Culture, a beach and boundless energy
You'll arrive here if travelling from the UK on Eurostar.
You'll arrive here if travelling from the UK, via Paris.
Tapas, museums, majestic palaces…the Spanish capital is sure to entertain.
Tourists flock to Gran Via. During the day shoppers and sightseers are in their element, drinking in the splendid Art Nouveau and Art Deco facades and elegant boutiques. Of an evening the Gran Via is jam-packed with people heading to the numerous cinemas, theatres, nightclubs and bars.
There are many eye-catching buildings for you to snap away at. The Carrion, on the corner of Gran Via and Calle de Jacometrezo, is Madrid's first tower block. The Telefonica Building dominates the city skyline. The French-designed Edificio Metropolis marks the southern end of Gran Via and boasts a stunning winged victory statue atop its dome.
The Buen Retiro Park is filled with majestic sculptures and monuments, galleries and a massive artificial lake to go boating on. Stroll around the park at your leisure. On the shores of the lake you'll find the Palacio de Cristal; a beautiful glass building used to house exhibitions. Don't miss the Rosaleda Garden where the Fountain of the Falling Angel (apparently it represents Lucifer falling from heaven…) sits.
If you are with the kids look out for signs for Titirilandia (Puppet Land) in the northwest of the park.
Tip: If the weather's nice it's the perfect place to have a picnic away from the busy streets of the city.
The masterpieces by Goya and Velazquez are the museum's highlights but the gallery is home to over 7000 paintings so plan a whole day or, better still, a couple of visits.
Goya's art can be found on all 3 floors but best to start in rooms 64 and 65 on the ground floor - here you'll find El Dos de Mayo and El Tres de Mayo, 2 of the most emblematic of Madrid paintings.
Velazquez's most famous painting can be found in room 12, Las Meninas (the Maids of Honour).
© Kaos03-Sime, Raccanello Sandra-Sime, AGE, Herbert Kehrer-Bridge, Chris Seba-Mauritius, Calle Montes, Sandra Raccanello-Sime, Guid Albert Rossi-Tips.