Spain’s capital and largest city and probably most welcoming city. It is often said that Madrid is the most Spanish of Spanish cities and definitely it’s most passionate.
Madrid has something for everyone : fabulous museums including the Museo del Prado, Thyssen and Queen Sofia museums, splendid architecture, a wealth of art galleries, theatres, parks and of course the finest Spanish gastronomy and the most authentic tapas bars and bodegas where the atmosphere oozes tradition and days gone past. It also plays host to the hottest nightlife with a huge choice of clubs, bars and live music venues. There is indeed something to suit everyone’s taste.
One of the greatest benefits of a city break in the heart of Madrid is that practically all attractions are within walking distance from the centre and therefore you don’t have to spend money on expensive taxis or spend too much time on public transport. However, Madrid does have an extremely simple to use Metro system and you can get around cheaply and easily if you wish to visit other parts of the city.
Madrid is a way of life, it’s about living the moment and if you are looking for a unique experience on your city break then we highly recommend a vacation in Madrid.
We have compiled a small list of things to do while enjoying your city break in Madrid. See our holiday apartments in Madrid.
The Prado Museum
Madrid’s world-famous museum is a delight for art lovers. The Prado museum is located near Madrid’s train station Atocha and is well worth a visit. The Museum attracts lots of tourists to the city every year and it is recommended that you buy your entrance before you arrive. In fact, many large exhibitions are sold out long in advance and it is a shame to go there in vain. Prado museum contains works by such great artists as Goya, El Greco, Velazquez, Sorolla and Rembrandt.
The Royal Palace
In the middle of the city you will find the beautiful Royal Palace next to Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral. The palace is very striking and is the last redoubt in the historical centre, overlooking the green area Casa Campo. The royal palace has 3000 rooms and there is public access to the palace with the opportunity to see the Throne Room and other exciting things such as armour and porcelain.
The beautiful bullfighting arena named Ventas is situated 10 minutes drive from the Metro station Sol. When you come up from the Metro station in Ventas you will see the bullfighting arena shooting up as an impressive work and there must be a reason why they call it the world’s largest bullfighting arena. You can experience bullfights every Sunday and the most expensive prices are approx. 120 €, but it can also be cheaper for approx. 10 €. There are also daily tours of the arena from 10.00 – 13.30 and it is recommended a tour whether you like bullfighting or not.
The Park is located beside the train station Atocha and is only a few minutes’ walk from downtown. The large park is like an oasis in Madrid and here you immediately sense peace and tranquillity in an otherwise busy city. The park contains both football and tennis courts and the Madrilenians use the park for a break in their normal lives. In the middle of the park there is a monument to King Alfonso III and a lake where people sails in small boats. Around the lake you will find numerous of bars where there is an opportunity to enjoy cold refreshments in the heat.
Soccer is important in Madrid and it is impossible to get into a bar in town where there is no talk about soccer. Madrid has two great football teams. The most popular is Real Madrid whilst the antagonist is Atletico Madrid. Every year, the two teams fight a battle to be the city’s pride, but there is no doubt that Real Madrid has the largest number of supporters, perhaps even of the entire world. Real Madrid offers the top of the world stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Raul. Real Madrid C.F. has no less than 31 national titles and 8 of the prestigious title as Europe’s best and the club’s describes itself as the world’s biggest club. Santiago Bernabeu is open to visitors every day and the price is 15 € for a tour that takes you around the stadium, the changing rooms, the bench, the museum, trophy presentation and the club shop where one can purchase all imaginable souvenirs.
Plaza Mayor is Madrid’s most beautiful square and worth a visit. The Square is surrounded by beautiful buildings and no fewer than 237 balconies overlooking the square. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and it is a must to try the famous squid sandwich, which is typical in Madrid. The square is built in 1589 and the most beautiful building in the square is Casa de la Panaderia previously served as headquarters for the baker’s guild.
Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol is the centre of Madrid and is one of the most important spots in town. The Square adjacent to the pedestrian street with lots of shops and from there you can move on to Madrid’s main street, Gran Via. The beautiful room square has its own Metro station. The sun gate, as it is called in English, is filled with lots of people to celebrate the New Year. It is tradition to eat a grape for every stroke and finally rinsing them down with champagne.
The old town
La Latina and El Rastro are Madrid’s two oldest neighbourhoods. Actually, they are located just up from each other and sometimes it can be difficult to know where they separate. Here you will find lots of different bars, restaurants, cafes and shops. The place is a great mix of people from many different cultures and has a special atmosphere in relation to other places in town. Each Sunday, there is a large flea market in El Rastro which attracts all sorts of shopkeepers who sell everything your heart desires.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
The Museum is another of Madrid’s big tourist attractions. The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum can be found just opposite the Prado museum and also here it may be a good idea to buy your ticket beforehand. The museum is a Mecca for art lovers and safeguards precious art from the 13th to 20th century. You’ll find artists such as Matisse, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Sorolla.
The Reina Sofia Museum
The museum was inaugurated in 1990 and named after Spain’s current queen. Museum Reina Sofia is considered one of the world’s largest and most modern museums. It is located close to both El Prado and Thyssen-Bornemizsa and offers various exhibitions throughout the year. The museum has free entrance and well worth a visit whether you are into art or not.