Spain‘s glamorous capital city is well-known as a glamorous destination, home to VIPs and celebrities from Penelope Cruz to Elton John. With a rich cultural and artistic heritage, vibrant nightlife and a range of excellent Madrid hotels for all travellers, it’s one of Europe’s top destinations for a luxurious break away. Here’s what you can expect in the district.
Madrid has a vast royal history, and boasts a number of attractions across the city relating to the Spanish Empire and its influences, including the Royal Palace and the new, modern cathedral. The Old City is the best place for history and heritage, with the museum district and a number of monuments to visit. If museums aren’t really your thing, you can soak up just as much of the city’s atmosphere and modern culture by taking a walk through the Puerta del Sol plaza, a popular meeting place for tourists and locals alike and a hub of activity throughout the year.
Art-lovers in Madrid should start at the Reina Sofia National Museum and Art Centre, which houses the country’s biggest modern art collection including famous Picasso pieces, and provides an excellent introduction to the city’s creative past. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art offers a further collection containing masterpieces by Monet, Degas and Van Gogh, while the smaller Caixa Forum offers contemporary art and garden design. Madrid’s gardens are a delight to explore – make sure you don’t miss the Parque del Capricho, built in a heavy Romantic style with lakes, fountains and palatial squares.
Food and drink
Madrid’s dining scene encompasses the very best of Spanish cuisine, even offering seafood to rival the best restaurants in the coastal cities of Valencia and Barcelona. Splash out and visit Botín, the world’s oldest restaurant and a favourite of the late writer Ernest Hemingway, or Casa Lucio, frequented by the Spanish Royal family and their guests. Alternatively, relax with cocktails and bite-sized portions at one of the city’s many tapas bars. If you’re looking for a glitzy nightlife, you’re definitely in the right city – enjoy live jazz at Café Central, taste your way through the top fortified wines at The Sherry Corner, or hit the dance floor at the ultra-exclusive Palacio Gaviria.