One of the most popular vacation destinations in Spain, Madrid has a truly unique charm and style. The city is full of amazing architecture and historic sites, but also has a modern and contemporary flow. Photographers in Madrid will find all sorts of great places for memorable pictures that capture the special atmosphere of the capital of Spain.
7 Top Photo Spots in Madrid
El Retiro Park
Covering 120 hectares, Parque del Retiro is an amazing green garden space in the heart of Madrid. Take the chance to get a break from the traffic of the downtown area by visiting the park, and you’ll have the opportunity to capture some amazing pictures in this top photo spot. There are several entrances, but the main one is located at the Plaza Independencia. Good photography spots in the park include the Rosaleda, and incredibly cultivated rose garden, along with numerous statues, including turtles, angels, and other figures. Make sure you take your picture at the Crystal Palace, the primary tourist attraction of the park, which is an elegant glass building with art displays next to a pristine reflection pool.
An important historic public square for Madrid, the Plaza Mayor was constructed during the 17th century, and has served many different purposes. Bull fights used to take place here, along with political demonstrations and public commerce and markets. The space is still a pedestrian area today, making it a great way to get photos of Madrid with a historic quality uninterrupted by modern objects. Every photographer in Madrid needs to make a stop at the Plaza Mayor; not only is an elegant and beautiful place to take your picture, but it also holds a lots of historic significance that will add a unique element to your photos.
Puerta del Sol
The heart of Madrid, the Puerta del Sol is also known as “Kilometer Zero” because it is from this point in the city that the national road system of Spain is measured. It’s a large and spacious area, with several statues that make great places to take photographs. The name of the square comes from the former gateway that used to stand here, which bore the emblem of a sun (sol) on the top.
Puerta del Sol is also known as one of the busiest places in the city; many public transportation lines connect here, and the numerous shops, cafés, and boutiques lining the square make it a popular place for tourists. You can use the bustle and traffic to your advantage during your photo shoot since the added excitement will be captured in your pictures and show this livelier side of the city of Madrid.
Basilica de San Francisco el Grande
Six chapels along with the main dome of the church make up the impressive Basilica de San Francisco el Grande. It was originally built in 1761, though some renovations and additions were made during the years that followed. This is one of the best photography spots in Madrid, thanks to the beautiful architecture and the amazing and famous works of art kept in the chapels.
What better way to capture the artistic charm of Madrid than use the works of masters like Goya and Velázquez? A museum is also attached to the church, where you can view other important religious artifacts.
One of Madrid’s largest and grandest buildings, the Royal Palace was constructed using Neoclassical design, and along the balustrade you’ll see statues of former kings of Spain. From the outside of the palace you can capture images of the impressive column structure and beautiful white exterior. Inside there are even more options for ways to supplement your photo shoot; the grand staircase at the entrance of the palace is one of the most famous features, and in the other salons and chambers you’ll find priceless tapestries, artwork by Rubens, El Greco, and Velázquez, and other valuable items like mirrors and jewels. Behind the palace is the Sabatini Gardens, a peaceful and quiet space with walking paths along flower gardens and decorated by various sculptures and statues. With so much variety, the Royal Palace is a favorite destination for photographers in Madrid.
Fuente de Cibeles
This iconic feature of Madrid is a mandatory spot to visit during your photo shoot. The elegant Cybele’s Fountain was constructed in 1782 by the artists Roberto Michel and Francisco Gutiérrez. Cybele, one of the Roman goddesses, is depicted riding a chariot being pulled by a pair of lions.
It has become a famous landmark of the city and is a great spot to get photographs characteristic of Madrid. Take some time to explore the area around the fountain, which is known for its pleasant cafés and music venues.
An enormous art museum, there are literally hundreds of ways you can take great artistic photographs unique to Madrid at the Prado Museum. There are over 100 rooms spread across three separate floors, so seeing everything at one time is almost impossible. Depending on what type of art you like, the museum has recommended self-guided tours to various sections. No matter where you explore in the museum, you’ll find numerous famous paintings, as well as lesser known pieces, by many masters such as El Greco, Goya, Dürer, and Bosch. For more detail about some of the paintings you can take one of the guided tours of the Prado Museum to learn more about the history and artists.