Destinations / City Breaks / Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city in all Spain. Not just European but international too, Madrid can take her place amongst the best.
The city is absolutely alive by day and night and simply thrums with activity, be it business or pleasure. It is the economic, cultural and technological heart of Spain and also seat of the Monarchy. King Juan Carlos is a beloved leader and the Royal Family is highly respected.
The city is beautifully laid out and has enormous amounts of green space with the most popular park, Parque el Retiro, smack in the centre, complete with a lake, monuments, sculptures and an abundance of gorgeous trees. Madrid has some lovely architectural features and can even boast the 1st skyscraper in Europe, Edificio Telefonica. The Royal Palace of Madrid and Teatro Royal are also worth a visit. A glut of museums and an astonishing number of art galleries grace the city's streets and squares. The famous Prado Museum (think Leonardo da Vinci, Velasquez, Goya and El Greco) is part of the "Golden Art Triangle" and the wonderful Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofia is the home of modern art and houses such greats as Juan Miro, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. One of PIcasso's most famous works "Guernica" is exhibited here.
With a population of almost 3.5 million souls, "Madrilenos" know how to live the good life. Renowned for relentless nightlife (in fact, it is unusual to eat dinner before 10.00 pm!), a vibrant live music scene is an integral part of city life.
Going on the trail of good tapas is also a national pastime where hedonistic pleasures are taken very seriously! Luckily, there are excellent tapas bars all over the city and many atmospheric bars and cafes. The restaurant scene in Madrid is legendary with many highly acclaimed venues offering traditional and international fare. Cutting edge when it comes to style, Madrid is also very fashion conscious and is absolute heaven if you enjoy shopping.
I suppose we cannot mention the city without reference to the other national obsession - football! Real Madrid needs no introduction,and football fans come in their droves to genuflect at home games in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. FIFA even named real Madrid as the best team of the 20th century, so the fuss is obviously well placed!
Certainly, a break in Madrid will be hectic as the city just has so much to offer and, as perhaps the most Spanish of all Spanish cities, you'll have an experience like no other.