Madrid is the capital city of Spain and has everything you could ever want on a vacation. It is very loved by various kinds of people, especially those who love to explore the local culture and history of a place. Madrid is a very cultural city where everything has its own importance. The city is well-known for its majestic architecture, never-ending food markets, parks and squares, and an amazing nightlife, even when compared to Barcelona. Also, it has tons of various museums and lovely neighbourhoods that will let you freely roam around the city and meet the friendly locals.
Madrid is really an amazing city that is full of memorable experiences and can be visited any time of year, even in winter. However, it can be too much stress if you only have 3 days to explore the city. There are just too many things to do, and plans sometimes fall through. This little Madrid itinerary will help you plan your trip to the city and will allow you to see highlights of the city in just 3 days.
The first day is dedicated to getting to know Madrid and Spanish culture/history. You are going to visit famous places, such as the Prado and Quen Sofia museums, the beautiful Madrid Botanical Garden, and the enormous Retiro Park, which will help you enter the 'Madrid rhythm’. You will get some information about Madrid and enjoy beautiful greenery all in the same day.
The Prado National Museum is the main national art museum in Spain. It is located in central Madrid and is easily reachable from various parts of the city. The museum was founded in 1819 and since that day, it is home to various paintings and other artworks. It is known as having the finest collection of European art that dates from the 12th century.
Museo Reina Sofia is also called the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. It is a museum filled with 20th-century art. The museum opened in 1992 and was named after Queen Sofia. It is mainly dedicated to Spanish art as it has great collections of works from Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. The museum is also one of the largest museums of contemporary art in the world.
The Madrid Botanical Garden is known as the Real Jardin Botanico, or the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid. It is a massive botanical garden located close to the Prado National Museum. It was founded in 1755 and its collections include 90,000 plants and flowers and 1,500 trees. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the green spaces in the city.
El Retiro Park (Buen Retiro Park) is a massive park in central Madrid. It is one of the largest parks in the city and in Spain. The park is home to various galleries, sculptures, monuments and a tranquil lake. It is also the perfect place to relax and enjoy beautiful artworks.
On your second day, you are going to explore the most famous landmarks in the city. You will have a chance to visit the medieval Segovia Bridge, the impressive Royal Palace of Madrid, the fascinating Madrid Cathedral and everyone’s favourite Plaza Mayor. All these places are famous for their architecture, so take a moment to adore them.
These landmarks will give you more knowledge about the city’s history, art and architecture, and their importance to Spanish history. Those places are equally popular among tourists and locals, so it is highly recommended to begin your day quite early as it can get very crowded. Make sure to dress comfortable and appropriate for visiting the sacred places (such as the cathedral) and be prepared to walk quite a bit.
Segovia Bridge, or the Puente de Segovia, is the oldest bridge in Madrid. The bridge was built over the Manzanares River. The construction of the bridge began in 1582 and finished in 1584. Today, the bridge is still in use and a popular location for taking photos. Also, it is said to have great views of Segovia.
The Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real de Madrid) is the official residence of the Spanish royal family. The palace is only used for various state ceremonies. It is famous for its baroque and classicism architectural styles, which often grabs tourist's attention. Tickets are available online and I would recommend you book them far in advance.
Catedral de la Almudena (Santa María la Real de La Almudena) is one of the most beautiful Catholic churches in Madrid. The cathedral was built in 1993 and since then, it has become a famous tourist attraction. It also has a museum that houses great religious exhibitions.
The Plaza Mayor is the main square of Madrid and used to be in the centre of old Madrid. The square was first built in 1580 and used to be full of market stalls. Today, the Plaza Mayor is a popular tourist attraction that offers great restaurants, gift shops, and magnificent local cafes.
On your last day in Madrid, you are going to visit places that aren’t yet very discovered by the crowds of tourists. You will have a chance to see a quiet and very green part of Madrid. This day will include a big park with a cable car (Casa de Campo), a buzzing local market (Mercado de San Miguel), an extraordinary museum (Museo ABC) and an unexpected Egyptian temple in the middle of the park (Temple of Debod). This day is more for relaxing and discovering something that you haven’t yet seen rather than getting more information about the city. On this day, you will be able to ‘taste’ Madrid's local culture.
Mercado de San Miguel (San Miguel Market) is one of the largest covered markets in Madrid. It was originally built in 1916 and renovated in 2009. Since its opening, the market has become a popular attraction for locals and tourists. Come early in the morning in order to avoid the crowds.
Museo ABC is a small free-entry museum that has a collection of graphic art and illustrations. It can’t compete with the famous Madrid galleries, but it is a very cosy and light museum that will help you to explore the world of graphic art and illustration. Also, the museum is famous for its striking coloured café.
Temple of Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid. It is located in Oeste Park and opened to the public in 1972. The temple is famous for being one of the few Egyptian architectural wonders that can be seen outside of Egypt. It gets very crowded around sunset, so come beforehand.
Casa de Campo Park is the biggest park in Madrid and it can easily be reached by walking from the city centre. Another way to get to the park is by taking the cable car from Oeste Park to Casa de Campo Park. The park contains a boating lake, the Madrid Zoo Aquarium, an amusement park, outdoor pools and gorgeous walking trails. It is the perfect place to finish your trip to Madrid.
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