Madrid is the capital as well as one of the most populous cities of Spain with around 3.3 million people living there and in the metropolitan area, there are about 6.5 million inhabitants. Apart from this Madrid is the third-largest city in the European Union, surpassing London and Berlin. It is widespread in an area of about 604.3 square kilometers.
Madrid is a perfect place for holidaying however, there is no place for lazing about. It has a magnetic power to attract all of you who are curiously mad about the world-class art museums, spectacular architectures and sidewalk café or rollicking night bars. Madrid has all in it for you. Fortunately, all the famous tourist destinations lie in central Madrid, so, it won’t take you to think twice to visit a couple of places at a time.
Are you also planning to be there? Then take a halt and let us tell you, what you should must-see once you be there.
1. Prado Museum
An incredible museum, Prado Museum is one of the fabulous architectural structures that has a varied collection of world-class paintings; majorly from the 12th to 19th centuries. It has around 5000 Spanish paintings and many of them are famous masterpieces. An array of paintings by Francisco de Goya sums up to be remarkable 140 works. In this collection, you can see Italian, Flemish, French, British, and German paintings too. Adding more to this list, you can also get some glimpses of Neoclassical Italian sculptures.
The Prado Museum showcases around 2,300 pieces of paintings in more than 100 rooms on three floors. Viewing it all in a single visit can prove out to be one of the most difficult tasks. This is because you won’t be able to admire the beauty of each at one time. However, Prado suggests “routes” or the self-guided tours for some specific masterpieces. Some of the collections include the magnificent painting of Prado, Las Meninas. This was all about the Spanish royal family of Felipe IV was created by Velazquez in 1656. There is much more to see in the Prado Museum. Till the moment, we keep it as suspense for you to explore more.
2. Mercado de San Miguel
Mercado de San Miguel is situated at a walking distance from the Plaza Mayor and is one of the popular shopping destinations for all the local eateries and delicacies. You can have a variety of fascinating food options for fulfilling all your cravings, like, salted fish, oysters, fresh pasta and cakes. It is one of the favorite nightspots for all the food lovers out there as the market stays open till late as about 2:00 AM on weekends. Apart from this, the site also hosts some of the events like concerts, cooking classes, and many other private parties too.
3. Plaza Mayor
Where there is a shootout of elegance from each corner, is a place none other than the Plaza Mayor which was constructed during the reign of Phillip III in the 17th century. This place was the center of commerce as well as municipal life. It also hosted grand ceremonial events such as the proclamation of a new king or the canonization of saints. Adding more to the events that took place at the square of Plaza Mayor were the bullfights, dramatic performances, knightly tournaments. However, the outlook of Plaza Mayor took place after a fire in 1790. It was when the corners were enclosed, and nine entrance arches were reconstructed that linked it to Calle de Toledo, Calle Mayor, Calle Postas, and others.
However, today, the Plaza Mayor continues to be an indispensable gathering spot in Madrid. This expansive square made up of cobblestone and is a pedestrian area that is surrounded by outdoor cafes and atmospheric restaurants. Strolling all-around or sitting at this place and gazing at the nightlife enhances the beauty of this place and it can surely take all your heart away at a single sway.
4. Temple Of Debod
The Temple of Debod is amazing as well as one of the most unusual sights which are located in Parque del Oeste, a park near Royal Palace. It is said that the Egyptian goddess, Isis, once stood over there on the banks of river Nile. There was a time when Egypt’s great dam of Aswan’s construction meant a loss to numerous monuments due to flood. For that cause, several historical monuments had to be moved to preserve them. Offering a helping hand to Egypt and portraying its gratitude towards the Egyptian government, Spain took Temple of Debod in 1968. This four-thousand-years old monument is etched with bas-reliefs that symbolizes the gods of Ammon and Isis.
5. Fuente de Cibeles
One of the iconic statues of Madrid includes the Cybele’s fountain or the Fuente de Cibeles. It stands high at a major intersection of traffic. Adding more about this monument, it is an emblematic monument of Madrid. It was created by Francisco Guttierrez and Roberto Michel in 1782. The traffic-stopping fountain depicts the Roman Goddess Cybele who is riding a chariot that is drawn by the lion. Right behind this fountain is the Palacio de Cibeles cultural center. This cultural center hosts various art exhibitions workshops, concerts, conferences and many more events. The Centro Palacio de Cibeles has two restaurants, namely, the Coleccion Cibeles cafeteria, and the Cibeles Palace restaurants.
6. Gran Via
Built-in 1910, Gran Via is a street which is popularly known as the Broadway of Madrid, as this is “a street that never sleeps”. This grand street runs through central Madrid from the Plaza de Espana to Calle de Alcala. Although, this street currently seems to be an integral part of Madrid as a bustling capital but it’s a recent addition. The Gran Via has an ‘n’ number of shops, restaurants, and businesses lined up. One of the most famous buildings at Gran Via is the Telefonica Building, which was the tallest building in Europe when it was built in 1929. The local landmark of this place is the top clock of Baroque-American style structure. This is also one of the popular shopping streets of Madrid. Just off the Gran Via, there is the famous Teatro de la Zarzuela on Calle de Jovellanos, which offers renowned performances of zarzuela, which is an antique kind of satirical opera with songs accompanied by classical Spanish music of the guitar.
7. Royal Palace
The massive size of the Palacio Real is one of the most highlighting features of this architecture. The Royal Palace has more than 2,500 decorated rooms. It was built in 1764 and it serves as a royal residence that began with Carlos III. The last royal family that resided over there was the Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenie in the early 1900s. However, this palace is used for official ceremonies since those times to date. 50 elegant rooms are open for the public, which includes armory, pharmacy and the lavish throne room of palace or the “Salon del Trono”. It has its ceiling painted by Baroque artist, Tiepolo. A fresco in the grand dining room depicts Christopher Columbus offerings gifts from New World to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.