Madrid is world-renowned for being Spain’s capital and the most populous city in the country. However, there are many other features and aspects of the city that make it an ideal destination to visit.
Madrid is worth visiting due to its numerous architectural and historical attractions, including the Royal Palace, the UNESCO Heritage site, and the oldest restaurant in the world. Madrid is also home to some of the best football clubs in the world, delicious cuisines, and vibrant nightlife.
This article will explore some of the aspects of Madrid that are most appealing to potential visitors. To learn more about what makes Madrid worth visiting, read on.
1. Madrid Is a Historical Center
One of the features that separates Madrid from the rest is its long history. The history of Madrid dates as far back as the 2nd century BC. Accordingly, this city has great historical relevance to the Muslims, Jews, and Muslims who occupied the city across the centuries.
There are significant archeological remains which have been found in this city. These include the Roman villas and Visigoth settlements. Modern-day Madrid is also where remains of Celtic Carpetani settlements were found. Accordingly, Madrid is one of the most prominent archeological and historical sites not only in Spain but in all of Europe.
Madrid is also home to other famous archeological sites, including the Templo de Debod monument, the ancient ruins of Castillo de la Alameda, and Estacion de Metro de Gran via ruins.
2. Center of Sports
For sports lovers, Madrid is a must-visit. Some of the best football clubs in all of Europe and the world are located in Madrid. Madrid is mainly known for its three football teams, including Club Atlético de Madrid, Deportivo Leganes, and Real Madrid, which play in Spain’s best football division.
3. Madrid Is the Financial Center of Spain
Madrid is considered to be a financial center not only of Spain but of the entire Southern Europe region. Many southern European companies have corporate offices in this city, including Iberia, Telefonica, and Santander.
As the capital city of Spain, Madrid is also the headquarters of some of the major banks in the country. These include Bankia, NNVA, and Bankinter.
4. Arts and Cultural Center
Madrid is also a center for arts and culture in the southern European region. In fact, Paseo del Arte— found in Madrid—translates to Art Walk in English. This area is home to some of the finest artworks in the world.
The Paseo del Arte is a one-kilometer (0.62 miles) stretch which is also home to some major museums, including the Thyssen-Bornemisza, The Prado, and the Reina Sofia museums. There are also numerous beautiful buildings that make Madrid worth visiting.
The Paseo del Prado and El Retiro park were declared as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2021 and included as a cultural landscape. Madrid is also home to numerous cultural foundations and exhibition halls, theaters, concert halls, and even museums for children for a complete family experience.
5. World Renowned Cuisines
Madrid is home to many world-class restaurants and hotels where visitors can enjoy authentic Spanish dishes. Spanish dishes have had a massive influence on global cuisine, so much so that Spanish-style foods can be found in America, Asia, Oceania, and even Africa.
There is a wide range of cuisines that you can enjoy by taking a trip to Madrid. While this city has its own gastronomy, which mainly features squid rolls, snails, tripe, and tapas, the hotels and restaurants in Madrid typically invite culinary selections from other parts of the world.
Some of the highlights include the paella—a rice-based dish mixed with either seafood, fish, or meat. The fried fish, roast lamb, and suckling pig are also delectable options to savor in Madrid.
6. Sobrino de Botin—the Oldest Restaurant
Few things beat enjoying the local Spanish cuisine than having it in the oldest restaurant in the World. Sobrino de Botin is a restaurant in Madrid that was established in 1725. It’s the oldest restaurant in the world.
This restaurant is a fan-favorite among tourists visiting Madrid. If you are going to have the roast piglet, I suggest having it in this restaurant. It is the house special in Sobrino de Botin.
7. Breathtaking Architecture
Madrid features a large number of architectural styles that adorn the city’s modern landscape. The city is also home to numerous monuments that spread across multiple eras and coexist with contemporary buildings.
Therefore, Madrid is an excellent place to simply take a walk and enjoy these architectural marvels. Some highlights include the Metropolis Building, which sets itself apart as one of the most photographed buildings by travelers. This building features a French architectural style, towering up to 45 meters (147.64 feet).
Madrid is also home to the Las Cuatro Torres buildings. The four buildings in the Cuatro Torres are among the tallest buildings in the city, reaching a towing height of 249 meters (817 feet).
8. The Royal Palace
Madrid is also known and famous for being the home of Spain’s government. The Royal Palace of Madrid is an architectural and historical building in its own right. The castle, built in the 18th century, is the royal family’s official residence.
Surrounding the palace is the Campo del Moro Park, whose roots date as far back as the middle ages. The palace is also surrounded by the gardens of Sabatini. Visitors can visit these gardens during the daytime for a good view of the royal palace.
9. Bustling Nightlife
Madrid is also widely known for its vibrant nightlife. Madrid is considered one of the best cities in Europe to enjoy an evening or night out.
For instance, the Chueca neighborhood is home to many pubs and beautiful outdoor spaces to relax during summer. If you plan to visit during the winter, check out our article titled “Does it Snow in Spain?” to learn more about the weather in Madrid before you visit.
Additionally, the Huertas neighborhood is a tourist-favorite spot for those looking to imbibe. So enjoyable is the nightlife in Madrid that one of the biggest nightclubs in all of Europe—Kapital, is located in Madrid.
Check out this superb drone footage of Madrid from YouTube.
10. The Flamenco
Madrid offers some of the best Flamenco shows in all of Spain. The Flamenco shows combine Roman dance with Andalusian music. It features tap dancing, singing, and clapping.
With no shortage of theaters and nightclubs, Madrid has been known to hold the best Flamenco shows. Arguably one of the most famous Flamenco venues is the Corral de la Moreria, which has been showcasing this art form since 1956.