Madrid is often referred to as the cultural capital of Spain, and for good reason. While other Spanish cities boast of several incredible insights into the country’s history, architecture and art, Madrid should be your starting point for any exploration of the most important cultural hotspots of the country. But with so much to choose from, what are the top spots that simply have to feature on your itinerary in the Spanish capital?
Whether you’re seeking inspiration for your next cultural adventure or you’re already starting to plan your dream Spanish holiday, here is a look at some sights you don’t want to miss while in Madrid.
Madrid has many cultural attractions, but perhaps one of the best known is the Royal Palace. While much of Europe has royal history, this three thousand room palace is actually still used by the Royal Family, making it an important part of Madrid’s modern culture, too. This does mean that much of the palace is off limits to tourists, but with over one hundred thousand square metres to explore, you won’t be at a loss for stunning sights. A guided tour will provide all the information needed to appreciate this impressive feat of architecture.
Corral de la Morería
For something a little different, don’t forget to explore the rich history of Flamenco dancing and see it in its most traditional and authentic form. Madrid has Flamenco shows being performed almost continuously, but for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, head to Corral de la Morería. This is one of the most popular and well-known places to see Flamenco dancers in all their glory, and it is famous for being the oldest Flamenco venue in the entire city.
The Temple of Debod
An Egyptian monument in Madrid might sound unlikely, but this isn’t a mistake! You can enjoy a bit of ancient Egyptian architecture far from the Nile when you visit Madrid. The Temple of Debod is a real temple, given as a gift from Egypt to Spain, and to see it here is a unique experience. Surrounded by clear, still water, the Temple of Debod occupies a position which allows you to view some of Madrid’s most impressive and beautiful buildings; but don’t forget to explore the beauty of the temple itself, especially at sunset.
La Almudena Cathedral
Religion plays a huge part in the culture of Madrid, making La Almudena Cathedral an awe-inspiring cultural hotspot. It isn’t the oldest religious site on offer, but it is a spot with a long and complex history. While it was initially planned as a church and then a cathedral in the late 1800s, it was delayed multiple times due to a lack of resources, and did not reach full completion until the 1990s. This makes its architecture truly unusual and visually unique. You can also learn a lot more about the city’s religious history and patron saints.
The Golden Triangle of Art
Madrid should be a leading bucket list destination for any art lover. Boasting of a host of incredible art galleries and museums, the best of them can be found in the world-famous Golden Triangle, sometimes known as the Art Triangle. This central hub of art is made up of the Prado, the Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen.
Aesthetes will likely be most familiar with the Museo del Prado, where you can discover more than 7,000 paintings within this stunning setting. The other two museums which make up the triangle are definitely must-sees, too, so be sure to set aside a day to explore this pièce de résistance of Madrid’s cultural landscape.