Madrid City Guide A Quick Overview Of Madrids Must See Sites

Madrid City Guide A Quick Overview Of Madrids Must See Sites



The following guide to​ Madrid I assembled while living and studying in​ the city. This guide should be useful to​ first-time visitors to​ the city, as​ it​ gives a​ brief overview of​ Madrid's major tourist sites.

Must See Sites

-Puerta del Sol/ Plaza Mayor/ Calle Gran Via:

Puerta del Sol is​ literally in​ the center of​ the city, and this area serves as​ the hub of​ tourist activity. There is​ a​ main plaza, touristy shops, and plenty of​ restaurants and bars. From the main plaza you can walk to​ Plaza Mayor, which is​ another big plaza surrounded by outdoor cafes and filled with street performers and tourists. Narrow cobblestone streets surround Plaza Mayor, and they are cool to​ check out. Plaza mayor is​ probably the most “touristy” place to​ go in​ the city and is​ a​ good place to​ start your visit to​ Madrid.

On the other side of​ Puerta del Sol are some other newer shopping streets which have been blocked off to​ traffic. if​ you walk through these streets, you will come to​ Gran Via, one of​ the biggest shopping streets in​ the city. Gran Via has a​ good assortment of​ department stores and chain restaurants, alongside strip clubs and sex shops. Gran Via is​ the most lively street in​ the city and is​ worth checking out.

-Reina Sofia art museum/ Prado art museum:

The Reina Sofia is​ the more interesting of​ the two museums in​ my opinion, as​ it​ houses works from Picasso, Dali, and some other wild artists. Unless you are an​ art fanatic, you can do the entire museum in​ less than two hours and feel like you have seen everything. The museum is​ free on Saturdays.

The Prado is​ the older and more famous of​ the two museums. it​ is​ mostly filled with classical Spanish paintings, but you can also find Rembrandts and Renaissance works in​ the museum. The Prado is​ free on Sundays.

These museums are a​ short walk from each other and it​ would be easy to​ do both in​ one day.

If art is​ your thing, you can also check out the Thyssen and the Sarollo museum, both of​ which I’ve heard are pretty good.

-Parque Retiro:

Retiro is​ a​ big park done in​ the French style, and it​ is​ basically the Central Park of​ Madrid. When the weather is​ good, the park fills with people, and you can find the young people by the huge statue of​ a​ man on a​ horse. The crowd here is​ pretty bohemian, and you’ll likely find a​ drum circle around the statue, especially if​ you come on Sunday afternoon. as​ long as​ the weather’s good, there is​ always a​ big group in​ this area kicking around the soccer ball, juggling, smoking hash, etc.

-Palacio Real:

Palacio Real used to​ be the royal palace of​ Spain, and it​ is​ now used only for government functions. The façade of​ the building is​ impressive and the interior is​ nice as​ well. if​ you’ve done Versaille before, you can skip the tour of​ the palace, since they are really similar. Next to​ Palacio Real is​ a​ huge cathedral that you can peek into for free.

-El Rastro Flea Market:

El Rastro is​ a​ big flea market at​ metro stop La Latina. it​ is​ best on Sundays. Here you can buy cheap souvenirs and other junk (nothing of​ any quality). The cafes in​ this area are pretty nice and a​ good place to​ go to​ escape the crowds of​ the flea market.

-Barrio Salamanca:

The Salamanca district is​ the nicest residential and commercial area in​ the city. Here you’ll find upscale restaurants and all the shops you would find on Rodeo Drive. This area is​ easily accessible by metro stops Velasquez and Serrano.




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