When it comes to things to see in Madrid the list is endless. However, there are a few tourist attractions visitors to the city simply have to see, no matter how short their stay in the capital is. Among these top Madrid points of interest is the iconic Puerta de Alcalá (1769-1778), a triumphal arch built by Francisco Sabatini in the times of Charles III; it is one of five royal gates that was used to access to city in the past.
In addition, we highly recommended visiting landmarks such as Almudena Cathedral and the Royal Palace or Plaza de Oriente, both located in the area called El Madrid de los Austrias. Also check out the fountain of Cybele, the emblematic Plaza Mayor, the Temple of Debod (one of only four Pharaonic temples outside of Egypt) and the Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, the symbol of the coat of arms of Madrid. The statue stands on the east side of the square Puerta del Sol, where a small stone slab is found, marking the geographical centre of Spain. This marker is the point from which distances are measured in the country and thousands of Spaniards meet here to see in the New Year, like a sort of Spanish Times Square.
Other Madrid attractions are The Buen Retiro Park, one of the largest parks of the city, and the Cuesta de Moyano Book Market, a hill studded with little kiosks selling books. The market is a must-see place for lovers of literature.
If you have time for more places to visit in Madrid, you must see its magnificent museums. Among them are jewels such as the Queen Sofia Museum of Art, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the National Archaeological Museum currently exhibiting the Lady of Elche - an Iberian artefact from the 4th century BC. And of course, you can’t miss the Prado Museum, one of the most important art galleries in the world exhibiting around 27,000 works of art dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century by famous European artists such as Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Rubens, Velazquez and Goya. All this in one city, isn’t that impressive?