When you visit a country or city, there are some landmarks and places you just have to visit, even if it’s just to see it, take a snap and move on, it must be done. You wouldn’t go to Pisa without seeing the leaning tower, nor would you go to London without seeing the Big Ben, or Brussels and the Manneken Pis, Paris and the Eiffel Tower, you get the drift. Madrid has many historical monuments, Grandiose parks, beautiful museums and much more. So here’s a list of must-see places when you’re in Spain’s Capital.
1 Km 0 Puerta del Sol
2 Plaza Mayor
3 Parque Retiro
4 Palacio de Cristal
5 Plaza de Epaña
6 Gran Vía
7 Jardines Botanicos
8 Palacio Real
9 Temple Debod
1 The Kilometre 0 of the radial network of Spain, situated in the busiest part of the capital, Puerto del Sol. This plaque marks the beginning of the roads and is very commonly used to take pictures on. Despite it being a very important part of Spanish civil engineering, it’s not as crowded as you would expect it to be. A great little souvenir of Madrid.
2 Plaza Mayor has been around since the beginning of 17th Century, and is surrounded by 3-story residential buildings, constituting a total of 237 balconies. If anything feels like you’re on the centre stage of an amphitheatre, it’s here. With 9 entrances to this central square, it’s the perfect meeting point. With many terraces, cafés and restaurants to choose from, it’s a special place to have a snack or drink and take in the beauty as Philip 3rd’s Statue looks over you.
3 One of the biggest parks in the city, Retiro is truly a majestic place. Made accessible to the public the 19th Century, after being a private garden for the monarchy, Retiro is a place you can’t miss out on. Home to exhibitions, a beautiful man-made lake on which you can rent a rowboat, you can spend hours here and never feel like you’re in the same place.
4 Within the Retiro Park, you will find the Crystal Palace. Built back in 1887 with Iron and Glass, this is truly a sight to see. Home to exhibitions, it always has something going on for its visitors to enjoy. Originally meant to be a Greenhouse, it’s now a place for anyone to enter and take some unforgettable pictures of a different time.
5 Found at the end of Gran Vía, Plaza España is home to some of the tallest skyscrapers of Madrid and the famous Don Quijote & Sancho Panzo Statue. At the moment the enormous building known as the Edificio España is under construction, and will become a high-end Hotel. What a place it will be!
6 Gran Via must be the most popular thing about Madrid. Known for being the “Spanish Broadway”, you will find many theatres, cinemas, restaurants, shops (most notably the recent Primark building, which is enormous and quite the shop) and hotels, lots and lots of hotels. Probably the best place to find one of the many RoofTop Terraces that allow you to have a drink and take in the beautiful scenery that Madrid has to offer.
7 Jardines Botanicos Founded back in 1755, the almost 8 hectares of garden as an absolute paradise of colours and scents. Divided up into 3 main terraces, you will be in awe from place to place.
8 Palacio Real: Built in 1734 for King Philip the Fifth, this grandiose palace. From the Campo Del Moro and Sabatini Gardens, to the Orient Square with it’s line of beautiful statues, and the Almería Square where you can witness the best sunset in Madrid, this will be the most awe-inspiring location you’ll visit in Madrid.
9 Temple Debod: Due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the threat posed by the reservoir to many of Egypt’s finest monuments and archeological sites, The Debod Temple was given to Spain in 1968, as a token of their gratitude for having helped them restore it. The Templo is very close to the Royal Palace and has as good a view to witness the sunset. A perfect place to start the evening with friends, family or your loved one.