Spain’s capital city is filled with ancient buildings, museums and parks. It is known for its nightlife, where visitors can join the locals and try many tapas. Tapas are small appetizers served with a caña, beer, in the city’s traditional bars.
Culture is very present in Madrid and the main reason why people choose to spend a few days exploring this city. The Triangle of Museums is an area formed by the city’s main and most visited museums, the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum. Located near the large tree-lined boulevard of the Paseo del Prado, these museums have season passes and might be free during the afternoons.
The Retiro Park is a large centric park that stretches from the Atocha train station to Serrano street, an area known for its chic bars, many restaurants and boutique shops. In the center of the park there is a large pond where visitors can rent a boat.
In the center of the city, near the famous Plaza de Sol with the Bear and Madroño statue that is the symbol of the city, stands the Plaza Mayor. This square used to be the city’s main square and is now filled with many bars, restaurants and souvenir shops.
Nearby streets lead to the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral, one of the largest churches in the city. Visitors can enjoy guided tours around this palace and its gardens, the Sabatini Gardens.
A short walk away from the palace is the Plaza de España, a centric square with the statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and a fountain. This spot is a popular meeting spot for young people, who meet there before heading to a club. The nearby Templo de Debod is an ancient Egyptian Temple where many meet to enjoy the sunset.
The Gran Via, which is one of the city’s main streets, starts near the Plaza de España. The street is filled with local shops and international brands, coffee houses and fast food joints. The Edificio Metropolis is a building at the other end of the street which was built in a Parisian style.
Near this building visitors will find the Palacio de Comunicaciones, which used to be the city’s central post office. This large, white building with a carved façade is located near the Plaza de Cibeles, a statue of the Goddess Cybele where Real Madrid players celebrate their victory.
A short distance away is the Paseo de Recolotes, and at one end is the Plaza de Colon, a large square with a statue of Christopher Columbus in the center. There are many chic and traditional restaurants nearby, and the prestigious Serrano district, with its boutique stores, is a couple of streets away. Two metro stops away is the Malasaña district, with many bars, clubs and discos. During the day it is filled with cafés and vintage stores.
Photo Credit: http://blogs.artinfo.com/secrethistoryofart/files/2011/05/Madrid-photo.jpg