Read everything about perhaps the most beautiful and passionate city of Europe

Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a cosmopolitan city that combines excitement with historic architecture and cultural traditions. The city is known for its lively atmosphere and sunny weather. Once in Madrid, one can explore a tremendous amount of art galleries, museums, as well as famous landmarks, including Plaza Mayor and Retiro Park. Madrid is a great destination for foodies who visit a diverse culinary kitchen. This includes everything from traditional Spanish dishes like paella and tapas to international cuisine. The city is home to many festivals and events throughout the year, including the annual San Isidro festival, which celebrates Madrid’s patron saint with traditional activities. Today, Madrid is a modern and cosmopolitan city with a population of over 3.3 million people. This makes it the largest city in Spain and the third-largest city in the European Union after London and Berlin. It is a thriving center of commerce, tourism, and culture, with a bustling nightlife and world-class museums, drawing visitors from all over the world. Overall, Madrid is a vibrant and exciting city that offers something for everyone. Read all about it here and get inspired to visit! 

The Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain
The Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain. Always busy

A bit of history upfront

Madrid has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the 9th century, when it was founded as a small fortress town by the Muslim rulers of the region. Over the centuries, Madrid grew in importance and became the capital of Spain in the 16th century during the reign of King Philip II. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Madrid experienced a period of cultural and artistic flourishing, with many of its most iconic landmarks and buildings constructed during this time. 

Check out some travel book options here:

1. Lonely Planet

2. DK Eyewitness

A glimpse of what you can expect within this guide:
  1. Visit the Museums: Madrid is famous for its world-class museums, including the Prado Museum, home to a stunning collection of European art, including works by Goya, and El Greco. Other must-visit museums include the Reina Sofia Museum, which features modern and contemporary art. Lastly, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum houses a vast collection of European art from the Middle Ages to the present day.
  2. Explore the Historic Districts: Madrid has a rich history where visitors can explore the city’s many historic neighborhoods. Visit the Barrio de las Letras, which was home to famous writers like Cervantes and Lope de Vega. Lastly, the Lavapiés district, known for its vibrant street art is a must-visit in Madrid as well.
  3. Visit the Royal Palace: The Royal Palace of Madrid is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and a must-visit for history buffs. The palace is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. It features stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and ornate interiors.
  4. Enjoy the Parks: Madrid has many beautiful parks, including the Retiro Park.
  5. Tapas, cervezas y mas! Make sure you’re hungry and up for a drink 😉
El Oso y el Madroño, Madrid, Spain
El Oso y el Madroño, Madrid, Spain

#1 The 3 best museums in Madrid I propose you should visit


Madrid home to several amazing art, historical and cultural museums. Here are the top once that you I propose you visit once in Madrid:

  1. Prado Museum: The Prado Museum is one of the most important art museums in the world. It features an extensive collection of Spanish, Italian, and Flemish art. Some of the most famous works in the museum include paintings by Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, and El Greco.
  2. Reina Sofia Museum: The Reina Sofia Museum is dedicated to contemporary art. It features works by some of the most famous Spanish artists of the 20th century, including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The museum is also home to Picasso’s famous painting, “Guernica.”
  3. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is located near the Prado Museum, and it features a collection of over 1,600 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and tapestries. The collection includes works by European masters such as Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Gogh.

#2 Madrid City center and Royal Palace


Plaza Mayor is a large rectangular plaza located in the heart of Madrid’s historic center. It was built in the 17th century during the Habsburg period and has since been a site of many important historical events, including bullfights, public executions, and royal coronations. Today, the plaza is lined with cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. It’s definitely a popular spot for tourists as well as locals to relax and to take in the historic architecture.

Plaza del Sol is another iconic public square located in the center of Madrid. Its name means “sun square” in Spanish, and it’s said to be the point from which all Spanish roads begin. The plaza is home to the famous clock tower and known for its large bronze statue of a bear and a strawberry tree (see image above). El oso has become a symbol of Madrid.

Visit the Royal Palace in Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid is a stunning architectural masterpiece located in the heart of the city center. It was built in the mid-18th century on the site of a former Moorish fortress and has been the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family since the 1760s.

The palace boasts over 3,000 rooms, making it one of the largest royal palaces in Europe. Visitors can explore many of these rooms, which are decorated with beautiful paintings, tapestries, and furniture. Highlights include the Throne Room, the Royal Pharmacy, and the beautiful Royal Armory, which houses a vast collection of weapons and armor.

A most-go-to activity when you have the time in Madrid, is the chance of the guards! This takes place every Wednesday and Saturday at the Royal Place and give you a fascinating experience of how Spain deals with its royalty nowadays.

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#3 Parque del Retiro


Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro in Spanish) is a large park located in the heart of Madrid, Spain that I propose you visit on the sunniest day or your time. The park covers an area of 125 hectares and features beautiful gardens, lakes, monuments, and cultural venues. It was originally built as a royal retreat in the 17th century, but it was opened to the public in the late 19th century. A popular feature of the park is the artificial lake, where visitors can rent rowboats and enjoy a peaceful ride on the water. In addition, the park’s most popular attractions is the Crystal Palace (Palacio de Cristal), a stunning glass building that was built in 1887 to house a botanical exhibition. Today, it serves as a venue for contemporary art exhibitions and cultural events. In overall, the park is a popular destination to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a while. Retiro Park also hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year, including concerts, exhibitions, and theater performances.

#4 For the football lovers: Santiago Bernabeu


The Santiago Bernabeu is the stadium of one of the most successful and famous football clubs in the world, Real Madrid. Located in the Chamartín district of Madrid, it has been the home of Real Madrid since it was officially opened on December 14, 1947.

The stadium is named after Santiago Bernabeu, who was a former player, coach, and president of Real Madrid. It has a capacity of over 81,000 spectators and has been the site of numerous important football matches, including several UEFA Champions League finals and the 1982 FIFA World Cup final.

The Santiago Bernabeu is nowadays a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take a guided tour of the stadium, which includes access to the team’s locker rooms, press room, and the player’s tunnel, as well as a chance to walk on the pitch itself. The tour also includes a visit to the club’s museum. This houses a vast collection of memorabilia, trophies, and historical artifacts. Talking from personal experience, it is the best football stadium tour I have ever seen in my life!

The Santiago Bernabeu is an iconic symbol of Real Madrid and Spanish football. It’s a must-visit destination for fans interested in football and the history of one of the world’s greatest football clubs ever.


At the stadium itself, it is always very busy and the stadium can get full quickly. Therefore, I recommend you book your tickets upfront! Check it out here.

#5 Tapas, cervezas y mas!


Madrid is a city that is renowned for its delicious cuisine and its lively food scene. The city has a rich culinary tradition that incorporates influences from all over Spain, as well as from other parts of the world.

One of the most popular culinary experiences in Madrid is the tradition of eating tapas. Tapas are small dishes of food that are typically served in bars and restaurants, and are designed to be shared among friends or enjoyed as a light snack. Some of the most popular tapas in Madrid include patatas bravas, tortilla de patatas, and croquetas.

Madrid is also known for its craft beers (cervezas in Spanish), with a growing number of brewpubs offering a wide range of local and international beers. Some of the most popular craft breweries in Madrid include La Virgen, Cervezas La Cibeles, and Mad Brewing, which I highly recommend to all try out, because they’re all amazing. 

#5 Mercado de San Miguel

A good place to visit for some tapas and beers in the heart of the city of Madrid is the Mercado de San Miguel. This is a famous covered market (built in 1916) located in the heart of Madrid, just a few steps from Plaza Mayor. Now it is a popular destination for to enjoy a variety of traditional Spanish foods, as well as gourmet and international cuisine. The market is home to over 30 different stalls, selling everything from fresh seafood and charcuterie to tapas, cheese, and desserts. One of the highlights of the market is the opportunity to try a wide variety of different foods in one place, as many of the stalls offer small plates/tapas, which make it easy to sample a range of different dishes. Some of the most popular foods at Mercado de San Miguel include jamón ibérico, oysters, croquetas, and Spanish wines. In addition to the food stalls, Mercado de San Miguel also has several bars where visitors can enjoy a drink or two while taking in the lively atmosphere of the market. Overall, Madrid is a must-visit destination for foodies and anyone who wants to experience the vibrant culinary scene of Spain.

Make tapas yourself

Want to make tapas yourself upfront and be a true Madrilena? I recommend you these books with great reviews:

  1. Tapas: and other Spanish plates to share by Ryland Peters and Small
  2. Tapas Revolution by Omar Allibhoy

Hostel recommendation in Madrid

I recommend to you the following Hostel in Madrid: Sungate One.

It contains many dorms, private rooms, a kitchen and has a vibrant social vibe! The hostel organizes parties, activities, get-togethers and dinners. All for a very good price and in the heart of the center at Plaza del Sol. Go here if you would like a night out!


Conclusively, Madrid is a vibrant and dynamic city that offers a wide range of cultural, historical, and culinary experiences, always worth a visit. From its impressive museums and art galleries to its lively markets, bars, and restaurants or nightlife. Madrid is a fascinating and exciting city that is definitely worth a visit. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or nightlife, there is something for everyone in this vibrant Spanish capital.