MadridSpain

Image for Almudena Cathedral

Visit Madrid

A city of cool shaded alleys, and wide sunny parks, grand palaces and even grander plazas, this is a place that lives up to its motto of 'Madrid never sleeps'.

In the 18th century, a new dynasty – the Bourbons – were on the Spanish throne, and they didn't like the shabby look of their capital and decided to make a few changes. You can see their efforts in the splendour of Madrid's parks, monuments and palaces – and in the curious contrast between old Madrid's tight-packed streets, and its many beautiful open parks. You can thank the royal connection for those – the Casa de Campo, a huge tract of parkland in the west, was once a royal hunting ground. Now it has an amusement park, boating lake and zoo.

To the east is the more formal park of El Retiro, actually the gardens of the old Habsburg palace. Its 121 hectares of tree-lined avenues, waterways, Romanesque gardens are the perfect 'back lawn' for Madrid's best-known museum – the Prado Museum, which houses a world-class collection of European Renaissance and Classical paintings. Close by are two other art galleries – the Reina Sofia Museum, with its famed Dali's and Picasso's and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum. Taken together, they form Madrid's Golden Triangle of Art.

Starting at the old town's gateway of Puerta De Alcala, follow a string of beautiful plaza's, from the famous fountains of the Plaza De Cibeles, to the vibrant Puerta Del Sol and finally the Plaza Mayor – Madrid's jaw-dropping square. A perfect contrast to that plaza's wide open skies is nearby El Rastro, Madrid's infamous and ancient flea-market of a thousand stalls.

But if you keep going along the Calle Mayor, and you'll find yourself at the Royal Palace, where Spain's kings moved to in the 19th century, and which still hosts royal events. Next-door is the grandeur of the Almudena Cathedral, the elegance of the Royal Theatre, and the beauty of the Sabatini Gardens. To the north, the gardens lead you onto one last 'must-see' plaza – the Plaza De Espana. This is where you'll find a fabulous monument to Spain's greatest author – Cervantes, the 16th century creator of Don Quixote. This monument to past glories sits beneath two enormous, yet stylish, post-war tower blocks. Incongruous, quirky but done with style – you could say that's Madrid all over.

Where to stay in Madrid

Chueca which includes a city, a house and a square or plaza

Chueca

5/5Exceptional!(8 area reviews)

This avant-garde part of Madrid is known as the gay quarter because of its numerous LGBT shops and bars, a Gay Pride march and an open-minded populace.

Chueca

Top hotels in Madrid

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Riu Plaza España
Hotel Riu Plaza España
4 out of 5
C/ Gran Via, 84, Madrid
NZ$210
per night
Jan 24 - Jan 25

Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from Plaza de Espana - Princesa, Plaza de España and Gran Via Street. Teatro Coliseum and Lope de Vega Theatre are ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (388 reviews)

"The staff was very friendly and the hotel was very clean. The amenities were great in the room and the gym was perfect for my stay. I'd gladly return if ever in Madrid again!"…"

Reviewed on 16 Jan. 2020

Hotel Riu Plaza España
Hotel Nuevo Madrid
Hotel Nuevo Madrid
4 out of 5
C/ Bausa, 27, Madrid, Madrid
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
NZ$83
per night
Jan 26 - Jan 27

Located in Ciudad Lineal, this spa hotel is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, and within 6 mi (10 km) of IFEMA - Feria de Madrid and Thyssen-Bornemisza ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,010 reviews)

"The location is good and the installations are second to none"…"

Reviewed on 17 Jan. 2020

Hotel Nuevo Madrid
Melia Madrid Princesa
Melia Madrid Princesa
5 out of 5
Princesa 27, Madrid, Madrid
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
NZ$215
per night
Jan 26 - Jan 27

Located in Moncloa-Aravaca, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de Espana - Princesa, Plaza de España, and Gran Via Street. Teatro Coliseum ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (456 reviews)

"Well kept, excellent service. Breakfast was very good"…"

Reviewed on 5 Jan. 2020

Melia Madrid Princesa

Popular things to do in Madrid

Plaza Mayor
Image for Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

4/5(91 reviews)

A square-shaped piece of Madrid's soul – a sheltered 17th century quadrangle that has seen bull-fights and fiestas, fires and protests and kings that come and go.

Prado Museum
Image for Prado Museum

Prado Museum

4.5/5(56 reviews)

A roll call of brilliant painters – Bosch, Rubens, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Goya and Velázquez – are waiting to be viewed at the Prado Museum.

Plaza de España
Image for Plaza de España

Plaza de España

4/5(71 reviews)

A beautiful square dominated by its statue to Miguel Cervantes – creator of windmill-tilting Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho.

Royal Palace
Image for Royal Palace

Royal Palace

4.5/5(85 reviews)

Armouries and pharmacies, rooms filled with fine porcelain, amazing collections of watches and silverware, and never-ending corridors graced by masterpieces.

El Retiro Park
Image for El Retiro Park

El Retiro Park

4.5/5(70 reviews)

While Casa de Campo is a park walking on the wild side of western Madrid, its eastern counterpart, El Retiro Park, is Madrid's genteel, cultured take on park-life.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
Image for Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

4.5/5(49 reviews)

Cutting-edge contemporary art – and challenging pieces by Spain's 20th century art 'superstars', Picasso and Dali – are among the works found in the Reina Sofía.

Top activities in Madrid

Day Tour of Toledo & Segovia with Alcazar Entrance
Image for Day Tour of Toledo & Segovia with Alcazar Entrance

Day Tour of Toledo & Segovia with Alcazar Entrance

NZ$116

Step back in time as you explore Toledo and Segovia on this guided excursion with an experienced guide. Learn about Spanish history while strolling past medieval architecture, soaring cathedrals, and charming neighborhoods in 2 cities that bear beautiful traces of the region's past.

Madrid City Tour - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
Image for Madrid City Tour - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Madrid City Tour - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

NZ$37

Get a lay of the land and soak in the sights of the Spanish capital on a double-decker bus, hopping on and off as you see fit to explore Madrid at your own pace. With unlimited rides on 2 routes, you can cruise easily between attractions like the world-famous Prado Museum, the Royal Palace, and the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Flamenco Show at Cardamomo Tablao
Image for Flamenco Show at Cardamomo Tablao

Flamenco Show at Cardamomo Tablao

NZ$65

Let the swirling skirts, fanciful footwork, stirring guitar rhythms, and powerful vocals of world-class singers whisk you away to the Spain of a bygone era. During a flamenco performance at the renowned Cadamomo, let yourself be captivated by an unforgettable performance in an inviting atmosphere.

Real Madrid Bernabeu Tour - Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)
Image for Real Madrid Bernabeu Tour - Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)

Real Madrid Bernabeu Tour - Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)

NZ$42

Home to Real Madrid CF, this visit will not leave any soccer – or football – fan indifferent. Visit the interactive museum and audiovisuals. Step into the press room, the dressing rooms and walk along the Player’s Tunnel until you reach the pitch.

Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tour

Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tour

NZ$49

Skip the lines and get inside one of the most memorable Royal Castles of Europe, the “Royal Palace of Madrid”, with this tour. Take a look inside one of the most memorable royal palaces in Europe with this tour to the official home of the Spanish monarchy.

Party in Madrid with best places and VIP tables
Image for Party in Madrid with best places and VIP tables

Party in Madrid with best places and VIP tables

NZ$68

Visit: Street Gran Via, 28013 Madrid Spain Best clubs in madrid

Reviews of Madrid

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
130
5 - Excellent 59.09090909090909%
4 - Good
76
4 - Good 34.54545454545455%
3 - Okay
14
3 - Okay 6.363636363636363%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Chris

Jan 18, 2020

Enjoyed every single part of Madrid, all the places, Food, culture, streets, shopping and people.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 4, 2020

We spent 4 nights 3 days in Madrid. We could have easily condensed this into 2 days which would have left us more time to spend in Segovia and Zaragoza which we loved.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 2, 2020

I definetly will recommend to my friends and relatives to visit Madrid, it is a safe place to travell and to visit and the people are very friendly and helpful.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 20, 2019

Vibrant city with lots to see and do. I loved walking around the city, it felt safe and had a great atmosphere. Retiro Park, the Prada museum, the palace and the hospitality were all very good.

5/5 - Excellent

dee

Oct 23, 2019

Amazin :)

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Oct 11, 2019

There was a lot of construction work going on around the major tourist areas and also the lack of English instructions. English being the first universally spoken language should be included on signage as it is hard to navigate the city.

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