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100 Things to Do in Madrid

What to Do in Madrid

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Those who say there isn't much to do in Madrid are wrong. I've found 100 things to do in Spain's capital. Beat that, Barcelona*!

See also:

And if you don't want to take my word for it and would prefer a few (thousand) second opinions, Tripadvisor has over 200 things to do in Madrid with lots of user comments: Tripadvisor's Things to Do in Madrid

Cheap Things to Do in Madrid

If you plan on doing a lot of these activities, you might want to consider a discount card. Read more about the Madrid Card to make sure it is worth the money. You can also save some money by sticking to the items on these lists:

It would take you months to get through everything on this page. Why not spend a few months here and learn the language? I named Madrid my best place to Learn Spanish in Spain.

*In fact, that is precisely the task I set About.com Contributing Writer and Barcelona resident Paul Cannon, who delivered the goods with this 100 Things to Do in Barcelona

    100 Things to Do in Madrid: By Subject and By District

    Madrid centro  Madrid desde la azotea del Círculo de Bellas Artes
    David Hurt/davidht/flickr.com Creative Commons License

    If you know what type of activity you're looking for, check out this breakdown of my list of 100 Things to Do in Madrid

      But the best way to tackle Madrid is to split the city up into districts. Listed in order of relevance to tourists, the first few of these should take you a day (or a half-day if you're in a hurry), though check out each of these pages as all of the districts have something to see.

      Scroll down for the full list of my 100 Things to Do in Madrid.

      Ten Things to Do near Sol & Gran Via

      Gran Via
      Image: Damian Corrigan

      Sol is Madrid's most famous plaza and Gran Via is its most famous street. The two are tourist magnets that you may be tempted to hurry away from as quickly as you can. But there are some little secrets right in the eye of the storm that are worth checking out.

      Ten Things to Do in Madrid de las Austrias

      Plaza Mayor
      Image: Damian Corrigan

      Madrid's oldest district and likely to be one of the main focal points of your trip to the capital.

      Ten Things to Do in La Latina

      Cava Baja in La Latina
      Image: Damian Corrigan

      Famous for tapas and its Sunday morning market, but there's much more to La Latina than just these things.

       

      Ten Things to Do in Malasana & Chueca

      Conde Duque in Malasaña
      Image: Damian Corrigan

      The trendy districts to the north of Gran Via. Malasaña is the bohemian district, Chueca is nominally gay; both are a lot of fun.

      Top Five Things to Do in Huertas

      Viva Madrid in Huertas
      Image: Damian Corrigan

      Another old district of Madrid, Huertas has some of the best - and worst - bars in Madrid. Ernest Hemmingway used to frequent this part of town.

      Top Five Things to Do Around Paseo del Prado

      Paseo del Prado is one of Madrid's most majestic boulevards, with some of the city's most important museums close at hand. Madrid's famous park, El Retiro, is near here.

      Top Ten Things to Do in Lavapies

      Centro de Arte de Reina Sofia
      Image: Los Mininos

      One of the poorer districts of Madrid, Lavapies' mix of immigrants and trendy youngsters are making this part of town one of the coolest places to be.

      Top Five Things to Do in Casa de Campo

      Madrid Zoo in Casa de Campo
      Image: Arkangel

      Madrid's other famous park, Casa de Campo, is a bit further away than El Retiro but also offers a number of worthwhile attractions.

      Top Five Things to Do in Barrio Salamanca

      Archeological Museum in Barrio Salamanca
      Image: Los Mininos (Creative Commons)

      Madrid's most chic district, with a few good museums around here too.

      Top Ten Things to Do Elsewhere in Madrid

      Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
      Image: Damian Corrigan

      Away from Madrid's most touristy districts, there are still plenty of things to do.

      Twenty Things to Do Outside of Madrid

      Avila
      Image: Damian Corrigan

      But wait! When you think you've got enough out of Madrid, you still have some of the region's amazing array of towns and villages to visit.

      • 1.Barcelona
        The AVE high-speed train makes this possible as a day trip, though it's expensive and Barcelona really deserves more than a day.
      • 2. Toledo
        This walled city is one of Spain's most famous sights.
      • 3. Seville
        The jewel of Spain's south and home to flamenco and bullfighting. Again, it deserves more than a day, but better to see it for a day than never at all.
      • 4. Cordoba
        Home to one of the biggest Mosques in the world.
      • 5. Segovia
        Segovia has a 2,000 year aqueduct and a German-esque fairytale castle.
      • 6. Valencia
        Spain's third biggest city and the birthplace of paella.
      • 7. Avila
        The walls and turrets of this medieval city are more impressive than those in Toledo.
      • 8. El Escorial
        The burial place of most of Spain's monarchs.
      • 9. El Valle de los Caidos
        The chilling monument, built to honor the memory of Franco, Spain's former dictator.
      • 10. Aranjuez
        The royal family's former retreat.
      • 11. Salamanca
        One of the nicest plazas in Spain.
      • 12. Cuenca
        Famous for its 'hanging houses' - dwellings built over the sides of cliffs!
      • 13. El Pardo
        Franco's former country retreat.
      • 14. Warner Brothers Theme Park
        Madrid's best theme park.
      • 15. Consuegra
        Famous for its windmills (the ones that Don Quixote thought were giants) and saffron.
      • 16. Chinchon
        Quaint village near Madrid.
      • 17. Alcala de Henares
        University town and UNESCO world heritage site.
      • 18. Manzanares El Real
        Castles and hiking.
      • 19. Cercedilla
        Hiking and the Roman road to Segovia.
      • 20. Siguenza
        A 12th century cathedral and a historic train journey there.
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