Visiting Madrid - What to See and Do
(Madrid Barajas International Airport MAD, Spain)
Spain's magnetic capital city is popular with visitors, many of whom return time and time again, drawn by a myriad of alluring features that combine to make Madrid one of Europe's most enticing cities.
Although the city boasts its fair share of museums and cultural places of interest, not to mention impressive architecture and verdant parks, its biggest appeal factors are its vibrancy and the joie de vivre of the locals.
Ten things you must do in Madrid
- Take a guided bus tour; it's a great way to orient yourself and to see some of the city's main attractions.
- Check out the Estación de Atocha, the city's old railway station which is architecturally stunning and has been converted into a huge tropical garden with more than 400 species and 7,000 plants.
- Take the kids to Faunia, a nature park that's home to 4,000 animals and more than 72,000 trees and shrubs.
- Learn more about the city you're in with a trip to the City Museum (Museo de la Ciudad), with its fascinating exhibitions, scale models and interactive features.
- Head to Madrid in mid-June for San Antonio de la Florida, the city's largest street party.
- Browse a Sunday away at El Rastro, one of the biggest flea markets in the world, selling everything from antiques to clothes.
- See Madrid from the top of Moncloa Lighthouse (Faro de Moncloa), a 300-foot stainless steel tower where you can catch panoramic vistas of the city.
- Entertain the family at Aquópolis, a massive waterpark located just outside of Madrid.
- Hire a rowing boat or take a ride in a horse drawn carriage at the Park of the Retreat (Parque del Retiro), with its glass palace and lovely lake.
- Catch a game of football at Real Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernabéu or Atlético Madrid's Estadio Vicente Calderón.