Party city, young and vibrant, Madrid is one of Europe’s best destinations. It’s easy to reach, thanks to so many low cost airlines offering cheap flights to Madrid, and it’s an ideal spot to spend a long weekend. Here’s five things you shouldn’t miss the next time you’re in the Spanish capital.
Gran Via is Madrid’s major commercial centre in the heart of the city. Bordered by the massive Metropolis building and the Grassy building, this is one of the most important avenues in Spain and is home to the city’s most luxurious boutiques and high street shops, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and the neo-baroque architecture isn’t bad either. Gran Via runs all the way along until Plaza de España where, if you’re tired of the buzz and commotion of the city, is a great spot to sit and rest with a cafe con leche.
If you visit just one museum in Madrid, make it this one. The Museo Nacional del Prado was built in 1785 and houses a unique collection of masterpieces by the likes of Goya, Raphael, Greco, Bosch and others. From Renaissance paintings to Roman and Greek statues, the Prado Museum is really one of the world’s greatest collections of artistic works. For only a handful of euros, wander among the most famous works of art in art history.
Located just behind the Prado, Retiro Park lures visitors and locals alike who want to escape the city and enjoy a moment or two of peace and quiet in its gardens. The Velazquez Palace and the Crystal Palace are right in the heart of the park will certainly delight lovers of Spanish architecture. In the little lake, you can rent a small rowboat where you can paddle along, between the ducks. It’s a great spot to eat lunch as well.
San Miguel Market
Truly a crossroads of cultures, the San Miguel Market is really something to see. The recently restored Beaux-Arts marketplace is a really traditional market for the 21st century, with over 30 vendors under its wood and iron roof. Shop for everything from fresh fruits and veg, fish, fresh pasta, tapas, bread, freshly picked olives and wine… just about everything you need for a picnic in Retiro Park!
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Supporters of Real Madrid won’t be able to stay away from this place. Take in the panoramic view of the stadium, visit the locker rooms, and follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in football on the field.
For a complete visit, you can also visit the Reina Sofia Museum where the famous Guernica painting by Pablo Picasso is located in its own gallery. Catch a flamenco performance in the Lettres district and taste some of the delicious tapas in Malasaña, Salamanca and Chueca. Make the most of the long and sunny days, and then don’t forget the nightlife. Madrid awaits!