Madrid is one of those dreamy European cities many of us aspire to visit at least once in a lifetime. Today, with massive airports, countless flights and deals floating around, it is easier than ever to visit the capital of Spain. The city of Madrid is where sightseeing takes it to another level, art is reigning supreme, fascinating history is all for the taking, and bars are filled with delicious and iconic tapas. Take this essential article to get your trip started and get key information to bring Madrid beneath your feet!
Getting to Madrid
Madrid-Barajas Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in all of Europe. Not only it’s a primary link between Europe and Latin America while hosting five terminals and countless airlines it is an airport where you are bound to find flights from almost anywhere around the world. Want to make it even easier? Head to Quote Radar to catch the best possible deals, and the next thing you know, you will find yourself descending onto the captivating capital of Spain.
So, what’s next after landing? Expensive but convenient are the taxis, while Metro in both Terminals T2 and T4 have trains departing every 5 mins with Line 8 heading straight to the center of the city.
The buses are also a good option and the Airport Express bus with a 24-hour service can take you to three stops which are O’Donnell, Plaza de Cibeles, and Atocha. The stops can be found at T1, T2 and T4 terminals.
Other options like car rentals and specialized taxi pickups are also available.
As you might suspect, the city like Madrid can be explored in many different ways, from biking and walking to almost all kinds of transportation including both public and private. Let’s keep our focus on three essential ways that will get you to enjoy and discover Madrid at its best.
- Metro – With more than 300 stations and twelve metro lines, the Metro is probably the most efficient and reliable way to get around Madrid. The trains are leaving every few minutes and if you planning to use it a lot, consider buying a Travel Pass which gives unlimited travel for your selected period.
- Bus – Public buses that are marked ‘EMT’ are most useful if you want to quickly move up and down the road. More than 2000 vehicles move from 6 am till 11.30 pm with night buses operating after these hours. Whether you opt out for a single 1.50 euro ticket or 10-trip tickets, you can always see more of the city details while you ride the bus. (10-trip tickets are valid on both buses and metro)
- Walking – Walking is always one of the best options out there, but I know, oftentimes the size and scorching sun of Madrid might seem like too much to handle. The top attractions are not that far away from each other as it might seem at first glance, with Central of Madrid being an especially good location to explore by foot.
Best of Madrid’s Attractions
Madrid excels in almost everything you would like to take from a city and a capital. While dozens of attractions are opening its doors every day in Madrid, visiting the top-rated ones will certainly get you the most out of your trip. These are some of the best things you can do to bring Madrid beneath your feet!
A perfect place to start your trip and jump right into the vibrant buzz of Madrid is with one of the busiest, beautiful and well-known streets in all of Madrid, the Gran Via.
It is where the never-ending shopping, entertainment and culture blends together by the day and one of the finest night clubs come alive by night. The Great Way also showcases a picturesque 20th-century architecture inspired by a variety of styles that goes from Art Deco, Plateresque, Vienna Secession and beyond.
Royal Palace of Madrid
Formerly home to Kings of Spain, the largest functioning Royal Palace in Europe contains a mindblowing number of 3,418 rooms and 135,000 square meters to show off its immense grandeur.
The majestic palace was built for King Philip V in the years of 1738 – 1755 on the ruins of burnt Alcazar while today it is one of the most popular sightseeing attractions and used only for state ceremonies.
As marvelous and striking it is from outside with its iconic columns, elegant gardens equipped with statues and fountains, you will also find plenty once inside the royal palace starting with a splendid staircase designed by Sabatini and ending with an exclusive collection of weaponry with historic masterworks by painters such as Caravaggio and Juan De Flanders in between!
The Prado Museum
Hands down, The Prado Museum is one of those essentials you simply must experience and a museum that captivates the world as one of the best that there is. It hosts one of the finest collections of European Art that stretches out from a 12th century all the way to the 20th century to create an overwhelming space of art.
Not every day there’s a chance to stumble upon the collection of approximately 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints, 8,200 drawings, and 1,000 sculptures alongside important documents and other types of artwork with a plan to extended by 16% in 2019. Astonishing!
Temple of Debod
Looking for something unique and refreshing when sightseeing in Madrid? Or maybe Egyptian culture always fascinated you, yet without an opportunity to go there? Well, here’s your golden chance then!
Temple of Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple built in 200 BC and an authentic piece from that world, sitting in the middle of Madrid. Originally situated in Egypt, it was rebuilt, gifted and relocated to Spain’s capital.
Visiting this one of a kind sites in Spain is the unique and ultimate opportunity to take a peek at the ancient Egyptian architecture & heritage outside Egypt. The location also provides great views of the city and visiting after the sunset will enhance them even more.
It’s time to relax. Madrid can be truly exhausting and thrilling, and we all need a moment of solitude to catch our breath and what a better way to do it than being surrounded by more than 15,000 trees, including the oldest one in Madrid.
A former royal property is composed of elegant gardens, historic monuments, fountains and here you will have a chance to simply take it slow, whether it’s to lie down on the grass or take on some of the easy-going attractions of the park. From rowing around the park’s lake, catching various events happening, renting a bicycle or simply treating yourself to a lovely cup of coffee, the Retiro Park is something special that you need to see and visit while in Madrid.