn’t your thing, pay a visit to the Plaza de Toros de Ventas, which dates back to 1931. The enormous building, which which boasts a Moorish style of architecture, has not only been home to many famous bullfights, but also concerts by the Beatles, Diana Ross and more. Many festivals and events are also held here.

The Plaza del Toros de Ventas | © Carlos Vacas
The Plaza de Toros de Ventas | © Carlos Vacas

Chill out in a plaza

You can’t miss out on seeing one of Madrid’s famous squares, like the Plaza Mayor. The red-brick surrounding buildings boast over 200 balconies facing the square’s center. The Puerta del Sol is another one of Madrid’s most well-known squares, considered to be the center of the city and home to the famous bear statue.

Morning Light at Plaza Mayor in Madrid | © Farbregas Hareluya/Shutterstock
Morning Light at Plaza Mayor in Madrid | © Farbregas Hareluya/Shutterstock
Puerta del Sol| © Maryge/Flickr
Puerta del Sol | © Maryge/Flickr

Breathe in the green

Don’t miss out on a trip to Madrid’s most beloved park, the Parque de El Retiro. Wandering around the lake and visiting the Palacio de Cristal are must-do activities in the park.

Crystal Palace in the Retiro Park| © Andres Garcia Martin/Shutterstock
Crystal Palace in the Retiro Park | © Andres Garcia Martin/Shutterstock
Parque do Retiro (Retiro Park), Monumento a Alfonso XII (Monument to King Alfonso XII) | © Deba Machado/Shutterstock
Parque do Retiro (Retiro Park), Monumento a Alfonso XII (Monument to King Alfonso XII) | © Deba Machado/Shutterstock

Visiting Madrid’s newly renovated riverside is a great activity for the whole family, with walking and biking trails, play areas for kids and terraces to sit out on and enjoy a drink or meal.

Madrid's Rio Park | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Madrid’s Río Park | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio

A view of Madrid

Madrid has an interesting skyline, completely different than most cities. With just a smattering of tall buildings up north, most of Madrid’s charm from up above lies in delightful tiled rooftops and church domes. You can enjoy the views from some special rooftop bars like Círculo de Bellas Artes, which has some of the best in the city from all angles, or the Corte Inglés Gourmet Experience, which overlooks the energetic Gran Vía street. Or head to a park, like the Cerro del Tío Pío or the Parque Oeste for panoramic views of Madrid.

Madrid financial district with modern skyscrapers | © Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock
Madrid financial district with modern skyscrapers | © Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock
Madrid's skyline at sunset | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Madrid’s skyline at sunset | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Night view of Mercado San Miguel in Madrid, Spain | © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock
Night view of Mercado San Miguel in Madrid, Spain | © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock
Madrid Skyline at dusk with the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral | © INTERPIXELS/Shutterstock
Madrid Skyline at dusk with the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral | © INTERPIXELS/Shutterstock
Madrid's Gran Via street and Schwepps building | © José Barea/Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Madrid’s Gran Via street and Schweppes building | © José Barea/Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Happy hour on the rooftop in Madrid| © Carly Clem Creative/Shutterstock
Happy hour on the rooftop in Madrid | © Carly Clem Creative/Shutterstock
Aerial view of madrid taken from the top of the almudea cathedral in Madrid | © trabantos/Shutterstock
Aerial view of madrid taken from the top of the almudea cathedral in Madrid | © trabantos/Shutterstock

Take a walk

The streets of Madrid are decidedly picturesque, even when you aren’t stumbling upon a monument or famous building. Madrid’s happy vibe can be felt when walking the streets, not to mention the beautiful architecture you’ll spot just roaming around.

Old street in Madrid, Spain | © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock
Old street in Madrid, Spain | © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock
Don't forget to look up when walking Madrid's streets | © Lori Zaino
Don’t forget to look up when walking Madrid’s streets | © Lori Zaino
Stroll Madrid's streets | © Herry Lawford/Flickr
Stroll Madrid’s streets | © Herry Lawford/Flickr

Eat to your heart’s content

Madrid is famous for its cuisine, so chow down on some delectable Iberian ham, Spanish cheeses and make sure to pair them with a glass of wine. Don’t forget to start your day off strong with churros – fried, sugary sticks that you’ll dip in steaming hot mugs of chocolate.

Cheeses galore | © Lori Zaino
Cheeses galore | © Lori Zaino
Ham sandwiches and Bravas potatoes | © Lori Zaino
Ham sandwiches and patatas bravas | © Lori Zaino
Spanish ham| © Escarabajo Amarillo/Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Spanish ham | © Escarabajo Amarillo/Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Chocolate and churros| © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Chocolate and churros | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio