As one of the world’s most famous capital cities, there’s no shortage of Madrid attractions to keep people of all ages interested. Steeped in history and ever developing, the city has a stellar reputation and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
But what are the best attractions for students in Madrid? Whether you have just moved to the city from another part of Spain or beyond, chances are you will be looking for inspiration when deciding what to do in Madrid as a student.
Thankfully, the Collegiate Spain team is on hand as we have compiled our guide to the very best things to do in Madrid during your time at university here. The city’s attractions are as diverse and fascinating as you would expect, so this is by no means everything there is to do in this fine part of the world, but we think it’s a pretty good start!
The first attraction on our list has to be the Prado Museum! As one of the world’s top art museums, it displays about 1500 paintings at one time, although the total collection contains about 7000 pieces. You could easily spend days here and we think it’s one of those places you will want to visit at least a few times during your time in Madrid.
Goya’s Black Paintings and Velazquez’ world famous Las Meninas are two of the most famous and popular exhibits at the Prado but there is so much more to see and you can take advantage of the great audio aids you get when arriving at the museum.
El Parque del Buen Retiro and the Crystal Palace
As you may have gathered from the name, El Parque del Buen Retiro is a huge park located in the middle of the city that will keep you entertained all day. Perfect for one of Madrid’s typically hot and sunny summer’s days, this park has everything from local jewellery markets and boating across the lake, to local food and drink.
The park is a popular spot for locals who use it for their morning run or cycle and the Palacio de Cristal is a must see. This glass palace is quite a spectacle and has recently undergone some refurbishment, meaning its looking better than ever.
Pick a Palace
As the royal capital of the Spain, there are inevitably many palaces in the city and they are some of the more intriguing things to do in Madrid.
You could check out the Palacio Real which is actually one of the biggest palaces in the whole of Europe and was the official home of the King of Spain for many years.
A wander around this amazing building is well worth a few hours of your time and you will surely be taken aback by the elegance and sophistication of the furnishings and statues you will find in pretty much every corner of the palace.
The Palacio de Cibeles (formerly the Palacio de Comunicaciones) is however, rather different. It’s one of the most beautiful buildings in Madrid and has been the setting of Madrid’s Postal and Telegraphic Museum until 2007, when it became the Madrid City Hall. This building is somewhat of a fan’s favourite in Madrid due to its quirky nature but it is quite stunning to look at, especially at night when the lights give it an extra dimension of elegance and beauty. A great attraction for some perfect Instagram stories for sure.
Plaza de Cibeles
There are many plazas in Madrid, but this one is surely the most iconic, and it’s easy to add this into a day of sightseeing in Madrid as it’s the Palacio de Cibeles is actually on this square.
This famous square is a landmark right in the heart of Madrid at the crossroads of three of the city’s major districts – Centro, Retiro, and Salamana. The neo-classical fountain and statues and sculptures in the centre of the square, together with the Palacio de Cibeles, have become an important symbol of the city.
The Fountain of Cibeles shows the Goddess Cybele, the Great Mother and Roman goddess of fertility and agriculture, atop a chariot drawn by two ferocious lions. It is quite breath-taking and actually a symbol of Spanish football; Real Madrid’s fans flock to the fountain every time their team wins an important match (and sometimes, even the players themselves join in the celebration). You don’t want to miss the spectacular examples of Art Bouveau and Baroque architecture featured on Plaza de Cibeles – we think this is one of the most fascinating things to do in Madrid and should not be missed.
These are just some of the highlights of things to do in Madrid, but we hope you don’t stop there and use our list as a starting point of your exploration around our superb capital city. If you are heading to Madrid for university this academic year, why not take a look at the luxury student accommodation options we have available at Collegiate Aravaca Madrid, which is located in the student-centric area of Aravaca with excellent transport links to Madrid’s city centre!