We’ve compiled the best of the best in Madrid - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

    Lavapiés | Museum/Gallery

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

  • 2. El Rastro

    Embajadores | Market/Bazaar

    Named for the arrastre (dragging) of animals in and out of the slaughterhouse that once stood here and, specifically, the rastro (blood...Read More

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  • 3. Museo del Prado

    Retiro | Museum/Gallery

    One of the world's top museums, the Prado is to Madrid what the Louvre is to Paris: an iconic city landmark that merits a visit by every traveler...Read More

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  • 4. Museo Sorolla

    Chamberí | Museum/Gallery

    See the world through the exceptional eye of Spain's most famous impressionist painter, Joaquín Sorolla (1863–1923), who lived and worked most...Read More

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  • 5. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

    Barrio de las Letras | Museum/Gallery

    Opened in 1992, the Thyssen occupies spacious galleries filled with natural light in the late-18th-century Villahermosa Palace (itself finished...Read More

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  • 6. Palacio Real

    Palacio | Castle/Palace

    The Palacio Real rests on the terrain where the Moors built Madrid's first defensive fortress in the 9th century. It overwhelms with its sheer...Read More

  • 7. Parque del Buen Retiro

    Retiro | Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Once the private playground of royalty, Madrid's crowning park is a 316-acre expanse of formal gardens, fountains, lakes, exhibition halls,...Read More

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  • 8. Plaza Mayor

    Sol | Plaza/Square

    Austere, grand, and often surprisingly quiet compared with the rest of Madrid, this public square—finished in 1619 under Felipe III, whose equestrian...Read More

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  • 9. Basílica de San Francisco el Grande

    La Latina | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    In 1760 Carlos III built this basilica on the site of a Franciscan convent, allegedly founded by St. Francis of Assisi in 1217. The dome, 108...Read More

  • 10. CaixaForum

    Barrio de las Letras | Museum/Gallery

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

  • 11. Campo del Moro

    Palacio | Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Below the Sabatini Gardens but accessible only by an entrance on the far side by Madrid Río is the Campo del Moro, a park large enough for a...Read More

  • 12. Casa Museo Lope de Vega

    Barrio de las Letras | Historic Home

    A contemporary and adversary of Cervantes, Lope de Vega (1562–1635) wrote some 1,800 plays and enjoyed great success during his lifetime. His...Read More

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  • 13. Catedral de la Almudena

    Palacio | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

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

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  • 14. Cava Baja

    La Latina | Neighborhood/Street

    Madrid's most popular tapas street is crowded with excellent (if overpriced) tapas bars and traditional tabernas. Its lively, and rather touristy...Read More

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  • 15. Centro Cultural de Conde Duque

    Malasaña | Museum/Gallery

    Built by Pedro de Ribera in 1717–30 to accommodate the Regiment of the Royal Guard, this imposing building (the facade is 750 feet long) was...Read More

  • 16. Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida

    Moncloa | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Built between 1792 and 1798 by the Italian architect Francisco Fontana, this neoclassical chapel was financed by King Carlos IV, who also...Read More

  • 17. Estación de Atocha

    Retiro | Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

    A steel-and-glass hangar, Madrid's main train station was built in the late 19th century by Alberto Palacio Elissague, who became famous for...Read More

  • 18. Faro de Moncloa

    Moncloa | Notable Building

    This UFO-like tower is 360 feet tall and an excellent viewpoint from which to gaze at some of the city’s most outstanding buildings including...Read More

  • 19. Jardines de Sabatini

    Palacio | Garden

    The meticulously manicured gardens to the north of the Palacio Real, located where the royal stables once were, are a pleasant place to rest...Read More

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  • 20. Local tourist office

    Visitor Center

    To get to the local tourist office, cross the arch that's across from the visitors' entrance to the monastery. ...Read More

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