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Top 10 things to see and do in Madrid

October 4, 2013 DESTINATION No Comments Email Email

The Spanish capital of Madrid in Spain has got so much going on that they have had to expand their top 10 list of things to see and do to a top 12 list of things you can’t miss during a visit to this vibrant city.
Prado Museum

The Prado Museum is one of the most prestigious art museums in the world. Alongside Velzzquez’s Las Meninas and Goya’s The 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid: The Executions on Principe Pio Hill, the galleries are packed with masterpieces from the Spanish, Italian, and Flemish schools. Storing over 8,000 artworks, the Prado Museum offers an expansive survey of Western painting, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. We recommend you read a guidebook to prepare for your visit. Make sure you spend at least a full morning or afternoon at the museum, but that you don’t try to see the whole permanent collection in one day.

The Reina Sofia National Art Museum (MNCARS)20130926-0339_m

Here, artworks by Dali, Miro and Juan Gris hang alongside Picasso’s Guernicain, providing a riveting survey of Spanish art history. The museum aims to promote contemporary art with its collection, public library, and a vast program of shows, conferences, performances, projections, and concerts. As a continuation of the Prado Museum, the MNCARS picks up where the former leaves off, displaying artworks from the late 19th century to today. The Museum’s program features all types of artistic disciplines, set out in three collections.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

With a collection of over 1,000 works of art, the Thyssen-Bornemisza is a key stop on one of the world’s most singular cultural and artistic touring routes. Just meters from the Prado and the Reina Sofia, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum allows visitors to embark on an exceptional journey through seven centuries of painting or to contemplate any one of the 50 paintings it holds that are considered to be universal masterpieces.


The nightlife in Madrid is unique – there is nothing like it anywhere in the world. There are always places where you can go out, dance, laugh, talk, flirt… In Madrid, going out at night is a fountain of culture. There is something for everybody: from the most minimalist chill-out bars to the most enticing clubs and Goth bars, from the questionable dives to the wildest afterhours clubs and nostalgic dancehalls.

Tapas Bars

One of Madrid’s most long-established traditions is going out for tapas. There are time-honored and modern taverns, traditional venues, and trendy restaurants, but all coincide in one thing: they serve small delicatessen bites that go down perfectly with a glass of wine and excellent conversations.


Voices filled with anguish and pain in cante jondo, rhythms of happiness and joy in sevillanas and rumbas. Flamenco is all that and so much more, always loaded with passion and intensity. These qualities confer the genre with an expressiveness that moves all viewers, regardless of where they’re from or whether they understand the language. Flamenco makes feelings flourish. Who hasn’t felt moved by a dancer tapping her feet to the rhythm of a guitar or by a flamenco singer’s passionate cry?

Royal Palace

Home to the Kings of Spain from Carlos III to Alfonso XIII, Madrid’s Royal Palace is now open to the public. Though it is no longer the royal family’s home, it continues to be their official residence.

Bernabeu Stadium

The new Bernabeu Tour is now a reality. The museum, now much more modern, interactive, and audiovisual, includes two new rooms: the “Best Club in History” and an area in honor of Alfredo Di Stefano. Open to the public for 363 days and with close to a million visitors, the Bernabeu Tour is one of the city’s main tourist attractions, and it receives visitors from all kinds of countries. In this way, Real Madrid continues with its commitment to continual improvement and renovation and takes another step with this project to bring its trademark, history, tradition, and values closer to fans all over the world.

Las Ventas Bullring

Every year as the bullfighting season comes around, the Plaza Monumental de Las Ventas is filled to its 23,798-seat capacity with fans applauding the bravery of the matadors. In order to discove the place, sign up for the Las Ventas Tour, a guided visit around the entire building that offers a glimpse into the many hidden corners of this magnificent arena and provides visitors with interesting facts about the history and legend of the art of bullfighting.

Madrid Rio Park

The Madrid Rio project originated when the section of the M-30 ring road running parallel to the Manzanares River was moved underground, resulting in an area of parkland 10 kilometers long. The river bank has thus become an integral part of the city center, and now offers Madrilenians and visitors an area surrounded by vegetation and filled with wide a range of sports, leisure and cultural facilities. Discover it on the Madrid Río guided tour, conducted in Spanish.


Live Madrid’s parks and gardens. They come in all shapes and forms: historical, modern, secluded, immense, some that are good for picnics, some that are good for sports.

Rastro Flea Market

Madrid´s most traditional items can be bought, sold and enjoyed in the plaza de Cascorro and its surrounding streets. A mixture of modernity and traditionalism, Madrid’s world-renowned flea market sets up for business around the Plaza de Cascorro. Dating back to mediaeval times, El Rastro is one of the oldest markets in Europe, yet also one of the most modern. Throngs of sellers and buyers, natives and tourists, have made El Rastro one of the most popular places in the city, a must-see in all guide books. In order to get the full experience, it is best to wander up and down its streets, to get lost in the crowds, to practice the art of haggling and to soak up the atmosphere.

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