Five things to do in Madrid


Photo credit: cuellar via photopin cc

The city of Madrid is located in the center of Spain, only a train ride away from architectural Barcelona and the seaside resort of Malaga. The city is known for its culture and its nightlife.

Spend an afternoon in a museum.

The city has many cultural attractions and museums. Near the city center visitors will find some of the city’s most famous museums. The Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum are located near the center.

A short walk away visitors will find the Naval Museum. Near Columbus Square, the Plaza de Colón, visitors will find the National Archaeological Museum and the Wax Museum.

Enjoy a selection of tapas.

Tapas are local appetizers that are usually served with each drink ordered. Typical tapas range from patatas bravas spicy potatoes to pimientos de padrón, spicy peppers. Visitors will be able to enjoy tapas and their larger versions, raciones, in most of the city’s bars. Some of the city’s most famous tapas bars are located in the La Latina area, a neighbourhood south of the city center. This area has several backpacker hostels and boutique hotels, many cultural centers and discos.

Party until dawn.

After tasting several varieties of tapas in several bars visitors can enjoy the city’s nightlife. There are many clubs, discos and lounges. In the Malasaña neighbourhood, located near the main Gran Via street, visitors will find many hip clubs and lounges frequented by alternative DJs. In the La Latina district there are many tapas bars and several clubs. The centric Barrio de las Letras has several squares with terraces where visitors will be able to enjoy a drink before spending the rest of the night at one of the neighbourhood’s karaoke clubs.

Walk around the city center.

This city can be explored on foot, and the city’s main landmarks are located near the city center. Visitors will be able to tour the Royal Palace and the palace’s Sabatini gardens before visiting the city’s main cathedral, the Almudena Cathedral. A short walk away visitors will find the Plaza Mayor square and the Puerta de Sol square, where the city’s symbol of a bear climbing up a madroño tree is located. After a walk around the nearby streets, which are filled with bars, restaurants and shops, visitors can walk down to the Gran Vía street. This area has many bars and cafés located next to shops. Another nearby square is the Plaza de España, a popular meeting spot decorated with a statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

Take the cable car.

There are many parks in this city. The Retiro Park, located near the city center and the Alcala Gate, is one of the city’s most famous spots. This park has a pond where visitors can rent rowing boats and there are many gardens and paths lined with statues. Another main park is the Casa de Campo, an ancient hunting estate located west of the city. This park can be reached by public transport, by several roads and by cable car. The Teleférico cable car connects the centric district of Moncloa to this park. During the ride visitors will be able to enjoy the views towards the city center on one side and the large green park on the other side. There is a lake, several picnic areas, a theme park with roller coasters and a zoo inside the park.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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