Top 8 places to visit in Madrid
The capital city of Spain and also the countries largest city, Madrid is literally at the heart of Spain, both in terms of importance and location. There’s plenty to see and do so don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture every moment. A USB travel adapter is an essential item in your hand luggage to make sure your devices are always charged and ready.
Madrid is considered as one of the top European cities to visit for art lovers, with over 44 art museums to visit.
Let’s take a brief tour around the city and look at the top 8 places to visit in Madrid.
Golden Triangle of Art
This area is world famous and contains three great art museums. Most famous of all is the Prado Museum that contains over 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures and 13,000 prints and drawings. Also located along the Paseo del Prado is the Reina Sofia National Art Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, both with a focus on 20th-century art. This is a must see area of Madrid.
Built on the site of a Moorish fortress, the Royal Palace was constructed in the 18th century and contains a fantastic royal collection of art. Along with Goya, Caravaggio, you’ll also discover a string quartet of Stradivarius instruments. Reflecting on its fortress origins, the Royal Armoury contains many examples of period weapons from the 16th century onwards.
National Archaeological Museum
Spread over 3 floors, the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid also shares a building with the National Library. The majority of the exhibits are of Spanish origin, but also from Ancient Greece, Southern Italy and Ancient Egypt. The establishment of the museum was ordered by Queen Isabella II to house the collections of Spanish Monarchs.
Once the centre of Old Madrid, Plaza Mayor was first planned and laid out between 158 and 1619. Surrounded on all four sides by three storey buildings, it is a beautiful square to sit at one of the portico cafes and watch the people of Madrid go about their business. Close by is another square, the Puerta del Sol which is known by almost every Spanish person because the clock located here is used for the televised New Years Eve countdown.
If you enjoy flea markets, then El Rastro is the place for you! With over 3,500 market stalls set up on Ribera de Coritodores and Plaza de Cascorro selling just about anything and everything! As you can imagine, it gets swamped but there is a respite in the side streets, where you’ll find antique stores and cafes.
Mercado San Miguel
Staying on the market theme, if you want to find traditional foods and delicacies, the Mercado San Miguel is a great place to go. It’s within walking distance of Plaza Mayor and has over 30 different vendors offering tapas, hams and other foods along with a great selection of drinks.
El Retiro Park
Located on the edge of Madrid, this 350-acre park is one of the most popular and largest in the city. Originally it was owned by the Spanish monarchy but by the end of the 19th century, it had been opened to the public. El Retiro Park is mostly wooded, giving welcome shade in the height of summer. There’s also a formal botanical garden, a lake where you can hire rowing boats and events throughout the summer. The Prado Museum is also very close by.
Finally, something very Spanish and entertaining. Although Flamenco was born in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, it is popular across the country and Madrid has many tablaos. A tablao is simply a hall dedicated to Flamenco and food. Many of these were established in the 1960s and are still thriving today. Some only offer simple tapas, while at others you can book a full candlelit dinner experience.
Whatever you decide to do and visit in Madrid, you’re surely not going to be disappointed. The Spanish are typically Mediterranean in culture and outlook, typified by the Flamenco and enjoy a good night dancing, drinking and eating.
Don’t lose those great memories with a flat battery on your smartphone or camera by keeping your compact travel adapter with you. The Sublime USB travel adapter can charge up to four devices at once so is perfect on your next vacation.