Madrid is not only the capital of Spain, it’s also known as the cultural heart of the country. Its artistic heritage is partly down to the rich back catalogue of famous artists who have come from the city, including Goya and Velázquez, and unsurprisingly there are plenty of museums and galleries that pay homage to this in the city.
Aside from the cultural hotspots, the city is awash with gorgeous restaurants and bars, catering for anything from high-end dining to intimate eateries in atmospheric buildings. It hosts a lively nightlife scene, and has beautiful architecture.
You’re ideal city break in Madrid might start off with a visit to Bernabéu Stadium. Home to Real Madrid and a certifiable football mecca. On the other end of the scale, you can pop across to the Royal Palace of Madrid to admire the elaborate architecture and wander through the lavishly appointed rooms, or take a stroll down the picturesque and leafy Paseo del Prado, stopping in at boutiques and cafés along the way.
For a really laid-back afternoon, head to the lovely landscaped Retiro Park, or you could even pop to the old market, known as the Mercado San Miguel, to grab a snack.
Culture and entertainment
From the world-class Prado Museum displaying with works spanning the centuries including those of Goya, Velasquez and Ruben, to the small and intriguing Sorolla Museum showing the artist’s work in his own home, Madrid is a perfect destination for art enthusiasts.
Among the other great museums is the Reina Sofia Museum exhibiting Picasso and Salvador Dali’s works. And if you’d like to extend your cultural trip into the evening book in to see a show at The Royal Theatre or watch a comedy at El Canto de la Cabra.
Dining and bars
Madrid has a great and varied dining and nightlife scene, so you can have lots of fun exploring the city and seeking out your new favourite places.
One of the best ways is to see what’s near you. The streets are lined with hidden gems and curious little nightlife spots. But to start you off with some ideas, popular places include Alright which serves American food, El Jardin del InterContinental for a gorgeous fusion of cuisines, Maitia if you fancy a relaxed bistro, and Eiffel for Spanish dishes.
When it comes to grabbing a drink, some top picks would have to include Fatigas del Querer for local wines and tapas, the darkly atmospheric Near Lavapiés, and Il Morto Che Parla if you’d like to keep the party going into the later hours.