7. Madrid  SPAIN  | Total Sights: 50+ | Nickname: “El Foro” (The Forum)

 

 

 

 

A. Strengths and Weaknesses of Madrid

Spain  Frequently underrated Madrid is a very dynamic, lively and surprisingly compact city with a welcoming atmosphere. 

With the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia the city houses not less than three world-class museums

 The Spanish capital offers first-rate sights, a fantastic climate, world-class shopping opportunities and a large pedestrian core with usually crowded streets, bustling with activity.

Due to easy and wonderful day trips to marvelous small cities like nearby Segovia and Toledo the Spanish capital is also well worth a longer stay.

 The setting of the Spanish capital is not remarkable (having a river only in the west of the city).

While there is a lot to see, if your are not into museums no sight really stands out and there is no World Heritage Site to be found in Madrid itself (but nearby Segovia, Toledo and the El Escorial are all Unesco enlisted).

Criteria 

Sights 

Location

Pedestrian Zones

Affordability

Safety  

Cleanliness

Shopping

Climate

People

Nightlife 

Transport

Size

Total Score

Score

7.30/10

5.25/10

6.5/10

4/10

6.5/10

6.5/10

8.25/10

8.75/10

6/10

7.5/10

9.25/10 [9th]

7/10 [3.150 Mio.]

201.15

B. Best Things to Do in Madrid (Detailed List with Photos and more Information) 

These sights and attractions contribute to a sights score of 7.30/10.

Museo del Prado  8
Widely considered one of the greatest art museums in the world the Prado holds numerous masterpieces among its 1,500 displayed works in more than 100 rooms on 15,400 m2 gallery space.

Its collection includes paintings from a wide range of celebrated artists like Diego Velázquez (“Las Meninas”, “The Triumph of Bacchus”), Hieronymus Bosch (“The Garden of Earthly Delights”), Rogier van der Weyden (“The Descent from the Cross”), or Francisco de Goya (”The Third of May 1808”, “Saturn Devouring His Son”). 

Museum

by Hieronymous Bosch / Public Domain

Palacio Real (Royal Palace)  7
Inhabited by the kings of Spain from the mid-1700s until 1931 the densely decorated Palacio Real is the largest royal palace in Western Europe by floor area. Only 50 of its 3,418 rooms rooms are open to the public.

Highlights include the the main stairway, the Salón de Gasparini with its exquisite stucco ceiling, the extravagant Salón del Trono (Throne Room) with its crimson-velvet wall coverings and Tiepolo ceiling, and the Royal Chapel.

Palace 

by Fabio Alessandro Locati / CC BY-SA 3.0

Plaza Mayor  6
Square

Best things to do in Madrid | Best Cities | No. 8: Madrid | Plaza Mayor (square)

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza  6
Museum  (Most famous Painting: "Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni" by Domenico Ghirlandaio [ca. 1489-90])

by Domenico Ghirlandaio / Public Domain

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía  6
Museum  (Most famous Painting: "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso [1937])

Best Things to do in Madrid | Best Cities | No. 8: Madrid | Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (museum, "Guernica" by Picasso)

by Pablo Picasso (detail)  

Parque del Buen Retiro  5
Park

Things to do in Madrid | Best Cities | No. 8: Madrid | Parque del Buen Retiro (Retiro Park)

Cibeles Palace (City Hall)  5
Historic Building

Puerta del Sol (Sun's Gate)  5
Square

Things to do in Madrid | Best Cities | No. 8: Madrid | Puerta del Sol (Sun's Gate, square)

by multisanti / CC BY-SA 2.0

Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales  5
Convent

 Rastro  5
Market

by victorgrigas / CC BY-SA 4.0

Scoring and Icons Legend (Click here for detailed information)

10 = top-10 sight in the world
9 = world-class  
8 = outstanding
7 = excellent 
6 = impressive
5 = interesting
4 = decent
3 = mediocre
2 = bad
1 = abysmal

= World Heritage Site
= Excursion

Weather Forecast

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Tomorrow 02/24 0%
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Sunday 02/25 0%
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Monday 02/26 0%
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C. Other notable sights of Madrid

-Zoo-Aquarium of Madrid (housing giant pandas)  5

-Museo Arqueológico Nacional (museum)  5

D. Best day trips and excursions from Madrid

SEGOVIA (city, World Heritage Site since 1985, 81 km from Madrid)  8

  TOLEDO (city, World Heritage Site since 1986, 88 km from Madrid)  7

EL ESCORIAL (MONASTERY AND SITE, World Heritage Site since 1983, 53 km from Madrid)  6

E. Top 10 List of the Best Things to Do in Madrid (including close-by excursions)

Museo del Prado (museum)  8
SEGOVIA (city, 81 km from Madrid)  8
Palacio Real (Royal Palace)  7
  TOLEDO (city, 88 km from Madrid)  7
Plaza Mayor (square) 7
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (museum)  6
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (museum)  6
  EL ESCORIAL (MONASTERY AND SITE, 53 km from Madrid)  6
Parque del Buen Retiro (Retiro Park)  5
 Cibeles Palace (city hall)  5


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