Madrid Hotels Articles

July 31, 2010

Madrid A Guide To The Key Sites And Monuments

Spain s capital has enjoyed a serious boom as a city break destination on the last decade. The proliferation of cheap flights has made more and more European cities accessible to weekend travellers. Often overshadowed by the Catalan capital, Barcelona , Madrid is now showing what it has to offer and, more importantly, sharing it with foreign visitors.Next stop is the Palacio Real; Madrid s royal palace is a monument to the classical Italian baroque style. Charles III was the first king to take residence here in 1714. The grand building has a, seemingly absurd, count of 3,000 rooms. The most famous of these is the Throne Room with its sumptuous decorations. Visitors should also pay heed to the gardens, in particular the Jardine de Sabatini, which was added to the Palace complex in the 1930s and can provide a bit of peaceful seclusion away from the bustle of the city centre.For a bit of greenery and a shaded stroll then theres no better place than the magnificent Parque del Buen Retiro; Madrids most central park. This verdant expanse covers 350 acres and includes formal gardens, fountains, playgrounds and cafes. There is even a lake where locals and tourists can clash oars on the water. All in all, the perfect place for a picnic or for the kids to let off some steam bear in mind that the park closes at 10.30pm every evening.One final stop on our tour takes us a little way out of Madrid s centre to the home of one of the worlds most famous football teams. The Santiago Bernabeu stadium has been home to Real Madrid CF since 1947 and the 80,000 seater stadium is an impressive site whether youre a fan of football or not. The stadium houses and excellent museum and is open most days for tours where you get the chance to see the stadium from the main stand and entrance into the playing tunnel and even the changing rooms.

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