Situated exactly in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, Madrid, Europe’s highest capital, is a place well worth visiting in Spain. Since it was established the country’s capital in 1561, Madrid has been Spain’s political core, with the Parliament, Senate and Royal Family residing here, while the unmatched art collections of museums making up the ‘Golden Triangle’ put the city in line with the world’s most important cultural centers.
One of the issues to be considered is weather conditions, so we believe that the best time to visit Madrid is spring and the first summer month or early autumn: the temperatures won’t be too high to impede you from enjoying best places of Spain’s largest city, and the rainfall will be scarce. On the other hand, as July and August bring unbearable heat to Madrid, locals tend to leave the city towards the end of summer, so crowds may be avoided at this time.
Start exploring Madrid with its oldest square, the impressive Plaza Mayor, where coronation ceremonies and public executions used to take place. A number of symbolic items – monuments and plaques – are situated here; for example, the Gate of the Sun is considered to be the spiritual hearth of the country. The Royal Palace presents a perfect baroque sample, and the town wall situated nearby contains remnants of Moorish architecture. The narrow streets that ray from the square are lined with churches and palaces still preserving the atmosphere of those days when Mayrit (or Magerit, as the city was once called) saw bitter fighting of Christians and Arabs, while the numerous shops and cafes let relax and taste the contemporary Spain!
When in Madrid, don’t miss the chance to visit the Prado, museum housing a richest collection of Spanish and International art – including masterpieces by El Greco, Velazquez and Goya – to name just a few. Art-lovers could also treat themselves to a guided tour around Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza Museums where works from the Italian Renaissance to the 20th century masters’ as Picasso and Dali are exhibited.
Tired with the colorful impressions of Madrid’s cultural life, you could have a rest in the Parque de Buen Retiro, the picturesque gardens of which make it a popular place among locals to spend weekends at. Here, you can not only admire the natural scenes and man-made constructions like various fountains and statues, but also have lunch in a cozy outdoor cafe, go boating on the lake or watch a performance on the stage of a summer theatre. The Parque de Atracciones and the Parque Biológico are also among Madrid’s main attractions that both kids and adults will enjoy!
When you travel to Spain’s capital, do not forget that the city is famous for its bustling nightlife, cuisine delights and joyful festivals as well, so step off the beaten path and get to know Madrid at your own pace!