Madrid may be the capital of Spain, but it is a dynamic cultural capital as well. With museums renowned the world over, stunning architectural reminders of its royal past, and a nightlife to rival all others, you'll find enough to do here to fill several trips. For prime access to all of the city's best sites, book a room at one of our boutique Madrid hotels, where our attentive staff will ensure you're rested, relaxed, and ready to embrace the day.
Begin your tour of Madrid in Museum Triangle. Here you'll find the Museo del Prado, which houses one of the most extensive and respected art collections in the world. Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, Italian and German masterpieces are all on display. The nearby Reina Sofía National Museum and Art Center is a must for all Picasso, Miro, Kandinsky and Dali fans, while the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art features work by Monet, Goya, Renoir, Degas and Van Gogh, as well as more Picasso.
Outside of the artistic sphere, other notable museums and centers include the Museo de América, Museo de Lazaro Galdiano, the National Archeology Museum, and the Planetario de Madrid, which together feature historic colonial artifacts, fascinating archaeological finds, and of course, the stars. Or, if it's royal glory you see to explore, don't miss the Palacio Real, once of the largest palaces in Europe and the current setting for many state ceremonies.
The best way to get outside in Madrid is to explore the city's many plazas, which feature stately clock towers, bustling markets, intimidating statues and regal architecture. Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel and Plaza de España are all well worth a visit. Alternatively, El Retiro Park, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Parque del Capricho and Rosaleda del Parque del Oeste are all excellent choices for a picnic or a stroll.
If you're looking to exercise that credit card, Madrid's shopping scene won't disappoint. Check out El Rastro or the Fuencarral Market for homemade goods, street performances, clothes, shoes and accessories. Alternatively, head to Las Rozas Village Chic Outlet Shopping for some great steals on designer duds.
Culture vultures, sports fans and nightlife lovers will find much to enjoy in Madrid. Indulge in the romance of a flamenco show, take in a world class performance of the Spanish National Orchestra, cheer for the dominant Real Madrid football (soccer) team, or catch the hottest band at any number of clubs and bars. The nightclubs are abundant here, as are the many tapas bars, featuring small bites with every drink. If you're looking for something a little more substantial, head to La Latina neighborhood for some satisfying eats. Look out for Gallinejas and Entresijos (a lamb dish), Callos a la Madrileña (hot pot tripe) and Cocido Madrileño (chickpea stew) for a taste of the region's specialties.
Madrid is easily reached by bus, plane or train. When you arrive, ensure you've got a welcoming smile to greet you by booking into one our boutique hotels in Madrid. Here you can kick up your feet in style while enjoying close proximity to all of the city's top sites.