Madrid Hotels Articles

April 28, 2010

Destinations: A visitors guide to Madrid, Spain

Madrid, the capital of Spain is located in the heart of the country. It is rich with architecture and wide avenues. It is relatively compact and that makes exploring this great city and enjoying its ambience easier.

Spring and autumn is the best time to visit Madrid. Madrid faces rough weather in terms of extremities they say that Madrid has 3 months of bad weather and 9 months of awful weather. This is not entirely true. The summers are harsh and the cold winds of the winter are not easy to bear. Typically most “Madrileos” head for the coasts or mountains to escape the extremities.

There are plenty of fine cafes, bars and restaurants in Madrid that cater to all kinds of tastes for all times of the day. Madrid being a very cosmopolitan place does not have an ethnic cuisine in particular to offer but that does not take away from the fact that one can get to taste fine food in Madrid. Restaurants in Madrid offer excellent quality. One must also get a taste of the specialist tapas bars and the hidden restaurants that offer gastronomic delights.

The famous Prado Museum which is a perfect example of neoclassical architecture houses Spain’s finest works of art such as those of Velazquez, Goya, El Greco, Murillo, Zurbaran, Rafael and Rubens amongst others and this is well complemented by the The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the “Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofa”, The Queen Sophia Museum of Modern Art.

Behind the Prado is the huge expanse of the Parque de Retiro; this is a perfect retreat from the heat and the dust of the traffic. This is adjacent to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Close by, those travelling by train to or from the Atocha Station have also the indoor botanical gardens to visit.

The Royal Palace, “El Palacio Real”, and the wonderful Sabatini Gardens are a traveller’s delight, while the Plaza de la Cibeles is believed to be the heart of Madrid. Amidst the two is the Plaza Major with its statue of Felipe III on horseback in the middle. It is off the Calle Major close to the Puerta del Sol and though large, it is mysteriously missed by most tourists.

The main shopping street is the Gran Via. This is a shoppers’ paradise! The latest lines in fashion mix with the artisans and craft shops on this long street. With its nearby streets and side alleys combined with long opening hours, Gran Via is a shoppers dream.

The great “Plaza de Toros Monumental de Las Ventas.”, is the largest bull fighting ring in Spain. Recently, live

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