Madrid Tourist


Top Picks

  • Viva Madrid, Real Madrid FC, Temple of Debod, El Retiro, Sobrino de Botín, Museo del Prado, Arte Reina Sofía, Corral de la Morería (flamenco), El Gato Montes, La Buena Pinta, La Vía Láctea, Sala Equis
Madrid Coat of Arms




Temple of Debod (200 BC)

Church of Saint Nicolas* (12th century)

Church of Saint Peter the Old* (14th century)

Puerta del Sol (15th century)

Church of Saint Jerome the Royal* (1505)

Royal Palace of El Pardo* (1547)

Convent of Las Descalzas Reales* (1559)

El Escorial* (1584)

Plaza Mayor (1619)

Zarzuela Palace* (1635)

Collegiate Church of San Isidro* (1664)

Casa de la Panadería (1673)

El Retiro (1680)

Sobrino de Botín (1725)

El Rastro (starting in the 1730s)

Royal Palace of Madrid* (1755)

Royal Basilica of Saint Francis the Great* (1760)

Royal House of the Post Office (1768)

Museum at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts* (1773, founded 1752)

Puerta de Alcalá (1778)

Fountain of Cybele (1780, relocated 1895)

Museo del Prado (1819, building 1785)

The Royal Theatre* (1850, founded 1818, remodeled 1997)

Teatro de la Zarzuela* (1856, reopened 1914)

Madrid Atocha (1892)

National Archaeological Museum* (1895, founded 1867)

Almudena Cathedral (1879, completed 1993)

Bank of Spain Building* (1891)

National Library of Spain* (1892, founded 1712)

Matadero Madrid* (building 1911)

Market of San Miguel (1916, renovated 2009)

Cybele Palace (1919)

Círculo de Bellas Artes* (building 1926, founded 1880)

Las Ventas* (1931)

Naval Museum of Madrid* (1932, founded 1792)

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium (1947, founded 1902)

Railway Museum* (1984, founded 1967)

National Auditorium of Music* (1988)

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (1988)

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum* (1992)

Metropolitano Stadium* (1993)

Gate of Europe* (1996)

Viva Madrid


  • Dolmen de Dalí* (only urban sculpture by Dalí), Fabrica De Tabacos* (cultural center), Gran Vía (the “Great Way” or “Spanish Broadway,” shopping area, mentioned in The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway), Paseo del Prado (tree-lined boulevard)


  • Cine Doré (Art Deco cinema), Corral de la Morería (flamenco dancing), Mapfre Foundation* (2008, 1884 building, exhibition of plastic arts), Parque Warner Madrid* (2002, Warner Brothers theme park)


  • Bucolico, HanSo Café 2 (Japanese), Hola Coffee, Urbano Specialty Coffee


  • Casa Lucas (ponchos), Chocolatería San Ginés (1894, famous chocolate and churros), Churrería Madrid 1883*, El Gato Montes (great food), Kiosko de Horchata Miguel y José* (Madrid’s last horchata kiosk), La Primera*


  • Bee Beer (small craft beer selection), Clavel*, La Buena Pinta (excellent range of craft beer, food nearby), La Vía Láctea (super cool dive bar), Sala Equis (hipster hangout in former porno theatre), Salmon Guru (#24 bar in the world, to much reliance on kitschy glassware, operated by Viva Madrid), Taberna La Concha (vermouth), Viva Madrid (1856, icon bar, excellent drinks)


  • Chopper Monster (rockabilly), Chucky Sneakers (streetwear), MAS (jamón), Mercado de la Paz, Saint Ferdinand Market (food and drink), Tienda Hípica El Valenciano* (1893, oldest shop in the Rastro, botas de vino)
Metropolis Building

Honorable Mentions

  • Plaza de España* (1929). Features a monument to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (with statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza) and is adjacent to two of Madrid’s most prominent skyscrapers. In 1808, one of the locations used by French firing squads to execute prisoners taken during the May 2nd uprising.
  • Chapel of Our Lady & of St John Lateran* (16th century). “Bishop’s Chapel.”
  • Bridge of Segovia* (1584).
  • Palace of the Councils* (1613). Duke commission that later housed the mother of Charles II of Spain, the queen mother Mariana of Austria, who died there in 1696.
  • Royal Monastery of the Incarnation* (1616). Convent founded by the Queen Margaret of Austria to celebrate the expulsion of resident Moors. When Joseph Bonaparte entered Madrid as king, a hanged cat was found on the monastery gate with the writing “If you don’t leave this town soon/ you’ll end up like this cat.” In the 19th century, the composer Lorenzo Román Nielfa was professor of music here. Opened to the public in 1965.
  • Santa Cruz Palace* (1636). The Palace of the Holy Cross was used as a jail until 1767, when it was converted into a palace. In 1791, a fire destroyed all but the facade.
  • Pontifical Basilica of St. Michael* (1745). Minor basilica.
  • Parish of Santa Bárbara* (1758)
  • House of Gallardo* (1911)
  • Metropolis Building (1911). An office building featuring a cupola covered in 30,000 24-carat gold leaves. The original statue on top of the building depicted the mythological Phoenix and Ganymede. Restored in 1996.
  • Edificio Grassy* (1917). Triangular building with rotunda topped by two superimposed Renaissance-inspired belvederes. Since 1952 houses Grassy Jewelers. The basement houses a museum of ancient clocks from the 16th to the 19th century. Featured in the 1981 painting La Gran Vía.
  • Caryatid Building* (1918). First office building in Madrid! Former head office of the Central Bank and later of the Santander Bank. Contains a 1,200-person exhibition hall and auditorium.
  • Telefónica Building* (1929). One of the first European skyscrapers and tallest (89m) in Europe until 1940. Inspired by Manhattan. Lookout during the Spanish Civil War. Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry sent their reports from inside the building. Currently a flagship store.
  • Lázaro Galdiano Museum* (1951, building 1903). Private art collection.
  • Edificio España* (1953). The Hotel Riu Plaza España is a historic skyscraper, the 8th tallest (117m) building in Madrid containing a hotel, offices, apartments and shops. Tallest building in Spain until 1957. In 2019, reopened as the 585-room Hotel Riu Plaza España. Featured in the film The Hit (1984).
  • Torre de Madrid* (1957). One of the tallest (142m) buildings in Madrid and contains offices and apartments. Conceived as the tallest concrete building in the world upon completion, it was equipped with 12 high-speed elevators. The tallest office building in Western Europe until 1967 and tallest building in Spain until 1982. Featured in numerous films such as The Hit (1984).
  • Torrespaña (1982). Spain Tower is the tallest (231m) structure in Spain; a television tower built to commemorate the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Generally known in Madrid as the “Pirulí” given the similarity to a lollipop popular in Spain in the eighties.
  • Torre Picasso* (1988). Tallest (157m) building in Madrid until 2007. Currently the fifth-tallest in Madrid and the tenth in Spain.
  • CaixaForum Madrid (2007). Museum and cultural center in a former 1900s power station. Features a vertical garden.
  • Cuatro Torres Business Area* (2009). Four Towers Business Area contains the four tallest skyscrapers in Spain (Torre Espacio, 224m; Torre de Cristal, 249m; Torre PwC, 236m; Torre Cepsa, 248m), and four of the ten tallest in the EU. Construction of the buildings finished in 2008. A fifth tower, Caleido, is under construction.




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