Travel guide - Madrid

Wildly trendy, Madrid is a city that you will need to know how to tame. Like a matador, you’ll confront Madrid’s jubilation, its hedonistic and sophisticated atmosphere which makes the Spanish capital one of the most passionate cities in Europe.

An ancient royal city, the capital of Spain did not really come into its own until the seventeenth century. Freed from its past, living without constraints, Madrid lives at a typically Spanish rhythm. Even if historical monuments leave you cold, your journey to Madrid will take you all the same to the Plaza Mayor, a symbolic square at the centre of the city, with its magnificent frescoes.

Neoclassical architecture is the hallmark of the Spanish capital. The Royal Palace with its granite, white stone and marble façade, is undoubtedly one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture that you will see during your stay in Madrid.

A city of art and history, Madrid remains the capital of Iberian artistic creation as evidenced by the golden triangle of Spanish art galleries. The Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums are home to masterpieces - entire chapters of art history – including works by Goya, Velázquez and, of course, Picasso's famous Guernica. These collections rival those of the greatest museums in the world.

Every night, the temperature rises in cosmopolitan Madrid. The city’s many tapas bars come alive with Flamenco tunes, freeing Madrid’s very soul.

On your visit to Madrid, you will encounter a sophisticated metropolis that holds its own as a global gastronomic capital. Many famous chefs invite you to discover an explosion of flavours in the capital’s best restaurants.

Feel your pulse racing alongside crowds of Madrilenos in the arena during a corrida, or bullfight, unless, like the Spanish youth, you prefer the celebrations on December 31 at the Puerto del Sol.

Madrid may be a festive city, but it also can be very pious. And if you have the opportunity to visit Madrid during the Easter period, you will find the city gripped by religious fervour with many processions taking place during Holy Week. Such passions are matched only by the Spaniards’ passion for football.

As you encounter its inhabitants, your trip to Madrid will encompass many great pleasures, from early morning to the end of the night.

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Practical information

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73 ideas for visits and activities / 25 hotels

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