Top 5 attractions in Madrid

It’s my difficult mission today to try and present you the top 5 attractions in Madrid. Like any major capital, Madrid has all the possible attractions, from historic landmarks and institutions to ultra-chic malls and shops. Madrid is well known for its local football team Real Madrid and its iconic stadium, for the great shopping and partying opportunities but also for its unequaled art museums. Apart from all these, the atmosphere on Madrid’s streets is indeed exceptional: with party goers caught in a permanent swarm, Madrid is a city which never sleeps. And not to forget the large, encompassing squares, as well:

Puerta del Sol

by pablo sanchez

A favorite rendezvous place for both lovers and protesters, Puerta del Sol is the very center of Madrid. The gate is actually a large square, surrounded by numerous historic buildings and constantly under the siege of tourists. Probably the most important sight connected to the Puerta del Sol is the post office. You should also be looking for the ‘0 Km’ plate, marking the very center of Madrid.

Royal Palace

by linz_ellinas

You probably know already that Spain is of the last and biggest monarchies of Europe. The Royal Palace, quite close to Puerta de Sol, was built in an elegant baroque style by the masters of the 18th century in order to accommodate the royal family. Most of this beautiful and monumental palace is now open to the public. If you are expecting the monarch, just forget about it, as King Juan Carlos lives somewhere else.

El Rastro

El Rastro doesn’t compare with any of the large shopping centers or the glamorous boutiques in Madrid. Actually, El Rastro is the salt and pepper of this cosmopolitan city. If you happened to read one of our earlier posts, you probably know already that El Rastro is the name of huge flea market which takes place every Sunday and brings together the most eclectic mix of people, merchandise and antiquities.

Plaza Mayor

by dalbera

Plaza Mayor reminds me a little of the San Marco square in Venice, with the dominant Casa de Panaderia guarding it from 3 sides. It’s also similarly busy and surrounded by expensive restaurants and eateries. But there is also a dark side of this popular Madrid attraction, as in the medieval times it used to be an execution ground for the Inquisition.

Goya Museum

There are many other museums Madrid that are larger or more famous than the Goya Museum, but I chose this one seems particularly interesting as it is the actual grave of the famous painter. The full name of the museum is MuseoPanteon de Goya, and the headless head of Goya (the head was stolen!) rests under an old chapel decorated by the painter himself.

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