10 Famous Things In Madrid, Spain - Updated 2022


Situated on the River Manzanares, the Spanish capital of Madrid is buzzing with activity and teeming with tourist attractions. Madrid has 80 museums, 2000 historical and artistic monuments, beautiful parks, wide avenues, and a rich history. Art lovers will enjoy a visit to the Prado Museum, where they can admire over 5000 paintings. Estadio Santiago Bernabéu - Real Madrid’s stadium is the Mecca for football lovers. Fans can take a comprehensive tour of the stadium and spot trophies, team artifacts and more. History aficionados will love the National Archaeological Museum, which features many interesting exhibits, archaeological finds, ancient coins and more. Families with children can unwind at the 120-hectare (296 acres) Buen Retiro Park to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Plaza Mayor is another popular tourist haunt and is replete with restaurants and cafes. It also acts as a venue for bullfights, dramatic performances, and knightly tournaments if you fancy watching one! Here’s a look at some famous things and attractions in the beautiful city of Madrid, Spain.

1. Gran Via

Gran Via, Madrid
Source: Photo by user Dimitry B. used under CC BY 2.0

A busy street in Madrid extending from Calle de Alcalá to Plaza de España, Gran Via is a popular haunt for travelers. With shopping areas, hotels, restaurants, movie theaters and notable buildings boasting 20th-century architectural styles, this place has no shortage of interesting and exciting things to do and see. From experiencing the Spanish gastronomy at one of the finest restaurants to watching a movie at Cines Capitol to exploring the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, this place has it all. Head to the La Chocita del Loro, where you can enjoy a stand-up comedy performance.

La Chocita Del Loro Senator

Address: Calle Gran Vía, 70, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Website: La Chocita Del Loro Senator

2. Delicious tapas (from USD 81.0)

Enjoy a three-hour tour as you walk through the bright streets of Madrid to uncover its culinary secrets. Pay a visit to four different restaurants, try the various dishes like Iberian ham, salted cod, and rich chickpea stew, as well as learn about the local ingredients. Feast upon Spanish delicacies while listening to the commentary from your tour guide about the origin of tapas and how this cosmopolitan cuisine was influenced by Madrid’s immigrant population. Sip on some lovely wines, which are specially designed to compliment each dish. Last but not least, stop by a local bar and conclude the trip by sipping on soft drinks and refreshing beers.

Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Evening Guided Spanish Food Tour

Duration: 3 hours

1116 reviews

3. Puerta del Sol

Popularly known as the “Gate of the Sun”, this spacious town square is located in the center of Madrid. Commonly known as the “Kilometer Zero” point, it is from here that all the distances on the Spanish national road network are measured. A great spot to hang out, tourists can take a stroll and admire the architectural wonders. Buy the Madrid special violet candies from La Violeta, or browse through clothes, shoes, swimsuits and traditional Spanish fans at El Corte Inglés. Relish the traditional Spanish dish of Chocolate con Churros at Chocolatería San Ginés. It is a cup of hot, thick chocolate into which you can dip long sticks of fried dough.

Chocolatería San Ginés

Address: Passage of San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Website: Chocolatería San Ginés

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

4. Blasting nightlife

esperando ante la Joy Eslava antes del concierto
Source: Photo by Flickr user Tnarik Innael used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Madrid is known for its vibrant nightlife and tourists can amble through the streets lined up with tapas bars, cocktail bars, clubs, jazz lounges, live music venues, and flamenco theaters. Head to the neighborhoods of Bilbao, Tribunal, Atocha, La Latina, Usera, Barrio de las Letras, Alonso Martínez or Moncloa to enjoy the nightlife, or explore the Madrilenian nightlife at the district of Chueca. Tourists, as well as locals, often prefer early arrival at the Joy Eslava Madrid nightclub, where they can dance to live musical performances and DJs.

Joy Eslava Madrid

Address: Calle del Arenal, 11, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Website: Joy Eslava Madrid

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 12pm - 5:30am; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 6am

5. Picnic in Retiro Park

Commonly known as Parque del Buen Retiro, families with children can unwind at this 141 hectares (350 acres) park featuring gardens, fountains, and buildings. From the annual book fair, concerts, firework shows, to holiday and cultural events, this park attracts many tourists throughout the year. Elderly people can work out in the outdoor exercising area, whereas youngsters can enjoy tricep dips, pull-ups, sit-ups and cycling over here. Visitors can often catch a puppet show, street performers and fortune tellers in the area surrounding the Retiro Pond. If you are interested, plan a picnic with family, or enjoy a ride in the horse-drawn carriages. You can also rent a rowboat to paddle about the Estanque.

El Retiro Park

Address: Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain

Website: El Retiro Park

6. Flamenco

Spain’s popular dance, flamenco attracts thousands of tourists from all around the globe. Watch a live flamenco show at Casa Patas, or witness two 90-minute shows each day at Café de Chinitas, or enjoy the performances by the best artists at Torres Bermejas. Corral de la Morería hosts special shows after midnight along with performances by famous artists, who also explain the history of flamenco art in Spain. Being the oldest flamenco locale in the capital, this excellent restaurant is the perfect place to spend the evening.

Corral de la Morería

Address: Calle de la Moreria, 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain

Website: Corral de la Morería

Opening hours: 6pm - 12am (daily)

7. The Bear Statue

Situated on the east side of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, this sculpture is from the second half of the 20th century. A popular landmark in the city, this statue is made up of stone and bronze and rests on a staggered cubic pedestal of granite. Pose at this tourist attraction and click Instagram-worthy pictures in front of this masterpiece, which represents Madrid’s coat of arms. Here you can see a bear trying to support his paws on the trunk of a tree taller than him as he directs his attention towards one of the fruits.

La Osa y el Madroño

Address: Puerta del Sol, 1, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Website: La Osa y el Madroño

Opening hours: 24/7

8. Rowboats

#SundaySerenity: row, row, row your boat on the sunny water in Retiro Park, Madrid! #Spain

Posted by EU To You on Sunday, 14 June 2015

Rowing a boat on the lake at Parque del Buen Retiro is quite a romantic activity and often recommended for tourists visiting Madrid. You can rent a boat for 45 minutes at a charge of 6 EUR (6.70 USD), to enjoy paddling in the lake while watching the picturesque landscape. Many people often lose control of the boat and end up near the tiny water fountain at the edge of the lake!

El Retiro Park

Website: El Retiro Park

9. Football

Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid Spain
Source: Photo by Flickr user Terry Kearney used under CC0

Being home to the La Liga football club giant Real Madrid, this is an ultimate destination for football lovers. Football is the most popular sport in Madrid and is the only city that had derby matches in the UEFA Champions League Final. Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is the home ground for Real Madrid and it attracts thousands of supporters from all around the globe to watch their favorite team play here. Tourists on a trip to Madrid make it a point to take a tour of the stadium and see the display of trophies, team artifacts, and the interactive screens inside.

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Address: Av. de Concha Espina, 1, 28036 Madrid, Spain

Website: Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Opening Hours: Flexible entry times

10. Great shopping

Shop till you drop in Madrid as you discover different styles and brands. Explore the trendy and bohemian design at Chueca, or browse through all major Spanish brands such as Zara, Stradivarius and Massimo Dutti at Gran Vía. Travelers will enjoy looking for some great finds and deals while street shopping at Fuencarral, which is lined with high-street brands like Levi’s, Brandy Melville, Mac, and Lush. The Príncipe Pío Shopping Center attracts shopaholics looking for a complete range of fashion shops and leisure activities throughout the year. Located in the heart of the city, tourists can also visit restaurants or cinemas.

Príncipe Pío Shopping Center

Address: Paseo de la Florida, 2, 28008 Madrid, Spain

Website: Príncipe Pío Shopping Center

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 10pm; Sun: 11am - 10pm

Enjoy a memorable vacation in Madrid

The vibrant Spanish capital is the perfect vacation spot for couples, families and the solo traveler. You can indulge in local cuisine, learn about the rich culture and history of the city as you explore its museums or simply soak in the lovely atmosphere. Become a time traveler as you marvel at the medieval mansions, royal palaces, and Spanish architecture.

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Anupama Passary has written for several online publications and loves all things tech and travel related. She is a self-confessed chocoholic, stargazer and dreamer who loves to pen down poems.

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