What Madrid may lack in exquisite architecture when compared to other cities in Spain, it makes up for this in its wealthy and vibrant arts and cultural scene, energetic lifestyle, and a hedonistic and all consuming nightlife environment!
It would be unfair to slot Madrid as just a cultural destination. Madrid is a true cosmopolitan with pubs, clubs, cafes, discotheques, and fine dining restaurants, a contrast of lifestyles and ideologies, and an exhausting party circuit.
Madrid holds the distinction of being the capital of Spain since 1562. Moreover, it’s located on the geographic center of this Iberian Peninsula. Added to this, the central location and high altitude of the city, makes sure that the summers are warm and dry while the winters are cool and pleasant.
A historical city, it has many great monuments and among them stand tall, the medieval center that dates back to the Habsburg Empire and the famous Prado Museum. Although, many visitors come to Madrid, with an unbridled eagerness, for the famous art palaces dotting the cityscape, they none-the-less find themselves totally seduced by peculiar and decrepit museums scattered around the city. Some others travel across miles, to experience the revelry of the traditional tapas bars and binge on the numerous gastronomical offering in this historical city.
This relatively little-known city gained over-night recognition when Philip II concurred to make it his capital, back in the 16th Century. Although the walls of the fell in 1860, Madrid we see now, is still the hot seat of power and bureaucracy. Madrid can be mapped based on three prime reference points – the Puerta del Sol, the city’s out-and-out centre; the Plaza Mayor, nucleus of the Golden Age; and the splendid Plaza de Cibeles, with its awesome display of architecture wealth.
The big three museums, also referred to ask the ‘Golden Triangle’ – the Prado Museum, on the city’s ‘Museum Mile’ and one of Spain’s main attractions, is well-known for its astonishing collections of works from Renaissance masters; while the Thyssen Museum is the home to the eclectic and extensive range of private Western art collections; and the last of the trio, Sofia Museum is devoted to the extraordinary variety of modern art in Spain by Miro, Dali, and Picasso among others.
Prevent yourself from an overdose of art and visit the Plaza de Toros, the largest bullring in Spain, and catch the bullfighting action absolutely live! For those of you, who are less bloodthirsty, participate in the overpowering Mexican wave as the players of Real Madrid or Atletico de Madrid try to bend it like Beckham.
After such intense action, a good bite is just what your tired body will need. Head to the Botin Restaurant. Touted by the Guinness Book of Records, as being the oldest restaurant in the world, you are kept in august company, for this is the place were Goya worked before he became a painter, while Hemingway pronounced it to be his favorite restaurant.
Whatever is your choice of enjoyment, one thing is for sure, you may leave a bit surprised but you will most probably not leave disappointed.