What to do in Madrid

by Jules on November 22, 2013

The city of Madrid is located in the center of Spain. Visitors will be able to visit the city’s main museums and the Royal Palace before spending an afternoon in a tapas bar.

There are many attractions in this city. The historical district has narrow streets and many churches, the city’s northern neighbourhoods are filled with tall glass buildings and the west has several large parks. The city’s public transportation network connects the city to several historical towns located near the mountains, and the airport provides regular flights to Europe.

Visit the museums.

There are many museums located in this city. The three main art museums are the Prado, known for its collections of Goya’s paintings, the Reina Sofia, where the Guernica is located, and the Thyssen Bornemisza, which is a large private collection. These museums form the Golden Triangle of Museums, an area located near the central Atocha train station and a close walk away from the Royal Palace and the Puerta de Sol, the city’s main square.

Plaza de Colón is a square located north of the city center. This square is famous for the large Spanish flag and the statue of Columbus. The square, which is located on the Paseo de Recoletos main avenue, is known for its architecture. The National Archaeological Museum is one of the main buildings, with a carved facade and several columns.

The city has many other museums for those who do not want to spend their holidays in an art museum. There is a Costume Museum and a Railroad Museum.

Plaza de España is a central square located near the city center. This square has several fountains, including a fountain of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. A short walk away from the square is the Templo de Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple that was brought from the Nubia region. There is a museum inside the temple, and the park where the temple is located is a popular meeting spot for those who want to enjoy the sunset.

Spend an afternoon in a park.

The city has several parks where visitors will be able to enjoy an afternoon stroll. The main park is the Retiro Park, located near the three main art museums. This large park has many paths lined with fountains and statues, and in the center of the park there is a pond where visitors will be able to rent rowing boats. The park has several waterfalls and another pond with ducks. The Crystal Palace is a large glass building located near the pond which is used as an art gallery.

The Casa de Campo used to be a large hunting estate. Located west of the city, this park can be reached by public transport, several roads and a cable car. The cable car has views towards the city center and the large park, which has many paths and picnic areas. Inside the park there is a lake, a theme park with several roller coasters and an aquarium and zoo.

A short walk away from the Plaza de España is the Madrid Rio Park. The park is one the banks of the Manzanares River and has several bike baths. Bikes can be rented at several spots in and near the park.

Enjoy the city’s cuisine.

Madrid is a city for foodies. There are many tapas bars and restaurants where visitors will be able to enjoy local and international food. In the Lavapies district visitors will find many ethnic restaurants. The La Latina district, located near the city center, is known for its many tapas bars. Tapas are appetizers that are served in most bars with each drink ordered. Typical tapas include fried croquettes, empanadas de atún tuna pastries, spicy pimientos de padrón peppers, patatas bravas potatoes served with two sauces and pulpo a la Gallega, diced octopus served with olive oil and paprika. In the Malasaña and Chueca districts, two neighbourhoods known for their hip party scene, there are many gastronomy bars and lounges where visitors are offered large olives and tortilla de patata tomato omelet. In the city center there are many squares, including the Santa Ana square, where visitors can join the locals for a tinto de verano, fruity wine, on a terrace.

After a tapas tour around several of the city’s bars visitors can party until dawn. There are many bars, clubs, discos and lounges in the city. The Argüelles and Moncloa areas, filled with students, are known for their metal bars. Chueca is the city’s gay district, filled with colourful bars and discos. The hip Malasaña area has many hole in the wall bars and lounges. In the centric Barrio de la Letras area there are karaoke bars, discos and pubs. The Serrano area has many exclusive bars and terraces with views towards the centric streets.

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