There’s something interesting about Madrid city. Fans love Real Madrid more than they love themselves, castles and palaces may outnumber homes, leave the Spaniards with nothing but tapas and they won’t complain, and Hey, Spaniards don’t nap; they siesta! And no matter what you expect from Madrid, it won’t let you down, Touristico!
The best way to explore Madrid is by a Madrid hop on hop off tour, which takes you on a tour covering the famous attractions in the city. With an open deck and terrace seatings, prepare yourself for an exhilarating sightseeing ride or hop off and explore Madrid on foot. For more info about the card, head here.
➤ High Season (March to October): The tour operates from 9 AM to 10 PM and there’s a bus for every 9 minutes.
➤ Low Season (November to February): The tour operates from 10 AM to 6 PM and you get a bus for every 15 minutes.
? Please note that the Madrid card only allows unlimited rides across its route. It neither includes entry to attractions nor endorses discounts. It’s solely a transport card.
Route 1 – Itinerary across Historical Madrid
|Museo del Prado|
|➤ Madrid is centred on its art heritage — literally. Three iconic museums are located in the centre of Madrid forming the so-called “Golden Triangle of Art” and the Prado is one of them.|
➤ Check out the masterpieces that belong to the Spanish Golden age, including the works of some famous artists like Diego Velazquez and El Greco, can be found here — must-visit for an art lover.
➤ The top thing to do near this place(700m) is visiting the El Retiro Park — With over 15,000 trees, the El Retiro is officially a green island in concrete Madrid. Pack a perfect picnic and sit by the lake, visit the Crystal Palace amidst a tranquil setting, admire the peacocks in the Jardines de Cecilio Rodriguez garden, and stroll past the statues of Spanish sovereigns.
|➤ Gran Via or the Great way, is a fascinating avenue that’s typically Madrid in a nutshell. Catch a random broadway theatrical, enter the shopping street and buy a bunch of souvenirs while munching street food on the go! |
➤ Street shop in Calle Princesa! Interestingly, you will find shops selling a single item here, meaning you’ll be spoilt for choices when it comes to shopping.
➤ Watch a Spanish movie in Cines Capitol, or it’s Cine Renoir Princesa you should go to watch movies in original languages.
|Templo de Debod|
|➤ The story of how an Egyptian temple came to be in Madrid is beyond interesting. Visit the temple which was once dismantled in Egypt and transported to Spain as a gift for helping to preserve their ancient monuments.|
➤ Explore the Cerralbo Museum which showcases the antique collection of Enrique de Aguilera and the marquis of Cerralbo among others.
➤ Visit Madrid’s best-kept secret, the park of Parque del Oeste.
|➤ The Plaza Mayor is a one-stop-shop for everything you’d do on a vacation. Standing with pride in the heart of Madrid, the Plaza Mayor has witnessed Madrid evolve first-hand.|
➤ Hang out in the quaint cafes and shops of the Plaza Mayor that on any day brim with liveliness, and beyond fascinating during Christmas holidays!
➤ Check out the famous landmarks such as the El Arco de Cuchillero and the Casa de la Panaderaas.
|➤ When it comes to museums, Madrid spoils you for choices. The Thyssen Museum is special because it brings the best of all in one place — from Picasso and El Greto to Van Gogh. Go on an art- raid to all of its 3 floors while digging deep on their history.|
➤ Cycle or walk in the oldest ancient boulevard in Madrid, the Paseo del Prado.
➤ No matter where you go, you are sure to find good restaurants, quirky souvenir shops and historical museums on either side on this street. Make sure you spend some time here.
|Museo Reina Sofía|
|➤ One that completes the Golden Art Triangle, the Museo Reina Sofía need not even compete for attention. Check out the glass- steel laden outer facade and zinc-aluminium ceiling crafted to perfection. Go further inside and explore the good collection of Spanish vintage and contemporary art.|
➤ Check out the tapas bars nearby. And authentic Spanish food. The options are plenty.
Route 2 – Itinerary across Modern Madrid
|Plaza de Cibeles|
|➤ The Plaza de Cibeles was built around several significant neoclassical buildings that went on to become one of the busiest squares of Madrid that it is now. |
➤ Check out the Cybele’s statue by Ventura Rodriguez that is undoubtedly one of the iconic symbols in Madrid.
➤ This place is basically famous monuments such as Buenavista and Cibeles palaces, good tapas cafes and accessibility to other famous places in Madrid.
|➤ Pay the mandatory visit to the home ground of Real Madrid. Considering football is a religion in Madrid, the Santiago Bernabeu is easily one of the most visited places in Madrid.|
➤ You will find the best quality sports goods and of course, football souvenirs to bring back home.
|Puerta de Alcala|
|➤ It’s impossible to not recognize this royal gate that once provided entry into Madrid city in the 17th century. The popularity of the Puerta de Alcala can also be attributed to its central location in Madrid.|
➤ Stroll in the Real Jardin Botanico, the botanical garden located nearby.
➤ Watch art exhibitions in the El Retiro park if you had gone at the perfect time.
➤ Check out the offbeat attraction of the Cason del Buen Retiro or the Museo Naval.
|Puerta del Sol|
|➤ Everything in this place has a history dating back to decades and each one a cult now. From the clock that signifies the start of the new year or the famous monuments, the Puerta del Sol is quintessential Madrid.|
➤ Visit the Calle de Preciados and the Calle del Carmen, the largest open-air shopping centre in Madrid. From high-end retail markets to luxury shopping, you have a lot of options here.
➤ Check out the iconic statues of La Osa y el Madrono and King Carlos III.
How did this idea work? Pickyourtrail listens! 🙂
Updated as of August 2019. The information is subject to change.
Info credits: Madrid.citytour