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Madrid must see attractions
1. Gran Via Street
The Gran Via is a shopping hub and a center for nightlife. Like much of Madrid, the strip celebrates the past while embracing the future: boutique stores and international brands are housed in some of Madrid’s most iconic heritage architecture.
The Plaza Mayor is one of Madrid’s best-known public places. Its cobbled courtyard is surrounded by stylish restaurants, boutiques, bars and cafés. It was a chaotic market back in the 16th century until King Felipe II commissioned a proper public square. The plaza was completed in 1619 under the supervision of architect Juan Gómez de Mora, but would burn down three times before the present version was constructed in 1790.
The Prado (Museo Nacional del Prado) is one of the world’s most prestigious art museums. It was commissioned in 1785 by King Carlos III to showcase Spanish talent and taste. The royal collection has formed the core of the museum’s inventory since it opened to the public in 1819. The collection has expanded over the years to include works from other European nations and even ancient Greek and Roman statues.
El Retiro (El Parque de Retiro) is one of Madrid’s favorite parks and occupies nearly 350 acres (140 hectares) of land in the city center. It was once a royal retreat and the site of a large palace, but was opened to the public in the 1860s. There are statues and monuments all throughout the park, as well as two ponds, art galleries and fountains. It’s a popular retreat for Sunday afternoon picnics and you’ll notice street performers plying their trade in the busiest areas.
Real Madrid is one of the most internationally recognized soccer teams and their Santiago Bernabéu Stadium (Estadio Santiago Bernabéu) is among the sport’s finest. Watching a match at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a lifetime dream for both long-term Madridistas and soccer enthusiasts. Walk on the hallowed turf of the playing field, browse the clubs impressive trophy hall and relive historical moments via multimedia exhibits.
Puerta del Sol, or “Sun Gate,” is Madrid’s beating heart. It was once at the eastern extremity of the city and the location of a medieval gate decorated with the rising sun, from which it gets its name. Today it’s the city’s main public square, hosting everything from political demonstrations to New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The Spanish Royal Palace (Palacio Real) is one of the biggest palaces in Western Europe. The palace is known for its extravagant interior and the staggering collection of furniture, artwork, weapons, armor and accessories found throughout its 3,400 rooms. Construction of the building you see today started in 1738 after the previous royal residence burned down on the same site in 1734. Nowadays the Spanish royal family does not live in the palace.
Casa de Campo is an enormous park to the west of downtown Madrid. It was set aside as a hunting estate by King Felipe II in the 16th century and was not opened to the public until the 1940s. The park is a staggering 4,200 acres (1,700 hectares) and is home to numerous public facilities, a zoo and even a theme park.
Known for its fascinating museums and acclaimed art galleries, there's plenty to explore in Madrid Centro. Check out top attractions like Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, and jump on the metro at Sol Station or Gran Via Station to see more of the city.
Take time in Atocha to visit attractions like Atocha Station Memorial and Lavapies. You might also appreciate the interesting museums, and you can hop on the metro at Mendez alvaro Station to see more of the city.
Known for its abundant dining options and interesting museums, there's plenty to explore in Retiro. Top attractions like El Retiro Park and Prado Museum are major draws, and you can catch the metro at Conde de Casal Station or Sainz de Baranda Station to see more of the city.
Consider exploring the abundant dining options in Barajas. If sightseeing is on the list, Real Madrid City is a top attraction. Hop on the metro at Barajas Station or Aeropuerto T1-T2-T3 Station to see more of the area.
Consider a visit to Sorolla Museum and take some time to enjoy the abundant dining options during your time in Chamberi. If you want to see more of the city, jump on the metro at Canal Station or Alonso Cano Station.