Madrid is not only the capital of Spain, but it is also one of the most elegant cities you will ever travel to. Filled with beautiful boulevards, expansive parks, one of a kind art, and plenty of history, Madrid is on all lists of top cities worth visiting.
Considering Spain’s bountiful tourist attractions, Madrid will most likely not be your only stop on your journey through the Spanish lands. Therefore, if you have a limited amount of time to visit Madrid, here’s a guide of things you cannot miss out on:
Your first stop, and a lengthy one for that matter, will be at Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art. The triangle is composed of the top three museums in the city: Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Known for its ample European collection ranging from the 12th century to the 19th century, Museo del Prado is Madrid’s main Spanish national art museum.
On the other hand, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is more focused on Spanish 20th century impressionist and expressionist art. It includes collections renown artists like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The Reina Sofía’s Museum’s most prized possession is considered to be Picasso’s famous painting referencing the Spanish Civil War, titled “Guernica.”
The third museum which comprises the Golden Art Triangle is the The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. This museum composed of the second largest private art collection in the world, after the British Art Collection. The museum does a great job at filling in the historical gaps between the art collections found in Museo del Prado and Reina Sofía.
Once you’ve you’ve completed your journey through years and years of well-preserved art, it’s time to go down a different historic lane – visit Madrid’s Royal Palace and Armory. You will learn about all kinds of remarkable historical anecdotes that took place within the walls of the palace and the armory through generations and generations of the Royal Family.
Another historic landmark you should not miss is Plaza Mayor. This central plaza was built during Philip III’s reign, and the Puerta del Sol is the central point in the plaza where numerous Spanish roads connect; it was also one of the original gates to the city of Madrid in the 15th century.
To finish off your historic day, take a nighttime city bus tour and enjoy other city landmarks that will be beautifully illuminated. Monuments and palaces will take on a new dimension and you will learn all the fun facts behind every architectural piece of work.
By the time you finish up your strolls through museums and historic landmarks, you should take a break. Visit the beautifully groomed Parque El Retiro. It’s one of Madrid’s largest parks, and inside you find a crystal palace, a lake where you can rent a boat and row around, and a aromatic rose garden that will certainly take your breath away.
Regardless of what you ultimately decide to do and see in Madrid, one thing you must not pass on is the incredible cuisine. Don’t be afraid to take the Metro and visit barrios like La Latina, Chueca, or even the San Miguel Market in Plaza Mayor and bask in some delicious tapas, local beer and Spanish wine. With a belly full of Spanish flavors you will not regret your time spent in Madrid.