The Spanish capital of Madrid is undoubtedly a great place to visit. Home to one of the world’s greatest art museums, the Prado, Madrid also offers stunning architecture, fascinating history, and some really incredible food. It is no wonder the city gets more than seven million international visitors every year.
And for many of those visitors, Madrid Atocha is the first place they see in the city. This railway station is the oldest in the city, serving Madrid since 1851. And because it dates from a time when car travel did not exist, the station is conveniently located right in the heart of the city.
If you find yourself waiting for a train at Madrid Atocha, or if you have just arrived in the city and want to know what’s nearby, this post is for you. Drop off your bags at a Madrid luggage storage, so you can travel more easily and get ready to discover everything there is to do in this eclectic neighbourhood.
El Retiro Parque
El Retiro is Madrid’s answer to New York’s Central Park and it is just a 10-minute walk from Madrid Atocha. This massive park is the perfect place to come for a picnic, a stroll, or even for a spot of people-watching.
On Sundays, the main pathway through El Retiro becomes a pedestrian zone, and it is filled with locals who head out for a leisurely walk. You will see people doing everything from reading the paper to playing music to break dancing. It is free and definitely worth checking out!
The park is not only a great place to explore but is also home to some of Madrid’s other interesting attractions. For instance, you have probably never seen a statue of Lucifer before, but you will find one right in the center of Madrid in this park. The park is also home to a massive greenhouse dating back to 1887 and you will find Madrid’s botanical garden on the western edge of the park.
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is one of Madrid’s most famous museums, and it is just a short walk from Madrid Atocha. This museum is dedicated to modern art and has an impressive collection that includes works by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Joan Miro.
Even if you are not usually interested in art, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is definitely worth a visit. The building itself is truly impressive and the temporary exhibitions are often very interesting too. This incredible museum is sometimes overshadowed by the Prado, but the truth is, the Reina Sofia would be the pride of most other cities around the world and is a spectacular place to visit for art fans and for those who want to learn more about modern art.
The Railway Museum is one of Madrid’s most unique museums and is located right next to Madrid Atocha station. This museum is dedicated to the history of railways in Spain, and is really interesting for anyone who loves trains or wants to learn more about Spanish history.
The museum is spread over two floors, with the ground floor being dedicated to the history of Spanish railways and the upper floor being home to a collection of historic locomotives. There are also some interactive exhibits which make this an excellent place to visit with kids.
Mercado de San Fernando
The Mercado de San Fernando is a covered market located just a few minutes on foot from Madrid Atocha station. This market dates back to 1878 and is one of the best places in Madrid to buy fresh produce.
The Mercado de San Fernando is open every day except Sunday and is definitely worth a visit if you are looking to pick up some fresh fruit, vegetables, or bread. The market is also home to several small cafes and restaurants. Even if you are not interested in buying anything, the Mercado de San Fernando is a great place to soak in the local vibe of the city.
Plaza de Cibeles
The Plaza de Cibeles is one of Madrid’s most famous squares. This square is home to the Palacio de Comunicaciones, which is an awe inspiring building that was once the main post office in Madrid.
Nowadays, the Palacio de Comunicaciones is home to the Museo Postal y Telegráfico, which is a must see if you are interested in learning more about the history of communication in Spain. This beautiful square is one of Madrid’s most iconic landmarks, so you will be happy you made the effort.
The Prado Museum is one of Madrid’s most famous sites, and is also a short walk from Madrid Atocha station. This world-renowned art museum features one of the largest collections of Spanish art in the world. The museum is particularly well-known for its extensive collection of works by Diego Velázquez, including his masterpiece “Las Meninas.” Other highlights of the Prado Museum’s collection include works by Francisco de Goya, El Greco, and Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”
Not only is the collection impressive here, but the building itself is really beautiful. It is no wonder that this one attracts over three million visitors annually.
As you can see, the area around Madrid Atocha is packed with things to do and contains some of the city’s top tourist attractions. Drop off your bags at a Madrid Atocha luggage storage and you are sure to have a great time in Central Madrid!