Travel guide - Madrid

Madrid is the vibrant, authentic heart of Spain. It’s a high-spirited, golden city, where the unique local way of life can be felt in the streets. Madrid’s charm and energy make it a prime destination for tourists and Spanish people alike. It’s a place that exemplifies the country’s rhythm, gastronomy and festivities, from flamenco to tapas. All the best parts of the many regions of Spain can be found in Madrid. From Andalusia to Galicia by way of Catalonia, the best products, cuisine, culture and arts come together here to form a fascinatingly creative, passionate atmosphere that can only be experienced in the capital. Vamos!

The unique charm of the streets of Madrid

The city offers its visitors a wide array of architectural styles. From its medieval homes to the splendours of the Royal Palace, Madrid has a unique identity and national heritage. The construction of the magnificent baroque Almudena Cathedral, the city’s most recent building, finished in only 1993, is a testimony to the creative force of Madrid’s inhabitants. Stop by El Retiro Park to discover the botanical jewels hidden in this oasis of greenery: remarkable fountains and sculptures are elegantly scattered throughout this lung of the capital city. Observe the beating heart of Spain and its inhabitants at the centre of the old quarter, Los Austrias, and its charming Plaza Mayor, a jumping-off point for many of your adventures in Madrid.

Madrid’s museums: a city with an artistic temperament

A true artistic experience awaits you in Madrid. Make your way through the city, visiting the numerous museums and collections along the way. You’ll enjoy art spanning from the 14th century through the Renaissance, up to modern 20th century surrealism. At the Prado Museum, the spectacular collections that originally belonged to Spain’s royal families, the Hapsburgs and the Bourbons, will transport you back to a more prosperous time, when Spain made a habit of collecting masterpieces by grand master painters from all over Europe. Here you’ll have the chance to gaze upon works by Francisco Goya, Raphael and Titian, along with Diego Velázquez’s most famous portrait, Las Meninas, completed in 1656. Next, you’ll completely change gears by heading to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which is home to the fantasy of Hieronymus Bosch, the splendour of Rubens and El Greco, and the surrealism of Dalí and Picasso.

Madrid, the capital of Spanish gastronomy

The best products and culinary traditions from all over Spain can be found in Madrid. At the midpoint between Galicia in the north and Andalusia in the south, Madrid’s restaurants offer all kinds of different flavours. Tapas, the famous small sharing plates, will astound your palate with their surprising, varied flavours ranging from the Spanish omelette to cod or fried calamari. And you’re never very far away from some delicious Spanish cheese or sausage.
At the San Miguel Market, the 1,200 square metres of the original metallic structure from 1916 are a stronghold of local gastronomy. You can choose from the best the stands have to offer, from traditional cuisine like Paella y Olé to Banderillas from Hora Del Vermut. These small bites on a skewer, composed of charcuterie, sardines, cheese and olives, go perfectly with vermouth, the flavoured wine that is Spain’s preferred aperitif.

Night life in Madrid: a city with many faces

It goes without saying: Madrid clearly has a very particular way of life. An atmosphere of warmth and friendliness reigns in this city, and you can feel it when people from all generations come together in a joyous mix in the streets at night. The capital’s main thoroughfares come to life at night: follow the movida (movement). You can choose to take in an enchanting flamenco show at Cardamomo or dive into the thick of things in the hip quarters of Malasaña and Plaza del Dos de Mayo. Bar La Mirinda , with its view of the square, is a common meeting place where many a Madrid night out begins.
To travel to Madrid is to discover a city that is more than just a place to visit: it’s a place to experience.

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