Madrid is a great city, where you will always find something to do or see, regardless of the number of times you have visited it previously. But do not worry, if you only have a couple days to visit the city, you still have enough time to discover the most important tourists attractions. There will always be things left to see, but at least you’ll get a good impression of the capital of Spain.
To help you plan your escapade, we propose a tour of the essential places you can not miss in Madrid. This route starts at the Puerta del Sol, one of the most emblematic places of the city, where you will find a nameplate on the floor signalling kilometre 0, the beginning of all the Spanish radial roads. You will also find the statue of the bear and the strawberry tree, a symbol of Madrid.
Surrounding this square, you will find several shopping and commercial streets, like the Gran Vía or Preciados Street, where there is a constant flow of people. Our next proposal is that you discover the “Madrid of the Austrias”, for which you must go to the Plaza de Oriente, a location of great historical tradition, where you will find some of the most important monuments, such as the equestrian statue of Felipe IV. Right in front you find the Royal Theatre, the country’s most important Opera House.
Just behind Plaza de Oriente is the Royal Palace, a monumental building where acts of state are held frequently. The Royal Palace is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, although they actually live in the Zarzuela Palace. Afterwards, you can visit the Almudena Cathedral, which is the most important church in Madrid, and where the most important ceremonies are held.
Next, you can head to Plaza Mayor, which is also a very emblematic place in Madrid. Besides enjoying the views, you can take the opportunity make a stop in your tour to have lunch, and enjoy the tapas bars that are in the area. On the western side of Plaza Mayor, you can also access the famous Market of San Miguel.
In this area you can also visit the Temple of Debod, a 2000 year old Egyptian gift to the city, surrounded by beautiful gardens. Another thing you can’t miss from Madrid is Cibeles Square, where you find the mythical Fountain of Cibeles. This is where traditionally, Real Madrid fans celebrate the team’s victories and successes. From there, you can head to Paseo del Prado, home to the important Museo del Prado, where you can admire works of Velázquez, Goya, El Greco or Bosco, among other important artists. This museum is part of the famous art triangle of Madrid that includes the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum.
If you have some time left, we also suggest you to take a stroll through Retiro Park, the largest green space in Madrid, where many people visit it on the weekends.