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  • 1 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    Paseo del Prado 8 E - 28014 Madrid

    Baron Thyssen, the heir to a fabulous collection of paintings, donated it to the Spanish State which then housed it in a neo-Classical palace renovated by Rafael Moneo. The collection is an opportunity to explore Western art from the late 12C to the ..

  • 2 Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    calle de Santa Isabel 52 E - 28012 Madrid

    This contemporary art museum occupies the former San Carlos hospital. As well as leading names in international art, it also boasts a collection of 20C Spanish painting and sculpture. The building's spectacular extension, opened in 2004 along Ronda d..

  • 3 Museo del Prado Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    Paseo del Prado E - 28014 Madrid

    A visit to the Prado is an opportunity to view numerous masterpieces of Spanish and European art. Its highlights include Las Meninas by Vélazquez, the Majas and Executions at Moncloa by Goya, as well as the latter's Black Paintings ( Saturn Devouring..

  • 4 Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    Paseo del Prado 8 E - 28001 Madrid

    Some 250 works of art assembled by the wife of the founder of this eponymous museum are displayed in its contemporary wing. Occupying two floors, the rooms follow the same chronological order and each floor can be visited after exploring the correspo..

  • 5 Old Madrid Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. Mayor E - Madrid

    Old Madrid is composed of narrow stepped streets, little squares bordered by houses with colourful façades, 17C palaces and aristocratic residences, 19C and early-20C houses with wrought-iron balconies. The nucleus of the city evolved progressively f..

  • 6 Royal Armoury (Real Armeria) Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    pl. de la Armeria E - 28013 Madrid

    Even if you are not particularly interested in weapons, you should visit this collection made by the Catholic Kings, Charles V and Philip II, if only to see the exceptional armour. Note in particular those of Charles V and his successors, as well as ..

  • 7 Museo Arqueológico Nacional Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    calle Serrano 13 E - 28001 Madrid

    Founded in 1867 by Isabella II, this is the finest archaeological museum in Spain. Among its treasures are a reproduction of the Altamira caves and its cave paintings, exhibits from the Iberian civilisation, such as the famous and mysterious Lady of ..

  • 8 Lazaro Galdiano Museum (Museo) Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    calle Serrano 122 E - 28006 Madrid

    The dazzling collection brought together by José Lázaro Galdiano has two highlights: an extraordinary collection of enamels and ivories, which trace the evolution of the art of enamelling from Byzantium to the Limousin workshops of the 19C and a coll..

  • 9 Retiro Park Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    pl. de la Independencia 7 E - 28001 Madrid

    The 130 ha Retiro Park is today a green space where you can breathe in the heart of the capital, scattered with thick clumps of trees, like La Chopera in the south. You can row on the (artificial) lake under the indifferent gaze of King Alfonso XI, o..

  • 10 Royal Palace Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    calle Bailén E - 28013 Madrid

    The Campo del Moro offers the best view of the whole of this impressive building, a block of Guadarrama granite and white stone, each side measuring 140m , built by the Bourbons. It was the official residence of the Royal Family until 1931. Today, it..

  • 11 Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. de las Descalzas Reales E - 28013 Madrid

    Located in one of the busiest areas of Madrid, this convent founded by the daughter of Charles V for the ladies of the aristocracy is now home to a remarkable museum of religious art. Seen from the entrance, the main staircase takes on a magnificent ..

  • 12 Plaza Mayor Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. Mayor E - 28012 Madrid

    Built by Juan Gómez de Mora under Philip III (1619), this square, formerly used for autos-da-fé, bullfights, theatre performances etc, is the heart of Habsburg Madrid. In the late 18C, Juan de Villanueva was responsible for its present appearance: a ..

  • 13 Museum district Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    E - 28001 Madrid

    Madrid's elegant residential district extending eastwards from its old town boasts wide, tree-lined avenues bordered by opulent buildings, luxurious palaces and old mansions now converted into museums. It is a pleasant area for a stroll, perhaps betw..

  • 14 Church of San Antonio de los Alemanes Interesting

    Religious buildings

    calle Puebla 22 E - 28004 Madrid

    Largely overlooked by tourists, this church (built between 1624 and 1631) is nonetheless a Baroque jewel. Originally called San Antonio de los Portugueses (having initially served the Portuguese community, Portugal being part of Spain at that time), ..

  • 15 Prado Walk (Paseo del Prado) Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    E - 28014 Madrid

    Running from the Cybele Fountain to the Neptune Fountain, this avenue was designed for King Charles III, the «enlightened» monarch who remodelled Madrid. It used to be considered good form to be seen at the evening 'parade': ladies of fashion in carr..

  • 16 (Paseo de Recoletos) Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    E - 28001 Madrid

    On the extension of the Paseo del Prado, between Cybele and Colombus Squares, this avenue is famous for its large cafés, including the Gijon, at No. 31, its décor unchanged since 1888, where all who mattered in the world of literature, the arts, show..

  • 17 Gran Via Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Gran via E - 28008 Madrid

    To the people of Madrid, this is the second most beautiful avenue in the world. The first has not of course been built yet! This judgement is undoubtedly clouded by a little exaggeration, but the avenue, lively and noisy, lined with cinemas, cafeteri..

  • 18 Temple of Debod (Templo de Debod) Interesting

    Archaeological and historical sites

    calle de Ferraz 1 E - 28008 Madrid

    The Habsburgs and the Bourbons were not the only dynasties to leave their mark on Madrid. This 4CBC Egyptian Temple, saved from the waters when the Aswan Dam was built, has been rebuilt in the West Park, on the Principe Pio Hill.

  • 19 Zoo-Aquarium Interesting

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    pl. del Campo E - 28050 Madrid

    This zoo, spread across 20 hectares, is located in the heart of the Casa de Campo. With its wide variety of species (3 000 animals), an aquarium specialising in tropical marine life, a vast dolphinarium, and a bird park with displays of exotic birds ..

  • 20 Gardens of the Moor's Field Interesting

    Nature and gardens

    E - 28008 Madrid

    Located behind the Royal Palace, of which there are pleasant views, these attractive winter gardens owe their name to the Moorish armies, which established their encampments here during several sieges of the city.

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