If you are looking for an adventure, history and culture, you are probably thinking of visiting Madrid. The city is usually associated with a cosmopolitan place, full of activity and bustle. But, in addition to being one of the most visited tourist capitals in Europe, Madrid is also full of world-famous art museums, tapas bars and cultural attractions that we will discover next.
We are going to show you What to see in Madrid in 3 days!
We want you to discover how to see the tourist and cultural Madrid that attracts millions of tourists every year. You can start the morning of the first day watching the sunrise at the viewpoint of the Temple of Debod and end the last day enjoying some tapas at a bar in Chueca. Ready to spend the soles of your shoes? Let’s start!
Essential Tourist Places in Madrid
First day of adventure and tourism in Madrid (Blue route)
#1 Temple of Debod / Templo de Debod
It is an Egyptian temple from the second century BC. d. C. which was donated to Spain by the Egyptian government to prevent it from being flooded after the construction of the great Aswan dam. The reconstruction that was done in Madrid maintained the orientation of its place of origin, that is, from east to west.
#2 Spanish Place / Plaza España
This large square is located on the tourist axis of Sol / Gran Vía. Here is the monument to Cervantes, one of the favorite spots for tourists.
#3 Royal Palace / Palacio Real
Royal residence from Carlos III to Alfonso XIII, the Royal Palace of Madrid offers us a trip through the History of Spain. Although it is not inhabited by the current monarchs, the enclosure is the official residence of the kings.
The Royal Palace welcomes every Wednesday and Saturday (except July, August and September and those days in which an official act is held or weather conditions prevent it) the change of the Royal Guard and on the first Wednesday of each month the solemn relief .
#4 Almudena Cathedral / Catedral de la Almudena
The Cathedral of Madrid has a short but intense history. The first plans of the church were drawn in 1879 by Francisco de Cubas with the idea that it would serve as a pantheon for the late Queen Maria de la Mercedes. The first stone was laid in 1883 and could be considered finished in 1993
#5 San Miguel Market / Mercado de San Miguel
Opened in May 1916 as a food market, this centennial establishment (one of the few and best examples of iron architecture in the city) becomes in May 2009 the first gastronomic market in Madrid. During 2018 the market experiences a period of consolidation of much of its gastronomic content, with renowned chefs nationally and internationally.
#6 Main Plaza / Plaza Mayor
The Plaza Mayor has historically been a meeting place, announcements and civil celebrations. In addition, it is loaded with commemorative plaques, historical places and other symbols of great value.
#7 Sun Gate / Puerta del Sol
Central and bustling, the Plaza del Puerta del Sol is one of the emblems of Madrid. In its semicircular plant several of the historical and busiest streets of the city converge. One of them, is the famous clock of the Post Office, headquarters of the Community of Madrid, which every December 31 marks the twelve bells of the new year.
Second day discovering tourist places in Madrid (Green Route)
#1 Alcalá Gate / Puerta de Alcalá
Located in the center of the Plaza de la Independencia, the Puerta de Alcalá is one of the five former royal gates that gave access to the city, built by mandate of Carlos III to replace a previous one dating back to the 16th century.
#2 The Retiro Park / Parque de El Retiro
With 125 hectares and more than 15,000 trees, El Retiro Park is a green backwater in the center of Madrid. It is not only one of the lungs of Madrid, but also offers culture, leisure and sports to Madrid and visitors.
In addition, El Retiro houses sculptures and notable fountains such as the monument to Alfonso XII, the statue of the fallen Angel; The only sculpture in the world that represents the devil, the source of the Galapagos, commemorating the birth of Isabel II, the amazing Hermitage of San Pelayo and San Isidoro, the Forest of Remembrance and the Puppet Theater, a unique theater in Europe with stable programming every weekend.
#3 Cibeles and Neptune Fountains / Fuentes de Cibeles y Neptuno
Designed by the architect Ventura Rodríguez in 1782, the fountain represents the goddess Cibeles on a car pulled by lions. In addition to being one of the most representative monuments of Madrid, the Real Madrid celebrations in Cibeles are a classic of Spanish football. It is also the place chosen for other sports celebrations, such as those of the Spanish National Soccer and Basketball Team.
The Fountain of Neptune is a true neoclassical jewel that is worth visiting. Designed as part of the three large sculptural sets created by Ventura Rodríguez for the Paseo del Prado (along with the Cibeles Fountain and the Apollo Fountain.
#4 Prado Museum / Museo del Prado
The Prado National Museum, which celebrated its bicentennial in 2019, presides over one of the most visited tourist itineraries in the capital: the Paseo del Arte .. The Prado has a valuable collection of 8600 paintings and more than 700 sculptures. It has the most complete Spanish painting collection in the world.
On February 9, 1851, the second railway line of Spain (linking Madrid and Aranjuez) was inaugurated and with it the first train station in the city, that of Atocha, then a simple wooden jetty. After the reform carried out by Rafael Moneo between 1984 and 1992, at present the Atocha station is a complex formed by two stations: the old and the new.
#6 Reina Sofia Museum / Museo Reina Sofía
Founded in 1992, Reina Sofía continues the times not covered by the Prado Museum, beginning to exhibit works since 1881, the year of Pablo Picasso’s birth.
What to see in Madrid on the third and last day. (Orange Route)
#1 Rastro Market / El Rastro
The Trail is a market with more than 400 years of history in which you can find both everyday objects and curious ancient gadgets, all wrapped in a lively atmosphere. Remember that the schedule of the Trail is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. approximately every Sunday.
#2 La Latina Borough / Barrio de la Latina
La Latina Borough is one of the oldest and most charismatic in Madrid. Its streets retain the layout they had centuries ago. Some of their names (Moros Gate, Cebada Square, Calle de la Morería, Latina itself and so on) take us to a time when this area was the true center of life in the city..
#3 Opera Royal Theater / Teatro real de la ópera
The history of the Royal Theater began in 1818 and was inaugurated in 1850. For 75 years it was one of the most important theaters in Europe, until a sinking caused it to remain closed for 41 years. In 1966, the Royal Theater reopened its doors turned into a symphonic concert hall before undergoing a profound reform of 9 years, after which it opened again converted into an opera.
#4 La Gran Vía
Gran Vía is the best known street in Madrid. Currently, in Gran Vía we will basically find three types of establishments: restaurants, fashion stores and cinemas. Today, cinemas are in the doldrums and less and less; at its peak, Gran Vía received the nickname of the Madrid Broadway. Gran Vía is one of the nerve centers of Madrid and in it you can find atmosphere at any time of the day throughout the year.
The Chueca neighborhood has become in recent years one of the fashionable areas of Madrid. Its activity of shops, bars and cultural offer is enormous. But if it stands out for something for the visitor it is because of the hustle and bustle of people who travel its streets. Located in the heart of the city, next to Gran Vía, Chueca is one of the neighborhoods of Madrid best known internationally for its atmosphere and nightlife. However, the appeal comes on several fronts, and art and history is also one of them. With the beginning of summer the Chueca neighborhood becomes the epicenter of one of the most anticipated parties for all, the LGBT Pride Festivals Madrid. The flags and garlands adorn the Chueca neighborhood, hosting numerous activities.
Three days in Madrid where you will have known the history of the city, strolled through its streets, attended one of its shows, tasted the gastronomy, lived the most Madrid atmosphere, enjoyed its culture and lived an unrepeatable experience. What do you feel like doing it again?
For more advice on the city and where to stay, be sure to check our website vitium.es. Come and discover Madrid by staying in the heart of the Gran Vía!