Madrid isn’t without its fair share of hustle and bustle however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t able to provide tourists with a true Spanish experience. Its Prado Museum contains artworks by the most famous Spanish artists, such as Velazquez along with Goya. There’s also the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) which is open to all visitors in addition to The El Rastro flea market and the more expensive shops in Salamanca offer a variety of quality establishments for shoppers of all tastes to browse. If you’re exhausted from a full day of touring you might prefer to take a break at an open-air café, particularly the ones which are located around Plaza Mayor. After you’ve regained your energy take a bite of some of the tasty dishes at a tapas bar before heading to the bars and clubs.
El Retiro Park (Parque del Buen Retiro)
The easternmost part of Madrid, Parque del Buen Retiro (El Retiro Park) is known to mean “Park of the Pleasant Retreat,” and that’s exactly what it is: a vast area of lush greenery dotted with formal gardens and cafes, lakes, playgrounds, and much more. The park was once home to Felipe the IV’s garden and his palace. It did not open for public use until end of the 19th century.
Prado Museum (Museo Nacional del Prado)
One of Madrid’s most renowned museums The beautiful Museo of the National Museum del Prado is frequently praised by visitors as an essential stop. It was opened in 1819 under the request by Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza (King Ferdinand VII’s wife) The museum has 8,600 paintings as well as over 700 sculptures that showcase Spanish, Italian and Flemish styles of art. The most well-known works on display are Velazquez’s “Las Meninas,” Goya’s “The Third of May 1808,” El Greco’s “Adoration of the Shepherds.” Travelers have reported that at times it is difficult to reach these famous paintings. They recommend that visitors arrive either early or late for the best chance to see the paintings in a quiet setting without crowds of other.
The Prado has an admission cost which is €15 (about £12.60) per adult (visitors less than 18 and students aged 18-25 are admitted free when accompanied by the assistance of a paying adult).
The Plaza Mayor, which is located in the centre of Madrid is more of an essential experience than a must-see. It is surrounded by bars and cafes, Plaza Mayor practically begs visitors to sit down to enjoy a coffee or a glass of vino (depending on the moment of the day) and observe the crowd. In addition to the hordes of tourists visit the area and around, but a variety of street performers come on the square to entertain. The plaza starts to get busy at around 2.30 p.m. and is expected to become ever more busy after dark. If you are at Madrid during the holiday season locals suggest going to the Christmas markets that are located at the Plaza.
The recent travellers are aware of the tourist-y aspect in Plaza Mayor – the souvenir shops, the subpar but expensive restaurants, for example however for the majority of travellers, Plaza Mayor still affords an ambiance that is pleasant. The city’s top famous works of public art is the sculpture that depicts Philip III on horseback, can be seen in this location.
The square is located to the west in Puerta del Sol It is easily accessible by metro that is located at the Sol, Tirso de Molina or Opera stops.
Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real)
The palace of the royal family was home to monarchs of Spain from the late 1700s until the 1900s. While the royal family do not live at the palace it’s still as their residence of choice. It is also believed to be the most of the royal palaces located in Western Europe with a total of 3,000 rooms. However, only certain of them open to the public. This includes the well-known armoury room and the royal pharmacy.
The majority of guests are amazed by the grandeur and splendour of the palace; however some complain about the lengthy lines to get inside.
If you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, ensure you arrive early.
Admission is €10 per adult, and €5 for children aged between 5 and 16. Palacio Real can be visited between 10am. until 6pm from October through to March or from April to September it’s open until 8pm. Be sure to check beforehand in case any restrictions are in place.
Barrio de Salamanca
If you find yourself surrounded by designer stores and elegant eateries, then you’ve likely stumbled across the Madrid’s Salamanca neighbourhood. Salamanca is among the most prestigious areas in Madrid. Its major streets are Calle de Serrano, Calle de Goya and Calle de Velazquez – are among those with the highest prices. Sometimes, it is compared with New York City’s Fifth Avenue or London’s Bond Street. Calle de Serrano has been called “the “Golden Mile” because it’s decorated with high-end names.
Calle de Serrano begins near the intersection of Buen Retiro Park adjacent to the Puerta de Alcala monument and is completed at the Plaza de la Republica de Ecuador. It is lined with world-renowned brands such as Gucci, Prada, Armani and Cartier as well as local created luxury brands such as Loewe. There are also plenty of smaller boutiques, however; shoppers will also come across Sita Murt, Renatta&Go and NAC as well as other Spanish favourites.
Each year during the month of September, the Salamanca neighbourhood is the site of the Vogue Fashion’s Night Out where more than 200 shops are open to visitors, offering discounted prices, live performances, free photo & makeup sessions, luxury gifts for free and other limited-edition products. The night’s glamour is capped by catwalks featuring the latest fashions. Anyone can sign up online for free and enjoy the evenings events while enjoying a glass of champagne.