Top 10 Places to Visit in Madrid | ODnews Travel Guide 2019

    Top 10 Places to Visit in Madrid 

    Madrid, the capital city of Spain, is one of the most recommended cities to visit in the world. It includes almost all the Spanish culture, including gastronomy, architecture, nightlife, shopping, to name only a few. Yet, it is impossible to see everything in one and only weekend. So, for you, we have made this list of top 10 things to do and visit in this charming city, Madrid, during 2 or 3 days.

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    1. The Mayor Plaza

    The Mayor Plaza 

    A Plaza Mayor is a public space which is built in the heart of all major cities of Spain. However, the Plaza Mayor in Madrid is highly impressive by its size and number of bars, restaurants and local shops. The square is dating from the 17th century. It began under the reign of King Philip III, whose bronze statue is located in the middle of the square. In Madrid, you can also see important buildings, such as the Casa de la Carniceria (butchery) and the Casa de la Panaderia (bakery). In the summer, you may enjoy a drink on the terrace. In the winter, on the other hand, it is recommended to attend its fascinating Christmas Market.

    2. The Puerta Del Sol 

    The Puerta Del Sol 

    Dating back to the 16th century, the Puerta Del Sol is an emblem of Madrid and its nerve center. The place is now crowded with people, becoming entirely pedestrian-like. Besides, it is a necessary point of the passage, including opening on several streets full of commerce. What is more, the Puerta Del Sol is the Kilometer Zero (location from which distances are traditionally measured) of the roads of Spain. In other words, when you stand in the middle of the square, you will find yourself in the middle of Spain. So, try not to miss this feeling.

    As a tradition, thousands of people from Madrid are on the Puerta Del Sol to eat a grape at every twelve strokes of midnight, on the 31st of December.

    3. El Rastro 

    El Rastro 

    If you visit Madrid, you should go to the famous Rastro, one of the oldest markets in the city. For a dweller or tourist, almost everything sells there. You may find furniture, toys, painting, clothes, even animals and the like. El Rastro is open every Sunday and public holidays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; yet, it is preferable to go early if you do not want to be in the middle of the crowd.

    4. El Prado Museum 

    El Prado Museum 

    The Prado Museum is one of the largest art galleries in the world and the Madrid Museum. If you are passionate with paintings from the 14th to the 19th centuries, this is the right place for you. It includes works by Vélazquez, Goya, Nicolas Poussin, Rembrandt, and others. You will also find many collections of drawings, sketches, as well as sculptures and decorative objects.

    5. El Retiro Park 

    El Retiro Park 

    After visiting all the previous monuments, a stroll followed by a nap in Retiro Park is essential. It contains a beautiful pond, 12 statues, and two palaces, dating from 1887. It will remind you a bit of the Bois de Vincennes in the 12th arrondissement of Paris with its large lawns, pond and all its animals. Note, you can do the boat on the Retiro pond; yet, it costs € 15, an amount that you might want to spend on other monuments.

    6. The Plaza Of Cibeles 

    . The Plaza Of Cibeles 

    Not far from the Prado, the Plaza Cibeles is another emblematic square in Madrid. At the heart of the square, there is a statue of the Goddess Cybele, carved in the 1780s. On each corner of the square, there is an important building of the city, namely the Palace of Buenavista (headquarters of the army), the Palace of Linares (headquarters of the Casa de América), the Palace of Communications with its magnificent architecture, and the Bank of Spain building.

    7. El Palacio Real

    El Palacio Real 

    Situated in the middle of Madrid, the Royal Palace, Palacio Real, is the residence of the King of Spain. It is dating from the time of King Philip V in 1738. This building has a protocolary role, including the reception of the great heads of state; consequently, the royal family actually lives there only a few days a year. Try not to miss visiting its beautiful park at the edge of the palace. The entrance into the Royal Palace is free from Monday to Thursday if you arrive two hours before the opening; otherwise, it will cost you 10 €.

    8. The Cathedral Of Almudena 

    The Cathedral Of Almudena 

    This cathedral is one of the newest in the city. It was actually built in the 20th century, and it is facing the Royal Palace. For connoisseurs, it mixes Neoclassical styles in the exterior and Neo-Gothic in the interior. As an anecdote, it is the first cathedral in the country to be consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993.

    9. El Templo De Debod

    El Templo De Debod 

    It is a Nubian temple, dedicated to the Egyptian god Amon, dating from the year II with JC. This building was first erected in Egypt, before being offered as a gift to Spain in 1968 for its assistance in the safeguarding of historical monuments during the construction of the Aswan dam. This is actually one of the oldest Egyptian monuments out of its home country. So, it is a place not to be missed in Madrid.

    10. Casa Botín

    Casa Botín 

    It is simply the oldest restaurant in the world; it is opened since 1725. It is located just behind Madrid's Plaza Mayor and renowned for its warm welcome and grilled meats. The restaurant was opened by a French person. The cuisine is Castilian, with dishes around € 20 and menus around € 30 in the evening. 

    This is our top 10 places to visit in Madrid, during a 2 or 3-day-trip. However, if you have got much more time, there are other sites you should see. 

    First, the Mercado San Miguel which is a typical market in an iron building. In this place, you can taste tapas and other specialties. Also, the Centro de Arte Sofia which is the national museum of Spain. It was opened in 1992 and named for Queen Sofia. Last but not least, the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, one of the most famous stadiums in the globe. Since its opening in 1947, it has been the home of Real Madrid team. To sum up, every corner in Madrid is a discovery and surprise.