Spain’s long hot summers make it attractive to travellers who want a laid-back holiday or weekend break, but Spain’s capital has plenty to offer and there are plenty of things to do in Madrid. Whether discovering Madrid’s superb art galleries, admiring architectural wonders while enjoying a coffee at a pavement café or partying hard at the tapas bars that line the Gran Vía, Madrid has too many interesting places to see to spend the whole time relaxing!
Read our guide of things to see in Madrid to make the most of your time in this intriguing city.
One of the most popular things to do in Madrid is visiting the Gran Via
The Gran Vía is known as Spain’s Broadway – ‘the street that never sleeps’, bisecting central Madrid from the Plaza de España to Calle de Alcalá and is a major tourist destination. Built just over a hundred years ago, the Gran Vía features hundreds of bars, restaurants, shops and businesses. Perhaps the best-known building on the Gran Via is the Telefónica Building, which won the accolade of being the tallest building in Europe when it was completed in 1929.
(We are here to suggest you 10 places you should visit in order to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience of Madrid from the heights)
Culture vultures will adore the Museo del Prado
The Museo del Prado is one of the most popular places to visit in Madrid. Designed in the 18th-century by Juan de Villanueva, the Museo del Prado showcases some of the best art in the world. Visitors can explore thousands of works of art depicting scenes from the middle ages to the early 19th century, although it’s impossible to see everything in one day. You may wish, for example, to concentrate on the museum’s unique collection of Spanish paintings from artists, such as da Ribera, Goya, El Greco, and Velázquez.
Places to visit in Madrid: Mercado de San Miguel
Also in central Madrid, the Mercado de San Miguel is a good shopping destination for local foods. Its elaborate black cast-ironwork contrasts with glass walls that display an extensive range of products from preserved fish and oysters to freshly made pasta and baked goods. During the weekend, the market stays open until the small hours, so it is also a lively nightspot where tourists and locals congregate to drink and eat tapas. The site also regularly hosts various events, such as concerts and private parties.
The Palacio Real
The Palacio Real is extraordinarily vast with over 2,500 lavishly decorated chambers. The place was the main residence of the Spanish royal family from the late 18th century until the early 20th century. Today, the palace is still in use for official occasions, but 50 of the structure’s ornate rooms can be visited by the general public. These include an armoury and the impressive throne room, which boasts a Baroque ceiling painted by Tiepolo. Entrance is free to holders of the Madrid Card and also on Wednesdays, so it’s worth timing your visit to the middle of the week.
Things to do in Madrid using a hire car
Why not make your time in Madrid even more relaxing and enjoyable by hiring a car? At Record Go Rent a Car, we have our own car fleet and offices in Mallorca, Malaga, Alicante, Ibiza, Barcelona, Seville and Valencia airports and near Sants Station in Barcelona. Contact us today or visit Record Go Rent a Car web for information about prices for car hire in Madrid, our latest discounts and the latest news.