Here are the 10 most visited places in Madrid. They are all in a small area, and you can’t miss them. You already know what to visit in Madrid with the map and route at the end of this article. The Spanish capital is full of tourist places in Madrid and is known for its great cultural heritage, its gastronomy, its architecture, its squares and its markets.
The 10 tourist places in Madrid that you must visit.
1. The Royal Palace and its square
One of the most visited places in Madrid is the residence of the Spanish monarchs, which for many centuries was their home. Nowadays, it is used exclusively for official events and ceremonies. However, it is also preserved as a museum where the public can contemplate the wealth and delights of the Spanish crown.
You will like to see the Change of Guard.
The guided tour allows us to enter several official rooms and halls, learn about their meaning and the events that have occurred there, and learn about the armor and shields of the Royal Armoury and the large laboratory of the Royal Pharmacy. A must-see for history lovers, and you have more information in this other post. It also holds the large laboratory of the Royal Pharmacy. Royal Palace is an essential visit for history lovers.
2. Almudena Cathedral, the most important religious building
What should I visit next in Madrid? Well, next to the Royal Palace, you have the Almudena Cathedral. This is the most important religious building in Madrid, and it is a tourist spot in Madrid to highlight. It is built as an integral part of the Royal Palace complex. Hence its great importance and beauty. It is the current venue for royal weddings. You have more information about the Almudena Cathedral
It represents a mixture of several styles: neoclassical, neo-gothic, and neo-romanesque. Its interior is capable of surprising any visitor, with chapels and statues of contemporary artists and “pop-art” decoration.
History buffs can visit the museum and climb the dome while you’re at it.
3. San Miguel Market, places of tourism in Madrid for tapas and local vines
Do you want to know another tourist place in Madrid to visit? Well, again, next to the cathedral, no more than a ten-minute walk away, you can pay homage to the typical products of Spanish gastronomic culture. There is no better place than this one, which is also next to the previous two and is this time one of the best “tourist places in Madrid” to try typical cuisine and good wines.
Known as the “gourmet” market, this market is the point of attraction for national and international tourists. Those who value quality above all else will be happy to take a long walk here, as they will be able to find the best cheeses, seafood, and pastries, among other delicacies, and taste them right there. The prices are high, but it couldn’t be any other way when it comes to superior quality products.
San Miguel Market’s prices are high, but they could not be otherwise considering it’s superior-quality products.
4. The Main Square, the biggest and most visited square
From the market, you can walk to the Plaza Mayor, in another 10 minutes of pleasant walking. Most of Spain’s old cities have their own Plaza Mayor, but the one in Madrid is especially beautiful. Located in the heart of the city, it is a charismatic space that invites you to stroll through one of its narrow streets. Tourists usually come here to have a drink on one of its terraces and taste the calamari sandwich, which is very typical of this square.
On Christmas Eve, the square becomes another of the places to visit in Madrid. The square is transformed into a nativity scene market with an impressive festive atmosphere where one can find all kinds of ornaments, hats, wigs, and other details.
5. Puerta del Sol, the busy Madrid center
A visit to Madrid would not be complete without visiting one of its most representative squares, Puerta del Sol, which never rests. This place is also a place for relaxation for those who stop, take a seat, and simply spend a few minutes observing the others.
It is a half-circle square adorned by the statue “El Oso y el Madroño “(Bear and the Strawberry Tree).
One of the symbols of the city is the equestrian statue of Carlos III in the center of the square, and the oldest is the Mariblanca, elevated on a column, a relic of the 17th century. Also noteworthy is the “Casa de Correos” Clock, to which thousands of people flock every year on the night of December 31 to celebrate the New Year, and the famous Kilometer Zero, of which they say that whoever steps on it always returns to Madrid.
6. Gran Vía, the popular street
It starts near the Fuente de Cibeles, and it is one of the busiest streets in the entire city.
This great commercial avenue is full of life 24 hours a day and full of restaurants, fashion stores, cinemas, and theaters; its environment fascinates anyone.
For this reason, it received the nickname “Madrid Broadway.” To achieve its current appearance, this street has had to undergo an impressive metamorphosis: its construction lasted several decades, required the demolition of more than 300 houses, affected more than 50 streets, and ended up becoming a landmark in Madrid.
7. Plaza de Cibeles, one of the tourist places in Madrid to photograph
This beautiful fountain represents the land, agriculture, and fertility goddesses.
At the crossroads between Paseo del Prado and Calle Alcalá (Madrid’s longest street), there is another well-known and photographed space in Madrid, Plaza de Cibeles.
It has a history full of mysteries, but it is not only appreciated for it, but also for being the place of sports celebrations of high importance.
The Plaza is another of Madrid’s most photographed tourist sites. It is flanked by imposing and majestic buildings, among which we can name the Palacio de Cibeles, the Bank of Spain and the Palacio de Linares. Due to its beauty, it is considered a true wonder of Madrid.
8. Alcalá Gate, one of the five gates of Madrid
Built at the end of the eighteenth century by the Italian architect Francisco Sabatini, it is one of the most emblematic monuments in Madrid and another of the tourist places in Madrid to highlight. It is one of Madrid’s five historic neoclassical gates and the first triumphal arch to be built in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. It is always in sight, as it is located in the heart of the city, next to Retiro Park and the Cibeles fountain.
A curious fact and a peculiarity that very few notice, is that their two faces are different from each other and that one of them is riddled with bullet holes from the civil war.
9. Retiro Park, the most visited park
It’s the favorite place for many citizens to go for a run, a bike ride, or a boat ride, cool off in the grass or have a hot chocolate on one of its numerous terraces Besides nature, here we can find several architectural gems, such as the Crystal Palace, a characteristic building of iron architecture built with metal and glass for the Philippine Islands Exposition in 1887.
The El Retiro pond is another place of interest and one of the points with a lot of vitality, dominated by the monument to Alfonso XII. The Retiro Park has much more to see. It is an ideal place to escape the noise and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.
10. Prado Museum. The place of tourism in Madrid is art par excellence
One of the largest art galleries in the world and a dream come true for lovers of fine arts.
Every day, thousands of people congregate to observe emblematic paintings such as the Meninas by Velázquez, the Nude Maja by Goya, or the Flemish works of art and the “Mona Lisa!”
The museum also treasures pieces of sculpture, porcelain, enamels, and other decorative arts.
It is worth mentioning the great architectural value of the neoclassical-style museum building, initially conceived as the museum of natural sciences but very soon becoming the perfect place to display the royal art collection to the public. It is one of the most visited museums in Europe.
More to see and do in Madrid
Here is have the map of the 10 most visited places in Madrid. It is an almost straight line, so it is an easy walk to do. You might also be interested in this plan to visit Madrid in 1 day, these tips for your first visit to Madrid or some of the places you should not miss on your second visit to Madrid.