The city of Madrid is known for its many ancient monuments, art museums and nightlife. This Spanish city is an ideal destination for a city break, and if you choose to travel to Madrid, make sure to visit these top five places.
The Prado Museum
Madrid is a city known for its museums, which makes it an ideal destination for art lovers. Check out the famous Prado Museum, where you will find galleries filled with paintings by El Greco, Goya and Velazquez. Do not miss the nearby Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum: the first one offers a variety of paintings by Miró and Picasso, and the second one is one of the largest private collections in the world, known for its temporary exhibits.
If you want to relax after visiting the cultural landmarks, head to the Buen Retiro Park. This green space used to be the Royal gardens and is now a popular place for joggers, bikers and locals. There are several gardens decorated with ancient sculptures and carved fountains. There is a pond with rowing boats for rent in the center of the park, the ideal plan if you happen to visit the city in the summer.
There are many other parks in the city worth visiting: check out the Casa de Campo park, a green space with a lake, a theme park, picnic areas and a zoo. The centric Madrid Rio park is located on the banks of the Manzanares river and is ideal for those who enjoy biking, running and practicing other sports.
Puerta del Sol
The city center is located around this popular square: here you will find the statue of a bear climbing up a madroño tree, a statue that has become the city’s official symbol. If you are wondering where to stay in Madrid, try to book a hostel or hotel close to the Puerta de Sol. There are many places to visit nearby: Gran Vía is a main street ideal for shopping; the famous Plaza Mayor square is located steps away; and the Almudena Cathedral and Royal Palace are within walking distance. Enjoy a guided tour around the Royal Palace, a monument that has more than two thousand rooms decorated with paintings and statues, a throne hall and a set of lush gardens worth exploring.
Madrid, together with the rest of Spain, is known for its food. Most of the city’s tapas bars serve a variety of appetizers made using local ingredients, and there are many restaurants offering traditional dishes at an affordable price- especially at lunchtime, when for less than 12€ you can get two hearty courses, a drink, bread and a dessert.
Some of the most traditional and delicious restaurants are located in the La Latina neighbourhood, just a short walk away from the city center. Follow the locals into any bar and order some patatas bravas spicy potato wedges, a tortilla española potato omelet and some pimientos de padrón, fried green peppers served with salt.
The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Madrid is a city ideal for those who enjoy football. There are three main football clubs in the city, and each one has its own stadium. The most famous stadium is Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, located north of the city center in the midst of the city’s financial district. Take a tour around the stadium and enjoy a drink in one of the terraces that has views towards the field. Do not forget to visit the museum and the nearby official shop.
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