Madrid might be one of the best Spanish cities for slyly upping your Instagram followers, even if you’re only there a few days. Think local hang-outs with all the tapas trappings, bustling plazas, hidden bookshops with friendly pet cats, and rooftop pools just waiting for you to pose in against mountainous peaks.
Let’s take a look at the best places for Instagram photos in Madrid, so you can plan your Instagram game ahead of time and make the most of your city break in Madrid.
Best Neighbourhood for Instagram Photos in Madrid
Malasaña has to be Madrid’s most exciting neighborhood, with a scandalously sleazy history of revolution, burning corpses, prostitution and mad nuns! Nowadays it’s hipster central, with Instagram-worthy photo opportunities around every colorful corner. From the pretty, narrow streets to the enticing thrift stores and pricey boutiques, whatever you’re looking for in this laid-back hood, you’ll probably find it (unless it’s burning corpses – yikes!).
Plaza de San Ildefonso
The Plaza de San Ildefonso is a buzzing public space that was home to the Mercado de San Ildefonso (one of the first covered markets to open in Madrid in 1835). The sunny terraces on the square are great for people-watching. Don’t miss a selfie by the life-size bronze statue of a student, who’s been here since 1996 – hashtag studytime!? We’ve found the best places to take photos for Instagram in Malasaña, so you don’t have to:
Libros para un Mundo Mejor
This gorgeous bookstore has a strikingly colorful facade and a bicycle with flowers in its basket outside. Look out for the resident black cat who lives inside – maybe she’ll pose for a photo with you, too?
Plaza Dos de Mayo
The beating heart of the Malasaña neighborhood, Plaza Dos de Mayo refers to the May 2nd uprisings of 1808, when residents of Madrid rebelled against Napoleon’s troublesome troops. Get an Instagram-worthy photo with the central monument of Daoiz and Velarde, a towering tribute to two heroes who played a major part in the uprisings.
Clothing, accessories and cute decorations will all tempt you inside this store, that’s bursting with hippie, bohemian style-stuff that Instagrammers and Pinterest fans can’t get enough of. The store sells its own designs, as well as designs shipped in from Nepal, India and Thailand. The best thing about this place though, is the turquoise blue walls outside. They’re covered in all-seeing eyes, complete with eyelashes. Who can resist a photo here, and a caption? (Eye see you looking at me, Madrid!)
Museo de Historia de Madrid
This small museum is free to enter and it’ll give you a great rundown of Madrid’s fascinating history. Learn the evolution of Madrid from 1561 to 1919, and peer into glass cases at over 60,000 historical pieces. Or forget all that and just pose for some awesome Instagram photos, starting outside. The intricate stonework around the entrance is a gorgeous piece of art in itself, just as funky as the building’s baby-pink facade.
Best Park for Instagram Photos in Madrid
Parque del Buen Retiro
Everyone loves a bit of park life – hashtag chill time! Parque del Buen Retiro is a super-popular spot for sun worshippers and morning joggers alike, right in the center of Madrid. Once the property of the Spanish monarchy (until the late 19th century) it was closed to visitors, but nowadays us common folk can go wherever we like, cameras-and-all!
On a walk-through, you might pass verdant green gardens, a shimmering lake, numerous dog walkers and Madrid’s majestic Palacio de Cristal – a 17th-century palace made of glass! Now that’s surely worth a photo or two?
Another particularly Instagrammable spot in Parque del Buen Retiro is the Puerta de Alcalá. This was one of the first modern post-Roman arcs to be erected in Europe, and has got even more years on it than the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. This Neo-classical monument is one of Madrid’s most famous landmarks, so naturally you’ll want a completely original angle or take on it. Try to lower the camera to get a shot through all the flowers surrounding the gate.
Best Views for Instagram Photos in Madrid
Madrid’s mountainous surroundings mean the city’s rooftops are the best places to be in the summer, especially if you’re looking for the best panoramic photos to up your ‘gram game. With barely any tall buildings to block those amazing views, you can pose in front of mother nature’s best, without leaving those urban creature comforts.
Whip out your phone and get high on Madrid from these top Instagram spots:
Hotel RIU Plaza España, Plaza de España
High on the 27th floor of the relatively-newly renovated Hotel Riu Plaza España, the 360º views from the Rooftop Bar are just as impressive as the cocktails. If you really want to go all out for your Instagram followers, take some photos on the glass walkway that stretches between the building’s two wings. Talk about walking on air! (An idea for a caption, maybe?)
9th floor of Corte Inglés in Callao, Plaza de Callao
The El Corte Inglés Gourmet Experience is something you absolutely have to experience in Madrid. Go when hungry, and enjoy one of the coolest places to eat in Madrid, but stay for the Instagrammable sunset moments. The views from the 9th floor of Spain’s biggest department store are outstanding at all times of day though. You can watch the world go by through their huge glass windows, or if it’s a nice day, take in the sights from their small outdoor terrace.
Círculo de Bellas Artes “Tartan Roof,” Calle de Alcalá
Without question, this is one of the prettiest and most Instagrammable rooftops in the city. You will have to pay a small fee (4 or 5 euros) for heading up to the rooftop, but it’s worth it for the 360º views of Madrid’s urban landscape from high above the Círculo de Bellas Artes. Grab yourself a glass of wine and settle in – it’s one of the best places for sunset in Madrid, by far! Note, this place can get super busy in summer time, so go early if you want the best seats.
Terrace at Room Mate Hotel Oscar, Plaza de Vázquez de Mella
This hip hotel is a must for fashionistas and you’ll get some incredible and enviable photos by the cool pool on its fashionable rooftop terrace. Think lounging seductively with cocktails on Balinese sunbeds, and making your fine self the highlight against minimalist décor. If you’re happy in your swimwear, go all out with a refreshing dip/photoshoot looking fabulous against the mountainous Madrid backdrop.
TIP: Skip the Faro de Moncloa, which shuttles the rest of the tourists up 92 metres to the observation deck that towers over Madrid’s Ciudad Universitaria. There are far better ways to get photos from high-up!
Best Cathedral for Instagram Photos in Madrid
It might be one of the most popular tourist spots in the city, but the imposing Almudena Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid, is also one of the best places for photos in Madrid. Get as snap-happy as you like in front of its sensational façade. It looks impressive from every single angle in the day.
TIP: For something different, try taking your photos at night when the lighting gives the Almudena Cathedral an eerie white glow. That’s one way to give your followers a little something special from Spain. You’ll also give your camera’s night mode a run for its money.
Best Places for Instagram Food Photos in Madrid
You’ll smell it before you see it, in a good way! San Miguel Market is one of the coolest places in Madrid, and it already has 21k followers on Instagram. It’s bursting at the seams with traditional Spanish treats and gourmet food items, slap bang in the city centre. Get yourself some tapas and share, share, share… the photos we mean, not the food. You’ll want to keep that all to yourself.
With several locations around Madrid and 138k followers on Instagram, this popular burger chain will fill you up and keep you clicking photos for the other kind of ‘feed’. If you try the Raclette burger, let us know – just the thought of it makes our mouths water.
With over 20k followers on Instagram, the drool-worthy photos on this luxury, gourmet hotdog-seller’s feed will probably be enough to get you down there. Isn’t it time you added some sexy-looking sausage to your ‘gram feed?
For food that looks enviably good on your ‘gram, and tastes even better, try the colorful empanadas at Las Muns. Perfect to take away and eat on your sightseeing trails, this stuff was so popular in Barcelona they brought it to Madrid.
Best Plaza for Instagram Photos in Madrid
Few iPhone photographers can resist one (or 25) photos beneath the picturesque arches in Plaza Mayor. Madrid’s main pedestrian square is hugged at all angles by stunning brick buildings boasting tall, eye-catching archways just begging you to pose inside them. TIP: Go early to avoid the crowds, and to add extra interest to your photos, take some snaps of the tourist vendors setting up their stalls in the morning. Chatting to them might give you some fun ideas for informative captions, too. Undoubtedly one of the most cultural places to see in Madrid.
Obviously the best hashtags for your Madrid photos on Instagram depend on what your picture is of. You can play around with various searches and try different ones. One way to find the best hashtags for Madrid is to use this site. Simply type ‘Madrid’ into the search bar and it will show you the latest, most popular hashtags relating to whatever you like!