Madrid, Spain: a city pulsing with life
A flight into Spain’s largest and busiest airport gives travellers their first taste of what to expect from this vibrant, electric capital. Madrid is Europe’s city that never sleeps.
Centuries of patronage by the Spanish royals provide Madrid with an astonishingly rich artistic pedigree. The city’s museums are full of Spanish masterpieces by the country’s greats, like Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Goya and Velázquez. The Museo Nacional del Prado, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reine Sofía, and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza are three that should most definitely not be missed.
Since its creation, Plaza Mayor has witnessed everything from royal coronations to executions. Now the grand arcaded square in the centre of the city plays host to locals and tourists who want a leisurely experience of Madrid life.
Is there anything more Spanish than bullfighting and flamenco? Madrid has perfected the art of both. Plaza Monumental de Toros de Las Ventas is the focal point of Spain’s bullfighting tradition, and is in fact the most important and esteemed bullfighting ring in the world.
The most authentic flamenco shows are performed at tablaos, or restaurants with stages. Casa Patas is respected by even the most discerning aficionados, while Cardamomo brings in a younger, livelier crowd.
Visitors to Madrid love eating in the oldest restaurant in the world. Established in 1725, Restaurant Sobrino de Botín serves up a luscious cochinillo (suckling pig) and was even featured in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.
For a more modern atmosphere, gourmands dine at Vi Cool, the nerve centre for master chef Sergi Arola’s culinary creativity.
Discover the best addresses in Madrid in our web séries.