As you’d expect from any capital of an Empire as expansive as the Spanish, Madrid really is immensely vast. And with such wealth and power comes great architecture, great art and great food, and this city is packed with it. Madrid has several stunning palaces, such as the enormous Royal Palace and the breath-taking Palacio de Cibeles, as well as an unrivalled Metropolis perfect for shopping and sight-seeing. The Tartan Roof bar atop the Circulo de Bellas Artes in the city centre gives a 360 degree view which reveals just how huge the city is, as it stretches as far as the eye can see. Madrid also boasts some of Spain’s finest art galleries and museums, especially the world renowned Do Prado Museum. This giant exhibits so many of Spain’s most beloved artists; Goya, Velázquez, Picasso, Dalí and Miró all titivate the walls of Do Prado. Mercado San Miguel is one of the finest food markets in Europe, and restaurants everywhere serve gorgeous Spanish cuisine. Plaza Mayor sits in the heart of Madrid, an elegant and regal square significant throughout the country’s history which has seen bull-fighting, executions and weddings in equal measure.
Where is it?
Madrid is located almost exactly in the centre of Spain, in the district of the same name.
What is it?
Truly one of the world’s major global cities, Madrid is an influential city on so many levels; political, social, fashion and art. This makes it a truly significant capital, and it holds so many of the best facets of Spanish life, from Flamenco to Picasso.
Best time to visit?
The best time to visit Madrid is in springtime from March to May, as this avoids the sweltering summer heat and the thousands of tourists which descend on the city.
The Parque del Retiro is where the people of Madrid retreat from the hustle and bustle of the hectic city centre. It’s easy to see why, as the park is home to a large lake which is towered over by an incredible monument to Alfonso XII, as well as an impressive garden palace made entirely from glass.