Madrid Super Saver: El Escorial Monastery and Toledo Day Trip from Madrid
Pay less and get more on this Madrid Super Saver tour, which combines a visit to El Escorial Monastery with a half-day tour of Toledo. Spend the morning at El Escorial monastery and the Valley of the Fallen monument, erected in memory of the millions who died in the Spanish Civil War.
Private Tour: Skip-the-Line Prado Museum Tour
Skip the line at the Prado Museum in Madrid, and see some of the most influential pieces of European artwork with your own private guide! Hear the history of the iconic building while walking around admiring masterpieces like Velazquez’s ‘Las Meninas,’ and learn about the different artistic movements that the museum represents.
Discover the rich history and culture of Madrid with your Madrid Card. Gain entry to over 50 museums, partake in a "Discover Madrid" walking tour or visit the Real Madrid Stadium Tour. With the choice of a 24 hour, 48 hour, 72 hour or 120 hour card, you can also enjoy discounts on shopping, restaurants and nightlife such as a flamenco show.
Commissioned by Philip V after the earlier Alcázar was lost to a fire in 1734, the Royal Palace is rarely used by the royal family, and many of its 3,000 rooms are open to view. The architects principally responsible for the final design, which reflects the taste of the Spanish Bourbons, were Italian - Giambattista Sacchetti and Francesco Sabatini - with contributions by the Spaniard Ventura Rodríguez. Filippo Juvarra, Philip V's first choice, had planned a palace four times as large, but after his death the project became a little less ambitious. Completed in 1764, the late-baroque palace is built almost entirely of granite and white Colmenar stone, and, surrounded as it is by majestic gardens, contributes greatly to the splendour of the city. Inside you must keep to a fixed route, but are free to set your own pace rather than follow a tour. The entrance into the palace is awe-inspiring: you pass up a truly vast main staircase and then through the main state rooms, the Hall of Halbardiers and Hall of Columns, all with soaring ceilings and frescoes by Corrado Giaquinto and Giambattista Tiepolo. In the grand Throne Room there are some fine 17th-century sculptures commissioned by Velázquez, which were saved from the earlier Alcázar. Other highlights are the extravagantly ornate private apartments of the palace's first resident, Charles III, again decorated by Italians. Particularly striking are the Gasparini Room, the king's dressing room, covered in mosaics and rococo stuccoe
This famous square is in the heart of the city's historic district, built on the site of the old Plaza del Arrabal, which was home to the most popular market in the late 15th century. It was Felipe II who in 1580 commissioned Juan de Herrera with the project to remodel the square, although it would be Juan Gómez de Mora who would finish the job in 1619. The first building that was erected in Plaza Mayor as we know it today was the Casa de la Panadería bakery, designed by Diego Sillero. These days the square is the headquarters of the Madrid Tourism Centre. The equestrian statue of Felipe III in the centre of the square was designed by Giambologna and completed by Pietro Tacca in 1616. Another important work in the area is the Arco de Cuchilleros, the most famous of the nine entrances to the square. The archway is the work of Juan Villanueva, who, after the devastating fire of 1790, decided to reduce the façades by two levels, close off the square, and raise the nine arches, so the largest in size with an enormous stairway would give passage to C/Cuchilleros.
Inhabited by everyone from the Romans to the Christians, Toledo has served as a homebase for each of its conquerors, with traces of each remaining throughout the city. One could easily devote an entire day to visiting the Muslim mosques, Jewish synagogues, the Catholic cathedral, and not forgetting the Alcazar castle or the Renaissance art by the famed El Greco.
Madrid City Tour and Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Match a sightseeing tour of Madrid with a visit to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home ground of the legendary Real Madrid football team. See the buildings that have shaped Madrid, from the Moorish quarter to the Habsburg and Bourbon eras with their Royal Palace and grand squares. Then go behind the scenes on a Santiago Bernabeu Stadium tour and feel the excitement of walking on Real Madrid’s home pitch.
Things to do in Madrid
Most popular online restaurant bookings
Flamenco Show at Corral de la Morería in Madrid
Feel the feverish heat of Spain’s traditional dance with a flamenco show at one of the country’s most prestigious ‘tablaos’ (flamenco venues). Choose the show time that best suits your schedule, then make your own way into the heart of Madrid Old Town to enjoy a night of passionate flamenco.
Flamenco Lesson and Show at Tablao with Drink or Dinner
Feel the heat of Spain’s traditional dance with a 3-hour flamenco lesson and show at one of Madrid’s top ‘tablaos’ (flamenco venues). Leave your inhibitions at the door and get ready to stamp and clap along as you are taught how to flamenco by some of the city’s top dancers during a 1-hour class.
Arabian Baths Experience at Madrid's Hammam Al Ándalus
Seek serenity at Madrid’s Arabian baths, Hamman Al Ándalus, and spend 1.5 hours relaxing body, soul and mind! The zen-like oasis with candle-lit walkways boasts three thermal plunge pools and a steam room – all decorated in resplendent Arabian décor.
Hotel Ritz by Belmond
Located just a stone’s throw away from the Retiro, in the neighbourhood of the same name, this exclusive luxury hotel was built in 1910 on the orders of King Alfonso XIII. The facilities of the hotel, which is decorated in classical style, include a luxury spa, parking and free Wi-Fi. Its location makes it a handy base for visiting the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums.
Hotel Puerta América
The Puerta América will not be to all tastes, least of all, probably, those of the business travellers attracted by its proximity to the airport, but is a wonderland for design buffs. Each of its 12 floors and public spaces is designed by an all-star cast of architects, taking in Norman Foster, Richard Gluckman, Marc Jewson and Ron Arad. Guests can select the floor of their choice on arrival, but most popular tend to be Zaha Hadid's rooms (which appear to be sculpted from snowdrifts) or Arata Isozaki's studies in Japanese minimalism. The building itself (along with the pool and gym) was designed by Jean Nouvel.
Relais & Châteaux Orfila
This small mansion in a tranquil residential area has been transformed into a quietly elegant five-star hotel. Built in the 1880s as a private home for an artistic family, the Orfila also housed a theatre and a literary salon during the 1920s. Thankfully, the hotel has held on to its 19th-century decor, not to mention its façade, carriage entrance and dramatic main stairway. The bedrooms are wonderfully quiet – once installed it's hard to believe you're in the middle of a bustling city – and one of the four suites is intimately tucked away in the attic. The elegant restaurant looks on to the lovely garden patio, and guests take tea in the lobby in the afternoon.
Hotel Miguel Ángel
Near Paseo de la Castellana, bordering the Salamanca district, stands the Miguel Ángel hotel, with a total of 267 fully equipped guest rooms and a variety of five-star amenities. Its elegant facilities, spa service and fitness centre, along with world-class dining and attentive staff offer guests a more than comfortable stay.