A City Guide To Madrid.
Tourist Information: www.spain.info
Majestic and Cosmopolitan Madrid. The capital of Spain since 1561. Madrid has exquisite architecture, elegant squares and beautiful broad tree-lined boulevards all dominated by Renaissance, Neoclassical and Romantic architecture. Madrid is one of the most vibrant cities in the world with a long and fascinating history and a friendly population.
Places of interest in Madrid: The city is best explored by foot, however there is an excellent metro underground system linking the city's major attractions. Visit the spectacular Royal Palace and the famous Museo del Prado which houses one of the worlds largest and impressive collections of paintings by many European masters. (Goya, El Greco, Murillo). Call in at the Thyssen-Bornemisza contemporary art gallery and the Reina Sofia (Picasso, Dali and Miro) museums, all located within the 'Art Triangle'.
Visit one of the many parks, especially the tranquil Retiro Park which provides a great haven in the warm summer months and is ideal for a gentle pre-dinner stroll. Stroll along from the Plaza Mayor from the heart of old Madrid which lies below the Gran Via and stop at one of the many pavement cafes for a refreshing drink and relax while the city intensively drifts by.
Try the Panoramic Madrid guided tour, a guided tour of the contrasting aspects of the city. Includes both the old quarter and new Madrid with its elegant shopping streets. Compare discount Flight prices for Madrid. For the best flight deals departing from all major UK airports start searching now and book online for instant confirmation and low prices, guaranteed.
Visit Goya's Tomb, known as Goya's Sistine Chapel is located in the Glorieta de San Antonio de la Florida. Goya painted the dome and cupola of the chapel with a fresco. Mirrors have been placed in strategic places of the chapel to give better glimpses of his art work, with the chapel containing the artist's tomb.
What to buy: The famous Rastro flea market near Latina metro station is worth a visit for it's colourful bustling atmosphere, traditional crafts and other bargains. The main shopping is to be found along the Gran Via and the Puerto del Sol. Best buys include leather, wines, ceramics and fashion.
Large department stores are located in the vicinity of the Puerta del Sol and on the streets of Princesa, Goya and Castellana. The department store El Corte Ingles has all that you could need.
Nightlife in Madrid: Excellent traditional restaurants line the Costa del Sol and the more exclusive Salamanca district. You should dine late in Madrid (around 10pm) in order to experience the real Spain. Restaurants and tapas bars are open till late and provide a wide variety of local delicacies.
Try the Plaza Oriente for traditional restaurants, the Plaza Santa Ana and Paseo de la Castellana districts are open till late and have many trendy bars and pavement cafes. There are plenty of bars with live music which stay open until 2am when the true nightclubs are just opening.
Events in Madrid: National ballet season. Madrid Jazz festival. Music and Dance festival.
Public transport in Madrid: Taxis - Oficina Municipal del Taxi is the governing body for taxis in Madrid. City taxis - white with a diagonal red stripe and a green light on the roof - are available for hire at ranks or on the street. As soon as you enter the taxi, check that the meter is not already running as this is an occasional scam to overcharge passengers.
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