Because of its diversity and cultureSpain is one of the most attractive destinations in the world. A country boasting good living, its people enjoy outdoor life and with family and friends.
Spain is diverse, with each region having its own traditions and cuisine. A land of wines and joy, of flamenco, dances and traditions. Spain always surprises those who visit it.
On top of its amazing and varied culture, and along with the warmth of its people, you will discover a country of contrasts, of alluring cities and incredible natural scenery. Travel to the centre of this bountiful peninsula to discover Castilian Spain. Unearth Northern Spain's magical locations that include amazing grasslands and green forests, watered by the Atlantic sea.
Or its Mediterranean coast and islands, fresh and green, where the sea breeze will give you an unforgettable stay. Without forgetting the richness of Andalusia, famous inspiration artists like Hemingway.
Spain, an enchanting country whose inspiration is truly intoxicating.
Description of the area
Madrid is a city passionate about life. Its visitors rapidly become addicted to the charm of the city. The Spanish capital is a cosmopolitan city that blends modernity with a great cultural and artistic heritage. It is one of the financial, economic and cultural centres of the nation.
Art and culture are prominent in Madrid. The capital has 73 museums, including the Prado Museum, one of the most important art galleries in the world; the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, with over 800 m2 of paintings, sculptures and tapestries and the Reina Sofía National Art Centre, dedicated to contemporary Spanish art, with works from Picasso, Joan Miró or Salvador Dalí, among others.
Madrid never sleeps. Another of its main attractions is its varied recreation opportunities. Enjoy its lively nightlife and the great atmosphere in bars, pubs, discos and flamenco clubs. Madrid is a living city where you can enjoy concerts, exhibitions, ballet, and a selected array of theatre productions. You will also be able to taste the best Spanish and international cuisine.
Madrid boasts a rich cuisine, with traditional dishes including cocido madrileño (Madrid stew), potaje de garbanzos (chickpea stew), guisos de legumbres (vegetable stew), callos a la madrileña (Madrid-style tripe), garlic soup, Spanish tortilla (potato omelette), as well as delicious lamb and veal recipes.
Despite the fact that Madrid is not on the sea, its cooking abounds with traditional fish recipes, especially baked sea bream and cod. This is because of it being central and capital of the country, Madrid has always received the best fish from the Spanish coast.
And nothing could be more pleasant than accompanying dinner with local wine, the young, fruity, and aromatic reds, rosés, and whites which are known as "the wines of Madrid" having been recently awarded `designation of origin´. Not to mention the traditional distilled spirits, including the anisettes from Chinchón.
Traditional sweets include "Roscos del Santo" (Saint's sweetbread), which are eaten during the celebration of Saint Isidro, the city's patron saint.
In Madrid, these are the must-see attractions:
- Royal Palace: official residence of King Juan Carlos I, although he does actually not live there. Visit the impressive rooms
- Gran Vía-Plaza España: 100 years of history in a single street. With its buildings and leisure opportunities as well as unmissable shops
- Plaza Mayor: its porticoed style is wonderful and the history it contains is well worth a visit
- Almudena Cathedral: Opposite the Royal Palace, the Cathedral, a modern but stylish building
- Calle and Puerta de Alcalá: The most famous gateway to Madrid and one of the most elegant avenues in the city
- Plaza de Cibeles: The spectacular Cibeles fountain is in the centre of the square. There is an impressive palace on every corner
- Puerta del Sol: The heart not only of Madrid, but also of Spain. Admire the clock and discover all the streets leading to it
- Retiro Park: The lungs of Madrid. A place to relax and enjoy the fresh air. A park to lose yourself in
- the Prado Museum: The most important museum in Madrid and one of the worlds foremost art collections
- Centro de Arte Reina Sofía: Guernica is its most important work, but there are other wonders that should not to be missed. Picasso, Dalí and Miró
- Thyssen Bornemisza Museum: One of the world's most important private collections including every style
Madrid transcends fashion and makes an impression due to the quantity and quality of its offerings. At the Puerta del Sol and the Plaza Mayor you will find local craft shops, in the Salamanca District you will discover the most exquisite and luxurious firms, and in the Fuencarral District and along the Gran Vía you will find the most daring and modern fashion. Madrid is a fabulous city for shopping.