The most extraordinary viewpoints in Madrid

In our Olympics for the best viewpoints in all of Madrid, we have contrived a strict criteria: history, architecture, ambiance, originality, amenities, and, of course, the panorama. Because the choice was tough (and we are generous), the Spanish capital’s top 4 have made it on the podium!

Drum roll, please, for the copper medal …

Locals and visitors, they’ve all seen it, but few know what it is. It’s the highest viewpoint in central Madrid called the Faro de Moncloa, a colossal transmission tower designed by the master of architecture and technology, Salvador Perez Arroyo. It shoots about 360 feet (110 meters) into the sky and unlike anything else in the historic city with its metallic, otherworldly look. Our tip: don’t look down! And you won’t have to, because from a safe 302 feet (92 meters) on its observation deck, its sublime views of the distant mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama, the modern Picasso Tower, and the ancient Arco del Triunfo de Moncloa demand all your attention.

To the top of the Faro de Moncloa if …

  1. Fear of heights? You never flinch
  2. You are a proud fan of Sci-Fi
  3. To see and not be seen is your ideal

The winner of the bronze medal is ...

Not just a pretty picture, but a motion picture, only 10 minutes long (a short) and 40 meters high. This aerial cable ride on the Teleférico gives you wings (and no, not like Victoria's Secret), on a journey not through but over the great capital city, with an unbeatable bird’s-eye view of incredible landscapes and a glimpse of the skyline you won’t see anywhere else. It’s a worthy trip if your little ones have finally overcome their fear of heights (you too) because there’s a prize waiting for them at the end: Madrid’s largest park, Casa de Campo, where they’ll be overjoyed to visit its zoo and amusement park.

You’ll be soaring on the Teleférico if …

  1. You always travel with Dramamine (phew!)
  2. Like you, your bambinos are daredevils
  3. Tourism? Yes. But with a bit of adventure, it's even more exciting

Our silver medalist is …

Second on our list, yes, but on the long list of beautiful churches to see in Madrid, the Catedral de la Almudena, located in the emblematic Plaza Mayor, is #1. Its interior architecture is one thing – luminous yet neo-Gothic, with an exquisite pipe organ and vibrant, modern stained-glass ceiling – but from its central dome, it’s whole other story, offering a sweeping view of the city, the Royal Palace and its spectacular gardens, but also the Casa de Campo and, again, the stunning Sierra de Guadarrama in the background. Not to mention, a little cultural stroll through its fantastic museum and galleries is a must.

The view for you is at the top of the Catedral de la Almudena if ...

  1. You value what’s on the inside just as much as the outside
  2. You believe that praying in proximity to the heavens is more efficient
  3. Runner-up? Pfft, not bad at all

And the gold goes to …

The great Palacio de Cibeles in the heart of the city, where culture, history, beauty, and the city’s ambiance comes to a pinnacle. We must admit, from its upscale terrace bar and restaurant Terraza Cibeles on the 6th floor, the views (and cocktails) are good; on the other hand, just a few floors up, the view is great, offering a 360-degree panorama in open-air that will take your breath away with its catalog of sites, barrios, monuments, and famous streets reigned over by the imposing Torre de Madrid. On the way down, it’s necessary to skip the elevator and take the stairs to enjoy the building’s extraordinary Gothic architecture and museum exhibitions on the lower floors.

To the heights of the Palacio de Cibeles if …

  1. For some reason, you always have some steps missing on your pedometer
  2. A cocktail is definitely somewhere on your criteria
  3. Madrid 360 or nothing

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