After having lived in Madrid, Spain for six weeks I have ten top sites I highly recommend visiting in this beautiful capital.
1.) El Parque del Retiro. This park holds a lot of history for Madrid as it was constructed in 1630; however, the public was not permitted to enter the park until 1767. If you want a relaxing afternoon, that's free, you can go to the park and find a bench and 'people watch' or eat some pepitas. Another park that comes highly recommended but is less known is Parque de El Capricho.
2.) Las Ventas's Plaza de Toros No matter your opinion about bull fighting, visiting this culturally rich site is imperative. The enormity and the grandeur of this historic monument is reason enough to visit.
3.) El Palacio Real The classic style of the architecture is reason enough to visit this beautiful palace; but, if you need more incentive, this palace was once where the Kings of Spain lived and it's one of the biggest in the world!
4.) La Reina Sofia Reason number one to visit this contemporary museum is because it holds La Guernica by Pablo Picasso. Reason number two, the museum actually used to be a hospital and it is rumored that the museum is haunted.
5.) El Museo del Prado Another beautiful museum in Madrid that is extremely important for visitors to dedicate a whole day to.
6.) La Biblioteca Nacional de España As a previous English major and a die-hard library lover, I always love touring libraries. This one is a must. Just look at the fachada.
7.) Museo Arquelogico Nacional Although museums may not be people's first choice this museum is extremely important to the history of Spain and even holds on of the most well preserved mummies in the world!
8.) Catedral de La Alumdena This beautiful cathedral is where the current King and Queen of Spain were married, most importantly, it is the only cathedral in Spain in which the Pope has consecrated.
9.) Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol More than just being big tourist spots, Puerta del Sol marks the Kilometro Cero and Plaza Mayor is known for being a great place for corridos de toros, autos de fe, and actos publicos.
10.) Templo de Debod In 1968 Egypt donated this ancient structure to Spain for their efforts in helping save the Abu Simbel temples. As it is evident in the photo, this monument is extremely beautiful at night and very historic.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Spain these ten sites are an absolute must! Every Madrileño would tell you the same. This beautiful city and capital of Spain holds a lot of history and culture of the country.