A stroll around Madrid with 10 stops

We are going to give you ten clues so that you don’t get lost in this large city. With this small guide it is possible that the metropolis will become a friendlier and more welcoming and fun place.

We suggest ten places that can be small treasures on your journey through a large city like Madrid with almost 3.5 million inhabitants:

This key road in Madrid has been correctly named the Broadway of Madrid due to the quantity of cinemas and theatres that it houses.

It is the most famous and most pictured street in Spain. Alfonso XIII ordered it to be built in 1910 to connect the east with west of Madrid which was a magnificent and colossal job that took many years. Among the most genuine theatres and cinemas that are scattered along the street you will come across Cine Callao, Palacio de la Prensa, Cine Imperial etc.

Barely 500 metres from the hostel you will come across the famous Puerta del Sol, the centre of social activity in the city and located at kilometre 0 on the arterial system of Spanish roads.

Here you can see the clock that rings in the new year every New Year’s Eve, the equestrian figure of Charles III and the famous Estatua del Oso y del Madroño (The Bear and Strawberry Tree) statue, both the symbol and shield of Madrid.

Near Puerta del Sol, you cannot miss the elegance, colour and vitality of one of the world’s most beautiful squares. This amazing, pretty, arcaded square is full of contrasts and is located right in the part of the city called Madrid de los Austrias (Madrid of the Austrians).

In the centre of the agora, you will come across the equestrian statue of Philip III. Below the arcades of this lively square, you typically find painters and street musicians and on Sundays there is usually a coin-collecting street market. During the month of December a street market with Christmas products is set up.

It is one of the symbols of Madrid and one of the most recognised images for the outside world. The current Puerta de Alcalá, located at Plaza de la Independencia (Independence Square), was erected as a Triumph Arch to commemorate the arrival of Charles III to the capital city. It came to substitute a previous gate because it was the entrance to the city of Aragón.

The gate was constructed between 1769 and 1778 and has five openings: three half-pointed arches in the middle and two side entrances with shorter arches that served in the day-to-day use for the pedestrians.

It is one the universal images that distinguishes the city of Madrid. The Spanish architect Ventura Rodríguez carried out this project between the years 1777 and 1782. Curiously, the fountain was initially designed for a specific part of Jardines de La Granja de San Ildefonso (The San Ildefonso Farm Gardens) in Segovia.

In this beautiful fountain, which has given its name to the square that surrounds it, Cibeles Goddess (symbol of the land, agriculture and reproduction) is mounted in a cart led by two lions.

It is one of the world’s largest and most famous art galleries due to the importance of its pictorial collection.

El Prado currently has a luxurious collection with about 8,600 paintings and more than 700 sculptures, of which only one seventh is exhibited to the public.

As well as being one of the best museums related to 16th and 17th century painting and displaying the work of artists as big as Goya, Velázquez, Murillo, El Bosco, Tiziano, El Greco or Rubens, it houses collections of decorative art, sketches and engravings of great value.

The opening hours of the museum are from Tuesday to Sunday from 9a.m. to 8p.m. It remains closed every Monday.

La entrada gratuita al Museo del Prado se permite en determinados horarios: de lunes a sábado de 18.00 a 20.00 horas; domingos y festivos de 17.00 a 19.00 horas.

It is located in a historical building, the Palace of Villahermosa, where more than a thousand works of art are housed. Located on Paseo del Prado number 8, it forms part of the now, world-wide famous Golden Triangle of Art along with the Reina Sofía Museum and El Prado Museum.

In its galleries, it houses a valuable, private collection gathered by the Thyssen-Bornemisza family over seven decades. This artistic collection ranges from Gothic Art to Pop Art and the 80’s, with works of art by prestigious artists such as Manet, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Lucian Freud, Durero, Rafael, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt etc.

Opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday from 10a.m. to 7p.m. It remains closed on Mondays.

It is the National Spanish Museum of 20th Century Art and Contemporary Art. It is located on Calle Santa Isabel number 52 and was designed by José de Hermosilla and Francesco Sabatini.

It is situated in Madrid’s old General Hospital, a spectacular, 18th century, Neoclassic building, in the area of Atocha.

Opening hours of the museum are from Monday to Saturday from 10a.m. to 9p.m.; on Sundays it only opens to the public in the morning from 10a.m. to 2:30p.m. The facilities remain closed on Tuesdays.

The free entrance times for the public are: from Monday to Friday from 7p.m. to 9p.m.; Saturdays from 2:30p.m. to 9p.m. and Sundays from 10a.m. to 2:30p.m.

This is the name given to Madrid at the time of the Habsburg Dynasty (in the 16th and 17th centuries). During this time Madrid became the capital and was enriched with several Baroque and Renaissance palaces and monuments.

Places of Madrid de los Austrias worth mentioning are Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun), Convento de Las Descalzas Reales (Monastery of Barefeet Royals), Palacio Real (The Royal Palace), Monasterio de la Encarnación (Monastery of the Incarnation), Capitanía General (the General Captaincy), La Villa Square and House, Cisneros House, Lujanes Tower, Plaza Mayor, Casa de la Panadería (Bakery House), Casa de la Carnicería (Butcher’s House), the Statue of Philip III, the San Isidro Cathedral, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the House of Lope de Vega.

This is the name given to Madrid at the time of the Bourbon Dynasty (of the 17th and 18th centuries), especially during the reign of Charles III, called the Mayor King. At this time Madrid’s urban layout and monument plans were drawn up.

Places worth mentioning in Madrid de los Borbones are Casa de Correos, Casa de Postas (Coaching Inn) and Real Casa de Aduanas (Royal Customs House), the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the Oratory of Caballero de Gracia, the Church of San José, the Buenavista Palace (Army Headquarters), Puerta de Alcalá (Alcalá Gate), Salón del Prado, Cibeles Fountain, the Apolo Fountain and the Neptune Fountain, the Botanical Gardens, the Astronomical Observatory and the Alcachofa (Artichoke) Fountain.