The 7 Best Viewpoints in Madrid

Madrid truly is a magical city like no other, and with so much to see and do it can often get a bit hectic.

It’s right about this point that we need to take a break and just take everything in, and in any magical city like this one, you can be sure that there are literally hundreds of amazing spots in to just sit back, relax, and take in the amazing view.

As much fun as it would be, we’d be here all day if we tried to write about every single one of the amazing viewpoints Madrid has to offer, so we’ve therefore whittled it down to our favourite 7 spots, starting with…

1. Faro de Moncloa

Faro de Moncloa

Just about anyone having a wander through the north-western parts of Madrid will quickly spot this giant 110 metre tall piece of futuristic design, towering ominously above the rest of the 19th century Spanish architecture. This giant observation tower has been present in Madrid since 1992, the very same year Madrid was named the official European City of Culture, and has been providing the city with the highest viewpoint and some of the most breath taking views ever since.

What was once just the city’s light tower and transmissions tower now features a stunning observation deck some 92 metres above ground level, with floor to ceiling windows giving you beautiful 360 degree panoramic views of the city like no other. From the Faro de Moncloa, guests can have unparalleled views of the La Almudena Cathedral, the Royal Palace, the Cuatro Torres Business Area, the Telefónica building on Gran Via, and even the Guadarrama mountains in the background, and all with helpful information panels telling you all you need to know about the incredible views and their history.

How to get there

The closest Metro station to Faro de Moncloa is Moncloa, and busses 160 and 161 will take you to Moncloa interchange.

2. Círculo de Bellas Artes

Círculo de Bellas Artes

The Círculo de Bellas Artes may not look like it holds one of the finest views of Madrid from below, but when you get up to the top you’re sure to be surprised. Founded in 1880, the Círculo de Bellas Artes is an organisation that was set up with the goal of both protecting and funding fine art, in addition to housing many temporary art exhibitions over its 140 years.

In 1981, the 19th century building housing the Círculo de Bellas Artes was declared “Bien de Interés Cultural”, meaning it’s a national historic-artistic monument of great architectural value, and atop the roof sits a beautiful terrace with stunning views of the city as it stretches out from the centre. From this rooftop terrace, you can get an amazing view of the Retiro park, the Gran Vía, and even the Sierra de Guadarramara mountains in the distance.

If you play your cards right, you may even find a class of art students or some amateur painters up on the terrace creating their own interpretations of the amazing Madrid skyline while you’re up there taking in the views, and while you are, the Azotea-Tartan Roof restaurant is available to visitors looking to enjoy a drink or a delicious meal while appreciating the stunning scenery.

How to get there

If taking the Metro, the closest stations to Círculo de Bellas Artes are Bank of Spain and Seville, or you could alternatively reach it with busses 5, 9, 51, 53, 146 or 150.

3. Templo de Debod (The Temple of Debod)

The Temple of Debod

While far from being one of the highest viewpoints Madrid has to offer, Templo de Debod is certainly one of the most stunning. This more than 2,000 year old temple that dates all the way back to the 2nd century BC originally spent most of its life in Egypt, before being gifted by the Egyptian government to Spain in 1960 as a way of saying thanks for all of Spain’s help in saving a number of ancient Egyptian monuments. Once it made its way across the ocean brick by brick, it was placed where it sits today in Madrid’s Cuartel de la Montaña Park.

You’ll find plenty to keep you busy both inside and outside of the temple, but it’s the views of the outside that are the most breath taking. With its rectangular water pools and surrounding palm trees, it really is a special little slice of Egypt in the middle of Madrid, with an amazing atmosphere and great views of the southeast and west (along with being one of, if not the, absolute best places in all of Madrid to catch the sunset; but more on that later).

How to get there

When travelling to the Templo de Debod via Metro, Ventura Rodríguez is the nearest stop. Alternatively, you can also reach it with the number 74 bus.

4. Teleférico of Madrid

Teleférico of Madrid

The Teleférico of Madrid is so much more than a simple viewpoint like all the others on this list, and it offers something truly special and unique to those who visit. The Teleférico of Madrid is an aerial cableway, running some 40 metres in the air between the Parque del Oeste in the centre of Madrid and the Casa de Campo Park.

The entire cableway ride on the Teleférico of Madrid takes around 10 minutes from start to finish, and as you see Madrid gliding into the distance, there’s no question that you’ll start to gain an entirely new perspective on the city as you take in the skyline.

The ride costs €6 for a round trip, and once the journey is over and you leave the cableway you can enjoy a stroll through the Casa de Campo Park, where you can visit the zoo, an amusement park, and keep an eye out for a number of different species of deer.

How to get there

If taking the Metro to Teleférico of Madrid, you’ll want to get off at Argüelles. Alternatively, busses 21 and 74 will take you there.

5. Catedral de la Almudena

Catedral de la Almudena

From within Almudena cathedral’s beautiful central dome, visitors can enjoy amazing views of the Royal Palace of Madrid and its gardens. The Catedral de la Almudena is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiócesis of Madrid, and as such the building is one of the finest masterpieces of architectural design the whole city of Madrid has to offer.

The only way for visitors to get to Catedral de la Almudena’s central dome and appreciate the stunning views however is to purchase tickets for the official cathedral museum, although it’s well worth spending the €6 entry fee to spend an afternoon inside taking in the stunning building and learning all about its amazing history, along with its tumultuous time being inaugurated during the Spanish Civil War.

How to get there

If travelling by Metro, you can reach Cathedral de la Almudena by getting off at Ópera. By bus, visitors can take the 3, 31, 50, 65, or N16.

6. Gourmet Experience at the El Corte Inglés de Callao

El Corte Inglés de Callao

Another somewhat left field suggestion, the Gourmet Experience at the El Corte Inglés de Callao offers some of the best views of the whole city. From the top floor of the El Corte Inglés de Calao, visitors can experience amazing views over the Royal Palace, the Plaza de España and La Gran Vía, all while enjoying a unique gourmet experience..

The Gourmet Experience at the El Corte Inglés de Callao is a 1,500 square metre gastronomic zone, made up of 10 different bakeries, restaurants and ice cream parlours, each offering visitors a chance to sample their establishment’s various culinary treasures while taking in the amazing views outside.

Within the Gourmet Experience at the El Corte Inglés de Callo you’ll find all sorts of delicious gourmet food to try, from more than thirty different varieties of beef, lamb, pork, veal, and more at Hamburguesa Nostral, home made ice cream from Amorino, traditional Spanish dishes thanks to La Máquina, freshly baked foods from the Harina bakery, amazing pizza from Pizza al Cuadrado, oriental cuisine from Mister Lee, an assortment of cocktails and oysters at Juanillo Club, tequila and other Central American delicacies at La Central Mexicana, and cider and ‘pintxos’ courtesy of Imanol.

El Corte Inglés de Callo’s Gourmet Experience truly offers some special gourmet foods, amazing views of the Royal Palace, the Plaza de España and La Gran Vía, and the space remains open long into the night.

How to get there

If you’re looking to reach El Corte Inglés de Callao by Metro, the nearest stations are Callao, Gran Vía and Sol. Alternatively, the 1, 2, 74, and 146 buses will also bring you here.

7. Monument to Alfonso XII

Monument to Alfonso XII

Located in one of the most popular parts of Retiro Park, the Monument to Alfonso XII has sat in its position on the lake since it was built in 1922, and has offered visitors some amazing views from its observation tower some 20 metres above the ground.

From this viewpoint, visitors can get amazing views of the Literary Quarter and the iconic buildings on the Gran Vía, along with the surrounding Salamanca neighbourhood.

How to get there

To best reach the Monument to Alfonso XII, the Metro can be taken to either Ibiza or Retiro, or to alternatively reach it by bus, you can take either the 1, 2, 9, 15, 19, 20, 26, 28, 51, 52, 63, 74, 146, 152, C1 or C2.

Where Can I Watch the Sunset in Madrid?

sunset madrid

One of the best parts of travelling to any new city is catching the sunset, and there are many amazing terraces or other outdoor spots where you can experience the magic. The following are some of our all time favourite spots in Madrid to catch the sunset.

Hotel ME Madrid

The Hotel ME Madrid’s rooftop terrace offers an amazing spot to take in the sunset while getting in a cocktail or two. Known as “The Roof”, the rooftop of the Plaza Santa Ana located Hotel ME Madrid offers some of the most unbeatable views of the sunset, all in a classy and sophisticated environment (so be sure to dress up nice!)

The Hotel ME Madrid can be found at Plaza Santa Ana, 14.

Parque de Tierno Galván

The Parque de Tierno Galván deserves a whole day for itself, with an amazing planetarium to visit amongst other things. This is also one of the best places to catch the sunset in Madrid, especially if cultural events such as outdoor concerts and movie screenings are your thing. Events such as these are hosted regularly in Parque de Tierno Galván by Open Air Madrid, so if you want some amazing entertainment to go along with your equally amazing sunset, be sure to have a look ahead of time so you don’t miss out!

The Parque de Tierno Galván can be found at Calle Benjamin Palencia, 2.

Templo de Debod

We said we’d be back, and it would be wrong not to end this list with what’s perhaps the best spot of all to catch Madrid’s sunset.

What’s typically a pretty crowded tourist attraction in the daytime thins out significantly come sunset, and this is where the real magic happens. Not only is the location an amazing one in and of itself (being an ancient Egyptian temple relocated brick by brick all the way from Egypt to Spain some 2,000 years after it was first built), but the most stunning sight of the temple of all is as the sun sets behind it each night with the Casa del Campo park and Almudena Cathedral in the distance.

The Templo de Debod can be found at Calle de la Torrecilla del Leal, 10.

Where Can I See the Sunrise in Madrid?

sunrise madrid

As far as the beautiful purple-blue sunrise in Madrid goes, all of the above are equally viable candidates.

Perhaps best of all though is the Cerro del Tío Pío Park, also known to the locals as the ‘park of seven boobs’ (due to the shape of its hills). Not only does Cerro del Tío Pío Park offer visitors perhaps the best view of all of Madrid as a whole, but the view as the sun comes up behind the Sierra de Guadarramara mountains in the distance is truly breath-taking.

With varying different gradients and heights across its seven ‘boobs’, along with its vast greenery and beautiful scenery, you’ll find plenty of room to stretch out and take it all in. Cerro del Tío Pío Park truly is perhaps the best spot to watch the sun rise behind the city in the morning, along with the sunset at night and just the city in general, at any time of the day.

The Cerro del Tío Pío Park’s closest Metro stations are Buenos Aires and Portazgo, and can alternatively be reached with the 54, 131, and 143 busses.

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James Ardimento has spent the last 12 years journeying around the globe ! With its precious experiences and tips he gained around Asia, South America, Europe and the US he is a precious asset for this blog and for its readers