The land of Flamenco music and dance, vibrant, lively and colorful, Madrid is a place of many wonders. From historical sites, trough major art galleries and the home to one of the best football teams, people of all ages and cultures will surely find something that will be close to their heart.
As for all the night owls here, you’ll be delighted to find out that Madrid is big on nightclubs and it’s no wonder that so many guys choose to celebrate their sensational bachelor parties right here. But first things first, let us explore the city and all the top places you should explore.
Explore the City
There are a few places in the city which are the epicenter of Madrid’s energy. Mayor Plaza, for instance, is the perfect starting place for any new visitor. It is a colorful renaissance square which is contained from three-story-high buildings. In the center of the square lies the bronze statue of King Phillip III. The buildings have atriums and there you can find nice cafes where you can drink your coffee, indulge in people-watching and plan out the rest of your day.
You can move on to Puerta del Sol, this is also one of the most famous squares in Madrid. Back in the day Puerta del Sol was the center of everyday life happenings. People would gather around and apart from a social occasion a lot of important political meetings were held here. Even public executions! Here you can see the symbol of Madrid, El Oso y El Madroño statue which is a bear leaning on a strawberry tree.
At the last, but not least the Gran Vía. Often called the street that never sleeps it is the nerve of entertainment, cultural events, and shopping centers. There are non stop musicals, projections of movies and a has a reputation for being the best nightlife. The locals usually don’t go out clubbing ‘till 2 am! So for all the night owls that have a lust for a good time, this is the place to be.
It is well known that the Iberian Peninsula art scene has wonderful museums and galleries where it exhibits great art and Madrid is not falling behind. On the contrary. Here you can experience one of the most exquisite art exhibitions. And the great thing about these museums is that they are located in one place making the so-called ‘Golden Triangle of Art’. But if you have the chance it is advised to visit one museum at the time, because there is so much to see in just one place.
Let’s start with Thyssen-Bornemisza. Here you will see the grand workings of English and German artists like Hans Holbein and Albrecht Dürer. If you love renaissance art you’ll be delighted to find that they exhibit the workings of Rembrandt, Veronese, van Dyck and many more. And you can also marvel the lovely French impressionist trio Monet, Degas, and Renoir.
For all the lovers of modern art, Reina Sofia is just the right place for you. Moreover, this is the place that will offer you a true understanding of Spanish culture, because this museum is focused on Spanish art. Picasso and Dalí are the main ‘stars’ and the famous Guernica is here on display. Apart from these two greats, you can see the works of abstract sculptor Eduardo Chillida, Joan Miró, and Juan Gris.
The Prado museum is one of the most visited in the whole world. Here you will be presented with the biggest names of the art world. The collection of masterpieces will leave everyone in awe. Velázquez, El Greco, Rembrandt, Brueghel, Rubens, Botticelli, Tintoretto, Caravaggio. Just making a list of these names nourishes the soul. That is why it’s advised to visit one museum a day, it takes time to reflect on all the marvelous art you’ve seen.
And for all the football lovers the great Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a must see. This is the place where football history was made many times. You can climb up the top and get the impressive panoramic view of the stadium.
For Madrid, it can’t be said that it’s the greenest city in the world, but it sure has some of the most beautiful parks imaginable. When you wish to breathe in the fresh air and relax in the heavenly scenery for a while El Parque del Buen Retiro or just El Retiro is the perfect place for you. In the old times, this was a place where royal families would gather and enjoy in garden plays or concerts.
Today it is open for everyone’s enjoyment. There is a man-made pond here, where you can go boat riding with the flourishing scenery all around you. This is also the only place in the world which has a statue of the Fallen Angel Lucifer.
If you love the smell and the beauty of flowers, Royal Botanical Gardens will fill your heart. It is located next to the Prado museum and has more than 30.000 species of plants! How wonderful is that? Casa de Campo is the biggest of them all, literally. This park is five times bigger than Central Park in New York! And is a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the afternoon.
And if you want to organize a picnic you’ll need some food right? You can go from Plaza Mayor and on the way, you’ll stumble upon the art nouveau Mercado San Miguel marketplace. Although there are regular grocery stands, here you will find the best paprika, saffron, and cava in the whole of Spain. As for the regular grocery shopping it’s advised to go to the Mercado de Maravillas. If cooking is not your thing and you just want to eat without additional trouble, you’ll find a bunch of tapas bars on almost every corner. You can indulge yourself with gambas al ajillo, patatas bravas, and boquerones.