Madrid is a city with a multitude of tourist options. Surely you have also heard of the Gran Vía, the Plaza Mayor or the Prado Museum. However, beyond the most touristic places, Madrid hides hundreds of places that may go unnoticed for many people and that are worth visiting.
For this reason, if you are visiting the city and you are staying in a hotel in Madrid, don't miss this article! We tell you about 10 secret and magical places in the Spanish capital.
1. The Pantheon of Illustrious Men
This is a historic place that is little known by visitors. Located about 10 minutes by car from the Meliá Madrid Serrano hotel, the Pantheon of Illustrious Men is considered an Asset of Cultural Interest as it represents a very important part of Spanish history.
This monument serves as a resting place for political and military historical figures such as Cánovas del Castillo, Antonio de los Ríos Rosas and José de Palafox. Admission is free.
2. El Capricho Park
The city of Madrid has emblematic and unique parks that are visited every year by thousands of tourists. However, one of the places with a special charm is this park located in Alameda de Osuna.
It is one of the most attractive parks in the city and one of the most unknown. It was created in 1784 by the Dukes of Osuna and is home to a wealth of botanical, sculptural and artistic treasures. It also hides a secret: the famous Posición Jaca bunker from the Civil War period, which you can access with a guided tour.
3. The statue of the Fallen Angel
How many times have you strolled through El Retiro and not noticed this peculiar statue? It is a fountain representing the Fallen Angel when he is expelled from paradise.
It is a work by Ricardo Bellver, sculpted in 1878 and later acquired by Madrid City Council.
4. The Chamberí ghost metro station
For all those fans of old stories and legends, the old Chamberí station is a must-see. Thanks to the fact that it was turned into a museum a few years ago, you can travel back in time and see what the city of Madrid was like decades ago.
Chamberí station was inaugurated in 1919 and ceased operating in 1966, although it retains many of its original elements.
5. The Botín restaurant
Madrid is full of delicious restaurants such as Arado Grocery & Restaurant, but none compares to the magic that is breathed in the Botín restaurant. It is one of the oldest restaurants in the world.
It was founded in 1725 by Cándido Remis, nephew of the wife of the French chef Jean Botín. Writers of the stature of Benito Pérez Galdos, Hemingway and Gómez de la Serna have passed through this place. It is located in Calle de los Cuchilleros, in the centre of the city.
6. Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida
Another little-known place, even by locals, is the Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida. This place houses, no more and no less, magnificent works by Francisco de Goya painted at the end of the 18th century.
It was declared a National Monument in 1905 for its proper preservation and has been the site of the famous artist's tomb since 1919. Therefore, if you are an art lover and want to enjoy Goya's frescoes, this is an essential stop on your visit to Madrid.
7. Prince of Anglona Gardens
A green corner open free of charge to all visitors is the Prince of Anglona Gardens. Although it is undoubtedly the most hidden corner of this list. The Prince of Anglona's Garden was created around 1750 and is one of the few surviving 18th century noble gardens. It covers more than 800 square metres and retains its neoclassical layout.
Although it is quite central, it is often not visible as it is hidden by high walls. It is located in the lower part of the Plaza de la Paja in the district of La Latina. Undoubtedly, a small oasis where you can rest and read a good book.
8. Pious Schools of San Fernando
Located in the Lavapiés neighbourhood, this is a church that is currently one of the headquarters of the UNED and was the scene of the Civil War. It is currently partially preserved in ruins and was the first school in the capital of the Piarist order founded in 1729.
Another more alternative and avant-garde option is La Neomudéjar, an innovative art space that is unknown to many tourists and even the local population.
It is close to Atocha station and hosts exhibitions, festivals, colloquiums and artistic works.
10. The Tower and House of the Lujanes
The Tower and House of the Lujanes, located in the famous Austrias quarter, is one of the oldest houses built around the 15th century. It is now the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and is very close to the Plaza Mayor.