Madrid travel guide
The Madrid Travel Guide from The Great Hotels Organisation is free for all Madrid travellers.
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Madrid is a cosmopolitan modern city with an ancient heart; old and new sit easily together making it a fascinating place to explore.
Madrid Travel Highlights
- Madrid Landmarks & Attractions
- Madrid is one of the most exciting cultural cities in Europe,
attracting over six million visitors each year. The city is abundant with
traditional museums, art galleries, luxurious palaces and theatres,
lavish designer boutiques, and beautiful gardens.
Known for its fast-paced lifestyle and only slowing down for a siesta,
Madrid offers many cultural experiences from tasting traditional
Spanish tapas to strolling through its stunning green parks.
With a rich and varied historical past, the city is home to many beautiful landmarks including The Valley of the Fallen, Victory Arch, and Royal Palace of Madrid.
Architecture in Madrid successfully combines historical buildings with
modern business institutions, where you can visibly see old merging with
new. A unique look at Spain’s history can be found in the many
architectural monuments in Madrid’s centre, especially the luxurious Palacio Real, the Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande, and the
stunning Church of Saint Anton’s.
- Madrid Culture
- As Europe’s top destination for art enthusiasts, museums and galleries are an integral part of Spanish culture. From spectacular impressionist art at the Museo de Sorollo to the largest collection of famed Spanish paintings and sculptures at the Museo del Prado, there is a wealth of fascinating exhibitions to cater to all tastes.
- Where to shop
- The city of Madrid bursts at the seams with luxury designer boutiques, quaint antique markets, grand department stores, and gourmet food markets. You will be spoilt for choice in Madrid’s plethora of shopping avenues, where visitors will find over 60,000 shops.
The main shopping district is Salamanca - known as the wealthiest district in central Madrid where Serrano, Velázquez, and Goya are the key streets to find exclusive boutiques. Salamanca boasts a wealth of luxury designer stores such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, DKNY, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Balenciaga.
Peruse the high-quality shopping gallery El Jardin de Serrano near the Plaza Colón for exclusive and ultra chic fashion boutiques. The most famous department store in Madrid is the El Corte Inglés in the Puerta del Sol area - where visitors can snap up luxury goods from Cartier, Armani, Bulgari, Dior, Hugo Boss, and Carolina Herrera.
- Where to eat and drink
- The city is host to many gourmet restaurants and bars boasting authentic Spanish cuisine. To experience true luxurious dining in Madrid, take a look at the selected gourmet restaurants below:
La Broche Sergi Arola
This minimalist but warm and relaxing restaurant offers traditional Catalan and Spanish recipes to tantalize your tastebuds. Taste lavish ingredients in some of the capital’s most mouthwatering dishes from luxury seafood to risotto.
El Cenador del Prado
First opened in 1945, the restaurant offers the best Spanish regional cuisine in the capital. With its baroque style setting, you can savour plenty of seafood or game dishes along with influences from French and Oriental recipes. Take your pick from their excellent wine cellar.
One of the few restaurants in Madrid to hold the “Five Fork” status, Zalacaín offers mediterranean haute cuisine with fresh seasonal produce. Known to provide the best represen-tation of luxury and elegance, the wine cellar has just under 35,000 bottles so you will surely be spoilt for choice!
Sobrino de Botín
Having opened its doors in 1725, Sobrino de Botín is considered the oldest restaurant in the world. Traditional Castilian dishes are a speciality and it is rumoured Goya worked there before he became a famous painter. Hemingway also favoured the luxury food and was a frequent visitor.
- Annual Events
San Antón - watch the parade as thousands of pet owners join together to bless their furry friends at the customary church.
Flamenco Festival - watch powerful performances by first class dancers and guitar players on stage at this exceptional festival.
Join in Holy Week by partying and watching the fancy dress parades throughout the week before Lent.
Flamenco Summit - watch famous dancers in the Flamenco scene strut their stuff on stage.
Fiesta de Dos de Mayo - at its highest point in the 1980’s, the musical revelry carries on in central Madrid today, taking place around the Plaza Dos de Mayo.
Fiesta de San Isidro - heralding the arrival of the bullfighting season, a week of bands and parades entertains all who watch at the Plaza Mayor.
Fiestas de San Juan - bonfires and fireworks are set off in the beautiful backdrop of Retiro Park as music and street entertainers charm the crowds.
Autumn Festival - concerts, theater and dance entertains all who watch to celebrate the arrival of Autumn.
Jazz Festival - jazz bands and world-class musicians in various Madrid theaters entertain large numbers of music fans.
Christmas Market - held at the Plaza Mayor, the market is a spectacle of lights and Span-ish stalls for people to browse.
New Years Eve - restaurants, bars, and clubs welcome celebrants to enjoy live music and dancing, bands perform in the open air arenas. Assemble at the most popular place, Puerta del Sol, to eat a grape when the clock chimes 12 and make a wish for next years prospects.
- Iconic Madrid
- Madrid is considered to be an iconic city due to its many famous landmarks and renowned buildings. From the Plaza Toros de las Ventas to the traditional Flamenco dancing and passion for music, Madrid radiates luxury and elegance. Enjoy Madrid’s culture capital status knowing you’re in one of the worlds most luxurious destinations.
Useful links for Madrid
Madrid Tourist Travel Guide
- Hotels for Madrid Travellers
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Key to Weather Chart
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