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Madrid

98 expert recommended attractions

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Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Paseo del Prado 98 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Until around 1985, the contents of this museum virtually overflowed the premises of a legendary villa near Lugano, Switzerland. — Frommer's

One of the most extraordinary private collections of predominantly European art in the world, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is a worthy member of Madrid’s ‘Golden Triangle’ of art. — Lonely Planet

The third leg in Madrid's "golden triangle of art"... one of the world's great private collections, and includes everything from Old Masters to 20th-century Cubists. — Condé Nast Traveler

Opened in 1992, the Thyssen occupies spacious galleries filled with natural light in the late-18th-century Villahermosa Palace (itself finished in 1771). — Fodor's

The private collection of the late Baron Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza is widely considered the most important in the world. — Time Out

Museo Lazaro Galdiano

Barrio de Salamanca 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This unjustifiably little-known museum holds the extraordinarily eclectic collection of 15,000 paintings and objets d'art, covering 24 centuries, that was accumulated over 70 years. — Time Out

This is just the sort of place you expect to find along Calle de Serrano, with an imposing early-20th-century Italianate stone mansion set discreetly back from the street. — Lonely Planet

Off the beaten path from the so-called Golden Triangle comprised of the Thyssen, El Prado, and the Reina Sofia, this private collection is well worth the side trip. — goop

Located off the typical tourist route in Salamanca, the little-known Museo Lázaro Galdiano displays more than 12,000 works of art. — Travel + Leisure

This stately mansion of writer and editor José Lázaro Galdiano (1862–1947)...has decorative items and paintings by Bosch, El Greco, Murillo, and Goya, among others. — Fodor's

Plaza Mayor

Madrid 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

On summer nights, the Plaza Mayor becomes the virtual living room of Madrid, as tourists sip sangria at the numerous cafes and listen to music. — Frommer's

Austere, grand... this public square, finished in 1620 under Felipe III—whose equestrian statue stands in the center—is one of the largest in Europe. — Fodor's

The heart of Habsburg Madrid, where heros were heralded, kings made proclamations, heretics were judged... where bullfights were held and royalty was entertained. — Condé Nast Traveler

New life is breathed into the corners by dancing goats, mimes, pianists, and the occasional traveling circus, but you can count on one thing: Madari will be there, somewhere. — Afar Magazine

Built by Juan Gómez de Mora under Philip III (1619), this square, formerly used for autos-da-fé, bullfights, theatre performances etc, is the heart of Habsburg Madrid. — Michelin Guide

Templo de Debod

Madrid 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This 4CBC Egyptian Temple, saved from the waters when the Aswan Dam was built, has been rebuilt... on the Principe Pio Hill. — Michelin Guide

An ancient Egyptian temple in the middle of Madrid, Spain.  — Atlas Obscura

No matter which way you look at it, there’s something incongruous about finding the Templo de Debod in the Parque de la Montaña northwest of Plaza de España. — Lonely Planet

The Templo de Debod is the centerpiece of the Jardinez Ferraz, a favorite park among locals. — Let's Go

This 4th-century BC Egyptian temple was donated to Spain in thanks for its technical assistance with the construction of the Aswan Dam. — Fodor's

Queen Sofia Arts Center

Paseo del Prado 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A spectacular triangular-roofed addition by French star architect Jean Nouvel has boosted what was already Spain's most important modern-art museum into the capital's new must-see. — Concierge

The permanent art collection features 1,000 works on four floors... and, despite concentrating on painting, puts a much higher emphasis on other art forms such as photography and cinema. — Fodor's

Home to Picasso’s Guernica, arguably Spain’s single most famous artwork, and a host of other important Spanish artworks. — Lonely Planet

As the Prado has filled the role of repository for traditional art in Madrid, the Reina Sofía, nicknamed the "MoMA of Madrid," has provided for the world of modern art. — Frommer's

Picasso’s Guernica, depicting Franco’s bombing of civilians in Guernica during the civil war, one of the most celebrated antiwar paintings of all time, makes its permanent home here. — Travel + Leisure

Museo Sorolla

Chamberi 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The Valencian artist Joaquín Sorolla immortalised the clear Mediterranean light of the Valencian coast. — Lonely Planet

Native painter Joaquín Sorolla was a contemporary and friend of John Singer Sargent, and the parallels in their paintings are immediately apparent. — Travel + Leisure

This delightful little museum, housed in the mansion built for the artist in 1910 to spend his latter years, has been recently restored and boasts 250 works. — Time Out

Madrid has some wonderfully evocative smaller museums—like the Sorolla, set in the former home and studio of the painter Joaquín Sorolla. — Condé Nast Traveler

Museo Sorolla is a must-see for art lovers; prior knowledge of Joaquim Sorolla not necessary. — Let's Go

Retiro Park

Retiro 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Originally a playground for the Spanish monarchs and their guests, this park extends over 140 hectares (350 acres). — Frommer's

Madrid’s answer to New York’s Central Park is a warren of paths carved in green with a large, central man-made lake and plenty of space (330 acres) for lolling about. — Travel + Leisure

Originally the gardens of a royal palace, the Retiro is now Madrid’s main park, with a boating lake, cafés and exhibition venues. — The Telegraph

Madrid's crowning park is a vast expanse of green encompassing formal gardens, fountains, lakes, exhibition halls, children's play areas, outdoor cafés, and a Puppet Theater. — Fodor's

One of the few vestiges of the 17th-century Palacio del Buen Retiro, this somewhat austere building overlooking the Parque del Buen Retiro is run as an academic library. — Lonely Planet

Plaza Monumental de Toros de las Ventas

Madrid 83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

East of central Madrid, the Plaza de Toros Monumental de Las Ventas (often known simply as Las Ventas) is the heart and soul of Spain’s bullfighting tradition. — Lonely Planet

It's not all bulls and blood in this monumental Neo-Mudéjar-style (mock Arabic) 1920s Plaza de Toros -- the largest in Spain. — Frommer's

You don't have to condone bullfighting to appreciate the architecture of this 1929 example of neo-Mudejar design in Madrid. — Afar Magazine

The colossal arena can seat 22 300 spectators... It is here that reputations are made and lost. — Michelin Guide

More than 22,000 spectators can catch a bullfight in this, Spain's largest arena, completed in 1929. — Time Out

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Terraza Museo Reina Sofia

Madrid 83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Glass elevators take visitors floor to floor for stunning exhibit after exhibit. — Afar Magazine

Head to the museum for its contextualized permanent collection of Spanish and international masters, and then go to the Parque del Retiro. — goop

Only a fraction of the museum’s collection of 20,000 works of 20th-century art is on display, although about a third can now be viewed on its website. — The Telegraph

Set in a massive 18th-century hospital building dramatically expanded by architect Jean Nouvel a decade ago, Spain’s official modern and contemporary art museum can seem like a daylong undertaking — Travel + Leisure

This is a must for art fans and an essential part of Madrid's Art Triangle. — Time Out

National Museum of Decorative Arts

Paseo del Prado 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A beautiful collection ranging from Mudéjar tapestries and unadorned Castilian writing desks to modernist furniture. — Michelin Guide

Housed in a 19th-century palace, the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas (National Museum of Decorative Arts) is located within the bank of museums northwest of the Buen Retiro Park. — Travel + Leisure

In 62 rooms spread over several floors, this museum, near the Plaza de la Cibeles, displays a rich collection of furniture, ceramics, and decorative pieces. — Frommer's

Those who love sumptuous period furniture, ceramics, carpets, tapestries and the like will find themselves passing a worthwhile hour or two here. — Lonely Planet

The Decorative Arts Museum houses more than 15,000 objets d'art, furniture and tapestries from all over Spain, plus many from China. — Time Out

Convent of the Royal Barefoot Nuns

Centro 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The grim, prisonlike walls of this one-time palace keep modern Madrid at bay and offer no hint that behind the sober plateresque facade lies a sumptuous stronghold of the faith. — Lonely Planet

This collection of fantastic, if occasionally brutally themed, religious art, including pieces by Peter Paul Rubens, is in an appropriately creaky and forbidding 16th-century working convent. — Travel + Leisure

Its plain, brick-and-stone facade hides paintings by Francisco de Zurbarán, Titian, and Pieter Brueghel the Elder. — Fodor's

Home to a remarkable museum of religious art... also includes numerous canvases by Zurbarán, Bruegel the Elder. — Michelin Guide

In the mid-16th century, aristocratic women -- either disappointed in love or "wanting to be the bride of Christ" -- stole away to this convent to take the veil. — Frommer's

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Palacio Real de El Pardo

Madrid 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

An Italianate baroque colossus with some 2800 rooms, of which around 50 are open to the public. — Lonely Planet

The palace where General Franco lived and performed his duties as head of state for 35 years (till his death in Nov 1975). — Frommer's

Located on the site of a ninth-century Moorish fortress, the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) is the official residence of the Spanish royal family. — Travel + Leisure

The Royal Palace awes visitors with its sheer size and monumental presence that unmistakably stands out against the city's silhouetted background. — Fodor's

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Puerta del Sol

Centro 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It is here that victories are celebrated and where masses of people come to greet the New Year. — Condé Nast Traveler

Crowded with people but pedestrian-friendly, the Puerta del Sol is the nerve center of Madrid. — Fodor's

The official centrepoint of Spain is a gracious hemisphere of elegant facades and often overwhelming crowds. — Lonely Planet

With the regional government situated on the southern end of the plaza, the Puerta del Sol has also been the site of major protests and political rallies. — Let's Go

It is here that the heart of the city beats. — Michelin Guide

Monasterio de la Encarnacion

Centro 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Central Madrid's other royally endowed Habsburg monastery is quietly nestled in a charming little square between the Royal Palace and Plaza España. — Frommer's

The collection also includes numerous canvases by Zurbarán, Bruegel the Elder etc, as well as some remarkable reliquaries and caskets. — Michelin Guide

Once connected to the Royal Palace by an underground passageway, this Augustinian convent now houses less than a dozen nuns. — Fodor's

Founded by Empress Margarita de Austria, this 17th-century mansion built in the Madrid baroque style... is still inhabited by nuns of the Augustine order. — Lonely Planet

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Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando

Centro 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Designed by José Churriguera in the waning baroque years of the early 18th century, this museum showcases 500 years of Spanish painting. — Fodor's

Spanish art from the Golden Century is widely represented here... but it is Goya who takes the lion's share with his self-portrait in front of the easel. — Michelin Guide

The go-to gallery for Goyas; including two of the artist's self portraits, as well as paintings by Ribera and Velázquez. — Concierge

The site of Spain’s main art academy for centuries is today a pretty comprehensive museum for anyone interested in Spanish art history. — goop

An easy stroll from Puerta del Sol, the Fine Arts Museum is located in the restored and remodeled 17th-century baroque palace of Juan de Goyeneche. — Frommer's

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Casa de Campo

Madrid 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The easiest and most fun way to get to this huge nature park is to take the cable car. The park is located beyond the Manzanares River, in an area reforested on the orders of Philip II in 1559. — Michelin Guide

Sometimes called the ‘lungs of Madrid’, this 17 sq km stand of greenery stretches west of the Río Manzanares. — Lonely Planet

Children love the zoo and the Parque de Atracciones... both in this park. — Frommer's

If Parque del Oeste or Retiro Park are too tame for you, Casa de Campo offers a more sprawling experience — Let's Go

The largest urban park in Europe, its more than four thousand acres hold plenty to do for everyone. — Condé Nast Traveler

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Paseo del Prado

Paseo del Prado 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

With more than 7,000 paintings, the Prado is one of the most important repositories of art in the world. — Frommer's

Nearly 200 years old, this is one of the best museums in Spain—if not the world—reflecting the tastes (and astonishing wealth) of the Spanish court through the centuries — goop

This avenue was designed for King Charles III, the... monarch who remodelled Madrid. — Michelin Guide

One of the most important boulevards in Madrid, along with the Paseo de la Castellana and the Paseo de Recoletos, the Paseo del Prado crosses the city. — Time Out

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National Archeological Musuem

Barrio de Salamanca 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This stately mansion is a storehouse of artifacts from the prehistoric to the baroque. — Frommer's

The showpiece National Archaeology Museum contains a sweeping accumulation of artefacts behind its towering facade. — Lonely Planet

The biggest attraction here is a replica of the early cave paintings in Altamira (access to the real thing, in Cantabria Province, is highly restricted). — Fodor's

The finest archaeological museum in Spain. — Michelin Guide

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Naval Museum

Paseo del Prado 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Anyone interested in... naval novels or in old vessels and war ships will be bouncing off the walls experiencing the 500 years of Spanish naval history displayed. — Fodor's

The most impressive room is dominated by a huge mural-map that traces the routes taken by Spain's intrepid explorers; in front of it are two equally impressive 17th-century giant globes. — Time Out

The history of nautical science and the Spanish navy, from the time of Isabella and Ferdinand until today, comes alive at the Museo Naval. — Frommer's

This museum will appeal to those who love their ships or who have always wondered what the Spanish Armada really looked like. On display are quite extraordinary models of ships. — Lonely Planet

This place is made for landlubbers, old seadogs and budding admirals! As explorers at heart, you cannot fail to be moved by the precious chart made by Juan de la Cosa around 1500. — Michelin Guide

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Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande

Madrid 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This immense house of worship was completed in 1760... tradition has it was founded by St. Francis of Assisi himself in 1217. — Frommer's

One of the grandest and most distinctive structures in Madrid is often overlooked by most tourists. — Let's Go

This imposing and recently restored baroque basilica is one of Madrid’s grandest old churches. Its extravagantly frescoed dome is, by some estimates, the largest in Spain. — Lonely Planet

Sabatini designed the façade of this circular church, most of which is by Francisco Cabezas. — Michelin Guide

In 1760 Carlos III built this impressive basilica on the site of a Franciscan convent, allegedly founded by St.Francis of Assisi in 1217. — Fodor's

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