Things to do in Madrid
Santiago Bernabeu is the home stadium of Real Madrid. Certainly one of the world's most famous soccer (or should we say football) teams needs no introduction. With a capacity of 81,044, the giant stadium is one of the most prestigious venues of its kind in the world. If you're lucky enough to catch a game, you're sure to be just as entertained by the devoted fans as you are by the game!
Madrid - Santiago Bernbeu
Palacio Real (Royal Palace of Madrid)
Formerly the residence of the Spanish Royal Family, the Palacio Real is a truly magnificent monument to monarchy. Nowadays the splendid Berniniesque palacio plays host to state ceremonies and guided tours. Exquisite art, sculptures, and historical artefacts grace every available space. The chance to walk the halls of royalty is one not to be missed.
Madrid - Palacio Real
The World Heritage-listed El Escorial is a historical residence of the King of Spain. Since construction was completed in 1584, the massive building has also functioned as a monastery, basilica, royal palace, pantheon, library, museum, university, and hospital. The impressive and unapologetically palatial structure and its formal gardens are well worth a day trip from Madrid to visit a gem of Spain's golden era.
Madrid - El Escorial
Templo de Debod
Originally constructed along the banks of the Nile in the early 2nd century BC, the Templo de Debod is a dedication to the goddess of health, marriage and wisdom, Isis. The ancient Egyptian temple was donated to the Parque del Oeste in 1968. Dismantled and rebuilt not far from the Royal Palace, the temple constitutes one of the few works of ancient Egyptian architecture that can be seen outside of Africa.
Madrid - Temple de Debod
Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is the quintessential Spanish bullring. From March through to October, the beautifully designed stone arena plays host to one of Spain's most famous sporting and entertainment events. But never fear – if bull fighting isn't your thing, the venue is also often converted into a world-class concert venue and theatre.
Madrid - Plaza de Toros
Estacion de Chamberi
Estacion de Chamberi, the long-lost ghost station of Madrid's metro system, is a trip back in time. Now a museum celebrating a bygone era, stepping into the formerly abandoned underground station is like stepping into 1919. Advertisements, ticket booths, and other century-old memorabilia are all on display beneath Madrid's city streets. Forgotten for over 40 years, Estacion de Chamberi is a delightful slice of Madrid's rich history.
Madrid - Estacion de Chamberi
Museo del Prado
Built in the 16th century, the Neoclassical facade of the Museo del Prado is almost as breathtaking as what lies inside. Home to the Spanish Royal collection, hundreds of years of monarchy are on display in all their unashamed grandeur. A contemporary addition to the structure, Rafael Moneo's cube-shaped edifice, hosts an impressive collection of modern art.
Madrid - Museo del Prado
Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
Occupying an imposing space close to the city centre, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is a sprawling ode to Spain's 20th century masters. Over 30,000 square metres of space is occupied by sensational works from internationally renowned painters, sculptors, filmmakers, and writers. The gallery's crown jewel is undeniably Pablo Picasso's iconic and impassioned Guernica. A visit here is sure to leave you suitably awe-struck.
Madrid - Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
The collection of art assembled in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is considered by many to be one of the greatest in the world. Consisting of 775 works, the former private collection of the late Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza covers works from the old masters all the way to the surrealist era of the 1960s.
Madrid - Museo Thyssen Bornemisza
Teatro Real Opera House
A night at the opera has never been quite so wonderful. This 19th century opera house plays host to an average of seventeen opera titles a year, featuring some of the finest performers of the genre. If opera isn't exactly your thing, then guided tours will happily take you through the spectacular building.
Madrid - Teatro Real Opera House
Museo Lazaro Galdiano
This little-known museum is home to an extraordinarily eclectic collection. Collected over 70 years by the museum's namesake, Jose Lazaro Galdiano, the 15,000 paintings, sculptures and the like cover 24 centuries of Spanish art and history. If you have time, the regal gardens that surround the four-storey mansion are also worth a gander.
Basilica de San Francisco El Grande
This exquisite Roman Catholic basilica is so much more than a monument of sacred worship. Completed in 1784, the church and its six smaller chapels form one of the largest of its kind in Christian architecture. The huge domed roof and Renaissance art make the church a pilgrimage for believers and art-lovers alike.
Madrid - Basillica de San Francisco El Grande