Introducing

Madrid

Spain

City description

Welcome to Madrid, a European city that oozes class…  As soon as you arrive, you’ll be marvelling at the majestic Plaza Mayor and the Teatro Real, two iconic sights that set the tone for this vibrant, bustling capital. Start your adventure by exploring its busy streets, lined with neo-classical buildings including the iconic Prado Museum, home to one of the most beautiful art galleries in the world which is well worth a visit.


But Madrid has much more to offer than its museums. It’s also a thoroughly pioneering and modern city, between its ancient colonnades. Head to Gran Via to see for yourself. As you make your way down this stunning street, the New York inspired buildings are home to neighbourhood cinemas, theatres, shops and terraces imbued with a contagious party atmosphere. Like a Broadway song… A bit further away, in the Plaza de España, the fifties skyscrapers also seem to take their inspiration from the United States. And then dotted around, here and there, you’ll find architectural gems inspired by Zaha Hadid and Ron Arad, revealing an incredibly modern Madrid. These celebrity architects have waved a contemporary wand over the urban landscape, following in the footsteps of Jean Nouvel at the Queen Sofia Museum.

Castile’s finest certainly knows how to live it up. More than any other Spanish city, it upholds the ideals of freedom and celebrates its incredible cultural heritage. This energy, this enthusiasm, this buzz can all be found at El Matador, the centre for experimental art housed in a renovated industrial complex. As well as in the trendy neighbourhoods of Malasena and Chueca. Just like in a film by Pedro Almodóvar, the director who absolutely loves this city, the locals relish the welcome coolness of the evening in the smaller squares dotted around the city, over some delicious tapas. Why not join them? The perfect time for an evening stroll…

Often overshadowed by Barcelona, Madrid’s nightlife scene also holds its own and offers a whole host of possibilities. Dinner cooked up by an iconoclastic, rock’n’roll chef like David Muñoz or Sergi Arola? A cocktail in the atmosphere of a gentlemen's club at the Museo Bar at the Westin Palace? Or a trip down Cava Baja, a street that’s packed with buzzing bars? Follow the lead of the locals, nicknamed “gatos”, (literally  “cats”) and check out the different atmospheres of the Kapital, the Spanish clubbing heaven spread over 7 floors. Don’t worry, there’s no need to choose. Madrid’s electric nightlife comes into its own on New Year’s Eve, on the Puerta del Sol, counting down to midnight with the Casa de Correos clock. The rest of the year has plenty to offer, coming alive to the rhythm of the flamenco, at the Tablao la Quimera, with popular celebrations like San Juan, or indie rock during the Dcode Festival.

If it’s shopping you’re after, head to Spain’s leading department store, El Corte Inglés, to pick up some quirky local labels as well as international names. The markets are also well worth a visit, summing up Madrid’s energy perfectly. If you had to choose only a few, make sure to visit the Mercado San Miguel and Mercado San Anton for their authenticity and delicious gourmet treats, and El Rastro, the flea market that’s heaven for bargain hunters and has a really friendly atmosphere.

Last but not least, find out why the locals love their parks so much, such as the Casa de Campo Park or the El Retiro... Wherever you are in the city, there’s always a little corner of nature where you can relax, enjoy a leisurely stroll or enjoy a run. The city also has a sporty side, with the Mutua Madrid Tennis Open and of course, the football matches involving the much loved Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid never misses an opportunity to celebrate.

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Getting around Madrid

Event calendar

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Top things to do in Madrid

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