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Madrid

Country: Spain
Population:3,102,644
Time Zone:UTC+2
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Prado Museum
This gallery in Madrid has the most complete collection of Spanish painting from 11th-18th centuries, and numerous masterpieces by great universal artists such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Bosch, Titian, Van Dyck and Rembrandt. The quality and variety of its collection makes the Prado one of the world's best-endowed museums. It combines a first-class collection of Spanish painting, the most important works of the Flemish and Italian schools, and various fine examples of the German, French and English schools. It is home to numerous masterpieces of universal art such as Las Meninas by Velázquez, the two Majas by Goya, Nobleman with his hand on his chest by El Greco, the Garden of Delights by Bosch, and The Three Graces by Rubens, among other priceless pieces. Although the museum was created to house primarily works of painting and sculpture, it also contains major collections of drawings, engravings, coins and medals, as well as items of clothing and decorative art.
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Royal Palace of Madrid
Madrid's Royal Palace was built in the 18th century by order of Philip V on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, a former Moorish castle. Sachetti began the works in 1738, and the building was completed in 1764. Sabatini designed the southeast wing and the great staircase, or staircase of honour. It has a square floor plan with a large central courtyard. The Puerta del Príncipe gateway on the east side gives access to the central courtyard. The Sabatini and Campo del Moro Gardens are among the Palace's other attractions, as well as its several different façades. There is some debate as to its artistic style; it is thought by some experts to belong more to the Baroque, and by others to the Neo-classical style. Of particular note among its numerous rooms are the Royal Guards' Room, the Columns Room, the Hall of Mirrors and King Charles III's room. It also contains paintings by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco and Caravaggio.
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Puerta De Alcala Gate
This is one of the most well-known monuments in Madrid. Built between 1769 and 1778 under the orders of King Carlos III, it was designed by Francisco Sabatini and erected as a triumphal arch to celebrate the arrival of the monarch at the capital. The granite gate is 19.5 metres tall and is elegant and well-proportioned. The façade features a number of decorative elements with groups of sculptures, capitals, reliefs and masks, among others.
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Plaza Mayor
This portico lined square is situated at the heart of Hapsburg Madrid, the old part of the city and one of the capital’s most charming districts. Before Madrid became a capital city, with its wide avenues and boulevards, its footprint consisted of narrow streets, alleys and passageways, which today take us back to the times of swashbuckling swordsmen and medieval rogues. The foundations of Plaza Mayor were laid, when Philip II's court moved to Madrid, on the site of the former Plaza del Arrabal, where the town's most popular market was located towards the end of the 15th century. In 1617, architect Juan Gómez de Mora was commissioned to create a greater uniformity amongst the buildings in this location, which for centuries had hosted popular entertainments, bullfights, beatifications, coronations and the occasional auto de fe.
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Puerta del Sol
This bustling square located bang in the centre of Madrid is one of the city’s most famous sites. With its semi-circular shape, it is a junction for many of the city’s historical and busiest streets such as Mayor, Arenal, Alcalá and Preciados, as well as the starting point for all major radial roads in Spain. Originally the site of one of the city’s gates, Puerta del Sol should be at the top of your list of places to visit. Sitting atop the Casa de Correos building, the current headquarters of the Madrid regional government, you’ll find the famous clock that all eyes turn to on the last day of the year. For over a century now tradition has it that people across the country usher in the New Year by eating 12 lucky grapes to the twelve chimes of midnight struck by this clock. A stone slab on the pavement in front of the main entrance to the Casa de Correos marks Spain’s Kilometre 0, the starting point for all major radial roads in Spain. Across the square, at the beginning of Calle Alcalá, Madrid’s longest street, you’ll find the famous Oso y Madroño. The official symbol of the city, the statue of a bear nuzzling a strawberry tree is a popular meeting spot for Madrileños.
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Cibeles Fountain
Built in 1782, the Cibeles Fountain has been standing in this emblematic square since 1895. One of the city’s most famous landmarks, it depicts Cybele, the Great Mother and Roman goddess of fertility, atop a chariot drawn by two lions. It stands in the centre of the Plaza de Cibeles, the square to which it has lent its name and which marks the start of Madrid’s avenue of art, the Paseo del Arte. The fountain is flanked by four magnificent buildings: Buenavista Palace (the Army’s General Headquarters), Linares Palace (which accommodates the Casa de América cultural institution), Cibeles Palace (previously the main Post Office, it now houses Madrid City Hall and CentroCentro cultural centre), and the Bank of Spain. Commissioned by King Charles III it was designed by renowned Spanish architect Ventura Rodriguez. All three figures were made with purple marble from the town of Montesclaros, in Toledo, and the rest of the monument was carved from stone from Redueña, an area 53km to the north of Madrid, close to the La Cabrera mountain range.
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Plaza de Cibeles
The stunning Palacio de Cibeles is not only the headquarters of Madrid City Council, it is also home to CentroCentro. A recent addition to the renowned Paseo del Arte, the cultural centre boasts a packed programme of activities that revolve around the city and includes exhibitions, workshops, conferences and concerts. Next to the entrance hall, where you’ll find interactive information screens, there is a colourful lounge where visitors can sit back and read, connect to WiFi or enjoy some people-watching through the large windows that look out onto Plaza de Cibeles. The building has two restaurants: Colección Cibeles on the ground floor and Palacio de Cibeles on the 6th. Both are open Monday to Sunday. Also on the sixth floor is Terraza Cibeles, a great rooftop bar where you can relax with a pre-dinner drink or mid-afternoon snack as you take in the wonderful views of the Plaza de Cibeles and the Madrid skyline. For even more breathtaking vistas, head up to the Mirador observation deck on the 8th floor.
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El Retiro Park
Covering over 125 hectares and comprising more than 15,000 trees, El Retiro Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city. In it you’ll find all kinds of interesting monuments and gardens, including the Jardín de Vivaces, the Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez (Andalusian-inspired classicistic gardens), the Jardines del Arquitecto Herrero Palacios, the Rosaleda rose garden and the Parterre Francés, which holds a Mexican conifer that is nearly 400 years old and is believed to be Madrid’s oldest tree.
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Temple of Debod Gardens
In 1968, Manuel Herrero Palacios designed these 8 hectares of gardens so that one could sit and admire the magnificence of the Temple of Debod, which had been donated to Spain by the Government of Egypt. The Debod Mausoleum, which is more than 2,000 years old, was rescued from the waters of Aswan Dam by a group of Spanish archaeologists. They brought back every stone and rebuilt it in its present location, after the Government of Egypt donated it to Spain. It was set on the remains of Cuartel de la Montaña, retaining the orientation to the sun it had at its place of origin. From here, the famous Manzanares cornice, with the Royal Palace, Casa de Campo and, possibly, the most beautiful sunsets in Madrid, can be seen. The garden’s parterres on both sides are merely a vegetation frame. They are enclosed with squares, banana trees for alignment and groups of palm trees and Mediterranean plants on the meadows.
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Market of San Miguel
Opened in May 1916 as a food market, this centenary establishment (one of the city’s few and best examples of iron architecture) became Madrid’s first gastronomy market in May 2009. Throughout 2018, the market will undergo a period of consolidation of much of its gastronomy contents. Located in the centre of Los Austrias Madrid and with over 10 million visitors a year, the San Miguel Market is the city’s gastronomic temple, the contemporary essence of all the corners of Spanish cuisine. From the best Iberian ham to fresh seafood brought from Galicia each day, the Mediterranean rice or the special cheese from Castile, Asturias or the Basque Country. The finest products and wine from the length and breadth of Spain are divided among 30 permanent stands and 3 in a portable format.
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The Aqueduct of Segovia
It must have been one of the largest in the Roman world.The aqueduct is thought to have been built during the Flavian dynasty, from the second half of the first century to the early 2nd century CE under the Emperors Vespasian and Trajan in order to carry the water of the River Acebeda to the city.
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Segovia Cathedral
Built at the highest point of the town, construction of the cathedral of Segovia began in the year 1525, during the reign of Carlos V. It is in the late Gothic style and was built after the fire in the old Romanesque cathedral in the year 1520.
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Alcazar fortress
Standing between the confluence of the Eresma and Clamores rivers, the first documented record of the fortress dates back to Christian writings in the 12th century. It was built on top of a rock, a testament to its original military status.
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Penafiel castle
Peñafiel castle is built of Campaspero stone and is an example of the German Gothic style. It is 210 metres long by 33 metres wide.The castle is located on a hill overlooking the valleys of Duratón and Botijas. Its exterior is uniform in appearance, and it has a single door.
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Valladolid Cathedral
This Renaissance building was designed by Juan de Herrera in the early 16th century. The façade, with columns, is divided into two storeys: the lower is by Juan de Herrera, and the upper is by Churriguera, characterised by abundant decorative elements.
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National Sculpture Museum
This exhibition is an outstanding testament to the quality of Spanish sculpture from the Middle Ages through to the 19th century.Its collection includes a range of sculptures (altarpieces, choir stalls, funerary monuments, processional statues...) and materials (wood, bronze, stone, clay and ivory).
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Plaza Mayor Square
One of the most beautiful squares in Spain. It was built in Baroque style according to the plans of Alberto Churriguera. On the north side is the City Hall, a Baroque building that has five granite arches and a steeple decorated with allegoric figures.
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The Cathedral of Salamanca
The Old Cathedral is in the Romanesque style with the outstanding Gallo Tower. Inside this temple, the construction of which began at the end of the 12th century, is the San Martín or Oil Chapel. The main reredos, which dates from the 15th century and was created by several painters with Dello Delli at the head, is also worthy of note.
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Carthusian monastery
Before the building was ceded to the Carthusian order, it was the recreational residence of Henry III of Spain, who decided to build this palace on one of his hunting reserves. The building was subsequently restored when his son King John II came to the throne, following a design by John of Cologne. Construction was finally completed in the reign of Queen Isabella, and the top architects, sculptures and painters of the time were employed for the job, including figures such as Simon of Cologne, Gil de Siloé and Pedro Berruguete. The Carthusian monastery became one of the treasures of the Gothic style of the late 15th century.
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Burgos Cathedral
This cathedral is outstanding for the elegance and harmony of its architecture, and it is the only one in Spain which, for its cathedral building alone, has received the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
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Atapuerca
Atapuerca is one of Europe's most important archaeological sites. It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000, and a Site of Outstanding Universal Value, also by UNESCO, in 2015.
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Colegiata de San Miguel
In Plaza España, at the top of a series of uninterrupted steps in the shape of a shell, rises the brick façade, a late 17th century Aragon Baroque masterpiece. It is flanked by two 50 m towers. Between the two, a central section. The lower part is divided by two large pillars.
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Museo Wuerth La Rioja
The Würth Museum has been designed as a 20th-21st avant-garde international contemporary arts scenario. Here the works belonging to the Würth España collection will be exhibited, as well as those of the Würth Collection from Germany, considered one of the main ones in Europe and collected thanks to the initiative of Professor Dr. h.c. Reinhold Würth since the 1960s.
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Ajuria-Enea Palace
The Palace of Ajuria-Enea is known, above all for being the headquarters of the Basque Government. Apart from its administrative function, it contains monuments, history, and art of great value.
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Cathedral of Santa Maria
It is built on a previous construction dating from the 13th century, and has a doorway with interesting sculptures. The Cathedral of Santa María originated as a church-fortress in the early 13th century. Construction was subsequently completed in the Gothic style in several stages throughout the 14th and 15th centuries.
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Vitoria-Gasteiz Town Hall
Is a Neoclassic-converted building in the town centre. Built in 1731 and restored in 1982. The building blends into the portico space of the Plaza de España. Designed by the architect Justo A. de Olaguibel.
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Leon Cathedral
Over the centuries the cathedral of Leon has undergone successive restorations in which a number of famous architects have participated. Ordoño II built the temple on the site of his royal palace as a show of gratitude for defeating the Moors at the battle of San Esteban de Gormaz.
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Cueva Del Puerto
The underground cavity has the longest horizontal run of the Region of Murcia and its more than 700 meters long. It has different astonishing rooms and spectacular rock formations with three fantastic audiovisual shows. Locution and synchronized lighting with LED technology and exciting walkways all provided. Also specialized guides for excursions. The Cueva del Puerto Reception Centre of Calasparra has a cafeteria, a multipurpose hall also used for conferences, interpretative room, terraces for activities, parking lots, cave tourism centre, etc.
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Viana Palace
This palace museum has an extensive collection of items from Cordoba including furniture and coffered objects. Of particular note is the staircase which gives access to the upper floor. This stately mansion was originally a single building that was extended with the adjoining buildings, and today occupies a large area with a predominance of courtyards and gardens.
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Plaza de la Corredera
It is rectangular and follows the model of the traditional Castilian Plaza Mayor square. It is the only one in Andalusia with these characteristics. During the reconstruction works, magnificent Roman mosaics were found. These can be seen in the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos Fortress.
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Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
The Great Mosque of Cordoba is a mixture of architectural styles superimposed on one another over the nine centuries its construction and renovations lasted. Standing in the historic centre, it is one of the most beautiful examples of Muslim art in Spain. It was built in 785 by the Muslim emir Abdurrahman I, on the site of the ancient Visigoth church of San Vicente. The mosque underwent consecutive extensions over later centuries. Abdurrahman III had a new minaret built whilst in 961 Al-Hakam II extended the ground plan and decorated the "mihrab" (prayer niche). The last renovation was carried out by Al-Mansur in 987. As a result, the interior resembles a labyrinth of beautiful columns with double arcades and horseshoe arches. After the Christian conquest in 1523, the cathedral was built inside, and features highlights such as the main altarpiece, the Baroque altarpiece and the mahogany choir stalls. The "mihrab" is considered one of the most important in the Muslim world, and is the finest piece in the mosque. The decoration is Byzantine mosaic with crafted marble. The courtyard of the Orange Trees leads to the complex.
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Roman Bridge of Cordoba
This bridge connecting the city with Calahorra Tower is believed to have been built in the era of Augustus. In 918 it underwent major changes. It played an important role in the city's battles against the armies of Peter I, the Cruel. It has 16 arches supported by robust spurs with semi cylindrical buttresses. It is built in Flemish bond. In the centre there is a sculpture of San Rafael from 1651.
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Calahorra Tower
It was built by Henry II of Trastámara as a means of defence against his brother Peter I (Peter the Cruel). It lies on what was once an Arabian castle. It has a Latin cross plan with three arms formed by square towers joined by quarter cylinders and finished off with crenellations. It comprises of 8 rooms and houses the three cultures museum. It lies next to the Roman bridge and has been the site of many a battle. It houses the Museo Vivo de Al-Andalus (Al-Andalus Living Museum), by the Paradigma Cordoba Foundation.
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Alcazar Fortress Cordoba
This building was the royal residence of the Christian monarchs and subsequently the site of the Courts of the Holy Offices, a civil prison, and finally a military prison. It is set among magnificent gardens, including the garden known as the Avenue of the Monarchs which features statues of all the monarchs who had connections with the palace-fortress. It was declared a Historical Monument in 1931. The building is also part of the area declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1994. Since 1986, its gardens have been protected by town planning laws. It stands on top of the remains of the former caliph's palace.
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Medina Azahara
The Caliph Abd al-Rahman III was a great promoter of culture and a skilful politician who transformed his dominions into the most prosperous lands in the West at the time, comparable only with Baghdad and Byzantium. The city of Medina Azahara has a practically rectangular floor plan. It was built on raked terraces which made use of the slope of the mountainside. Each terrace was separated from the others by walls, which divided the city into three parts. The Alcázar Real palace is located on the highest and intermediate levels, while the lower part stood outside the walls and was used for dwellings and the mosque. There are still remnants of tiled borders, paintings and columns in the composite and Corinthian styles. Visitors should not miss a visit to the two recently restored rooms. It was declared a National Monument in 1923. To conclude the visit, the archaeological site also has a visitor centre which serves as a starting point for the tour. The centre is located underground in the style of an archaeological site, and features a collection of exhibits from the most important periods in the history of Medina Azahara. The tour of the visitor centre lasts about one hour and includes audiovisual shows, and continues with a visit to the archaeological site (which can be reached by bus from the same building).
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Domus Municipalis
Classified as a national monument, nobody is quite sure what this unusual 12th century building was for! Built in a Romanesque style the building forms an irregular pentagon with a subterranean vaulted cistern
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Braganca Castle
13th century citadel surrounded by 15 towers. In the centre is the 33 metre high keep, the Torre de Menagem
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Barrio del Carmen and its Palaces
This thousand-year-old city neighbourhood grew between two walls, the Muslim and the Christian. A walk through its labyrinthine cobbled streets flanked by imposing medieval buildings takes us to back to other times in history.
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Episcopal Palace
This Modernist building in the neo-Gothic style consists of a castle, church and stately mansion, and is the site of the Los Caminos Museum. This monument was designed by Gaudí himself in 1887, although it was ultimately completed by the architect Luis de Querejeta.
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National Museum of Ceramics
In honour of the Valencian ceramics industry, the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics is located in what is considered to be the best example of Baroque architecture in Spain, the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas. The museum houses the largest national collection of ceramics, dating from the 18th century to the contemporary period, and includes pieces by Picasso. A museum in which you can also find merchandise from the Silk Route and discover how they lived in one of the most iconic Valencian noble families of the age.
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Almadenes Canyon
Anyone who loves nature and places untouched by the human hand will find the Almadenes Canyon a landscape of singular beauty. On the other hand, there is a rich biodiversity of flora including poplars, ashes and willows and wildlife such as the eagle owl, the short-toed Eagle and the otter. In this attractive touristic enclave, you can pursue adventure sports such as trekking, canyoning, and of course, the river descent by inflatable boat or kayak which offers every visitor the opportunity to travel down the river irrespective of their age or physical fitness.