Top highlights in Madrid

Plaza Mayor de Madrid 02 The gorgeous cosmopolitan city of Madrid is located in the center of Spain. Visitors there will be able to enjoy the (capital) city’s cultural landmarks, plus its selection of fresh traditional food and trips to nearby historical towns.

Art museums and cultural landmarks.

The city is known for its variety of ancient buildings, churches and museums. The three main museums are the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum. Together, they form the Golden Triangle of Museums, which is located in the city center steps away from the centric Atocha train station and the Retiro Park.

Visitors can enjoy a coffee with a view at the Circulo de Bellas Artes, the Circle of Fine Arts. This cultural center is located in the center of Madrid and its cafeteria has views towards the main streets. Another place to take in the city’s main streets from above is the Palacio de las Comunicaciones, a white Gothic building that is now part of the town hall.

The city’s parks.

After touring the city, visitors should spend an afternoon walking around one of the city’s parks. The main park, located next to the Golden Triangle of Museums, is the Retiro Park. It has many garden paths lined with ancient statues and stone fountains. There is a pond in the center where visitors will be able to rent rowing boats. Next to the pond is the Crystal Palace, a large building made from glass and steel where many exhibitions are organized. The park has several terraces where you can grab a drink, and there are stalls selling candy and salty treats.

Another main park is the Casa de Campo, an ancient hunting estate located west of the city center. This large park has several areas designed for team sports, jogging paths and a lake. The city’s Parque de Atracciones theme park and the aquarium and zoo are located on the park grounds.

The historical city center.

When planning a trip visitors should keep in mind that there are many ways of exploring this city. Madrid can be explored on a double decker bus that has two routes, one that takes visitors around the city center and another that takes them around the main streets, including the Castellana boulevard that is located north of the city center. The city’s public transport network is affordable and simple to use.

Madrid is manageable by foot. The centric Puerta de Sol is a popular meeting spot. The square has many historical landmarks, ranging from the Town Hall and the fountains to the bear and madroƱo tree statue that is considered to be the city’s symbol. From here, visitors can walk to the Plaza Mayor, another main square where the buildings have many balconies. A short walk away visitors will find the Plaza de Oriente square and the Royal Palace located on the square.

The food.

The city’s gastronomical scene is known for its variety. Visitors will be able to enjoy a selection of traditional tapas, appetizers that are served with each drink ordered. Some of the most famous tapas bars are located in the La Latina neighbourhood, which is a just short walk from the city center. Some of the most typical tapas are montaditos, pieces of bread that can be filled with a variety of chesses, hams, peppers and tortilla potato omelet. There are many varieties of tapas, ranging from green asparagus served with thick salt to chorizo ham served with olive oil and garlic.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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