Things to do in Madrid and Best places to spend wonderful time during the tournament
Museo del Prado
Modern, exquisite, and delightful museum with treasures that have been collected over centuries, including famous masterpieces by Bosch, El Greco, Raphael, Titian, Dürer, Velázquez, Rubens and many other. This place can become №1 among the things to do in Madrid. Hearing these names just can make you go into rhapsodies over getting there. To avoid line you can plan your visit and book a ticket online, check out site museodelprado.
Location: Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23, 28014 Madrid
Subway: Line 2 – Banco de España or Line 1 – Atocha plus ten minutes walk.
When: from Monday to Saturday 10 am – 8 pm. Sundays and holidays 10 am – 7 pm. It is possible to enter free on any day of week 6pm – 8pm, except Sundays and holidays – 5pm – 7pm.
Buen Retiro Park
If you happened to be around the Prado Museum, don’t miss a chance to take a walk through the largest Madrid park. Its name speaks for itself (“Park of the pleasant Retreat”). A charming lake with beautifully sculptured fountains, fresh air and leisurely stroll in alleys is what anyone needs before plunging into a new dose of history and art. Here, on the territory a collection of 19th and 20th century paintings is located. Besides, the sword of the legendary medieval Spanish warrior, El Cid, at the Army museum is surely worth to take a glimpse of. A great place to visit after or before heading to Mutua Madrid Open.
Location: Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid
Subway: Line 2 – Retiro station
When: every day of a year
Puerta de Alcalá
A few steps from Buen Retiro Park will lead you to the 18th century gate, constructed by Italian architect Francesco Sabatini. Enjoy neoclassical architecture!
Location: Plaza de la Independencia, 1, 28001 Madrid
Subway: Line 2 – Retiro or Banco de España
La Puerta del Sol
At the beginning of the Calle de Alcalá, one of the oldest streets gathering a lot of outstanding sites, you will find “Gate of the Sun” square. It is an energetic landmark with considerable concentration of important buildings and memories connected to events that united many people (Spanish democracy demonstrations). Stop to look at the Royal Post Office. It is current office of the President of Madrid. It can be found on the south, and statue of favorite Spanish king Charles III is towering up nearby.
One of the best-known places in Madrid, placed in its very heart, features Bear and the Madroño Tree, the recognizable heraldic symbol of Madrid, and lots of wonderful purlieus to discover. The square is extremely charming at night. So, being at the Mutua Madrid Open, make sure you attended this must-see place!
Subway: Line 1/2/3 – Sol station
A long-established market spot, dating back to the remote times, holds its ancient spirit though the ground was paved and wooden buildings, surrounding the point, were taken by fires and replaced by brick and stone. The last serious reconstruction was carried by Juan de Villanueva in 1790.
Here, the inquisition performed its cruel sentences – autos de fe, and bullfights were held year after year. Every corner is hiding visions of past. Arcaded entrance ways; porticos, where cozy traditional cafes and shops welcome tired travelers into refreshing shadows; a bronze statue of King Philip III in the center; the Casa de la Panadería (or Bakery House), which suffered a lot of transformations. It acquired present appearance in 1992. It happened when Carlos Franco redecorated its facade with frescos depicting mythological and historical figures.
The square has witnessed one of the greatest annual Spanish celebrations. The Feast Day of San Isidro, the saint that is the city’s patron.
Location: Plaza Mayor, 28012 Madrid
Subway: Line 1/2/3 – Puerta del Sol
San Isidro Park
People commemorate San Isidro and his wife, Saint Maria Torribia, on May 15, carrying their images around the city. The festival now is held at San Isidro Park. It is the usual place for many local feasts and you can easily includ it in your list of the things to do in Madrid.
Location: San Isidro Park, Paseo de la Ermita del Santo, 74, 28019 Madrid
Subway: Line 5 – Marques de Vadillo.
Catedral de la Almudena
From the moment when construction of the Roman Catholic cathedral was first planned to date of realization almost four centuries passed. The realization of the project was postponed because of extreme expenses of Spanish Empire. It was expanding its territories and had to hold them at any cost. In 1883 the capital of Spain started to build it on the site, as it is supposed, of Muslim mosque, destroyed as Alfonso VI the Brave reconquered Madrid during the Reconquista. The cathedral was completed and consecrated in 1993.
It combined various architectural styles, as it often happens, when construction is delayed. Many artists contributed to this art piece. If work began in Gothic Revival style, after the Spanish Civil War the exterior was complemented with Baroque features in order to create harmonious architectural ensemble taking into account the opposite Palacio Real. There is even more syncretic composition. The image of Virgen de la Almudena, created in 16th century and placed into the neo-romantic crypt. After all, the whole masterpiece produces impression of aeriality and gracefulness with its columns, porticos and spires.
Location: Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid.
Subway: Line 2 – Ópera.
When: you can visit the cathedral on any day from 9am to 8.30 pm
The largest royal palace in Europe by covered area, Palacio Real is not inhabited by the royal family currently residing in a mansion of the Zarzuela Palace complex. Certain rooms are available to see on your own eyes. Except days when official events are held at palace. The rest of time Palacio Real functions as one of the richest European museums with period-piece decoration of interior, including ceiling frescoes by Corrado Gioaquinto, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Juan de Flandes and Anton Raphael Mengs.
That’s worth seeing without a doubt. Painting collection is impressive – artworks by Velázquez, Caravaggio and Francisco de Goya. But there were even more. Unfortunately, many canvas were lost because of a fire originated on Christmas Eve 1734, when this old building – the Alcázar of the Habsburgs – was destroyed. The fortress itself had tough, but noble, history that began in late 9th century. It got then harsh damages in the battle between supporters of Isabella I and Joanna la Beltraneja in the War of the Castilian Succession (1476). Since founding the building had been enlarged and expanded, but particularly intensive growth proceeded in 16th-18th centuries. The first extension was initiated by Charles V. After moving the capital to Madrid King Philip IV added several innovations. Developing a huge collection of artworks, it was he who patronized Diego Velázquez and other prominent artists.
After 20th century damages the restoration of facade was carried out with returning many original architectural and sculptural features, such as statues by Sachetti and F. de Castro. The demesne comprises two squares – Plaza de la Armería and Plaza de Oriente, each attracting in its own way. Of course, the landscape would not be as complete as it is without well thought out arrangement of gardens. Campo del Moro Gardens were considerably improved during the reign of Isabel II (symmetrical lines and forms feature the Sabatini Gardens in a neoclassic style).
Inside the palace, there are Royal Pharmacy as well, where such artifacts as old medical instruments are contained, and Royal Armoury, where most astounding pieces, made by famous armorers of Augsburg and Milan for Spanish kings, are kept. All in all, while being at the Mutua Madrid Open one look is worth a thousand words!
Location: Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid
Subway: Line 2/5 – Ópera, Line 3/10 – Plaza de España
When: daily 10am-8pm, expect the days when official events are held
Plaza de Cibeles
Fountains at this splendid square have acquired the same meaning of associations with Madrid as the Eiffel Tower with Paris. Almighty goddess Cybele, stopped in a rushing, sitting on chariot carried by tamed lions, faces the center of the city. So Mutua Madrid fans during tennis events can throw the club’s flag. On her shoulders to celebrate victories! Behind the fountain a grand, dreamlike palace rises to be masterly modeled from white sand – they Cybele Palace, which serves as the City Hall.
Other significant buildings include Palacio de Linares, believed to be haunted by ghost of a little daughter of Marquis de Linares and his wife, who were half brother and sister; Buenavista Palace, now the General Headquarters of the Army; and enormous Banco de España, built in the second half of the 19th century and extended recently under the direction of Rafael Moneo. You just have to give it a visit while being at the Mutua Madrid Open!
Location: Plaza de Cibeles, 28014 Madrid.
Subway: Line 2 – Banco de España station
Basílica de San Francisco El Grande
A part of Franciscan monastery, the church is one of the richest and most majestic in Madrid. It was designed in late 18th century by Francesco Sabatini. He used plans and drawings by Francisco Cabezas and Antonio Pló. Its dome has been identified as the fourth largest in the world. It reaches 33 meters of diameter and 33 meters of height, and is decorated with grandiose frescoes by Goya and ‘Spanish Caravaggio’ Zurbarán. The National Pantheon of Spain was placed earlier in the basilica. Many famous artists and politicians were preserved there. For example, of Calderón de la Barca, dramatist and writer of Spanish Golden Age.
Location: C/ San Buenaventura, 1, 28005 Madrid.
Subway: Line 5 – La Latina or Puerta de Toledo stations
When: you can attend mass from 8 to 10.30 am Mon-Sat and enter it as a museum from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm & 4-6pm Tue-Sun.
Museo nacional centro de arte Reina Sofia
Pieces of modern art, especially those created in 20th century with all its contradictions, expectations and disillusions, even more – with all its tragedies and relieves are collected here, in Sofia. Mostly there are works of Spanish artists. But international are presented too. Vasily Kandinsky, Mark Rothko, Damien Hirst and Pierre Bonnard, to name just a few. The breathtaking Picasso’s ‘Guernika’ is exhibited here. You must bring it a visit!
Location: Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid
Subway: Line 1 – Atocha
When: Mon, Wed-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 10am-2.30pm. Closed Tue. See more information about opening hours and ticket prices
San Jerónimo el Real
Due to neighbourship with royal palace, this church often served as a place for royal investitures, the first one was of the Prince of Asturias Philip II in 1528. As a part of the Hieronymus monastery, it was constructed in Isabelline Gothic style. But with Napoleon’s invasion into Madrid the city’s glory days were overcast, and particularly gloomy fate waited for the church – it was completely destroyed. Restoration started forty years later and was carried by several steps. First, the main structure was rebuilt and towers added. Then 19th century remodeling left a few original features of its exterior. After all extensions and completions (the last change brought by Rafael Moneo), the church gained its nowadays look.
Location: Calle de Moreto, 4, 28014 Madrid
Subway: Line 1 – Atocha, Line 2 – Banco de España
When: It is open from 8.30am to 1.30pm, and again from 5.30pm to 8.00pm daily
Templo de Debod
No spare time to make a detour to Egypt? Then, visit an ancient Egyptian temple right here, in Madrid during your favorite Mutua Madrid Open tennis event!
Sounds like a bit of spoof, but the truth is that UNESCO drew attention to the construction of the Aswam Dam, in the case of which lake waters would destroy the temple. It was rebuilt, stone by stone, with the same material delivered to Spain, after the country helped save this over 2200-year-old relic from ruining.
Location: Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid.
Subway: Line 3/10 – Plaza de España, Line 3 – Ventura Rodríguez station
When: Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 to 14:00 and 18:00 to 20:00. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 10:00 to 14:00. Closed on Mondays.
A good place to relax in case you have run out of steam. Every city has its ‘street that never sleeps’, and it’s just the main tourist artery of Madrid! Stretched out from Calle de Alcalá to Plaza de España this place can’t be excluded from your list of the best things to do in Madrid. The street links grand examples of 20th century architecture. The first European skyscraper, Telefónica Building, was erected here between 1926 and 1929 according to Louis S. Weeks’s design. At the beginning of the street two prominent landmarks are located – the Edificio Grassy and the Metropolis Building, somewhat similar in architecture, but equally elegant. Just take a walk along from the point and check on yourself.
Location: to start the walk from the Edificio Grassy, you should get on Gran Vía 1.
Subway: Line 2 – Banco de España. Other stations at Gran Via: Line 1/5 – Gran Via, Line 2 – Santo Domingo, Line 3/5 – Callao station.
El Corte Inglés
Enter the shopping center at Gran Via. Head to the top floor. Don’t forget to bring with you delicious churros and nice mood and voila – you are enjoying the astonishing view of Madrid! You will be observing panoramic views of Almudena Cathedral and the Royal Palace. The receipt of happiness is revealed!
Location: 9, Centro Comercial El Corte Inglés, Plaza de Callao, 2, 28013 Madrid
Subway: Line 1/2/3 – Sol, Line 3/5 – Callao
Would you like to get overwhelmed with authentic Spanish market atmosphere? Then, wait for Sunday and attend the biggest open-air flea market of the city, the most popular, lively, bright and colorful! Hundreds of vendors offering whole nine yards look out from the cluttered stalls. Numerous antiques are just begging you to grab them, almost carnival mood, however, be attentive and keep your wallet close, as well as other valuable belongings.
Location: Calle Ribera de Curtidores, S/N, 28005 Madrid.
Subway: Line 1 – Tirso de Molina or Sol, Line 2 – Sol or Opera, Line 3 – Embajadores, Lavapiés or Sol, Line 5 – La Latina, Puerta de Toledo or Acacias.
When: Sundays and public holidays, from 9am to 15pm
The Caixa Forum Museum
Make time to discover how industrial architecture literally combines with nature!
There once was an abandoned electrical station in center of Madrid. In 2001 one Swiss architectural group started to turn it into modern building, using new technologies and designs. In 2007 transformation was over; thus contemporary museum and cultural center appeared. Now it constantly hosts concerts and conferences, a restaurant and a bookshop. The main point is permanent collection of modern art (from the 80s to present-day), including around 700 items.
Near the building some interesting landscape project of the future has materialized: the vertical garden on a wall, a fruit of labor of the French botanist Patrick Blanc. More beauty and oxygen to the hot city!
Location: Paseo del Prado, 36, 28014 Madrid
Subway: Line 1 – Atocha
When: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm
Chocolatería San Gines
The list would be incomplete without mentioning the delicious chocolate served at well-known San Gines, which has been carrying on its tradition from 1894. Some things will never bother.
Just try this specialty of national cuisine – crispy flour sticks, churros, which are traditionally eaten with a cup of hot chocolate! Sounds simple, but it must be magic in combining these things because the taste is unforgettable. By the way, it’s to be perfect breakfast after a night out in Madrid, the proof is in the churros!
Location: Pasadizo San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid
Subway: Line 1/2/3 – Sol
When: 24 hours a day
Sometimes people don’t need much, just to be in right places at the right times. So, just make sure you are in Spain in May and fully enjoy the Mutua Madrid Open and Spain with its all must-see and must-dos!