Top 10 Things to Do in Madrid, Spain

Visiting Madrid? Here's Our Definitive List of Fun Stuff to Check Out

Trust us, you will never, ever run out of things to do while staying in Madrid. While some activities may be a little more under the radar than in, say, Barcelona, the city is so culturally diverse that you'll always find a new bar, restaurant, theater or other interesting spots to discover. Read on for our definitive take on the ten best things to do while visiting in Madrid.

Ten things not enough? Then check out our master list of 100 Things to Do in Madrid! You're guaranteed to find something to suit your fancy. 

For more tricks and tips to Madrid, check out:

  • 01 of 10
    Reina Sofia Madrid
    ••• Reina Sofia. Image: CanadaGood (Creative Commons)

    The Reina Sofia is Spain's premier modern art gallery. It's prized possession is La Guernica, Picasso's most famous painting, but there's much more to see besides that.

    Like all museums, if you look hard enough you can find pretty cool special deals for Reina Sofia: click here to book a private tour and skip-the-line access.

  • 02 of 10
    ••• Image: Tnarik (Creative Commons)

    Madrid is famous for its nightlife. And with its neatly compartmentalised nightlife zones, you'll find something for everyone if you know where to look.

    Sometimes, the best way to stumble upon an undiscovered gem is to fire up your Google Maps and hit the town, but if you're looking for some specific direction, . Or if you want to get a bit rowdy, If you want to get a bit rowdy, check out this pub crawl tour of the city!

  • 03 of 10

    Madrid is blessed with some of the greatest day trips in Spain. Which one should you choose? The history of Toledo? The aqueduct and fairy tale castle of Segovia? Avila and its spectacularly well-preserved city walls and turrets? The twin marvels of El Escorial's monastery and the tragic yet magnificent Valle de los Caidos. Whichever you decide, you won't be disappointed.

  • 04 of 10

    Gaze at the Architecure at Plaza Mayor

    Plaza Mayor
    ••• Plaza Mayor. Image: Damian Corrigan

    Being the capital of Spain, you'd expect Madrid to have one of the most pleasant and ornate Plaza Mayor (main square) in all the land. Around this area too you'll find excellent bars and cafes, plus the opera house and royal palace. The nearby town of Salamanca also has an amazing Playa Mayor on display. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Attend a Game at Santiago Bernabeu

    Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
    ••• Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid. Image: Damian Corrigan

    Real Madrid is Europe's most successful soccer team. Santiago Bernabeu is their home. Getting to see a match here is cheaper than seeing the equivalent club in, say, the UK. Alternatively, take a tour of the museum and hallowed turf.

    For you true Real Madrid fans, you can also book a private tour of the stadium! Completely coincidental run-in with your favorite player sold separately. 

  • 06 of 10
    ••• Las Ventas Bullring, Madrid. Image: Aranarth

    A lot of bullrings in Spain are more like tourist attractions than places for true bullfighting aficionados. Not so in Madrid. The Ventas bullring in Madrid is where the most hardcore of bullfighting fans can be seen every week, watching the very best bullfighters. Of course, bullfighting is not for everyone, but if you're interested, this is the best place to try it.

  • 07 of 10

    Walk Around Lavapies, Huertas, and La Latina

    ••• La Latina. Image: Chusoart (Creative Commons)

    These neighborhoods to the south of Puerta del Sol are Madrid's most diverse. Featuring an eclectic mix of immigrant communities and trendy Spaniards, a wander around these parts of Madrid is an essential part of your trip.​

    You can also read up on our guide to some of the most interesting attractions in Lavapies, Madrid's bohemian hub

  • 08 of 10

    Try Chocolate con Churros

    Spain's famous breakfast and late night snack is at its best in the San ​Gines Chocolateria in Madrid.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    El Prado, Madrid
    ••• El Prado, Madrid. Image: Ruth L

    El Prado is Spain's most visited tourist attraction. Madrid's answer to Paris's Louvre, the Prado has a colossal collection of classical art. If Spanish artists are your passion, this will be the highlight of your Madrid trip.

    Skip the (sometimes massive) line with this special admission package. You'll be ogling impressive masterpieces in no time!

  • 10 of 10

    Reconnect With Nature at Buen Retiro Park

    El Retiro, Madrid
    ••• El Retiro, Madrid. Image: danjc003

    Madrid is known for its green space, and few European capital cities have such a huge public park at their center. Retiro is (literally) a breath of fresh air. You can even take a boat out on the lake, catch some rays or go round to the monument and join the hippie drum circle at the weekend.

    If you really want to reconnect with nature, why not take a scenic walking tour of the park, or you can find lodging near the park and opt for a room with a view!