Madrid , the soul and heart of Spain , is the country’s largest city and capital. Madrid is a 24-hour city with its famous bullfights, impressive flamenco dance, art museums, lush parks and gardens, lively squares and cafes and restaurants serving local flavors.

Standing out with its cultural history, the city is also famous for having the most vibrant nightlife in the world. The great influence of religion on life and architecture in Madrid is an undeniable fact. It is possible to see a church in every corner of the city.

Madrid is the capital of Spain and the third largest city in the European Union after London and Paris. Madrid offers an exciting and colorful life to all its visitors with its numerous museums around the world, its magnificent food culture and passionate nightlife. This crazy city is also one of Europe’s most popular business centers and competes with its biggest entertainment rivals, Barcelona.

The city’s ‘live for the moment’ motto is even more famous than the world-famous museums such as Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia. Madrid people usually have dinner while we go to bed. Instead of having breakfast in the morning, they prefer to eat at night before going to bed. The city’s non-stop nightlife continues at full speed until the morning. Unless you’re a part of it, you’ve never experienced the capital of Spain yet.

Madrid Travel Guide

Madrid is the center where the Spanish aristocracy continues to live. The city, whose history dates back to the ninth century, became a settlement center after the Arab Emir Mohammed I built a castle on the banks of the Manzanares River.

Castile VI. Captured by Alfonso in 1085, Madrid II. It started to develop when Philip moved the throne from Valladolid to the city in 1561. Madrid, which was under French occupation between 1807-1814, turned into one of the largest cities in Spain and the region after the civil war in the 1936-1939 period.

Taken from the Muslims in the eleventh century, Madrid is only 7-8 hours away from the farthest city, with its location in the middle of the Castilian Plateau on the Iberian Peninsula, where it was founded. The famous Manzanares River, flowing through the middle of the city, which is at an altitude of 646 m above sea level, increases the touristic importance of this place. A favorite of tourists with its newly opened boutique hotels, delicious and varied cuisine, and world-famous nightclubs, Madrid welcomes those who love history, art, taste and entertainment.

Located in the region between the Manzanares and Jarama rivers, Madrid is the most populous city in Spain with a population of 3.2 million. Having a multicultural structure, 15 percent of the population of the city consists of citizens of different countries. 63% of the population is Catholic.

Madrid is a city with many cultural and historical structures under the influence of North Africa and Europe from the Andalusian Period to the present. With its rich works of art, Europe’s most magnificent art museums, galleries, parks, gardens and squares, historical buildings and restaurants and cafes that offer great tastes, Madrid is lively every season of the year.

Madrid Attractions

With its historical sites and old texture, Madrid is almost like a bridge from the modern world to the past. Prado Museum, which includes works by Valzquez and Goya, Lazaro Galdiano Museum, Thysseen Bornemisza Museum, Madrid Royal Palace, National Library, Buen Retiro Park, Mayor Square are among the places to be seen.

The Museo del Prado, Centro de Arte Riena Sofia and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza museums, which are called the ‘Golden Triangle’ and are seen as the source of pride of Madrid, are home to such special works as a day off.

The world-famous Madrid Opera, which was opened in 1850, the Arab Wall (Muralla Arabe) built by Muslims in the first years of the Middle Ages, and the Basilica of San Miguel in La Latina are other important places to see.

Madrid Travel Guide
Madrid Attractions

  1. Puerta del Sol
  2. Gran Via
  3. Plaza Mayor
  4. The Royal Palace of Madrid
  5. Almudena Cathedral
  6. El Retiro Park
  7. Puerta de Alcala
  8. Prado Museum
  9. Queen Sofia National Art Museum
  10. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
  11. Plaza de Espana

1. Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol is the heart of Madrid. Puerta del Sol, meaning Gate of the Sun, is the most lively square of the city. It resembles a fairground with its historical structures, festivals, street performers and various events surrounding the square. The most famous structures of the square are King III. Statue of Charles, Real Casa de Correos building, Clock Tower.

The square, which is the right address to start places to visit in Madrid, is also home to the strawberry tree and bear sculpture, which has become the symbol of Madrid, and the El Oso y El Madrano Statue (Bear and Madroño Tree). The stone plate, which is accepted as ‘zero kilometers’ as a result of measuring all the distances in the country, is the most photographed point of the square.

2. Gran Via

It would not be wrong to call Gran Via Street Madrid’s culture, art and shopping street. The street, where theaters and movie theaters are located, is home to many shops and cafes.

You can sit in one of these cafes and enjoy watching the crowd flowing in front of you and watching the buildings on the street that make you feel like you are walking in history. AZOT A terrace bar, located at the end of Gran Via, has an impressive view from which you can watch Madrid from a bird’s eye view.

3. Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is the first square that comes to mind when talking about city life in Madrid. A statue of King Felipe II is located in the 17th-century square. The square, which has witnessed the most important events in the history of Spain, is like the living memory of the city. In the past, it was a place where death sentences were carried out, traditional bullfighting shows were held, and royal coronation ceremonies were held. It has always been the meeting point of the city where different emotions such as sadness, happiness and joy come together.

Madrid’s famous historic square is now home to festivals and celebrations. Visitors liken it to the Place des Vosges in Paris, with its buildings surrounding the square in a complete rectangular shape. In the square, you can coincide with the championship celebrations of the Real Madrid team or the stands set up at Christmas, and if you come across New Year’s Eve, you can join the entertainment that lasts until the morning. Of course, Plaza Mayor is not just a place to visit during celebrations, you can sit at the cafes in the square at any time of the day, drink your sangria and enjoy the moment while watching the street performers.

4. The Royal Palace of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real de Madrid) is located on Bailen Street. The palace, which is one of the largest and most remarkable buildings in Europe, is surrounded by breathtaking valley views, architecture, original decoration and magnificent squares. Alcazar Castle , which was built by Muslims in the 9th century , was burned and this palace was built instead.

Palacio Real de Madrid, where the royal family does not spend their daily life, is used only for official ceremonies. During your visit to the colorful rooms of the Royal Palace, you can realize that the colorful personality of the Spanish people extends from the past to the present. Only 50 rooms of the palace, which consists of 2,800 rooms, are open to visitors.

5. Almudena Cathedral

Almudena Cathedral is next door to the Royal Palace, home of the Spanish royal family. The construction of a 19th century church, very similar to a palace, took more than 100 years. It was built in 1878 in the Neo-Classical architectural style. The interior of the cathedral, where Prince Felipe’s wedding was also held, is exquisitely arranged in a Neo-Gothic style.

6. El Retiro Park

Retiro Park (Parque Del Retiro) covers 130 hectares with the most green space in Madrid. One of Madrid’s most popular parks, the place is a place where locals gather for a breather, while tourists listen to street musicians and feel the Madrid atmosphere.

Located to the east of the city center, the park is very colorful with street musicians, jugglers, painters and fortune tellers. You can rent a rowboat and take a ride on Lake Estanque del Retiro, King XII. You can see the Bosque de los Ausentes Monuments with Alfonso. At the other end of the lake are the Crystal Palace, the Palacio de Velázquez and the war museum called the Museo del Ejército, and the 19th to 20th century painting museum called the Casón del Buen Retiro. This park is a very nice place to rest for those who are tired of visiting museums.

You can take a boat trip on the El Estanque Lake in the park, visit the transparent palace Palacio de Cristal, where you can see the interior from the outside, or see the collections exhibited in the Palacio de Velazquez. It is also possible to come across people from Madrid doing sports, cycling and roller skating at every step of the way.

7. Puerta de Alcala

Puerta De Alcala , one of the city symbols of Madrid, is one of the most photographed structures. Alcala, which features a granite transition in the middle of Plaza de la Independencia in the heart of the city, was built by Sabatini in 1778 by Carlos III as part of the beautification reforms of the city.

Puerta de Alcala, which is very close to El Retiro Park, is famous for being the largest gate in Europe at the time it was built. While you’re all the way to El Retiro, don’t leave without having a photo taken in front of the Alcala Gate.

8. Prado Museum

The Prado Museum (Museo del Prado) is one of the largest galleries in the world, full of masterpieces. The museum, which is the most visited place in Madrid, was built as a result of the Spanish queen, who visited the Louvre Museum in Paris, very impressed by this museum.

The Prado Museum, where examples of classical painting art are exhibited, is considered the most prestigious museum in Madrid. The building, which contains works such as Valezquez’s famous Las Meninas and Goya’s La Maja Desnuda, was built in the Neo-Classical style of the eighteenth century. Welcoming approximately three million visitors a year, the museum has a huge collection of more than 8,000 paintings, 5,000 drawings, 2,000 engravings, 1,000 coins/medals and many sculptures, furniture and items.

9. Queen Sofia National Art Museum

Reina Sofia Museum (Museo Reina Sofía) is Madrid’s second largest art museum. Important examples of contemporary art are exhibited at the Queen Sofia National Art Museum , which was used as a hospital until 1983 . In Reina Sofia, you can see Picasso’s famous works Guernica and Dali’s surrealism works, as well as works by great artists such as Miro, Henry Moore and Francis Bacon.

Temporary exhibitions are located on the 1st and 3rd floors of the Reina Sofia Museum, where the most important works of the twentieth century are exhibited. The museum has separate halls for Picasso, Miro and Dali.

10. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza) completes the Prado Museum with its rich collection of many examples of classical and contemporary western art. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (El Museo de arte Thyssen-Bornemisza), the last of the 3 most important museums to be seen in Madrid, is home to important works of art, as well as the private collection of businessman Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza.

Brueghel, Titian, Dürer, Rubens, Rembrandt, Derick Baegert, O’Keefe and Kandinsky are among the other famous painters whose works you can find in the museum, where you can see the private collections of many artists such as Rubens, Picasso, Lichtenstein, Van Gogh, Pollocak and Bacon. It is currently considered the most important art collection in the world. Although there are mostly paintings of famous painters in the museum, it is also possible to see some examples of sculptures and decorative items.

11. Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana is located northwest of Madrid city centre. Plaza de Espana , one of the most important places to visit in Madrid, is one of the famous squares of Madrid. On the square are the Torre de Madrid and Edificio de España, Madrid’s first skyscrapers.

In front of the monument in the square where Cervantes’ monument is located, the author of Don Quixote, one of the most published novels in the world, you can see the statue of Don Quixote on his horse made of bronze and his aide Sancho Panza on his donkey right next to it.

Some of the museums in Madrid are known for the architectural masterpieces of the city. Therefore, the National Archaeological Museum is among the places that must be visited. Do not leave the city without visiting the numerous archaeological artifacts found in Spain in the museum.

Madrid shopping

The thing that will attract your attention while shopping in Madrid is that the most famous brands are in stores that look like they belong to centuries ago. It is a beautiful and diverse city that can seduce shopaholics. Salamanca Square is full of boutique shops and stores of famous brands.

Locations aiming to serve the upper strata are on Calle Serrano, while shopping experiences below one degree are located in the Chueca and Calle Fuencarral districts. In addition, you can often see Spanish brands such as Zara and Mango, which we are familiar with from our country, here.

It is possible to find bars and shops of all styles in the Chueca area. After a little window shopping, you can continue towards the elegant streets of Salamanca and visit Calle Serrano, where the most luxurious brands are located.

Abanico (fan), which is identified with Spain, is one of the cute souvenirs that can be bought from Madrid. The handmade ones of these fans, which are decorated with different figures, are a bit expensive. Figurines depicting women and couples who symbolize the city or make flamenco are among the good options that will remind you of your Madrid trip.

Espadrilles, ceramic objects, olive oil, wine varieties are among the prominent souvenirs in Madrid. There are many large and small shops around Gran Vía, Calle Jorge Juan and Calle Serrano, which are Madrid’s most popular shopping streets.

What to eat in Madrid

Despite the humble appearance of its local cuisine, Madrid is one of the richest cities in Europe for food. The city has all the creativity and innovation of Spain’s gastronomy. The city, which has an international cuisine, has a wide menu with tapas bars and gourmet restaurants serving Spanish cuisine.

Madrid also offers many alternatives for eating and drinking, but do not leave without trying examples of rich Spanish cuisine. Tapas, the delicious Spanish snack, is similar to our appetizers. Thanks to the culinary culture, which has been enriched with the immigrants, it is possible to find restaurants where you can try different and beautiful tastes in every corner of the city.

Madrid, which has a unique cuisine in addition to its popular seafood, offers a wide variety of cuisines such as Cocido madrileno (chickpeas with vegetables), besugo al horno (baked sarcoses), tortilla de patatas (potato omelette), stick de ajo (garlic soup) and caracoles (snails). It attracts tourists with its food.

Tapas bars await you at every step you take in Madrid. The most enjoyable drink to accompany you while you eat your tapas is the Spanish sangria. Sangria, which is very easy and delicious to drink and can be called a kind of fruit wine cocktail, contains pieces of fruit, sugar or honey and a strong drink such as vodka or rum.

The main ingredients of the paella, which takes its name from the large pan with two handles in which it is cooked, are rice, saffron and olive oil. Although seafood is very common in Madrid, you can also choose paella with red meat, fish and vegetables.

The tino de verano, meaning ‘summer red’, is an acidic wine cocktail similar to sangria. This delicious Spanish drink is made by mixing red wine with soda and adding fruits to it. You can add some rum if you want it to be stronger.

Patatas bravas, which are Spanish potatoes with bravas sauce, which is a kind of hot tomato sauce, should also be tried. The famous Spanish dessert, churros, is a delicious dessert made by frying sweet dough and dipped in chocolate sauce and recommended to be eaten. Dessert is one of the rituals to end the night’s entertainment for the Spaniards.

Madrid, where the streets that are always lively with shopping and places to visit, do not end with counting, also have many nice cafes for those who are tired. It is possible to take a break in Plaza de Oriente or Plaza de Santa Ana and relax while enjoying the Spanish style coffee with milk, café con leche.

In addition to cafes where you can try delicious flavors, Madrid also has many Flamenco cafes where you can watch a Flamenco show. It must be said that if you come this far and come back without watching this show, your trip will be incomplete.

And when you wake up in the morning, taste the local delicacies churros. On the other hand, do not forget to visit the newly opened fantastic restaurants. As long as you are in this city, you will always feel good, and the best thing about this feeling is that it is contagious!

Where to stay in Madrid

If you want a luxury stay in Madrid, check out the Plaza de Santa Ana, Avenida de America, Echegaray, Paseo del Prado, Salamanca, Paseo de la Castellana, and around Plaza de Santa. Mid-range hotels are concentrated in Gran Vía, Plaza de España, Plaza de Oriente, Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. If you are thinking of hotels close to touristic places and prefer the city center, these are for you.

If you are considering a more affordable accommodation option in Madrid, you can look for hotels located on Calle Trafalgar and Calle Alcalá streets. Hostels in Madrid are mostly located in the areas of Atocha, Plaza de Santa Cruz, Calle Plaza de San Miguel, Puerta del Sol and Plaza del Ángel, and on Cruz, Esparteros, Carretas, San Jerónimo and Las Fuentes Avenues. Keep in mind Cat’s Hostel as an affordable accommodation option.

Madrid nightlife

Madrid is a legend at night and perfect to end the day with art and good food in a splendid way. The number of bars in the city is probably more than any other city in the world can compete with.

Multi-storey nightclubs and bars, colorful lights are not enough to describe Madrid’s nightlife. Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Gran Vía and Chueca are popular addresses where nightlife is most active in the city. Among the most popular entertainment venues in the city are Museo Chicote, Café Central, Café de la Palma and Moby Dick.

How to get to Madrid

Madrid is sunny and hot in summer and cold and rainy in winter. The best time to visit Madrid is spring and summer, which falls between April and August.

It is possible to reach Madrid in approximately 4 and a half hours with direct flights from Turkey. Directly from Istanbul Airport to Madrid, Aeropuerto de Madrid-Barajas with Iberia and Turkish Airlines; There are also connecting flights from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya with Swiss Air, Air Berlin and Lufthansa.

Madrid Barajas International Airport is located 13 kilometers from Puerta del Sol, the historic center of Madrid. It is possible to reach the city center from Barajas by bus, metro, train, taxi and airport shuttles.

Almost everywhere in Madrid is within walking distance. If your time is limited, the most suitable option for urban transportation is the metro.