Where can I find the best views of a city?
I am pretty sure the vast majority of us have thought about that when landing in a new, unknown, or even familiar, place.
The ability to get a bird’s view of the city layout, colorful roofs and open skies boost our mood and inspire us to explore every single corner of that place.
Viewpoints in Madrid
After two weeks in Spain, we went back to where everything began: Madrid. Weary from long walks and heavy days, we decided to take it easy the day before flying back home.
I thought the plan was to visit the football (soccer) stadium (Santiago Bernabeu) but once we were on the street, my husband said he wasn’t interested in visiting anymore. I am not sure what happened and I was not going to drill him with questions since, in all honesty, I am not a fan of football or anything sports related.
With the stadium out of the way (thank goodness!), it was time to explore some of the best viewpoints in Madrid. And, let me tell you, we were in for a treat! Spain’s capital has a lot of viewpoints located in strategic spots and historic buildings.
Here are some great ideas on where to go to have all those wonderful views to you.
This viewpoint is located on the eight floor of the Cibeles Palace, at 70 meters height.
This palace is well known for its colossal architecture and for being the place where the Real Madrid Club celebrates its victories.
The fountain located in front of the building, featuring the god Cybele, has become a symbol of the city.
Once at the top, you can get views of part of the Gran Via and Paseo de Recoletos.
The tallest, most modern buildings and the Torrespaña are also visible from the top.
In addition, it is nice to take a good look at the Cybeles Fountain from the top. Certain features not visible from the ground are can be seen from that angle.
If you go to this viewpoint, take into consideration the following:
- It is closed on Mondays
- It is opened from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and then, it is closed till 4:00 p.m. Seems like employees take a big lunch break (and siesta)
- The Palacio de Cibeles hosts art exhibitions. Make sure you do not make the incorrect line when stopping by. Ask around since it is kind of confusing
- There is a café with nice views on the building
The Rooftop of the Circulo de Bellas Artes
This viewpoint is located very close to the Palacio de Cibeles on 42 Alcala. Actually, I found the views from here more beautiful than the ones from the previous viewpoint.
Once at the top, you are going to get a view of the Palacio de Cibeles. See, I told you it was close.
In here, you get closer views of the Gran Via and the famous Metropolis building. I loved those.
The other great thing is that you get to appreciate the red roofs of the Old City. I thought that view alone was worth the visit.
To sweeten the deal, there is a café and restaurant on this roof. You can grab something to eat and lay down on one of the white beds surrounding the area. Now, that is cool or what!
This place felt like the best-hidden spot of the city. I went there following a suggestion from the visitor’s center. I had not seen this place in guidebooks or other online resources. Therefore, make your way here if you are ready to rest your feet in style.
If you go, consider the following:
- This place has irregular operating hours. Make sure you double check times before visiting
- You can stay up there as long as you want. It doesn’t feel crowded or rushed
Faro de Moncloa
This once illumination tower offers views from 92 meters. It is located in the northwestern part of the city. That means the views are completely different from the viewpoints in the center.
Dome of La Almudena Cathedral
This viewpoint can be accessed from the Cathedral’s museum and offers great views of the Royal Palace and its gardens.
Viewpoint at Madrid Rio
Madrid Rio is a huge and modern recreational and cultural area. In there, there are viewpoints in the Huerto de la Partida. From there, it is possible to get great views of the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral and several bridges such as the Segovia, Arganzuela, and Toledo (dating from the 18th century).
Templo de Debod
This construction, over 2,000 years old, was gifted to Spain in gratitude for helping Egypt to move historical monuments during the construction of the Aswan Dam. The temple is located on a hill and it is considered one of the best places in Madrid to watch the sunset.
Madrid is a city that never sleeps (in all the sense of the word). As a consequence, open air, rooftop terraces offer a great atmosphere and spectacular views. There are too many of these to name in here. Just keep in mind they are located in hotels, cafes and even markets! A simple Google search will point you to the coolest ones.
Without a doubt, we can say Madrid is a city full of spectacular viewpoints. Use these suggestions to find your favorite one and start seeing life from the top.
More of Madrid and Spain
Strolling Around Madrid Centro
Spain Itinerary: Best Two Weeks in the Country
Which viewpoints in Madrid have you visited?
Pin “Viewpoints is Madrid” for later!
You are right, they are really best viewpoints in Madrid. Great photographs, as usually 🙂
Thanks! There are a lot of options for those who want to see the city from the top.
You’ve captured some beautiful views!
Thnaks you! Glad you liked them.
Jane @ Raincity Librarian says
Oh, what beautiful views! I feel like I’m right there with you. 🙂
That is so great! Photos are ideal to get a sense of place.
Oooh I do love me a good look out point!! I’m always looking for places to go up! Pinned! #CityTripping
I am the same! I love to take a look from above (and I try to do it in every city I visit).
Jim, Sydney, Australia says
Architecture is one of the best assets of the city. Since the viewpoint in here are located in the center, a lot of the old, nice buildings can be seen (which is a plus).
Christine | The Journey of Christine says
That cafe looks so inviting! Circulo de Bellas Artes is totally the view point I see when I google pictures of Madrid lol. Would love to go one day!
I can’t believe I almost missed this place. It is gorgeous and the perfect place to relax.
Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders says
Madrid looks so beautiful from the top! It’s crazy that the Centrocentro Viewpoint and the Rooftop of the Circulo de Bellas Artes are so close, and I think that I agree with you that I like the views from Circulo de Bellas Artes better because you can actually see Centrocentro. It’s such a pretty building, I don’t think that I’d want to miss it!
It makes me wonder which of the two started to take people to the top first. Both views are nice but like i said, the Centro de Bellas Artes is cooler.
Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld says
There’s nothing better than a great viewpoint! It gives you lots of perspective 🙂 Love all of these!
So nice Marcella! Agree with what you say about viewpoint. To me, a visit to a city is not complete without a good viewpoint.
That’s a city I’d love to visit. You certainly found some great views!
And I want to go back! There are several viewpoints I was not able to visit.
Dave - Man Vs. Globe says
I visited Barcelona last year and it hasn’t quite quenched my thirst for all things Spain so I’d love to visit Madrid! I love a good rooftop viewpoint in a city as I feel you can really get a feel for a place when you see it from a high vantage point! #citytripping
I am not a Barcelona person either. I prefer Madrid ten thousand times. I cannot recommend the city enough (and I am sure you are going to experience the real Spain).
La Brutta Figura says
This is such a great post, I always want to find a rooftop view when I go to a new city! And that cafè looks fab. Will remember this when I next visit 🙂
I am the same way! Hope you can visit the city soon.
I love rooftops but only if I don’t have to climb many steps or a bar up there as an incentive :-)Btw, great photos of the views from the rooftops. Something for me to consider when I visit Madrid. #citytripping
Well, you are going to be happy because these are accessed by an elevator. So, not a lot of effort is required to enjoy this.
Sharon Wagner says
In Central America where we travel, other than Panama City, it is usually the bell tower of a church. Madrid definitely has some great city views. The view from the top is almost never a disappointment.
Well, those are great too. I have been to some really nice cafes with nice views in Central America. Most of the times, they have great views of volcanoes.
Ruth Daly says
These are some pretty impressive viewpoints. Spain is definitely somewhere I’d like to visit.
You would love Spain. I want to go back so bad!
Ting at MTM says
I do love Madrid having been several times over the last few years. And the rooftop views are no exception. In fact we had a good one at our airbnb! But I tend to like to drink with my views 🙂 I loved the Roof at ME. Great post and great shots. Thanks for linking up with #CityTripping
Well, you know what you are talking about! I have to check out your recommendation.
I always like to find a good viewpoint in the place I’m visiting and Madrid seems to have so many good ones! I could certainly imagine drinking a cocktail while watching the sunset from one of those rooftop bars!
The thing is that people in Madrid love to be outdoors. Therefore, the viewpoints and rooftops make total sense.
Sallie (FullTime-Life) says
Very nice Travelogue Ruth.
When I go to a new city I’m always on the lookout for the best viewpoint! I love this. I’ve never been to Madrid but I will definitely check these places out when I make it over #farawayfiles
So cool Chiera! You have to make plans to visit Madrid since it is a city that offers a lot.
Madrid seems so beautiful! I’d love to visit. #farawayfiles
It is a great city for the entire family. Plus, they love kids in there. I am sure you will enjoy a lot.
Bryna | Dotted Line Travels says
Great post, and I’m sure it would be useful if I make my way to Spain. Would love to have a drink at the rooftop!
I am surprised at the many options in Madrid. And, seems like the city is always innovating on different areas.
Trekking with Becky says
I’ve never been to Spain. I’m going to Barcelona next month, so Madrid will have to wait. I love getting a bird’s eye view. Great shots, as usual!
Becky, that is cool! I didn’t check out any viewpoints (except the views from La Sagrada Familia) but they do exist (Bunkers del Carmel, Tibidabo, etc.).
budget jan says
I’m so impressed by this post. I didn’t go to any viewpoints in Madrid. I wish I had now though. I love the cafe on top of Circulo de Bellas Artes. What a great last day you had!
For some reason, these do not appear in to do lists of the city. Like I mentioned, I found out from the visitor’s center and I am glad I stopped by.
Rhonda Albom says
I like your photos from the rooftop of the Circulo de Bellas Artes. I did not search out viewpoints when I visited Madrid several years ago. There was so much to see and do that I didn’t have time to rest in those comfortable white beds on top 🙂
It is true, there are tons of stuff to do in Madrid. To be honest, there are too many places to eat to be worried about viewpoints ;0)
Trish @ Mum's Gone To says
All these views are new to me as we didn’t think to search for a good viewpoint when we visited the city a few years ago – and that’s something we often do in other places.
I didn’t know about the temple either – which makes me wonder what on earth I did see when we were in Madrid! 😉
Oh no! Well, I keep discovering places on cities I have visited. Doesn’t feel good but gives me a reason to go back.
Getting that bird’s eye view of a place is so important for me because it helps me to get my bearings and connect the city together, which means much less chance of getting woefully lost later in the the trip. Love your photos! #FlyAwayFriday
Love the way you put it! It is true, you get a better sense of the layout of the city when you see it from above.
Ava Meena says
Those are some really nice viewpoints! I think the beds on the roof would be my first stop. 🙂
I think the beds are the main draw on that cafe. We need more of those through out cities. I saw hammocks on New York.
You had a lucky escape from the football stadium tour! It’s always good to see a city from the rooftops – there are lots of options in Madrid!#wkendtravelinspiration
Believe me, I feel so good about how the day ended up!
Paula McInerney says
That bought back lovely memories of our time in Madrid. Nice captures
That is cool! I imagine you experienced Madrid in style.
We went to Madrid a year ago, but didn’t know about these view points. I’ll remember for next time!. #theweeklypostcard
Not a lot of visitors find out about these. I am glad I did.
Lyn @ A Hole in my Shoe says
Certainly would love to get to Madrid, moreso after seeing your wonderful photos.
Thanks Lyn! I hope you make it there one day. It is a city you will like.
Pat -- Mille Fiori Favoriti says
This is an interesting post, Ruth. I’ve never visited Madrid, and it looks like a beautiful but very dense city, and I enjoyed seeing your photos.
Your tips on good photographic vantage points can be applied to most cities. I like to find a overlook when I take photos, if possible, and also find rooftop views wonderful. Sometimes I’ve even laid on the ground to get a photo of a tall structure–I did that when the orginal Twin Towers were still standing in NYC.
Yes, I have laid on the floor to take photos. For example, I did it when I visited the statue of the Christ on Corcovado (Rio de Janeiro).
I love viewpoints. Thank you for this awesome list of the viewpoints I will use it during my visit to Madrid. #FarawayFiles
I hope you can visit these and many more! I guess you cannot visit too many of these.
Yea, I agree, these are all great vantage points to photograph the city. Lovely photos. I miss Madrid.
I miss Madrid too. I hope to go back soon. I am already compiling ideas for my next visit.
Gordon Arthur says
Love the roof top cafe and bar. We like our time in Madrid and went to many of these vantage points.
Oh, that is great to know! I am sure you enjoyed your time there.
Madrid is a beautiful city and it is great to have your viewpoint recommendations since I may be heading back there in a few months. I will definitely check out that roofbar – hard to beat great views with a drink. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
That sounds good! I hope you make it back there and enjoy some of these viewpoints.
Rooftop bars are my favourite and Madrid certainly has the climate and culture to make the most of them. I feel like going rooftop tapas bar hopping now! Thanks Ruth #FarawayFiles
That sounds good! I didn’t try the food at the cafes located at these locations but I am almost sure they have to offer something good (locals are very demanding).
Madrid looks just dreamy in your photos! I’ve only been to the airport when flying through but would love to remedy that someday.
That is a good resolution! gotta visit Madrid.
Liana Moore says
Wow, those are some really great views, and photos. Hope to make it to Madrid one of these days! #FlyAwayFriday
Thanks and glad you stopped by!
jesh StG says
When one is not used to siesta, it seems a waste of time, doesn’t it? But it’s cool that the stores are open at night (which used to be non-existent in Europe many years ago, but that has changed in last 15 y.) Love that roof restaurant! And the gift of Egypt is beautiful:)
Well, it may feel like that but it goes with Spaniards lifestyle. They go late to bed! They need some rest during the day.
Lyn aka TheTravellingLindfields says
Madrid is on our todo list. We once road tripped right around the coast of Spain but never made it anywhere further inland than Sevilla.
I bet your road trip was lovely. I would like to do something like that. Hope you make it to Madrid one day.
Incredible pictures. We spent one day in Pamplona in 2005 and I have been dying to get back to Spain! Great info and write up. Would love to explore Madrid and try and get to your spots!
Ooooooh! I am sure that trip to Pamplona was great. I really would like to discover more of Spain. It is a country I love.
Paul and Carole says
Great tips and spectacular views for visiting Madrid. Looks a beautiful city. #WeekendWanderlust
Thanks a lot!
Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats says
This is normally Laurence’s first thing he wants to do is get a good view over a new city. Neither of us have been to Madrid actually so this will be a good post for us when we get there!
It Lauren like rooftops, the, Madrid id the city for him. I am sure we would love amazing places to photograph.
Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) says
What a brilliant idea for a blog post! Last time I visited Madrid I saw it from the ground and loved it. Next time I’ll head higher up! Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles
The same here. My first visit to Madrid was very brief. There was no time to see the city from above. I am glad I was able to see it from this perspective after many years.
Go Far Grow Close says
I’m heading to Madrid in a few weeks to celebrate my birthday. I am definitely heading to the rooftop of Circulo De Bellas Artes for some sun and drinks. Thanks for the recommendations!
Those are great news! Hope you have a blast for your birthday. Agree you should celebrate in style on one of the rooftops.
These are some of my favorite views in all of Madrid! You really got some good ones! I love all of these places, but I have to say my absolute favorite is Bellas Artes. The view from there is just unreal. I also really love the view from the Roommate hotel in Chueca. The drinks are a bit pricey, but the atmosphere is so worth it!
That means a lot coming from you. I am glad I picked good places to see Madrid from above.
Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute says
You’re right about that, we are always trying to get the best view over the city. These are some good tips to tuck away for future visits to Madrid. Thanks for linking in! #wkendtravelinspiration
That means a lot coming from you. I am glad I picked good places to see Madrid from above.
Happy to read this again and hope to visit some of these sites whenever we make it to Madrid! Love the new look!! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!
Thanks Lolo! Great you like the new site design. It took some time to get everything functional.
Bumble Bee Mum says
Hey, new blog theme – nice! I love posts like these. Every time I see photos on travel guides, I can’t help wondering where they took those photos from. If I go to Madrid, I would know where to head straight to! #FarawayFiles
You are right, I love to see travel guides and brochures and I like to read the credits to see where the photo was taken. I do not like when the credits are not there.
Lovely viewpoints. Cybeles fountain, from above, looks awesome.
You are right, the fountain is so beautiful! Loved seeing it from above.
Andrea on Vacation says
I think the rooftop bar would be my choice! 🙂 I didn’t do any of these the two times I was in Madrid. I will have to remember some for next time.
Well, I assume you were having a good time on the streets. Madrid is so lovely!
I Love Madrid! I´ve been there so many times and yet never heard of some of these viewpoints! Rooftop of the Circulo de Bellas Artes looks so awesome! pinned not to miss it all next time! thanks for sharing 😉
That is cool! You have to visit next time for sure.
Beautiful photos! I went to Madrid with a group from school right after high school graduation and I loved it. I don’t think I fully appreciated it at the time and would love to go back one day!
Ruth Rieckehoff says
My first experience on the city was similar. I went after graduating from college and had very little time to get to know the city. This second time, I enjoyed to the max!
All these view points look amazing! I’m sucker for a good view, so I’ll have to visit a few of them when I’m in Spain in the fall!
Ruth Rieckehoff says
I guess I am a sucker for a good viewpoint too. I visit too many!
Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) says
Wow, Ruth – great photos! The views from above are awesome, but that rooftop bar? That’s where you’d find me! I love that it’s still a bit under the radar. Thanks for the tip! And thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
Ruth Rieckehoff says
Don’t you like when things are under the radar? Enjoy places where I can mingle with the locals!
Isn’t Madrid beautiful!? I’d love to go back one day. I too love getting up high to see a place – no better way to do it. And if there’s a bar and/or a pool up there to help enjoy the view, well I’m sold!
Ruth Rieckehoff says
Nice Rachel! I get what you are saying. The views may be great but it is better to spend time taking a looks at the views while surrounded by good company.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m in a new city is to see it from above at different times of day. Madrid is high on my wishlist, can’t believe I’ve been to Spain so many times and still hasn’t seen it. I’ll definitely remember to check out your post when I decide to go.
Ruth Rieckehoff says
Oh, I thought you have been to Madrid. Well, you are a Barcelona person. Not sure if you are going to like Madrid.
Mike McLeish says
Some really beautiful photos here. Luckily I’m not too afraid of heights, although I can imagine some of those heights to be a little daunting!
Ruth Rieckehoff says
You know, the viewpoints are not scary at all. There are some places were the edge is a little bit below your waistline and the space to walk around very narrow. Those are the ones I do not like. These ones are not like that.
Wow you definitely introduced the best viewpoints! I need to get myself to Madrid! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday, hope to see you again this weekend! xo
Erin Gustafson (@oregongirlworld) says
There is a place to get a drink at the top of the Cibeles, we loved seeing the sunset up there! Haven’t been atop the rest – great list. I always love getting a view of a place from above. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin