Visiting Madrid, Spain
Madrid is located on the sunny Castillan Plateau in Central Spain. Its location has historically been an advantage, making it readily accessible from other areas of the country. Madrid is also the largest city in Spain, with over 3 million inhabitants. The people of Madrid call themselves “madrileños.” However, Madrid is composed of a varied mixture of cultures, including a large contingent from Latin America.
The history buff as well as the casual tourist will find plenty of historical sites to see in Madrid. Many of the historical buildings and sites are located in Central Madrid, which is the oldest part of the city.
One of the most popular historical sites is the Arab Wall, which was built to repel invaders over 1300 years ago during the Moor occupation of Spain. El Palacio Real de Aranjuez is another top historical attraction.
It was originally intended to be a hunting lodge, but in 1560 King Philip I transformed it into the luxurious palace it is today. The “Plaza Mayor“ also leads many lists of favorite historical attractions, as does the nearby Royal Palace and Sabatini Gardens.
The list of historical attractions is so extensive that all but the most intrepid tourists would find it very difficult to visit them all during one trip. the best strategy is to choose a few highlights and consult your hotel’s concierge about the best way to get there. Alternatively, many tourists chose one district to visit and focus on the sites in that area.
Madrid offers some of the finest museums in all of Europe. Visitors can spend their entire trip visiting museums. Perhaps the most famous museum in Madrid is the world renowned art museum, el Museo del Prado.
The Prado has one of the world’s largest collections of Spanish art, and features paintings from artists such as el Greco, Goya, and Velázquez. In addition to Spanish art, the Prado offers an extensive collection of art from Flemish and German artists.
Those wishing to spend an entire day, or more, at Madrid’s famed museums would be well advised to begin in Madrid’s Museum District. This district not only contains the Prado, but it also has the Reina Sofia, Madrid’s foremost museum of modern art, as well as a number of smaller museums. Other museums are scattered throughout the city.
The sports fan will also find plenty to do in Madrid. Whether your passion is soccer, known as “fútbol,” or bullfighting, you will find plenty to do. Madrid is a center for bullfighting, known as a “corrida.” Madrid’s bullfighting ring, known as “Las Ventas,” is one of the most famous in the world, and is known as the birthplace of bullfighting.
Soccer fans can catch a match between The Real Madrid team and any number of famed European or even Latin American soccer teams. The Real Madrid team plays in the Santiago Bernabeu football pitch. Basketball and tennis are also popular in Madrid, and the tickets may be far more reasonable than soccer or bullfighting tickets for those travelling on a budget.
One of the highlights to a trip to Madrid has to be its shopping scene. Flea marker aficionados will revel in the opportunity to shop as the “rastro,” Madrid’s famed flea market located in Ribera de Curtidores. The flea market is held every Sunday morning, and madrileños and visitors alike visit the market looking for bargains.
If electronics, clothing, and fine gifts are more your scene, Madrid has the mall for you. The Xanadú, Madrid’s best shopping mall, boasts dozens of stores, from familiar favorites like the Apple Store and Bennetton to stores that are unique to Spain. The Xanadú mall even has an indoor ski park with artificial snow.
Those looking for designer clothing, art, or cultural objects and curiosities will enjoy the Mercado de Fuencarral. The Mercado also features a cinema, a restaurant, and is famous for its many and varied cultural activities.
Restaurants and Nightlife
Spanish food is famous throughout Europe and the Americas for its savory flavors and artistic presentations. Whether you want to try authentic Spanish paella, a rich and seafood dish that gets is distinctive yellow color from saffron, or if you would like to enjoy Spanish wine and tapas at a real Spanish tapas bar, you are in luck.
If you don’t know where to start, or if you don’t know enough about Spanish food to know what to look for, you can purchase tickets for the Madrid food tour. The tour takes you to all of the local dining hot spots and allows you to try a variety of foods and wines.
Dinner is traditionally enjoyed late by American standards, around 10 pm. From there you can proceed to enjoy Madrid’s famed nightlife. Madrid boasts countless clubs and bars and they don’t close until 4am, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy yourself on the town.
Article by GreenPath airport shuttle service