What to see in Madrid alone: landmarks and route
The capital of Spain, Madrid is the main cultural center of the country, full of different museums, art galleries, theatres and palaces. A massive building in the art Nouveau style in the first half of the twentieth century have made the city one of the most elegant of European capitals, so any tourist can find something to see in Madrid.
Madrid on the map in Russian language
The Autonomous community of Madrid is the largest city of Spain, whose population exceeds 3 million people.
This population allows the Spanish capital to be one of the most populous cities in Western Europe.
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Madrid is at the geographical center of Spain away from the sea and is the center of the homonymous province of Madrid. Distance above sea level — more than 660 meters.
Read our article, what is the weather in Spain by month and choose the best time to see the capital.
The main sightseeing areas
Only in the Spanish capital, there are 21 districts, but not all of them are of great interest for tourists. The main areas visited by the guests of the city are:
- Centro, or simply Center. The oldest part of the city, which includes sights from the city's founding to the XIX-XX centuries. The center in turn subdivided into the Austrian district of Chueca, Malasana, Chamberi and some others. It is in the Centro district, the majority of museums, architectural treasures and attractions of the city;
- District Salamanca — elite district of the city, nastraivaniya since the late nineteenth century. Salamanca is full of expensive restaurants and chic boutiques, so the price and the audience is relevant;
- A district in Madrid named after the Avenue of the same name, stretching from the Spanish square to Columbus circle. Castellana district famous for its shops and restaurants, as well as the Santiago Bernabeu;
- Arganzuela and Retiro — the "lungs" of Madrid. In these areas the main parks of the city: Madrid Rio and Retiro Park;
- Chamartin is the main business district of the city, built of the newest buildings. Chamartín is often called "Spanish Manhattan" for the many skyscrapers.
I love coming here not only the residents of Madrid, vacationers from the city, but tourists as, after all, these parks are a significant attraction.
Top 10 main tourist attractions - photos, names, and description
In Madrid there are not many ancient buildings, so the city's main attractions are the numerous museums and massive building in the art Nouveau style.
Madrid's Royal Palace is located in the city centre. Building in the style of the Italian Baroque was erected in the middle of the XVIII century by architects from the Apennines F. Juvarra and D. Sacchetti.
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Now the Palace is practically not visited by the Royal family of Spain, so the building is more like a Museum. This is facilitated by the frescoes of Italian, Flemish and German masters, antique furniture, collection of weapons and Stradivarius violins, and many other objects of art and decor, posted as exposure.
The Prado Museum is the largest in Spain and one of the most visited museums in Europe. Prado art Museum was opened in the second half of the XVIII century and now has the most complete collection of famous Spanish painters: El Greco, velázquez and Goya.
Also here is the collection of Renaissance artists from other European countries: Bosch, Veronese, Caravaggio, Raphael, Durer, Rubens, Brueghel. The collection of paintings of great European artists of the Renaissance gathered by Spanish monarchs from the sixteenthcentury. The building itself, which houses the Museum, is a monument of architecture of late classicism.
Area Plaza Mayor vying for the title of biggest in the city is the main square of the city. Was constructed in the early seventeenth century, however, due to the fire at the end of the XVIII century, was rebuilt almost from scratch in Baroque style.
The author of the project was the Spanish architect Juan gómez de Mora. The most famous building of the ensemble — Panaderia, it once rested members of the Royal family and now houses the city archive.
Square Cibeles is third on the list of the famous squares of Madrid, also claiming the title of chief in Madrid. The main attractions of the area are the eponymous fountain and Palace, worthy of special mention.
The Cibeles Palace was built in the early XX century in the style of art Nouveau (a variation of art Nouveau) and was originally used as a post office and now converted into a residence for the Madrid mayor.
The Cibeles fountain was built in the XVIII century and it was from him came the name of the square in the center of the fountain depicts the sculptural composition of the goddess Cybele, who gave the name of the fountain and the entire area. Complete architectural ensemble of the square is the magnificent building of the Bank of Spain and Palacio de Linares.
Puerta del Sol — another contender for the title of the main square of the city. Puerta del Sol is translated as "gate of the sun", it was the gate to the XVI century, standing in this place and gave his name to the square.
The area is a crossroads for 8, and the final ensemble formed by the end of the XIX century, although most of the area Puerta del Sol is built up with buildings of the XVIII century. The area hosts the sculptural composition "the bear and the strawberry tree", for almost a Millennium, the symbol of Madrid, depicted on the emblem of the city.
The Reina Sofia is another famous art Museum of Madrid, one of the TOP 20 most visited museums in the world.
The exposition of the Museum consists of works of artists of the XX century, especially the avant-garde. The most famous authors, whose works are exhibited in the Museum are of great Spanish painters Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso and is considered the main masterpiece "Guernica" by Picasso.
Cathedral of the Almudena Cathedral of Madrid, founded in the late XX century. The Cathedral is dedicated to the statue of the virgin Mary of Almudena, found in Medieval Arab fortress (in Arabic Almudena means "fortress").
The Cathedral was built over more than 100 years on projects of different architects, so it combines the styles of neo-Gothic, neo-Baroque and neo arrerica (arberesh — national variation of Renaissance style).
Street Gran via unofficially recognized by the Central streets of Madrid. It was planned and built in the early XX century, but were merged into a single Avenue much later. Throughout his life various parts of the streets had different names at one time part of the Avenue was even called the Street of Russia, and then the Street of the Soviet Union.
Most of the street was built up in the first half of the twentieth century in exquisite styles of art Nouveau (Jugendstil) and art Deco. In particular, it is the first skyscraper in Europe — the building of company of telefonika (89 meters, 1929 year of construction).
Las Ventas is the largest in the capital of Spain Bullring, the national sport of the Spaniards. Las Ventas was built in the 20-ies of XX century in order to satisfy the passion of real Madrid to this controversial spectacle.
The arena holds almost 24 thousand spectators, and in front of the entrance are statues of two famous matadors of the past. Within the walls of Las Ventas is a Museum in which exhibitions you can meet not only the heads of dead bulls, but the matadors, who died during a performance.
Stadium "Santiago Bernabeu" is the home arena for one of the most titled football clubs of Europe, real Madrid. The stadium can accommodate 80 thousand spectators and is one of the biggest stadiums in Europe.
In this arena Royal club (it is translated the name of the team) takes their rivals in the Spanish League and European competitions. Every game to look at the best players in the world going to a full stadium.
Crowns the architectural ensemble of the square the monument to king Philip III, made in the XVII century.
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The interiors of the Cathedral are decorated with relics, whose age exceeds the age of the Church, e.g., altar of the XVI century and the statue of the virgin Mary of the same age.
The second capital of Spain, consider Barcelona, where the scale and grandeur of attractions is not inferior to the country's main city. Read herewhat to see in Barcelona.
Independent routes among neighborhoods
Spain — small by Russian standards state, so several days will be enough to reach any part of the country. On the other hand, the density of sites in Spain is amazing, so when choosing a tour outside the capital have to choose the most interesting places.
Interesting places in 1-2 days
If the main attractions of Madrid examined, and free time is still 1-2 days, you can spend them on the ancient city of alcalá de Henares, the Central part of which is included in the world heritage list of UNESCO.
Sights are the old churches, one of the oldest universities of Spain, urban buildings from the middle Ages and the Renaissance. Alcalá de Henares- the birthplace of Cervantes, anyone can visit the house where was born the famous writer. The city is located close to Madrid, just 25 km from the centre of the capital.
Where to go for 3-4 days?
If on a trip outside of Madrid there are a few days to explore the ancient city, located in the center of the country in the historic province of Castile. The ancient capital of Toledo, located in the South-West of Madrid, impresses with its ancient Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Alcazar and the castle of San Servando older than 500-600 years.
Toledo — the jewel of Central Spain, antiquity and significance of attractions beyond Madrid.
Distance from the capital to Toledo is only 70 km, so the trip to Madrid, be sure to make time to visit this ancient city.
Where to go with kids?
Parque Warner is located in the suburbs of Madrid in San Martin de La VEGA and has earned the nickname "Spanish Disneyland". The main difference from the usual parks of Walt Disney is that in Warner main characters are cartoon characters, the company "Warner Brothers".
Besides, the prices in the Park Warner is much lowerthan at Disneyland Paris and Disney parks in the United States. The rest of the Warner follows the disney concept parks and for sure impress the kids with its rides, themed areas and shows.
We recommend you to see an overview of Madrid's sights in this video: