Published on November 16th, 20120
A Short Guide to Madrid
The capital of Spain is located in the center of the country. Filled with museums, palaces and parks, the city offers visitors many activities for those who enjoy art, food and shopping.
The city’s main museums are the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, which form the Golden Triangle of museums. This triangle is located between the Atocha train station and the Retiro Park.
The Retiro park is one of the city’s largest parks. There are many gardens where visitors can explore ancients fountains and sculptures. There are several ponds with ducks and a large pond where boats can be rented. Events are organized in the park, and exhibitions take place in the Crystal Palace.
There are other two main parks in the city. Madrid Rio is a recently rebuilt area located on the banks of the Manzanares river where visitors will be able to rent bikes. The Casa de Campo is a large park west of the city where visitors can enjoy a picnic, visit the lake and stroll around the zoo and aquarium. Next to the zoo is the Parque de Atracciones, one of the city’s two theme parks, where visitors can ride on the roller coasters and the water rides.
The Royal Palace is located near the historic city center. Next to the palace visitors will find the Almudena Cathedral, a large cathedral with several chapels decorated with masterpieces. The palace gardens are the Sabatini Gardens, a green maze with many fountains and sculptures.
Madrid is a city that attracts many shopaholics. Many Spanish and international brands can be found along the Gran Via street. Boutique stores are located in the chic Serrano area, which stretches from the Colon statue to the Retiro. In the Malasaña district visitors will find many hip designers and vintage shops.
Plaza de España is a square located near the Royal Palace and the centric Gran Vía street. The square has a statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. A short walk away from this popular meeting spot visitors will find the Debod Temple, an ancient Egyptian temple where many meet to enjoy views of the sunset.
The city’s business district is located north of the city center. The city’s four main skyscrapers are located in this part of the city, and one of the towers has a hotel with views towards the city and the sierra. In this district visitors will find the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home to the Real Madrid Football Club. Inside the stadium there is a museum and the club’s official shop.
Each region in Spain has its own traditional food and culture. Madrid is the place where visitors can taste typical food from any part of Spain, starting from some traditional paella rice from Valencia and having a tarta de Santiago almond cake for dessert. In the city there are many tapas bars where visitors will be able to taste these small appetizers served with a caña beer. Some of the most popular tapas are a piece of bread drizzled in olive oil and covered by some cured ham, pimiento relleno peppers and the local callos broth. Many locals meet up for tapas in the city center, around the Huertas district, before heading out to a club.