Travel to Madrid, feel the true Spanish essence, savour elegant architecture, the vibrant lifestyle in the capital’s plazas, and the delicious cuisine, as Madrid is also the food capital of Spain. Madrid tours focused on gastronomy will take you through the vast array of culinary history, from traditional dishes to sophisticated creations. Madrid’s nightlife, some say, arguably makes the city the best place to visit in Spain.

What to see in Madrid?

Plaza de España Square

One of the main squares of Madrid was closed for two and a half years of renovations. However, at the beginning of 2022, it opened to the public as a greener, more sustainable and more accessible space. The change, not without controversy, seeks to unite the metropolitan green areas and thus create a key and strategic space connected to the Sabatini Gardens and Plaza de Oriente, Casa de Campo, Campo del Moro and Madrid Río. All Madrid tours should include a walk through this beautiful zone.

The Metropolis Building

The corner of the streets Calle Alcalá and Gran Vía is home to one of Madrid’s most famous (and beautiful) buildings. The Metropolis Building was built between 1907 and 1911 on the former Casa del Ataúd (House of Coffin). The old building owes its name to its narrow shape, which conditioned the shape of the current one. At that time began the construction of the Gran Vía and the new building with its 45 meters became the tallest one in the city. Join one of the Madrid tours and enjoy the view of this building from the mighty Gran Via or the roof of the cultural organization Círculo de Bellas Artes.

San Miguel Market

The San Miguel market is the only iron market that has survived to this day. It is one of the best examples of a historic building that has reinvented itself and adapted to current times, in the image and likeness of the Boquería Market in Barcelona. Declared a Site of Cultural Interest, the market currently houses a large ‘culinary, cultural centre‘. There you can taste local and international plates and buy fresh products of the best quality. Our Tapas and Wine tour also makes a stop at this iconic place.

Temple of Debod

In the Parque del Oeste, at the height of the Plaza de España Square, you will take a leap in time and space that will take you to Egypt itself. There you will find the Temple of Debod, a 2,200-year-old Egyptian structure dedicated to the gods Amun and Isis. It was sent, brick by brick, by the Egyptian Government in 1968 in gratitude for Spain’s help in preserving the Aswan Dam.

When to visit Madrid?

For fewer crowds and good weather, the best time to visit Madrid is spring or fall. Due to the high altitude of Madrid at 650 meters above sea level, the temperatures are very different in summer and winter. The most pleasant warm weather is between May and mid-July, when average temperatures range between 20 and 32 degrees Celsius.

If you’re visiting Madrid during the summer, be aware that lines at attractions like the Royal Palace can be long. In addition, many local shops, restaurants and businesses – especially family-owned ones – may shut down in August for vacation.

What to do in Madrid?

Madrid is vibrant, bustling and energetic. It pulsates with energy, but the madrileño attitude makes it one of the best places to visit in Spain, namely the zest for social life and seizing the day. While staying in Madrid, don’t forget to: 

Walk across Plaza Mayor Square

This square is one of the nerve hubs of the city. A place where, no matter what time you go, you will always find people. It has a rectangular shape with arcades in the purest Castilian style. Most of Madrid tours start in this square where you will also find a tourist information office with maps and useful information for your stay.

Visit Royal Palace

The palace is one of the city’s main attractions. Although the palace is the official residence of the King of Spain, it is only used for state ceremonies, as the kings live in the Palace of the Zarzuela in the outskirt of Madrid. Nevertheless, the Royal Palace is worth visiting as it is one of the largest in the world.

Admire the art at the Prado Museum

Prado, the Reina Sofía, and the Thyssen make up the so-called golden triangle of museums. They boast some of the world’s most important works of art, as well as stunning gardens. The Prado Museum, located at the boulevard Paseo del Prado, close to the Cibeles fountain and the monumental Cybele Palace, houses the most important collection of European paintings where painters like Velázquez, El Greco, Goya, Tizian, Rubens and El Bosco stand out.

Look for the Bear with the strawberry tree in the Puerta del Sol Square

Puerta del Sol is probably the liveliest part of the city, through which hundreds of thousands of people pass daily. Some of the most important shopping streets in the capital start from here. If you pay particular attention, you will find one of the city’s icons, the sculpture of the Bear with the strawberry tree, present on the city’s coat of arms.

Attend a flamenco show in the most famous tablao in the world

The Corral de la Morería is a temple of flamenco in the capital. Oddly enough, Madrid has a lot of flamenco traditions. The place has been the debut stage for great ‘cante’ and baile artists for more than 60 years and has welcomed among the spectators great names from the world of cinema, art and music. If you want to learn more about flamenco and enjoy an unique falmenco night, don’t miss on our Ultimate Spanish Experience in Madrid.

Madrid food and drink

Did you know that you can eat at the world’s oldest restaurant in Madrid, established in 1725? The geographical location and the history of the city have influenced its cuisine. That resulted in dishes inspired by the traditional Castilian cuisine and others that bring together the best of other cultures. The most typical dish is the Madrid stew, the undisputed king during the cold winters plaguing the capital.

Other typical Madrid dishes can be: garlic soup, egg and potato omelette, chickpea stew.

Despite not having a sea nearby, fish dishes are also very typical, especially sea bream or cod, prepared in Madrid’s style. And you can’t talk about Madrid gastronomy without mentioning the squid sandwich (bocadillo de calamares).

The region’s wine production is divided into three sub-areas: Arganda del Rey, San Martin, and Navalcarnero. In particular, white wine from the malvar grape variety is consumed, but young red wines and rosés as well. Spanish people drink a lot of beer, the major beer company in Madrid is called Mahou, but a lot of small craft breweries emerged in the last couple of years.

Day trips from Madrid

Travel to some smaller towns such as San Lorenzo de El Escorial with its or Alcalá de Henares, (UNESCO), the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, or the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Guadarrama, and picturesque villages like Manzanares el Real or the quaint  Patones de Arriba. Turning south of the city, Toledo is just a glimpse of an eye away, where apart of the fascinating history, tasting of local wine and manchego cheese awaits you.

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