Four things to do in Madrid

The city of Madrid, located in the center of Spain, is known for its art museums, its culture, its food and its nightlife. The city has many historical landmarks and is an ideal destination for a city break.

Explore the city’s museums

Madrid is known for its museums. The three main art museums, the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza, form the Golden Triangle of Museums, an area located next to the central Atocha train station and the Retiro Park. Near Plaza de Colón, a square located north of the city center, is the Archaeological Museum and the city’s Wax Museum.

Madrid Skyline

Madrid Skyline

Get a taste of local cuisine

The city’s food is in itself a reason to book a flight to Madrid ASAP. The selection of traditional restaurants, tapas bars and markets makes the city the ideal place for foodies. Check out one of the local markets, including the Antón Martín, San Antón and San Miguel markets, where you will find a selection of local fresh foods, authentic cheeses and jamón hams and a variety of tapas bars.

La Latina is a neighbourhood located south of the city center. The area has many famous tapas bars where you will be able to savour olives from Andalusia in southern Spain, cider from the northern region of Asturias and spicy chorizo from one of the many towns in Castilla region. The nearby Lavapiés district is known for its ethnic restaurants and terrace bars, some of which are located on large terraces with views towards the city’s rooftops.

Spend an afternoon in a park

The Retiro park is located in the city center. It can be easily accessed from the Golden Triangle of Museums and from the Alcala Gate, located north of the city center. This park has many gardens filled with ancient statues and fountains, and there lawn areas are ideal for impromptu musical concerts and football games. There are several terraces around the park. Do not miss the central pond, where rowing boats are available for rent.

Another large park is the Casa de Campo, located west of the city center. The park has many jogging paths, sports areas and a lake with picnic tables around it. The city’s Parque de Atracciones theme park and the zoo are located here.

Madrid

Madrid

Walk around the city center

The city center can and should be explored on foot. The historical city center is concentrated around the Puerta de Sol area. Steps away from this square, where there local town hall is located, is the famous Plaza Mayor. Take a walk around the square and then head towards the Royal Palace, one of the city’s symbols. The palace, which has more than two thousand rooms, can be explored during a guide tour round the Throne Hall and several other halls. After visiting the palace you can explore the Almudena Cathedral and the Sabatini Gardens, two landmarks flanking the palace.

From here, head to Gran Vía, a centric street filled with terrace bars, restaurants and shops. After grabbing a bite of jamón accompanied by a beer in one of the terrace bars with views towards the city center, take a short walk towards Plaza de España, a popular meeting spot where the statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza is located. In this area you will find many restaurants, shops and an Ancient Egyptian temple, a temple that was brought to the city from the Nubia region. There is a museum inside the temple and the top floor has views towards the nearby park.

Madrid photos: Jose Maria Cuellar, Trujinauer.

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