Madrid, the capital city of Spain, is a one-stop destination for all the globetrotters out there. Often people relate to football when it comes to Madrid, but this city has so much more in itself from architecture & museums, parks to delicious Spanish food and vibrant nightlife. So if you’re heading for your first trip to Madrid, here are top 11 things that should be on your itinerary,
The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace (Palacio Real de Madrid in Spanish), built in the 18th century should be number one on your list. It is not the residence for the royal family as they chose to stay at the outskirts of the city, but it is the center for the royal events. The rich historic interior will drive you back in time. It is the largest palace in Eastern Europe with 3,418 rooms. Take a tour of the beautiful palace and don’t miss out on the changing of the guards in the morning. Do note that you aren’t allowed to click pictures in most of the places inside the palace! Enhance your Madrid experience by exploring our curated International Tour Packages that ensure a seamless and delightful journey through the heart of Spain's capital.
Next to the Royal Palace stands Almudena Cathedral. It is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. Its construction started in 1879 and wasn’t completed until 1993. The Neo-gothic styled interior is very impressive.
The Debod Temple
Next on your list should be the Debod Temple or as you say in Spanish, Temple de Debod. You will be astonished to know that it’s an Egyptian Temple based in Madrid since 1972. Earlier it was located in the Nile Valley but due to the construction of Aswan Dam, it was gifted to Spanish people in 1968.
This landmark is famous to the catch the sight of sunset so make sure you grab the perfect spot as it gets really crowded later in the evening.
Plaza Mayor is a major tourist attraction in Madrid. It is a grand rectangular square with a total of nine entrances. You will find the chain of cafes and restaurants here jam-packed with tourists. The square comes along with its rich history of the 1500s. There is a statue of King Phillip III right at the centre of the square. Make sure you don’t forget to get yourself clicked at this spot.
To refuel for rest of the day grab one of the local Spanish dish calamari sandwiches from the nearby cafes.
La Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol (Gate of Sun) is the most toiled up square situated at the centre of Madrid. It is semi-circular in shape and on the south of it you will see a clock tower, Real Casa de Correos, which is the prominent landmark for the celebration of New Year and the eating of Twelve grapes. In front of it is situated the 0 km plaque which is the centre for calculating the distance for all Spanish roads. So it will be right saying that in Spain all roads lead to Madrid!
A must see the spot in Puerta del Sol is the twenty-ton sculpture, El Oso y El Madroño, a bear eating fruits from a tree.
Grand Via Avenue
Grand Via is a famous tourist street in Madrid locked up with cafes, restaurants, theatres, and architectures. A known landmark located in Grand Via is the Metropolis building leading to Plaza de Espana.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
If you are a big football fan and especially a Madridista, then you are in the right place. Santiago Bernabeu Stadium – The home of Real Madrid, the richest club in the world and voted as the club of the century by FIFA. Real Madrid has always played in white and hence are rightfully nicknamed Los Blancos (The Whites). They have won a record 32 times in the Spanish League and is the only club to win 11 European titles.
The stadium holds a little over 85,000 people. Visiting it will give you the chance to dive into the history of the club through their glorious trophies. You will get to see the field where the players play and their dressing room. It’s the most magical place to watch heart-racing football from.
If you are there in Madrid on a Sunday make a visit to El Rastro open-air flea market and go on a shopping spree. You will find some 3500 stalls of new and used products like clothes, jewellery, bags, etc. Once you get tired of shopping, chill with some drinks and tapas from nearby cafes and bar.
In Madrid, you will find some super delicious food that will leave you dazzled. Here are some dishes listed below,
Starting with Tapas, a very common Spanish food. Its small snacks, helpings or canapés you have with your drinks. They are served throughout Madrid in all bars and cafes.
Paella is a Valencian white rice dish. There are vegan, seafood and mixed paellas available.
Pinchitos is an authentic Spanish dish with cubes of meats tied on a skewer. The market of San Miguel in Madrid is a traditional food market full of freshly cooked Tapas, olives and you can also get drinks over here. It’s a few minutes walk from the Plaza Mayor.
Flamenco is a spirited form of songs and dance derived in Spain. There are many venues in Madrid where you can enjoy a Flamenco show with a traditional Spanish Dinner. Corral de la Moreria is one of the best Flamenco Houses to visit.
Madrid undoubtedly is famous for its tradition bullfighting. Plaza de Toros de las Ventas is the most spectacular place to watch the bullfight from. So make sure you squeeze in time for the Matadors in your itinerary!