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Madrid Sights and Landmarks Guide, Spain

If you’re looking for an exotic European holiday with equal amounts of cultural exposure and wild fun, look no further than Madrid. The Spanish capital is a large, sprawling, contemporary as well as historical metropolis that will provide you with many opportunities for light hearted entertainment as well as serious sightseeing. April and May are the best time to visit, since summers are too hot and winters can get uncomfortably cold. Traditionally, the people of Madrid would shut down their shops for siestas during the hot afternoons, but this is no longer a common practice, except with the smaller shops. 

Art buffs throng to the Museo del Prado, widely considered to be one of the best museums in the world, and containing priceless works by master artists such as Goya, Caravaggio and Bosch. Close to the museum is the delightful Paseo del Prado, a walking path peppered with fountains that is ideal for a leisurely stroll. The fascinating collection at the National Archeology Museum features the lineage of Spanish civilization, and is absorbing viewing for the casual visitor as well as the history aficionado. Both these museums are closed on Mondays. Puerta del Sol is the center of the city and has the famous iconic statue of a bear climbing a tree. 

Madrid is rumored to have the wildest nightlife scene in all of Europe, if not in the world, and it is estimated that it is the European city with the most number of bars. Bars and clubs in popular areas such as the Gran Via and the Malasaña district often remain open until well past sunrise, with patrons staying as ‘late’ as breakfast time.

Salamanca district is the place for high end and designer shopping. El Rastro is the weekly flea market where you can get just about anything, and Sunday morning is the time to go there. The central park El Retiro is great for boating and for viewing the fabulous Crystal Palace, an elaborate structure made completely of glass.

Madrid is well connected by rail to other significant European cities such as Barcelona, Paris, Zurich and Lisbon. It also has an intricate bus network to help you get around inexpensively, while car rental operators are plentiful as well. The Metrobus or underground local rail system is also a popular means of transport, and you can purchase Metrobus tickets for discounted rides. Taxis are fairly expensive, and bicycling is best enjoyed in the parks due to the dearth of cycles on the roads and the heavy traffic.

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Read our members' reviews about Madrid

  • TudiA visit to Santiago Bernabeu stadium
    review by Tudi posted more then 30 days ago
    The gallery above is from April 2008, during my trip through Spain. I ended up in Madrid for a couple of days, visiting some friends, without any real travelling plan. As a football fan though, it's hard to visit Madrid and not feel the urge to at least see from the outside the Cathedral of...
  • cipristbMadrid attractions: the Prado Museum
    review by cipristb posted more then 30 days ago
    Prado Museum is included in the top 10 most beautiful museums in the world. It was inaugurated in 1819. The museum is located in a building from the time of Charles The third. This building houses the most interesting collections of European art. Even if it was founded as a museum of sculpture...
  • cipristbShort trip to the Escorial Palace, Madrid
    review by cipristb posted more then 30 days ago
    The Escorial Palace is located in the Madrid region 50 km from it. It is a huge building-sized, with a imposing past made to commemorate the victory of the Battle of San Quintin Its construction started in 1563 under the command of King Philip the Second and completed in 1584. The building is...
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Read our members' travel tips about Madrid

  • davidsbeenhereStadium Santiago Bernabeu
    travel tip by davidsbeenhere posted more then 30 days ago
    Ever heard of the best soccer team in the world? if you have that you might know that there team is located in Madrid, Spain. Stadium Santiago Bernabeu has been home to the Real Madrid since Dec 14, 1947 and has been the center piece for...
  • zsoldicsaPlaza del Cibeles
    travel tip by zsoldicsa posted more then 30 days ago
    Plaza del Cibeles (Cybeles Square) is the most beautiful part of Madrid. It is surrounded by huge and impressive buildings. In the center of the square there is a huge fountain featuring Cybeles, fertility goddess on her chariot...
  • pamsplaceThe chocolate factory and other fascinating sights
    travel tip by pamsplace posted more then 30 days ago
    A very walkable cosmopolitan city and extremely pleasant in February. Fantastic food, fun and great people, be sure to take a walking tour of the chocolate factory.
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