Madrid, what to see for free in the Capital of Spain? Being the capital, in the geographical and cultural heart of the Iberian Peninsula, is a concentrate of culture, elegance, art, languages, nightlife and cuisine. Always compared to Barcelona, (of which I recommend you read my article here) which is instead a trademark of Catalunya, Madrid is the best representation of Spain’s culture!
There are many things to do and to see, feel free to watch the introduction video clip on Marid and Toledo here.
In this article I’ll suggest you 10 of the most important things, the ones you just cannot miss out!
In Madrid, what to see for free:
1. Puerta del Sol
Here you’ll find yourself in the heart of Downtown Madrid, you can not visit Madrid without passing by this square. The Bear and the Strawberry Tree statue, symbols of Madrid, the postal office building, the Tio Pepe sign, its fountains, the Apple Store, the km 0: the point radial streets of Spain are departing from. For sure, a great starting point, when in Madrid.
2. The Royal Palace
Home to one of the still ruling monarchies in the European contest, the visit to the Royal Palace of Madrid is definitely not to be missed. Both the changing of the guard (you can attend it free of charge), and the visit to the building itself are two highly recommended experiences. The visit to the Royal Palace has a cost of €10.00, and it’s free between 6.00pm-8.00pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
3. San Miguel Market
Few steps away from Plaza Mayor and from the Royal Palace is located the San Miguel Market. Not a huge building, but very much pretty. Several kiosks with different specialties from various parts of Spain. Fancy and classy place that cannot be missed out during your Madrid visit. The seats are few, so you better don’t arrive during rush hour.
4. Santiago Bernabeu
Do you like soccer? If so, you’ll find a great experience your Santiago Bernabeu Tour. This is not the typical and cultural attractions you will think first but this is a Temple of modern soccer! One of the most beautiful and glorious stadium in the world! You can have guided tours or tour by your own.
5. Plaza Mayor
Another symbol of the city is Plaza Mayor. This magnificent square, with its red color, the adjacent buildings texture, and with its characteristic restaurants, offers you a typical Spanish taste: you can enjoy some churros in the heart of a Spanish environment.
6. El Retiro Park
Like any big city, big importance have green spaces. In New York we found Central Park, in London Hyde Park, here we can relax and immerse ourselves in the nature. Within walking distance from Plaza de Cibeles, El Retiro Park welcomes you with street artists, the Crystal Palace, its fountains and its lake, where you can hire boats, relax and enjoy your time here.
7. Plaza de Cibeles
With Palacio de Comunicaciones (headquarters of the City Hall of Madrid) as a background, the Cibeles Fountain is a masterpiece art work, pleaseure to the eyes in the heart of Madrid. At walking distance from Parque de El Retiro and place of celebration of every Real Madrid victory by its supporters.
Atocha station, the main Madrid train station, is not only the heart of public transportation but it is also one of the attractions of Madrid. You’ll find inside the station a botanical garden. You’ll likely be passing through the station coming from and gong to the airport. I by the way suggest you to take your time and to visit that place taking your time without luggage and drinking a hot coffee or a fresh soda! 😉
9. Debod Temple
Great atmosphere in Egypt … oops, I meant in Madrid. Debt Temple consist in what is remaining from the ancient Egyptian temple of Debod, transported from Africa to Madrid. Locate within a pleasant park, this is my favorite attraction in this City. During day time you can visit the interiors of the temple, and follow a free guide. But I highly recommend you to visit it during sunset too!
10. Plaza España
To get to Debod Temple, you’ll likely have to get off at the Metro Station of Plaza España. There you’ll see its two fountains and a statue of Don Quixote, behind the fountain in the center of the square. An evening meeting point for the inhabitants, after a long day of work.
These were my top 10 places in Madrid. But if you still have time during your vacation in Madrid, you’ll for sure take advantage of its rich nightlife: Spanish food and movida will entertain you, no doubt!
In Madrid, what to see in addition to the above mentioned attractions? There is still something to visit… 🙂
Who has been in Madrid? Do you have your own favorite point of interest? Suggestions, experiences? Share them with us and feel free to comment below! 🙂