Madrid Travel Guide

The Spanish capital is renowned for the permanent buzz that enshrouds the place...energy, passion, art, music, food, love...all are on show in abundance.

Madrid school trip travel guide

An introduction to Madrid

If you’re a football fan, you’ll understand why the best players at Real Madrid are known as ‘Galactico’s’. Having won the European Cup a record 12 times, the ‘Madrileños’ have great pride in their team and its achievements.

The city itself is also fiercely proud of its identity, capital of Spain since the mid-16th century when it was designated Imperial Capital due to its central location at the heart of the recently unified Spain. Today, cosmopolitan doesn’t seem a powerful enough word to describe how sophisticated and stylish the city feels.

With no universally recognised landmarks, besides possibly the Plaza Mayor, it is the pervading atmosphere that begins to overwhelm you; café culture, phenomenal hoards of art, 24-7 nightlife, shop-til-you-drop boutiques and markets - Madrid is a city to indulge in.

A school tour focused on art has a huge variety of galleries and museums to choose from. El Prado is a world giant, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza houses a dizzying array of artistic movements and styles, with examples of pretty much every major artist of the last 500 years, and the Reina Sofía is home to Picasso's Guernica, and this is just the start.

All visits are covered by our externally verified Safety Management System and are pre-paid when applicable. Prices and opening times are accurate as of May 2018 and are subject to change and availability. Booking fees may apply to services provided by Voyager School Travel when paid on site.

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History

Old Town

Madrid’s Old Town features a labyrinth of tightly packed streets with a mix of medieval squares, Hapsburg and Bourbon Palaces and the Plaza Mayor. Plaza Mayor began as a 15th century market square and became the capital’s city’s main site for events such as bullfights and carnivals. Now, the Plaza Mayor is an excellent place to soak up Madrid’s unique atmosphere and view the spectacular architecture.

Right next to the Old Town is Puerto del Sol, Madrid’s main meeting point, showcasing a 20 ton statue of a bear eating fruits from a tree. Legend has it the female bear symbolizes the fertile soil of Madrid and the tree symbolizes the aristocracy.

Valley of the Fallen (Valle de los Caídos)

The Valle de los Caídos is a Catholic basilica and monumental memorial to honour the dead of the “Glorious Crusade” during the Spanish Civil War. The most prominent feature of the monument is the towering 500 ft cross which can be seen from 20 miles away.
valledeloscaidos.es

Price £4
Opening times Winter months: 10:00 - 18:00
Summer months: 10:00 - 19:00
Closed Mondays

El Escorial

Located in the Valle de los Caídos, a beautiful green mountain near Madrid, the Escorial Monastery is the most important monument of the Spanish Renaissance. An important collection of paintings by Renaissance and baroque artists donated by the crown is among the many artistic treasures housed in the complex.
el-escorial.com

Price £5
Opening times Oct - Mar: 10:00 - 18:00
Apr - Sept: 10:00 - 19:00
Closed Mondays

Segovia

In 1985, UNESCO declared Segovia a ‘Heritage of Mankind.’ It has the highest concentration of Romanesque churches in the whole of Europe and the pedestrian streets make it a peaceful and safe place to break away from the hustle and bustle of Madrid.

Toledo

Aside from ambling through the tightly packed streets and enjoying the general atmosphere, you could visit El Greco’s house; Toledo’s most famous artist’s place is open to the public and exhibits some of the best works the painter created. There is also the cathedral with its two remarkable towers; one is flamboyant gothic style and the other is Gothic-Renaissance. 

Toledo

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Art

El Prado Museum

El Prado has had more than 2,300 paintings added to its collection since it opened in 1819. Its superb collection includes works by El Greco, Titian, Goya, Rubens and Velasquez. Due to the size of the collection, El Prado offers a number of different tours for visitors, which allow you to see the most important masterpieces.
museodelprado.es

El Prado

Price Free + £60 for guided tour
Opening times Mon - Sat: 10:00 - 18:30
Sun/Bank holidays: 10:00 - 17:30

Real Academia de Bellas Artes

The San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts has one of the best collections of paintings in Spain. The academy where Picasso and Dali were both students contains more than 1,400 paintings, 600 sculptures and 15,000 drawings.

realacademiabellasartessanfernando.com

Price Free
Opening times Tues - Sun: 10:00 - 15:00
Closed August

Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

The collection at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia houses art that principally spans the 20th century, but most famously it is home to Picasso's Guernica. However, despite its host of big-name artists it also features a wide array of Spain's lesser-known artists.
museoreinasofia.es

Price Free
Opening times Mon - Sat: 10:00 - 21:00
Sun/Holidays see website
Closed Tuesdays

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is a private museum of predominantly European art, including works by Caravaggio, Francis Bacon and Van Eyck.
museothyssen.org

Price £8 + €1pp paid on site
Opening times Mon: 12:00 -16:00
Tues - Sun: 10:00 - 19:00

Descalzas Reales Convent

This is one of the lesser known highlights of Madrid. The convent was founded in 1559 and it wasn’t until 1960 that the State, with a special dispensation from the Pope, opened the convent to the public as a museum.  There are plenty of works to be seen including some by Rubens and Titian.
patrimonionacional.es

Price Free
Opening times Tues - Sat: 10:00 - 14:00 /
16:00 - 18:30
Sun/Holidays: 10:00 - 15:00

 

A penchant for Picasso? Get in touch.

Recreation

Parque de Atracciones

Discover the main Theme Park in Madrid, with attractions for children, families and exciting rides in rollercoaster or big aquatic circuits.
parquedeatracciones.es

Price £16
Opening times See website for opening times

Warner Brothers Park

This is the newest and largest of Madrid's theme parks and is situated 20 km south of the city on 250 hectares of land. It is divided into five separate areas: Hollywood Boulevard, Cartoon Village, Old West Territory, Superhero World and Warner Brothers. It has action and entertainment, rides and shows based on Hollywood.
parquewarner.com

Price £20
Opening times See website for opening times

Stadium Santiago Bernabéu

The self-guided tour includes: a panoramic view, the “Best Club in History” room, the Sensations Room, the pitch, the presidential box, the dugouts and technical area, the players' tunnel, the dressing rooms, the press room and the club's official store.
realmadrid.com

Real Madrid stadium tour

Price Group rates
Non-guided tour £18pp
Under 14s £12pp
Guided tour £32pp
Under 14s £18pp
Audio guide £23pp
Under 14s £17pp
Opening times Non-match days
Mon - Sat: 10:00 - 19:30
Sun/Holidays: 10:30 - 18:30
Is Madrid perfect for your group?

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