Madrid is a city known for its food, its streets filled with boutiques, and its historical monuments. Come visit this gem located in central Spain, soak up some sun, and don’t forget the obligatory tapas tour around the city centre.
Tapas are traditional Spanish appetizers. These appetizers are served in almost every bar across the country, and each region has its own distinct ways of cooking and presenting tapas. In Madrid, tapas are a mix of delicious southern simplicity and of northern mar y montaña, sea and mountain, products.
There are many official guided tapas tours organized around some of the city’s most traditional establishments. If you are not the tour type, just follow the locals and don’t be surprised when they migrate from one bar to the next- after all, tapas is not only about eating, it is about socializing. Start in any bar in the city center, order a caña beer and enjoy the complimentary olives. Then switch to the next bar, for another beer and a plate of montaditos, pieces of bread topped with fresh local ingredients that can range from vegetables to fried fish. Most famous bars are located south of the city center, in the La Latina district. The Plaza de Santa Ana in the nearby Huertas district is another popular tapas spot, and is filled with terraces. There are many bars, clubs and discos nearby.
Explore the city center
Madrid is one of those cities that can be explored on foot, especially when you stay in one of the central hotels. Either way, after reserving a trip to Madrid it is recommended to have an itinerary around the narrow streets peppered with squares that can be found around the city centre. The city center is located around the Puerta del Sol, a popular meeting spot where the city’s symbol, a statue of a bear climbing up a madroño tree is located. Follow the crowds to the Plaza Mayor, another famous square, before heading to the nearby Royal Palace. Guided tours are organized around the palace, which has more than two thousand rooms decorated with pieces of art by Goya and Velazquez.
After exploring the historical city center, walk towards the Cibeles Square. This area is the Golden Triangle of Museums, where visitors will find the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum. These three museums are known for their extensive art collections. If you want to enjoy views towards the city center, climb up to the cafeteria of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, a cultural center located in the area.
Shopaholics and the streets of Madrid
Those who enjoy shopping will soon realize Madrid’s shopping potential and will be compelled to book a trip to this ideal destination for a city break. The main street is the Gran Vía, one of the city’s main streets and most popular places to visit. The street is filled with large stores, local brands and international boutiques. Two streets perpendicular to the Gran Vía offer an even larger variety of shops. Those streets are Fuencarral and Hortaleza, which are known for their variety of designer boutiques selling clothes by young local designers, stores filled with international brands and several vintage shops.