Planning a European travel usually include Spain, a vacation in Madrid in particular if you are into arts and museums. Madrid is the capital city of Spain. It has apopulation of about 3.3 million, popularly known as “Golden Triangle of Art”. Over the years it has become one of the top European Destinations when it comes to arts and culture. It has been the business and the Political center of Spain, a Spanish Parliament and residence of the Spanish Monarch. Madrid has struggled its way to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe since history is not much of a story to tell. It has been an insignificant medieval city until it was named capital in the 16th century by King Felipe II and strived to live up to the reputation of other great European center. Madrid has now finally inlined with world class museums and architecture. What more is there to look forward to when on a vacation in Madrid? For those who want to enjoy and experience the street, go to Madrid. It keeps the night alive with frenzy nightlife, that makes tourists as well as locals lose track of time until 6am hopping from tapas bars to nightclubs where you will definitely enjoy and unwind. If you prefer a rather cozy evening, you have all the different kinds of restaurants to choose from depending on your choice, dozens of movie theaters, theaters and flamenco venues. For those sports enthusiasts, watch the “Best Football team of the 20th Century,” Real Madrid CF, in action at the Bernabéu stadium, but better have it planned ahead of time.
How much more is instore in exploring Madrid? Sucess and satisfaction of each travels depends mainly on the preference of the Traveler. We will be providing brief information of the famous destinations and what to look forward to when in Madrid. Note though that what we can impart with you is but a little description, the real picture can only be caught when you finally get there.
An itinerary for a vacation in Madrid will surely include all the top attractions. Some of these are listed below for your reference and information.
Royal Palace. The Royal Palace is the official residence for the Royal family and is located on the east of Madrid’s Historic Center, the largest and one of the most impressive palaces in Europe. The palace consist of more than 2000 luxurious rooms but only 50 of which can be available for a visit. The Royal Palace is one of the top tourist attractions in Madrid. However, recently it has only been used for state ceremonies. The rest of the time it’s open to the public. In Spanish it is called the Palacio Real, which was built during the 18th and 19th centuries, and is a monumental building. It replaced the former medieval Alcázar, which was burnt to the ground in 1794. Today, the Royal Palace of Madrid was designed to the tastes of Charles III, and is extremely gorgeous inside. Visitors can experience wandering through the rooms and banqueting halls.
Buen Retiro Park. The Buen Retiro Park or “Park of the Pleasant Retreat” is one of the largest parks in Madrid, Spain. It has 1.4 km2 (350 acres) located at the edge of the city center. The park belonged to the Spanish Monarchy and it became a public park in the 19th century. It is full of beautiful sculpture and monuments, galleries, a peaceful lake and host to a variety of events. In the northern entrance of the park you will find a large artificial lake called the Retiro Pond. And you can find the monument of King Alfonso XII next to it which features a semicircular colonnade and an equestrian statue of the monarch on the top of a tall central core. There’s a beautiful garden of roses of all kinds with a Fountain of the Falling Angel which represents Lucifer falling from heaven called Rosaleda Garden. It is famous among critics which makes it known all over the world because it is claimed that this statue is the only known public monument of the devil. Extended to it is a smaller lake that makes the surrounding naturely refreshing and at the end of the lake is a beautiful glass building, the Palacio de Cristal. Built in 1887, it was initially used to house exotic plants. Next to it is another pavilion, the Palacio de Velázquez, designed in 1884. It was originally served as a pavilion for the national exhibition of the mining, metal, glass and ceramics industry. The rest to check out at the Buen Retiro Park are “Casón del Buen Retiro”,”Ejército Museum” houses “La Tizona” the sword of the famous Spanish warrior El Cid, and “Campo Grande”, “Paseo de la Argentina” known as the Statue Walk.
Plaza Mayor Square. The Plaza Mayor is Madrid’s main square located at the centre of the city, a walk away from the Puerta del Sol. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, street artists and performers are among that that can be found at the square. In the late 16th century the square became the center of attraction for locals and tourists. There are nine entrances to the square and the popularly used entrance is Arco de Cuchilleros which connects to La Latina. The oldest among all the buildings and architecturally amazing is the Panaderia. During your vacation in Madrid, you will definitely pose for a photo in this square.
Puerta Del Sol. Puerta del Sol which meant ‘the Sun Gate’. This is Madrid’s most famous and most central square, located just a short walk from the Plaza Mayor. It was originally the site of one of the city’s gates, facing the east and was adorned with an image of the sun. In the middle of the Puerta del Sol is a large equestrian statue of King Carlos III, which was installed in 1997. The King looks out on a beautiful 18th century red brick building, the Casa de Correos. It was erected in 1768 as the city’s main post office after a design by the French architect Jacques Marquet. The clock tower was added later, in 1866.
Gran Via Avenue. Who doesn’t know Gran Vía as the most famous street in Spain popularly known to all tourists. It was built in 1910. It was in 1920’s when the Gran Vía became an area where people can walk around, shop, and where insurance company offices and leisure buildings are located. It is especially a place of entertainment, with many cinemas, theaters, musicals, night clubs and bars. Gran Vía is located at the end west of Plaza España Square and to the east at the intersection of Alcalá Street. Everyday, the Gran Via is crowded with shoppers and sightseers, the street is popularly known as “the great lane” with splendidly quirky Art Nouveau and Art Deco facades fronting its banks, offices and apartments, and huge posters on the cinemas. The first section, approximately up to Callao Square, is characterised by monumental buildings influenced by a modernist style and based on classicism and neo-Mudejar.
Las Ventas. Spain is popularly known as the home of bullfighting all over the world and the event takes place at the Plaza Toros Las Ventas in Madrid. The massive bullring is located in the Guindalera quarter of Madrid’s Salamanca district to the northeast of the city centre. Construction of the Plaza Toros Las Ventas bullring started on March 19, 1922 designed by José Espeliú. Everyone will definitely enjoy to witness one of the bull fights while on vacation in Madrid.
Royal Theater. The Teatro Real, or Royal Theatre in Madrid is located in front of the Royal Palace, in between Plaza de Isabel II and Plaza de Oriente, and right next to the famous Café de Oriente. It replaced the old theatre of Los Caños del Peral once stood there. Los Caños del Peral was built in 1708 and was pulled down when almost a ruin in 1818 to make way for the new Teatro Real. It’s amazing to learn every history behind each building stood there not only captivated by its beauty but by the story behind it over the years which makes it a part of history.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, or in Spanish Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, is an art museum near the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. It is known as a part of the “Golden Triangle of Art”, which also includes the Prado and the Reina Sofia galleries. (Excerpt from Wikipedia). For those who are artistically oriented and appreciates the different works of art, then this cannot be missed in the itinerary when on a vacation in Madrid.
Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial . It is one of the simplest yet famous architectural monuments on the Iberian Peninsula. Felipe II was of history’s deeply religious and forbidding monarchs who built the monastery in the village of San Lorenzo de El Escorial to commemorate Spain’s crushing victory over the French at Saint-Quentin on August 10, 1557, and as a final resting place for his powerful father, the Holy Roman Emperor Carlos V. Felipe II filled the place with treasures as he ruled the largest empire. The building’s vast rectangle with encompassing 16 courts was built on the red-hot grille where it was known, St. Lawrence was martyred on August 10 is that saint’s day.
We are not even halfway on what you can experience in Madrid. There definitely are a lot of places to visit just centrally located which you can actually explore, even better when taking a walk to actually see the beauty of Madrid. Complete it with the popular Spain delicacy popularly known as Tapa as you enjoy each day of stay in Madrid. A tour in Europe will definitely not be completed without having Madrid on the top list because you will be missing out. Just by browsing the internet vacation in Madrid will definitely be such an amazing experience.