Madrid Destination Guide
This cosmopolitan city is the capital of Spain, bustling with a dynamic mix of tourists and locals.
There are many different museums, monuments and art galleries, incredible architecture such as the 18th-century Royal Palace and 16th-century Descalzas Reales Monastery as well as beautiful public gardens including Retiro Park and Casa de Campo, which is 5 times larger than New York’s Central Park. The Prado is arguably one of the best and certainly one of the most popular art museums in the world, so if you are an appreciator of art then this is a must-see. Works include Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and Caravaggio’s David with Head of Goliath. If you are a football fan, then the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with its 85 000 seats is worth a visit. A tour will take you inside the dressing room, pressroom and presidential box and you will also get a good look at the Real Madrid trophy collection.
With a wide range of shops, restaurants and sidewalk cafes as well as the famous tapas and wine bars, visiting Madrid can never be dull. Local delicacies include the famous Bocadillo de Calamares, a fried calamari sandwich and Churros con Chocolate, fried pastry dough served with warm, gooey chocolate sauce. Puerta del Sol is a large plaza in the centre of the city, filled with street performers and lovely little cafes. Many festivals, parties and events will take place within this square, as it is a convenient location with most of the city's popular tourist areas close by. Plaza Mayor is another popular square with its souvenir shops and the San Miguel Market, a covered market specialising in gourmet tapas and other decadent food.
Madrid Barajas International Airport is situated about 18 km from the city centre and public transport is straightforward with numerous buses, metro lines, trains and trams.