Nine places for you to take Madrid to the heart
Madrid is one of those cities that you enjoy walking. Discover the charm of its streets, its unique nightlife, but above all, fill your eyes with the majesty of the architecture of this European capital in a two-day walk. In this list, we present some points to visit.
After the fire suffered by an old fortress in the s. XVIII, the first Spanish king of the Bourbon dynasty, Felipe V (grandson of Louis XIV of France), decided to build the Royal Palace with reference to the Palace of Versailles.
Enjoy its gardens, the paintings of Caravaggio, Velázquez, and Goya, the luxurious rugs and the decorations in bronze and gold that make it one of the most sumptuous palaces in Europe.
Right in front of the Royal Palace is the beautiful Almudena Cathedral, where Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia got married.
2. The Gran Vía
Built at the beginning of the 20th century, during the reign of Alfonso XII. Not only is the Gran Vía postcard, the Metropolis building, what will attract you; This way is where you will perceive that characteristic atmosphere of the cities that do not stop. If you travel from Plaza España to Plaza de Cibeles, buildings, shops, theaters, hotels, restaurants, and people, many people from all corners of the world will parade before your eyes.
3. Plaza de Cibeles
Among the water that flows from the fountain, you will see the sculpture of two great lions pulling the carriage to the Greek goddess, Cibeles. However, it is not the sculpture that attracts the most attention, the eclectic facade of the Palace of Communications, which seems to monitor the square is what will require you to take a photo.
4. Puerta de Alcala
A few minutes in front of her are enough to understand the influence of classical architecture on many eighteenth-century monuments. Carlos III ordered its construction to Sabatini. The Italian architect was inspired by the Roman triumphal arches to design La Puerta de Alcalá, one of the five royal gates of Madrid. The work was completed in 1778.
5. Plaza Mayor
And to end the first day: visit the Plaza Mayor. Without a doubt the most beautiful square in Madrid. I recommend that you go at the end of the afternoon, you will see how the pink tones of the Madrid sky seem to join with the frescoes of the Bakery House, based on mythological characters such as Bacchus, Cibeles, and Cupid.
In the center of the square, pay attention to the sculpture of Philip III, the Pious, who ordered its construction and inaugurated it in 1619.
An ideal plan for Sunday is to start from the Plaza Mayor and walk to the San Miguel Market, just behind the square; and then go to El Rastro, the largest flea market in Spain.
6. National Prado Museum
The second day you can start with a visit to the National Prado Museum, an architectural example of the Spanish neoclassical. The museum was intended to show the world the existence of a genuine Spanish painting school. It opened its doors for the first time to the public in November 1819, with the first catalog of 311 paintings.
Today the Prado National Museum houses one of the largest painting collections in Europe. If you have little time do not forget to see the ten must-see works.
7. Retiro Park
A walk through a park after entering the Prado National Museum always comforts, and even more, if it is a few minute’s walks. On a walk between the extensive green areas of the Retiro Park, you will be surprised to see works of art such as the Crystal Palace, the Velázquez Palace or the pond with the majestic monument in honor of Alfonso XII.
Highly recommended for a picnic in spring or for sports.
8. Reina Sofía Museum
Very close to the Retiro Park is the Reina Sofía Museum. It is worth a visit just to appreciate the contrast between the old building (Francisco Sabatini) and the modern one (Jean Nouvel), which is on the back. Anyway, you would commit a sacrilege if you do not enter, knowing that inside you have the monumental Guernica of Picasso and the best exponents of the Spanish painting of the s. XX, like Dalí and Miró.
9. Four Towers Business Area
It is worth seeing these four “giants” raised over the former the Sports City of Real Madrid, and which are part of the Cuatro Torres Business Area. Among these skyscrapers, the one that stands out the most is the Caja Madrid Tower, the tallest building in the city (250 meters), designed by the famous Norman Foster.