There is an old-school elegance to Madrid, and you can see it as you wander along the tree-lined Paseo del Prado, stroll through the upscale Salamanca neighbourhood with its Retiro Park oasis, savour a strong cup of Spanish coffee in the Plaza Mayor, and explore the glittering business district crowned by the enormous leaning Kio Towers a stone's throw from the famous Santiago Bernabeu football stadium. Madrid's Golden Triangle of art museums, formed by the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Reina Sofia, are fully worth wandering through to gaze upon famous works by Goya, Picasso, and Velázquez. Follow in the footsteps of royalty at the Palacio Real and explore the varied wares at the famous Sunday Rastro Market before heading back to one of our hotels in Madrid for some much-needed rest.
Food & Drink:
Madrileños love their meat, and above all, ham is king. In many a bar, you'll be greeted by the sight of hundreds of hams hanging from the ceiling, waiting to be thinly sliced and served up solo. Check out the tapas bars in the central Plaza de Santa Ana or along the posh Calle de Ponzano, or dig into a traditional bocadillo de calamares (a submarine sandwich filled with fried squid rings) and sip a glass of sangria or tinto de verano. If you're visiting when the weather turns chilly, there's nothing better than tucking in to a steaming bowl of cocido madrileño, a stew made with chickpeas and tender beef and sausage.
Off the Beaten Track:
Everyone knows the museums of the Golden Triangle, but the lesser known cultural centres of El Matadero and La Tabacalera offer an awesome glimpse of alternative art, while the intimate garden and home of the Museo Sorolla offers up the masterpieces of the artist's dreamy beach scenes. For a peek into the past, try visiting Andén 0, or 'the ghost platform,' to see a perfectly preserved 1960's metro station.
The only piece left in the puzzle is to choose one of our hotels in Madrid, and your Spanish holiday will be well underway!