The Spanish capital is perhaps one of the most beautiful and historically rich cities you will find in the country. There are endless landmarks in Madrid that you can visit to learn more about the region’s history, culture, and life. You will find cathedrals, art places, museums, beautiful buildings, and much more.
As you see the architecture of the famous Madrid landmarks, you will fall in love with the beauty of the city in no time. So, if you are planning your trip to Madrid and want to have a great experience, you have come to the right place.
Here is a complete guide to the Madrid monuments and landmarks that will make your trip worthwhile.
Visiting Madrid – Useful Passes And Popular Activities
When you are traveling to Madrid, there are some excellent passes you can use to enjoy the city more conveniently. Here are some of the passes and activities you can opt for if you want to save time and experience the city with ease.
Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Pass: Get around all the main sites and attractions conveniently with the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus.
Prado Museum Direct Entry Ticket: Skip the line ticket to access one of the most popular and visited museums in Spain.
Royal Palace Skip-The-Line Guided Pass: The pass will allow you to discover the beautiful Royal Palace by skipping the ticket line. A tour guide will guide you in Spanish or English.
Live Flamenco Show: Experience the passionate local culture and heritage of Spain at a live Flamenco show
Most Famous Landmark In Madrid
Any trip to Madrid will be incomplete without visiting the most famous landmark in Madrid. It is also one of the most impressive Madrid landmarks visually so be sure to carve out a few hours to admire it.
The Royal Palace is from the eighteenth century, and it is the Spanish Royal Family’s official residence. It is also the largest royal palace in the country that is still functional. You will be in awe at the beauty of the architecture from the outside, but when you go inside, you will be blown away even further.
It is one of the top landmarks in Madrid, with more than 3,400 rooms. You can also witness the collection of the King of Spain’s personal arms here. Keep in mind that there is a limit to how many people can visit the Royal Palace each day.
That said, it is recommended to get a ticket beforehand to reserve a slot and save on queue time. You can also book a guided tour for your ease and convenience.
Religious Landmarks In Madrid
All cities have religious landmarks that will give you another aspect of the history of the region. If you are interested in religious Madrid landmarks, here are some you should not miss.
Once you get free from the Royal Palace, you can visit the Almudena Cathedral, as it is right in front of it. This is not the most historic cathedral because it was built in the 20th century. Nonetheless, it took six unique architects and more than a hundred years to build this cathedral, which was finally done in the early 1900s.
It is one of the popular landmarks in Madrid that will also offer you incredible views of the Royal Palace from the dome. The best part is that the landmark is easy to visit because it is right in the historic center of the city. So, don’t forget to make a stop here on your way to other landmarks.
San Jeronimo El Real
The San Jeronimo El Real is a 16th-century church in the city. Before it became a church, it used to be a monastery, which is why you will still notice the remains of the old structure. The exterior is gothic, but it has a lot of historical significance, making it one of the famous landmarks in Madrid to visit.
If you want to look at some gorgeous yet gothic architecture, definitely check out this religious landmark. You can spend some time examining the intricate details of its architecture. It also looks pretty stunning when lit up at night.
Church Of Saint Manuel And Saint Benedict
The Church Of Saint Manuel And Saint Benedict is perhaps one of the most beautiful churches you will find in Madrid. The architecture is in the style of New Byzantine, and it was built during the 20th century. You can even recognize this as one of the prominent Madrid landmarks from afar because of the red copper dome and the high tower.
The location of the church is ideal, as you will find it right opposite Retiro Park. Once you are done enjoying a nice day in the park, you can visit the church. It is a great icon for the architecture you will find all around Madrid.
The religious history of Madrid is diverse, which is why the Debod Temple is one of the top landmarks in Madrid. It was built in the 2nd century, and it is an Egyptian temple that stands out in the city. The temple was a gratitude symbol from Egypt, as Spain helped them save the Abu Simbel Temples in the 60s.
The temple is dedicated to Amun, and you will witness some of the gorgeous views of the city from here. If you love taking pictures for your social media, you will find it worthwhile coming here. The sunset is one of the best times to visit because you can witness the gorgeous sunset colors right on the water.
- TRAVELING TO MADRID?
- 🚩 Top Tour Activity: Royal Palace Skip-The-Line Tour
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- 📍 Top Cultural Activity: Live Flamenco Show
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- 🚌 Top Day Trip: Toledo & Segovia
- 👍🏼 Best City Intro: City Tour by Electric Tuk Tuk
- 📍 Top Museum: Madrid Prado Museum
- 💰 Cost Saver City Pass: Hop On Hop Off Bus Pass
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Museums, Galleries And Cultural Landmarks In Madrid
Europe is known for having some of the best museums and galleries in the world. Fortunately, the Spanish capital has many of them that you can visit; it’s one of the most exciting facts about Madrid, particularly for culture and art fans. Here are some of the famous landmarks in Madrid that include galleries and museums.
Golden Triangle Of Art
Amongst the different museums in Madrid, the most prominent is the Golden Triangle of Art. Here, you will find some of the finest collections of European and Spanish art between the twelfth and twentieth centuries. All art lovers will enjoy this area, as the collection will take their breath away.
Even if you’re not an art fan, consider visiting at least one of the Big Three that form the Golden Triangle. During the tourist season, these museums are filled with people. Get your tickets beforehand to save a bunch of time.
Museo Nacional del Prado
Museo Nacional del Prado is one of the top visited museums in all of Spain. Besides that, it is also an important art museum worldwide. Juan de Villanueva designed the art gallery, and it has had European art for seven centuries.
Within the museum, you will find more than 7000 paintings and 900 sculptors. It is one of the best landmarks in Madrid for all art lovers. You can take a tour to really understand the important pieces with a knowledgeable guide or roam around yourself.
Reina Sofia Museum
This is another museum that forms the Golden Triangle of Art. It mainly features Spanish art and has contemporary pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries. The artwork in this museum was done by famous artists such as Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, and Pablo Picasso.
The most famous painting in this gallery is the Guernica by Pablo Picasso. The museum is named after the former queen of Spain, and it opened in 1992. You can take a tour of this place or come by yourself to see the incredible collection.
Finally, the last museum of the trio that also very popular among visitors. While Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza mainly has paintings, you will also find some sculptures here. The main attraction is that you will find works by the great artists of recent times.
These include Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, and many others. In particular, people who are into modern art will enjoy this museum. Even the building is beautiful, as the architectural style is neoclassical.
Historic Landmarks In Madrid
The historical landmarks in a region offer a glimpse into the history of the region, which allows you to learn more about its culture and people. If you like to gain a deeper understanding of a city’s roots, check out the historical landmarks in Madrid.
The Cibeles Palace is also known as the Palace of Communications, and it is one of the most gorgeous buildings you will find in Madrid. You will find a lot in this palace that includes an observation deck, a gourmet restaurant, exhibition rooms, and much more.
The building also used to be a headquarter for the Spanish Post Office. You can visit to look at the stunning architecture and learn about its history. However, one of the main reasons to visit this famous Madrid landmark is to enjoy some of the best views of the city from its vantage point.
The Segovia Bridge is the oldest bridge that you will find in the city, and it is still one of the main points of entry into Madrid. King Felipe II commissioned the Segovia bridge, but it was built a lot later. If you have ever seen a Roman bridge from old times, you will love this bridge too.
The bridge crosses the Manzanares River, and it looks like a vaulted arch that is covered in masonry. Juan de Herrera was the one that built this beautiful bridge. It is now more than five centuries old and is one of the most significant Madrid landmarks.
Many people think that the Royal Palace is the only palace they will find in Madrid, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Liria Palace is another beautiful palace that was built in the eighteenth century and was the residence of the House of Alba, a noble family in the region. As you go through the palace, you will understand how luxuriously the noble families lived.
Keep in mind that you can visit the palace for free in the mornings on Monday, but you will have to book the spot at least a week before. You can also visit anytime you like during the week. However, you need to pick a certain time slot, which is why we recommend that you get your tickets beforehand.
San Miguel Market
The San Miguel Market is one of the top historic landmarks in Madrid that is more than a century old. It is the ideal place you should visit if you want to understand the food, produce, and dishes that are important to the city.
The market is the top gastronomic spot for locals, chefs, and more, as over ten million people visit this spot each year. It is a food lover’s dream because you will find everything from seafood to desserts, starters, cheeses, and much more.
If you want to get a taste of Spanish cuisine, there is no better place than this market. Understanding the food of a region gives you a glimpse into the life of the place, so don’t forget to try it out.
Greenery And Nature Landmarks In Madrid
Natural landmarks in Madrid boast the beauty of the city. You will find many gardens and parks that will offer you the best of nature as you visit Madrid. They also offer a good spot to relax and escape the city bustle.
Here are some of the beautiful green Madrid landmarks you must not miss while you are in the city.
Retiro Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of the top natural Madrid landmarks you need to visit. It belonged for over 300 years to the Spanish monarchs up until the 19th century. The best part about the park is that you will find many Madrid monuments within it.
For example, located within the park are the Crystal Palace, rose garden, Monument of Alfonso, and much more. You can spend the entire day in this park, there are many gorgeous spots within the park that will take your breath away.
CaixaForum And The Vertical Garden
A vertical garden is not something you will find in every city, making CaixaForum and its vertical garden a unique landmark in Madrid.
It is located right adjacent to the wall of the building of CaixaForum. Keep in mind that the center here is an old power station that has been remodeled.
However, the vertical garden has more than 300 unique plant species that you can marvel at. Because of this, many people come here to check out this area. While many tourists tend to overlook this spot due to other more famous landmarks in Marid, it is certainly worth a stop.
Royal Botanical Garden
King Fernando VI found the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid, but it was King Carlos III who moved it to the current site.
There has been some restoration work in the garden in recent times, making it one of the most beautiful Madrid landmarks to visit. Greenhouses and gardens here feature flowers, trees, plants, and more.
While the garden is in full bloom during spring, it is also great to come here during the winter. The garden becomes a winter wonderland that looks magical. No matter what time you plan on coming to Madrid, you can visit the garden in all its beauty and glory.
Prominent Squares And Avenues In Madrid
There are many famous squares in Madrid that you need to visit on your trip. These boast some of the best places that the city has to offer, such as shops, cafes, markets, and much more. They are also great spots to people-watch and feel the pulse of city life. Here are some of the main squares, avenues, and statues in Madrid.
Plaza Mayor is a historical square in Madrid that is just a few steps away from the San Miguel Market. Throughout the year, there are many events that take place in this square, making it one of the most bustling spots to visit. In the middle of the square, you will also find the statue of Philip III.
He was the King of Spain during the 17th century, and his statue is on horseback. It is one of the main statues in Madrid that indicates its history. If you want to indulge in rich history and architecture, then this is one of the top squares you need to visit.
Plaza Mayor is also a common meeting point for tours and other activities simply because of its prominence and location. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the famous landmarks in Spain.
Puerta del Sol
There is no doubt that Puerta del Sol is one of the most happening squares in Madrid because it is situated in the heart of the city.
If you want to start your tour of the city, then this square is one of the best places to start. The sculptor Antonio Navarro Santafe created the famous statue of the strawberry tree and the bear you will find in this square.
Besides that, there are endless shops, restaurants, and cafes that surround the entire square. No matter what time of the day you go here, it will always be bustling with people. Check out Puerta del Sol and get a glimpse into the bustling life of the locals.
Plaza De Cibeles
Plaza de Cibeles is also known as Cibeles square, and it is also situated in the center of the city. As you go to the center of the square, you will find a beautiful fountain that has the statue of Cybele. This is the goddess of nature and protects the people from any harm.
One of the best things about this square is that you can see many landmarks in Madrid from here. These include the Cibeles Palace and many other buildings that represent the architectural history of the region. Take a stroll through Plaza de Cibeles on your visit and take in the beauty of this place.
There is no avenue more famous in Madrid than Gran Via, making it a sight you must visit. It is one of the top commercial venues where you will find many international and local chains to shop till you drop.
Shopaholics beware, as you might get caught up and spend a whole day here. You might want to visit other landmarks in Madrid first before concluding with a shopping fest using the remaining time.
The entire city refers to Gran Via as the avenue that will never sleep, which is why you can visit it at any time of the day and night. It will always be vibrant, and you will find something to do here. The avenue is recent as it was built in the 20th century.
Plaza De Espana
As you keep walking on Gran Via, you will reach the end, where you will find Plaza de Espana. It is one of the top squares in Madrid, where you will find the monument to Cervantes. This square has many green areas, monuments, and a pond and fountain.
It is one of the largest squares in the entire country, stretching for almost 37,000 meters. As a visitor, this is an area you should not miss on your trip. You can spend the entire day around the neighborhood, and still not see everything it has to offer.
Famous Monuments In Madrid
There are many Madrid monuments that are famous for different reasons. When visiting the Spanish capital, you can explore these monuments to understand the place even better.
Las Ventas is also commonly known as Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, and it is the main bull ring you will find in Madrid. It can host more than 24000 people, making it the third largest bull ring in the world. Many people gather here each year for some intense bullfighting.
Anyone that wants the authentic Spanish experience of visiting a bullring can come here. It is one of the top monuments in Madrid that people visit daily. You can go on your own take a guided tour, depending on what you prefer.
Royal Seat Of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
The royal seat of San Lorenzo is located one hour away from Madrid, and it used to be a former residence of the king of Spain. It is one of the best day trips that will enable you to witness one of the best landmarks in Madrid.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes the Monastery of El Escorial, a library, tombs of twenty-six kings, and much more. The best part about this monument is the location. You will be able to get breathtaking views of the gorgeous mountains that make the region incredibly stunning.
There are also many gardens within this site where you can relax after exploring the entire building. Come here and bask in the beauty of nature and architecture.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Football is one of the things Spain is famous for and fiercely passionate about. Many local and international travelers come to Madrid to visit the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
It is one of the top Madrid monuments that is home to arguably the most successful football team in the world – Real Madrid F.C.
Even if you are not a football fan, you should catch a game here given the chance, because the energy you will find in the stadium is unparalleled. Although you can imagine match day tickets can be hard to come by.
Fortunately, if there is no game taking place, you can still take an insider tour of the stadium. You can get access to the dressing rooms, the collection of the memorabilia of the club, the cups of the team, and much more. It is every football lover’s dream come true.
For the locals, the stadium holds a lot of cultural significance, as football is an integral part of the country. So, if you want to explore the culture of Madrid, don’t miss this stadium.
Famous Buildings In Madrid
When you enter Madrid, the first thing you will notice are the beautiful buildings. These buildings boast neoclassical architecture, gothic, and many other styles that you will not find anywhere else in one place. Here are some of the famous buildings in Madrid to visit.
Palacio De Cristal
The Palacio de Cristal is a gorgeous structure made of glass and iron. Everyone that visits Madrid comes here at least once to look at this architectural marvel. This is one of the most unique palaces in Spain.
You will find it in the middle of Retiro Park, so it is a convenient stop as you are visiting the various landmarks in Madrid.
It was built in the late nineteenth century, and the Crystal Palace in London inspired the design of this palace. Ricardo Velazquez Bosco was the mastermind behind this design.
Basilica Of San Francisco El Grande
The Basilica is located close to Almudena Cathedral, so you can combine it with your visit to the Cathedral and possibly Royal Palace. It is from the 18th century, and you will find a work of classicism inside the building.
Francisco Cabesaz designed the Basilica, which includes a 33-meter dome. The interior is incredibly beautiful, it is as though you are visiting an art gallery. These include some of the best paintings, making it one of the top Madrid landmarks to visit.
Discovering Famous Landmarks In Madrid
These are some of the famous landmarks in Madrid that you can visit on your trip. These include museums, art galleries, squares, avenues, landmarks, and much more.
The Spanish capital is filled with so much history, and you can find structures from different time periods. Each landmark and monument in Madrid has a unique history that will give you a glimpse into the city. Whether you are interested in art, culture, food, or anything else, there is much to explore.