There are many different spots in Madrid that offer incredible views. Lately, and especially when the weather is good, couples and groups of friends search the city for the places that offer “the best views” of Spain’s capital. They go from one spot to the next comparing location, perspectives, as well as the comfort, the quality of the food and drinks served, and of course the price. All these factors are key in the dispute for the label: “the best”.
But what are these places, and where are they? Well, there are different kinds of places that offer great views. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, who you’re going with, how hungry you are …or your budget, you can choose the one for you.
The headquarters of famous institutions have opened spaces for the public to contemplate Madrid’s long and green avenues.
Palacio de Cibeles (€2)
This beautiful white palace used to be the headquarters of the Spanish post office, Correos, and is now the City Hall. It has a terrace with great views of Recoletos Avenue, the famous fountain of Cibeles (where Real Madrid celebrates its victories), and important buildings such as Metrópolis, the Bank of Spain and the Palacio de Linares, currently the headquarters for Casa de América.
There is also a lower deck terrace where you can get something to drink.
Círculo de Bellas Artes (€3)
This building is located near Cibeles, in the very castiza (typical from Madrid) Calle de Alcalá. It is a private, non-profit cultural institution. It is exciting to simply enter the hall, pass the bar with washed-down mirrors and collectors’ liquor bottles, notice the ancient ceilings and tinted glass windows. By the time you get up to the rooftop, it will have already been worth it!
I recommend this for an evening plan. You may want to chill in the garden areas and enjoy a cocktail while listening to some music and the night lights start illuminating the city below you.
Many up-and-coming restaurants have found the perfect excuse to overcharge for a decent cocktail just because they offer a nice view. However, here are some great spots that won’t disappoint you!
El Viajero (Price depends on what you order, check menu)
This restaurant is situated in La Latina, a historical neighbourhood near Sol (city centre), and is beautiful: with restored old apartment buildings and lively narrow streets filled with bars and taverns. The building was a small three-story palace, dated from the late 19th century. What’s really cool about this place is that, depending on the time of day you go, you can either enjoy a delicious meal on the grill inside, go for pinchos and tapas out on the terrace, or relax with a glass of red wine in your hand while you contemplate the black and red rooftops of ancient Madrid.
Ask about their special mojito… it’s so good!
Gourmet Experience Gran Vía (For free!)
Have you heard of El Corte Inglés? It’s the Spanish version of Macy’s or Harrods. It has many establishments throughout the city, but only this one offers incredible views of the Gran Vía (which literally means Broadway). All you have to do is go inside and take the lift up to the 9th floor. You’ll see one of the most famous façades of the city right in front of you, the Capitol Building with the Schweppes neon lights.
Since you’re there, you may want to try some delicious appetisers from the Gourmet Experience area.
The traditional romantics visit these places to watch the sunset while holding hands with their special ones. Here are a couple of them – they never go out of style!
Templo de Debod (For free!)
This park is… peculiar, to say the least. Right in the centre, there’s an authentic Egyptian temple (not a replica) that is over 2000 years old. It was a gift to Spain from the Egyptian government. This park has a wide balcony, which is a great place to walk around and wait for sundown to watch the southern outskirts of Madrid shine a light of their own.
Don’t forget to take a peek inside the temple!
Teleférico (€5.90 – roundtrip)
If you want real panoramic views of Madrid, hop on the cable car! It will let you hover over beautiful green areas such as Parque del Oeste and Casa de Campo. If you look back, you’ll see an amazing view of the city you leave behind!
If you’re up for a day trip, you can spend some time at the Casa de Campo, hiking, having a picnic, renting a bike for the day, etc.
You’ll discover that Madrid is an amazing city everywhere you look! Apart from checking out all these places that I really do recommend, I encourage you to find your own special spot.
For me, the best place to sit and observe Madrid is an unusual place, because you can’t really see much of the city… but you can see two amazing landmarks.
If you walk down Bailén street you will find a small hill. If you go up the hill, all the way, you will be face to face with the northern face of the Royal Palace and the front façade of the Cathedral La Almudena. Plus, if you go there at sunset, you’ll see these wonderful buildings backlighting with the orange dying sun… and you’ll be amazed by the artificial illumination that highlights the architecture of both wonders.
So yeah, this is my favourite spot and those are my favourite views of Madrid. Even if you can’t see much of the city, you can see (probably) the best of it.
Tell us, which is your favourite spot?
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