Madrid Attractions Guide

Madrid's Tourist Attractions Madrid is a big, big city--- So, how do you discover all of Madrid's treasures? The best way to discover Madrid is by visiting it district by district. Mind you, each of them is quite different from the other, yet all of them equally interesting! Indulge in Madrid's cuisine, night life and mingle with the locals. Party Madrid style! - The Plaza Mayor was one of the first market squares in Madrid, which started out in the 15th century. Over the centuries, the Plaza Mayor came to host carnivals, festivals, ceremonies and bullfights. Major attractions here are the Austrias neighborhood, the 'Old City', and famous restaurants like Casa Lucio. You can also enjoy Madrid cuisine, see flamenco, or go bar hopping and partying at night. - The Puerta del Sol is the heart of the Madrid and the entire Spain itself. Its streets are filled with busy shopping centers, retail shops and restaurants. Puerta del Sol is quite a sight to see during New Year's Eve, when thousands of people celebrate together in one place, count down to the seconds until the new year comes. - Paseo del Prado, also known as 'the Boulevard of the Arts', certainly lived up to its name. It is also known as 'El Barrio de las Letras', in English, 'Literary Madrid'. Spain's greatest authors such as Miguel de Cervantes, Tirso de Molina, Lope de Vega and Calderon de la Barca lived here during the 17th century. Visit the Prado Museum and the Botanical Gardens, along with the many important architectural works in the area. - El Rastro is a flea market that takes place every Sunday. Here, you can discover some artsy and unique finds! During Medieval period, the place was a Jewish and Moorish quarter, making it bohemian and ethnically diverse in nature. There are cafes, bars, and galleries in this area as well. For something 'new' and 'exotic', El Rastro is definitely the place to go. - The Retiro Park is a popular destination for leisure for both locals and tourists alike. Retiro Park is a great place to spend your Sunday mornings for a stroll through the park's paths. You will be seeing stalls, tarot card readers, candy shops and Punch and Judy shows along your leisurely walk. It is also lined by cafes with many musicians to serenade the passers-by. - The Palacio Real (The Royal Palace) is a 3,000 room palace that is now an official state function and open to tourists and visitors. They have interesting private tours, with both Spanish and English speaking tour guides to learn more about the Royal Palace and its history. - Chueca is small neighborhood, but leaves nothing short to the liveliness and bustle you experience in other bigger districts. Chueca is filled with the most fashionable boutiques, most modern restaurants and the hippest bars and clubs around. Chueca is actually Madrid's gay neighborhood, which is a favorite spot for gays and heterosexuals alike. The Barrio Rosa (the Pink Neighborhood) celebrates Gay Pride on June annually with 24/7 street partying and an extravagant parade.