Itineraries in Madrid
Madrid, the golden metropolis, capital city of Spain, is full of energy. Here, you will find the Triangle of Art with the remarkable Prado, Thyssen, and Reina Sofía museums. Learn about Spanish cuisine at the typical taverns and avant-garde restaurants showcasing the recent gastronomic revolution. Discover Spanish architecture, from medieval mansions and royal palaces to the unimagined angles of Spanish contemporary architecture, from the sober brickwork and slate spires of Madrid baroque to the extravagant confections of the Belle Époque. This city really knows how to live!
Explore the Prado Museum
Spend the morning walking through Madrid’s famed Prado Museum and soaking up Spain’s complicated history. Tales of intrigue, power and mysterious love affairs swirl behind each masterpiece! We recommend using the Recommended Tours guides on the Prado website to visit the most impressive and popular works of art in this vast pinacoteca. Discover the characters and events that inspired these works of art, and you’ll go beyond the paint and into the minds of those behind them.
Lunch at Mercado San Miguel
The Mercado de San Miguel is a covered market, originally built in 1916 and purchased by private investors in 2003 who renovated the iron structure and reopened it in 2009, reinventing the space as a gastronomic hubbub of activity. It is not a traditional grocery market but a gourmet tapas market, with over 30 different vendors selling a wide variety of freshly prepared tapas, hams, olives, baked goods and other foods. Beer, wine and champagne are also available.
Madrid’s Royal Palace
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. The palace has 135,000 M2 of floor space and contains 3,418 rooms. It is the largest functioning Royal Palace and the largest by floor area in Europe. King Felipe VI and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the significantly more modest Palace of Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid.
Temple of Debod
The Temple of Debod was originally built in southern Egypt near Aswan in the 2nd century BC. In 1960, the temple was in danger of being destroyed due to other construction nearby, so UNESCO made the decision to save this rich historical monument. The Egyptian state chose to donate the Temple of Debod to Spain in 1968 as a token of gratitude for Spain’s help in saving the temples of Abu Simbel. The ancient Egyptian temple was rebuilt in one of Madrid’s most beautiful parks, Parque del Oeste (West Park in English), near the Royal Palace.
Discover the fascinating story of Spanish flamenco
Too many visitors sign up for a flamenco show without really knowing what they’re about to watch. Join us for a night of flamenco and tapas, and an expert guide will walk you through the history of this beautifully tragic dance. In between delicious bites, you’ll learn where flamenco came from and why Madrid’s considered the capital of it all! After a heart-stopping one-hour show, you’ll sit down to a hot-off-the-grill tapas feast—the perfect moment to discuss what you’ve just seen!
Stroll to Plaza Mayor & Puerta del Sol
The “Plaza Mayor” was built during the Habsburg period, measuring 129 by 94 meters, and is surrounded by three-story residential buildings having 237 balconies facing the Plaza. It has a total of nine entrance ways. The square was redesigned with gardens, but those were removed in 1936. At the center of the square is a bronze statue of King Philips III, constructed in 1916 by Jean Boulogne and Pietro Tacca.
Puerta del Sol
The “Puerta del Sol” originated as one of the gates in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century. Outside the wall, medieval suburbs began to grow around the Christian Wall of the 12th century. The name of the gate came from the rising sun which decorated the entry, since the gate was oriented to the east. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, the area was an important meeting place: as the goal for the couriers coming from abroad and other parts of Spain to the Post Office, it was visited by those eager for the latest news.