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Culture, sport and leisure

Madrid Cultura

¡Welcome to Madrid! A culture and sports calendar full of events awaits you, as well as a wide range of leisure activities.

Madrid has a magnificent cultural offering: 80 museums, 60 theatres with ongoing stage productions throughout the year, hundreds of restaurants (including 20 with Michelin stars), more than 100 cinemas and more. If you want further information on these venues and more in Madrid, take a look at the following link.

We also recommend you take a look at the extensive offer of cultural and leisure activities at this other link from the Community of Madrid. And don’t forget the Madrid 2020 culture calendar organised by the City Council with everything Madrid has to offer.


These quintessential museums make up the triangle known as Madrid’s “Paseo del Arte”, or Avenue of Art:

  • El Museo Nacional del Prado One of the world’s most celebrated art galleries, this museum is also one of the most visited, with two million visitors per year. Among the artists on display, the Prado features works by Velázquez, Goya, El Bosco, El Greco, Rubens, Tintoretto and Tiziano.
  • El Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Opened in 1992, this museum is another of the most important in Madrid. Here you’ll find an extensive collection of contemporary art that complements the works in the Prado. Although it hosts numerous highly successful temporary exhibitions, its permanent collection features works by Spanish artists such as Pablo Picasso, and his famous Guernica (the museum’s most well-known piece), Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró.
  • El Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza This museum complements the previous two museums with works by foreign artists encompassing the history of European painting from the Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century. Among its most celebrated artists you’ll find works by Jan Van Eyck, Friedrich, Monet, Degas, Gauguin and Van Gogh.


  • The Puerta del Sol, or Gate of the Sun, is one of Madrid’s most famous squares: the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, KM 0 and the famous clock where revellers ring in the new year are all here.
  • The Plaza Mayor  or Main Square, is located in the heart of Madrid just a few steps from the Puerta del Sol. It was inaugurated in 1619 and today is a symbol of the capital city.
  • The Gran Vía is Madrid’s busiest and most well-known street. It was built between 1910 and 1929 to connect the Salamanca district and the Argüelles district.
  • Retiro Park is Madrid’s most important park and is full of fountains, squares, puppet shows, musicians, fortune tellers and much more. Find out how to get there
  • The Temple of Debod is one of Madrid’s greatest hidden treasures. It was a gift from Egypt to Spain for helping to save the Nubian temples. It’s a must-see!
  • The Puerta de Alcalá or Alcalá Gate, is one Madrid’s most well-known monuments and one of the city’s five royal gates. It stands in the centre of Independence Square.
  • The Plaza de Oriente is a square located in the historic centre of Madrid between the Royal Palace and the Royal Theatre. Explore it!
  • Madrid’s Royal Theatre is one of the city’s most emblematic buildings. It can be found in the Plaza de Oriente, across from the Royal Palace..
  • Located between Gran Vía and Princesa street, the Plaza de España, or Spanish Square, is one of Madrid’s main hubs for residents and tourists alike.
  • The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family and was built in the 18th century.  
  • The Almudena Cathedral was the first church outside Rome to be consecrated by the Pope.  
  • Plaza de Colón, or Columbus Square, is an expansive open space dominated by a monument to Christopher Columbus built between 1881 and 1885.. 
  • Fuente de Cibeles, or Fountain of Cybele: built in 1782, it is one of the symbols of the city. Located in the centre of the square of the same name, it is surrounded by the Buenavista Palace (Army Headquarters), Linares Palace (Casa de América), Palace of Cybele (the former headquarters of the Post Office and the current headquarters of the City Council of Madrid) and the Bank of Spain. It is an iconic place for the fans of Real Madrid football club, where they gather to celebrate the team’s trophies, and even hosts celebrations for the Spanish national football team.
  • Fuente de Neptuno or Fountain of Neptune: this landmark sits centrally along Prado avenue and is home to the Palace Hotel and the Ritz Hotel, two of Madrid’s most historic hotels. Alongside Cibeles, Neptuno is one of the most beautiful and majestic fountains in Madrid. Both gods are prominent within the Greek mythological hierarchy and even rival each other in the sporting arena, as Atlético de Madrid fans celebrate their victories with the God of the Sea.
  • Bank of Spain: The headquarters of the Bank of Spain is one of the most iconic buildings of Madrid and of 19th and early 20th century Spanish architecture. However, until its construction, the Bank carried out its activity in other parts of the city. 
  • Cybele Palace: The former Palace of Communications is a monumental building that has served as the headquarters of the City Council of Madrid since 2007. The building is divided into different areas:
    • The former Operations Hall of the Central Post Office that now houses a cultural information desk and the Cybele Collection bar and restaurant.
    • The former Palace chapel where different cultural events are held.
    • CentroCentro, a public space dedicated to contemporary art.
    • La Galería de Cristal or Crystal Gallery.
    • The Caja de Música, or the Music Box, auditorium where lectures, concerts and conferences are held.
    • Two multi-purpose halls: Jorge García Berlanga and Sigfrido Martín Begué.
    • The Cybele Palace Restaurant and the Cybele Terrace.
    • Mirador Madrid, or Madrid Observation Deck, where visitors can enjoy an impressive panoramic view of city.