With an estimated population of 3.2 million people, the capital of Spain, Madrid, can get a little overwhelming for tourists if they don’t know exactly how to explore the city. Madrid is one of the most elegant and historic cities in Europe, so knowing where to go and what to see, especially if you’re on a budget and a tight schedule is key. Here’s a list of my three favorite places in Madrid that you should definitely not miss out on
Madrid’s Royal Palace and Armory
These two historical landmarks will provide remarkable stories about all kinds of things that actually took place on those grounds hundreds of years ago throughout the Royal Family’s generations. Both the Royal Palace and the Armory are in extremely well-kept conditions and exhibit extravagant, one-of-a-kind furniture and interior design dating as back as 1755.
Plaza Mayor and the Market of San Miguel
Plaza Mayor is a central plaza that was built during King Philip III’s reign. Numerous Spanish roads connect at the Puerta del Sol, which is the central point in the plaza. This grand entryway was once where the original gates of the city of Madrid stood strong back in the 15th century. So take the time to stroll through the different roads, the plaza, and end up in the Market of San Miguel. This awesome food market was originally built in 1916. You can enjoy some of the most amazing cooked tapas and wine, as well as fresh food to cook back at your apartment after a long day of walking around.
Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art
Three prestigious art museums make up what is known as Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art: Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Each museum is worth visiting because they each showcase different timeframes of art. For example, Museo del Prado has an extensive collection of European art from the 12th to the 19th century. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía focuses more on Spanish impressionist and expressionist art pieces from the 20th century. Its most famous artwork is Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” painting, inspired by the Spanish Civil War. Lastly, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which also happens to have the second largest private art collection in the world (after the British Art Collection), mostly fills the historical gaps between the art collections found in Museo del Prado and Reina Sofía.