Madrid is an a great city. Ok, it’s currently my adopted home so I might be a little biased but I do highly recommend that you visit Madrid if you are heading to Spain.
Why?… Well, there are lots of reasons why you should visit Madrid. Lets take a look at what Madrid has to offer and my top city sights and activities.
I will share with you my list of 30 things you must do in Madrid, things you cannot miss when you visit Madrid. I guarantee that a few, if not most of the list will be of interest to you.
Why visit Madrid
Incorporate Madrid into your trip through Spain even if it seems like a bit of a detour to go into the centre of the country. Madrid is really well connected by road, train and bus so it wont actually take as long as you might think to visit the capital. Travel in Spain is easy and cheap and you have a wide range of accommodation options in Madrid. Seeing the sights of Spain’s capital city will be worth the detour.
Consider Madrid as a city break even if you think Barcelona or Seville are more popular options. Madrid has lots to offer for a short break, perfect for couples, families and a girls/guys weekend away. It’s a city full of amazing restaurants, bars, cafes and shops.
It might not have a beach but it does have plenty of parks, outdoor plazas and rooftop terraces. Everything is within easy reach of the city centre and it’s a really safe city to walk through, even late at night.
*RELATED article – What you need to know before visiting Madrid
Things you must do in Madrid
There are lots things to do in Madrid and many wonderful sights to see.
Here are my top recommendations to get the most out of Madrid, the definitive list of 30 things you must do in Madrid:
- Indulge in delicious chocolate con churros and get in a mess with all that dipping
- Explore up close and inside the Palacio Real, the Royal Palace and old residence of the Royal Family
- Do a tapas bar crawl on Cava Baja in La Latina barrio
- Shop till you drop on Gran Via, Madrid’s version of Oxford Street
- Try a bocadillio de calamares, a bread baguette stuffed with crispy deep fried calamari rings
- Photograph the bear and strawberry tree statue, the symbol of Madrid
- Check out the current exhibition showing at the Caixa Forum, a really cool art gallery
- See the awesome street art in Lavapies barrio
- Join the hordes of bargain hunters at el Rastro, the flea market held every Sunday in La Latina
- Spend an afternoon amongst Pandas, Gorillas, Giraffes and Bears at Madrid Zoo & Aquarium
- Walk or cycle in the wonderful Casa de Campo Park
- Admire the Temple de Debod, an Egyptian temple and amazing sunset spot
- Eat yummy pimentos de padron, fried green peppers that are the perfect tapas
- Drink tinto de verano, the local version of sangria that is crisp and refreshing
- Enjoy sunset cocktails on one of the many hidden rooftop bars
- Walk around Plaza Major and take photos of the fabulous buildings
- Eat a plate of good quality jamon iberico
- Buy a snack from Mercado de San Miguel and wander around the market’s food stalls
- Drink a nice cold local Mahou beer (or two) in a traditional Spanish bar or outdoor plaza
- See the pretty Palacio de Cristal in Retiro Park
- Admire the prestigious art collection in the Prado museum
- Have a night out in Las Letras or Chueca barrio’s and stay up late like the locals
- Enjoy the rollercoaster rides and scream as loud as you can at Parque de attractiones amusement park
- Take the highspeed train on a day trip to visit one of the nearby UNESCO World heritage sites and learn a little about this region of Spains history and culture
- Walk around the trendy Malasana barrio and find the latest foodie trend
- Get lost in a Corte Ingles department store, they sell everything under one roof
- See inside the epic Santiago Bernabeu stadium, home of Real Madrid football club, one of the biggest clubs in the World
- Take a ride on the Teleferico cable car for a great city and park viewpoint
- Walk through the lovely Retiro Park and hire a row boat on the iconic lake
- Eat fresh buttery pastries with a hot café con leche
I hope this list of 30 things you cannot miss in Madrid has given you some ideas for what to see and explore in the city. Did one or two of these things sound good to you? Tell me which activities you would like to do most in the comments box below ↓↓
If you need a little more convincing about why you should visit Madrid check out these other Seeking the Spanish Sun guides…
You may also enjoy these Spain guides and travel information articles…
For more Madrid city inspiration take a look at our Pinterest board…