Madrid Sights

The real Madrid is not to be found along major arteries like the Gran Vía and the Paseo de la Castellana. To find the quiet, intimate streets and squares that give the city its true character, duck into the warren of villagelike byways in the downtown area that extends 2 km (1 mile) from the Palacio Real to the Parque del Buen Retiro and from Plaza de Lavapiés to the Glorieta de Bilbao. Broad

avenidas, twisting medieval alleys, grand museums, stately gardens, and tiny, tile-work taverns are all jumbled together, creating an urban texture so rich that walking is really the only way to soak it in.

Petty street crime is a serious problem in Madrid, and tourists are frequent targets. Be on your guard, and try to blend in by keeping cameras concealed, avoiding obvious map reading, and securing bags and purses, especially on buses and the metro and outside restaurants.

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Palacio 11

Retiro 10

Moncloa 6

Barrio de las Letras 6

La Latina 3

Malasaña 3

Salamanca 3

Sol 3

El Escorial 2

Lavapies 2

Rastro 1

Chamberi 1

Chueca 1

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 1

Building/ Architectural Site 4

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 1

Financial Institution 1

Fountain 1

Garden/ Arboretum 2

Government Building 2

House/ Mansion/ Villa 3

Industrial Site/ Mill/ Factory 1

Information Center 1

Market/ Bazaar 1

Museum/ Gallery 14

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 2

Park/ Playground 1

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 9

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 10

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 2

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Madrid Sights

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Arab Wall

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

The remains of the Moorish military outpost that became the city of Madrid are visible on Calle Cuesta de la Vega. The sections of wall...

Banco de España

  • Financial Institution

This massive 1884 building, Spain's central bank, takes up an entire block. It's said that part of the nation's gold reserves are held...

Basílica de San Francisco el Grande

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

In 1760 Carlos III built this impressive basilica on the site of a Franciscan convent, allegedly founded by St. Francis of Assisi in...

CaixaForum

  • Museum/Gallery

Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, who transformed a former London power station into that city's Tate Modern, performed...

Campo del Moro

  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

Below the Sabatini Gardens but accessible only by an entrance on the far side is the Campo del Moro. Enjoy the clusters of shady trees,...

Casa Museo Lope de Vega

  • House/Mansion/Villa

Considered the Shakespeare of Spanish literature, Fray Lope Félix de la Vega Carpio (1562–1635) is best known as Lope de Vega. A contemporary...

Casa de Cervantes

  • House/Mansion/Villa

A plaque marks the private home where Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, author of Don Quijote de la Mancha, committed his final words to...

Catedral de la Almudena

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The first stone of the cathedral, which adjoins the Royal Palace, was laid in 1883 by King Alfonso XII, and the resulting edifice was...

Cava Baja

  • Neighborhood/Street

The epicenter of the fashionable and historic La Latina neighborhood—a maze of narrow streets that extend south of Plaza Mayor and...

Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

  • Museum/Gallery

Spain’s National Museum of Contemporary Art houses works by all the major 20th-century Spanish painters and sculptors. The new collection...

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