There are so many ways to experience Madrid. That is one of the beauties of traveling. You get to see new places and meet different cultures in your own unique way. Your own perception and experience is what defines your trip and helps you find out more about the place you are visiting. As you are looking at the map and deciding what to visit, think about how you can organize your visit to create a personalized experience with landmarks that enable you to learn more about the cultural heritage of the Spanish capital.
We would like to help you discover hidden corners of Madrid cultural heritage by suggesting interesting places to visit. Sites such as the Plaza Mayor and the Prado Museum are undoubtedly must-see places in Madrid. They are famous landmarks no one should miss, but the city actually has many other not-so-known sites that enable you to immerse into the local culture and explore its rich heritage.
The Auditorium of Universidad Complutense
As the museum with long history and tradition, Complutense has been an important part of Madrid life. The auditorium is a building that has been on the list of Spanish properties of cultural interest since 1980.
Casita del Príncipe (El Escorial)
Translated as the House of Prince, this is the place designed under the heavy influence of neoclassicism. It was a private residence of the heir to the Spanish throne, and it was constructed in the 1770s. Besides the impressive architecture, the landmark also has an amazing garden, but perhaps the most famous feature is the Sala de Porcelana, located on the upper floor of the residence, with a collection of jasperware.
Puente de Segovia
The Puente de Segovia is another landmark you should explore during your visit. It has been built during the late 1580s over the Manzanares river in Madrid.
Puente de Toledo
This bridge is another site worth seeing as its baroque style make it a true representative of Madrid’s architecture from the first half of the 18th century. Due to wonderfully arranged lights, visiting this bridge in the evening or at night is a real spectacle.
The Temple of Debod
This building is an ancient Egyptian monument located near the Parque del Oeste in Madrid. The building, which is now a famous historical monument is actually a gift from Egypt to Spain during the 1960s. It is indeed an impressive experience to visit such a landmark that represents an entirely different culture. The temple itself dates back to the beginning of the 2nd century.
Palacio de Velázquez
Palacio de Velázquez or the Velázquez Palace is located in El Retiro Park in Madrid. It is an exhibition hall which is now used as an art and crafts gallery. The building itself is listed as Spanish property of cultural interest. It is one of few surviving buildings that were constructed in this area, alongside the Palacio de Cristal, which is a far more famous landmark in El Retiro Park.
Terrazas del Manzanares
This archaeological zone is worth the visit as the place which holds more than a hundred of archaeological and paleontological sites. Its cultural value is undeniable because these sites provide a perfect glimpse into Madrid’s ancient times and cultural heritage each epoch has left. The area is located on the banks of the Manzanares River.
Puerta de Toledo
This site used to have such an important role in the city life. It was one of the entrances into the city. Furthermore, it was one of the last city gates to be built, which is why it dates to the first half of the 19th century. The name has been chosen as the gate allows access to the city center through Toledo Streets after crossing the Toledo bridge.
The Bank of Spain
The building of the Bank of Spain is an impressive, eclectic architecture construction that has a central location, facing some of the most essential Madrid landmarks including the Plaza de Cibeles, the Paseo del Prado, the Calle de Alcala, etc. It has a chamfer clock on the top as well as the coat of arms on the north facade.
Teatro de la Zarzuela
The theatre dates back to the 19th century, but it endured several closings and reconstructions since it was first opened. Teatro de la Zarzuela is the most famous theatre in Madrid dedicated to Spanish lyric.
Opera house in Madrid is located at the Plaza de Oriente, and it represents a landmark worth visiting both for the interior and the exterior. Its construction lasted for most of the first part of the 19th century. Several reconstructions, including the most recent one in the 1990s, were done to bring out the original design and highlight the cultural value of such a construction and predominant neoclassicism and eclecticism styles in architecture.
The Church of Our Lady of Montserrat
Church of Our Lady of Montserrat is a Catholic church in Baroque style. Its construction was completed in the 18th century, and it represents a landmark which may not be as popular but certainly is an important piece of Spanish cultural life. Intricate details on the main facade and breath-taking interior of the church are features that make it a valuable site in both religious and cultural sense.
The Collegiate Church of San Isidro
Another religious monument that represents a cultural heritage in the life of Madrid is the Collegiate church of San Isidro, built in the 17th century. It is one of the most representative buildings of the time heavily influenced by the Baroque style and following models from Rome with a single ship, lateral chapels, and other details that adorn the church interior. Since several major renovations took place during the centuries, the church interior also shows the influence of Neoclassical style, mainly with the altarpiece, even though the goal was to keep the original design as much as possible.
The Museum of Romanticism
Madrid has a lot of museum, and you will probably end up visiting at least one of them. However, the Museum of Romanticism is unlikely to cross your mind as a place to visit, as it is one of those hidden corners that belong to the cultural heritage of Madrid. Romanticism is an artistic and literary movement introduced at the beginning of the 19the century, and this museum brings you the spirit and the creativity of this particular period through its collection which includes housing items, furniture, decorative objects, paintings, and textiles. It also has a miniature collection with more than 250 pieces.
The Palace of Liria
Constructed in the 18th century, the Palace of Liria is said to be the largest private residence in Madrid along with its gardens. It is one of the most famous mansions in the Madrid aristocracy. It also includes an art collection, which you can see during organized visits and tours.
Campo del Moro
Campo del Moro is a historic garden located in Madrid. The construction was finished in the late 19th century, and it occupies about twenty hectares of the property from the Royal Palace to the Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto. The main character is the steep slope, which makes a landscape with ups and downs. Having in mind the time since the creation of this garden was an idea to the actual construction, this landscape perfectly reflects how the planning circulated until the final design was turned into reality. The garden has a rectangular shape and several entrance doors.
The Fuentecilla is a small monumental fountain located at the crossroads of two streets, the street of Arganzuela and the Toledo Street. It was designed as a quadrangular pilaster with the sculptures of a bear and a griffin. Other ornaments are also included, as well as a representation of a lion, which symbolizes the Spanish monarchy.
Casa Museo Lope de Vega
This historic home dates back to the 17th century. Spanish playwright and poet spent last 20 years of his life in this house. Its interior is carefully displayed so that many things from his time are preserved. Guided tours are available, which allow you to experience the recreated atmosphere of the house and the period in which he lived. Besides his life, this tour also shows you the way people lived in Madrid during the late 17th century. This is informative and interesting for the visitors and a perfect way to experience the culture of the time.
Parque de El Capricho
This park represents one of the natural heritage of Madrid. It is not a popular park, but it is one of the most beautiful ones in Madrid. It contains artistic wealth with numerous statues, temples, fountains, and small squares. The natural life includes a vast variety of spices, that shape the landscape of the garden. What is unusual about this park is the fact that there is a civil war shelter, 15 meters underground, which was built in the 1930s. Since the garden is a bit secluded, it was a strategic location to place this shelter here.
Museo del Traje
Museo del Traje is a museum devoted to fashion and costumes. Its impressive collection includes over 160 000 pieces of clothing and documents. These range from the Middle Ages to contemporary fashion and thus provide insights into how historical and cultural changes reflected in style throughout the centuries. It is certainly an exciting place to visit if you are curious to see how Spanish fashion has evolved and changed over the course of history. The museum is located in a delightful setting with the building that is surrounded by a beautiful courtyard with monuments and glass pavilions.
Hopefully, you did get to learn about some new hidden corners of the cultural heritage of Madrid. This should help you plan your visit and go beyond usual routes. Explore something more of Madrid and try out new hidden places you are not likely to find in popular guides. You would be surprised as to how these hidden gems can teach you about Spanish culture and historical events that shaped the city life. Ultimately, you get to experience the city of Madrid in an entirely new and unique way.