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Madrid

97 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 →

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 collection of works housed in this 18th-century palace represent the lifetime pastime of Swiss collector Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his Spanish wife Carmen. — goop

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

The museum is housed in the 19th-century Palacio de Villahermosa and contains the donated collection of the late Baron Henrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. — Let's Go

The Thyssen’s pieces, purchased by the Spanish state from a private collector in 1992, represent a tremendous breadth of European painters from the 14th to 21st centuries. — Travel + Leisure

Museo Lazaro Galdiano

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

Imagine 37 rooms in a superbly renovated 19th-century mansion bulging with artworks, including many by the most famous old masters of Europe. — Frommer's

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 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

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

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

Plaza Mayor

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

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

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

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

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

Begun under the reign of King Felipe II after he established Madrid as the capital of his empire, the Plaza Mayor evolved over the next few centuries to its present and rather impressive form. — Travel + Leisure

Templo de Debod

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

The temple is not exactly in the city center, so you’ll have to make the effort to get there. Little known: This is the spot for sunsets, and it’s gorgeously lit at night. — Afar Magazine

This Egyptian temple near Plaza de España once stood in the Valley of the Nile, 31km (19 miles) from Aswan. — Frommer's

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

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 →

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

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 Reina Sofía, the Golden Triangle of Art’s southernmost leg, offers visitors a refreshing break from Madrid’s neoclassical artistic tradition. — Let's Go

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

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

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

The former house of Joaquín Sorolla is now a museum dedicated to his life. — Afar Magazine

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

Retiro Park

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

A green space where... you can row on the (artificial) lake under the indifferent gaze of King Alfonso XI, or join the locals running along the pathways. — Michelin Guide

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

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

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

Terraza Museo Reina Sofia

Madrid 84 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

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

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

As well as leading names in international art, it also boasts a collection of 20C Spanish painting and sculpture. — Michelin Guide

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

Plaza Monumental de Toros de las Ventas

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

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

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

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

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

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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 →

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

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

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Puerta del Sol

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

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

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

Some visitors liken Puerta del Sol to New York’s Times Square, but we think that’s a canard because Puerta del Sol is smaller and friendlier. — Frommer's

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

National Museum of Decorative Arts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Convent of the Royal Barefoot Nuns

Centro 81 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

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

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

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

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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 →

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 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

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

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

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Monasterio de la Encarnacion

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

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

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

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

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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 →

The finest archaeological museum in Spain. — Michelin Guide

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

Three large floors filled with Spanish relics, artifacts, and treasures ranging from ancient history to the 19th century. — Fodor's

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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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 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

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

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

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

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

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Zoo Aquarium de Madrid

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

With its wide variety of species... it is considered one of the most interesting zoos in Europe. — Michelin Guide

One of the most comprehensive zoological parks in Europe, Madrid's zoo houses a large variety of animals. — Fodor's

This modern, well-organized facility allows you to see about 3,000 animals from five continents. Most are in simulated natural habitats, with moats separating them from the public. — Frommer's

Madrid’s zoo, in the Casa de Campo, is a fairly standard European city zoo and is home to about 3000 animals. — Lonely Planet

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Casa de Campo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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