About Madrid

madrid

A bustling cosmopolitan insomniac, Spain’s capital lies at the very heart of the peninsula and is home to a revered trinity of art galleries, a long line of Hispanic Kings and the hallowed ground of Real Madrid soccer club. At its liveliest best when the midnight hour is past and the Madrilerios (Madrid natives) come out to play, it’s not unknown for Madrid to have some of its heaviest traffic jams at four thirty in the morning.
Although the conglomeration of high rise apartments and office developments that today fill the periphery of the city cast Madrid as the ugly sister to Barcelona’s Cinderella, the compact old quarter conceals a plethora of architectural treasures Pavement terraces thronging with bars and tapas restaurants, the passion of Flamenco, clubs that don’t begin to warm up until 1am and a reputation for avant-garde fashion ensure that what Madrid may lack in looks, it makes up for in soul.

Madrid Must-Sees

Plaza Mayor On sunny days stylish city dwellers and visitors swarm the tables and chairs that spill from the arches below the faded frescoes and slate spires of the 15th century royal bakery. Taking centre stage, Felipe III sits astride his horse overseeing the results of his orders to construct the square and silently judging the street entertainers who vie for loose change.

Parque Del Buen Retiro(EI Retiro)

At weekends the Madrilerios take to the lungs of their city in their droves to paddle across the lake beneath the monolithic stone tribute to Alfonso XI I. On busy days head to the south end of El Retiro to lose the crowds and discover Angel Caido (the Fallen Angel).

Puerta Del Sol

Standing at the centre of Madrid from where all distances to the capital are measured, is the former city gate where Carlos III  is considerably out-photographed by his neighbour, the iconic ‘Bear and the Strawberry Tree’.

Madrid Arty Facts

There are more galleries in Madrid can you can shake an old master at but these are the best known and must-sees for art lovers

Madrid by Night

The only way to really get to know Madrid is to live it and that requires stamina. Investing in some snoozing during siesta time will pay dividends in a city that comes alive just as much of the rest of Europe is going to bed.
Evenings begin with some of Madrid’s superb culinary delights washed down with its excellent wines and the range of tapas bars in which to indulge the taste-buds is overwhelming.
Madrid may not have been the birthplace of Flamenco but it’s where it now thrives Don’t expect shows in these bars to begin much before 11pm and don’t be surprised if it’s as late asiam before a dancer finally takes to the floor; Flamenco is strictly for night owls

Shop Til You Drop

The up and coming district of Chueca is gaining a reputation for clothing outlets where you can mix and match avant-garde with vintage.
Souvenir hunters and craft collectors will find a beguiling choice in the streets around Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Gran Via but for the ultimate Madrid shopping experience, spend Sunday morning south of Plaza de Cascorro at the Rastroflea market along with what feels like the entire city.

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