Madrid is a city that has many attractions. From its historical Royal Palace and its art museums to its traditional plazas and tapas bars, the city is an ideal destination for a city break.
Madrid is an excellent destination if you are a foodie. The variety of the regional cuisine and the many places offering ethnic cuisine from other countries are enough to satisfy even the pickiest of customers. Tapas are local appetizers which are usually served with each drink ordered. Enjoy a caña beer accompanied by some savoury olives.
If you want, order several raciones, the larger version of tapas, and share it with your group for a filling authentic dinner. Typical choices include huevos rotos con jamón eggs served with fries and local ham, croquetas croquettes and cheese and cured ham platters.
Enjoy a football match.
Football is a very important part of the local culture. Madrid has two large football clubs, the Atlético de Madrid and the famous Real Madrid. Visit the Vicente Calderón stadium if you want to see the Atlético de Madrid in action. The stadium of the Real Madrid Football Club is located north of the city center. This stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu, has a museum dedicated to the club and the club’s official shop is located around the corner.
Explore the city’s art and culture.
Madrid is filled with historical attractions and monuments. Visit one of the three main art museums where you will find some of the world’s largest art collections. The three museums are the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen Bornemisza, and form the Golden Triangle of Museums, located in the city center next to the Atocha train station and the Retiro Park.
Walk around the city center.
This city is made for exploring on foot. Start at the Puerta de Sol, the city center and a popular meeting spot. Here you will find the statue of a bear climbing up a madroño tree, which has become the city’s symbol. From there head to the Plaza Mayor, another main square known for its terraces and the market.
A short walk away you will find the majestic Royal Palace, a large building with more than two thousand rooms. Guided tours are organized around the palace, and you will be able to visit more than forty rooms, the throne hall and the gardens.
The Almudena Cathedral is located next to the palace, and on the other side of the building you will find the Plaza de España square. Another popular spot where locals hang out, the square’s main attraction is the fountain decorated with the statues of Don Quixote and his loyal sidekick Sancho Panza.
After that follow the Gran Via, one of the city’s main streets, filled with bars, restaurants and shops. There are many affordable hostels for those on a budget and some of the city’s finest grand hotels are located in the area.
Spend a relaxing afternoon in a park.
There are several parks in the city. The Retiro Park is one of the most popular destinations in this city. There is a pond where you can rent rowing boats. Walk around the gardens decorated with fountains and statues before heading to the Crystal Palace, where many exhibitions take place. West of the city is the Casa de Campo, where the city’s zoo and main theme park are located.