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The capital of Spain is a city known for its museums and its nightlife. Most travelers who have to been to Spain claim that their favorite city is Barcelona, which manages to mesmerize tourists with its architecture and its multiculturalism. The capital is often chalked up as being the city of Real Madrid and the Royal Palace, and many of its gems go undiscovered.
The Golden Triangle formed by the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza museums is a place to visit for those who want to discover Spain’s classical and modern art. These museums are free at certain hours.
The Retiro Park is a place to relax. Visitors can walk around this park which encompasses a large part of the city center. There is a pond where row boats can be rented. The park hosts many cultural events, and its Crystal Palace has been transformed into an art gallery.
The center of the city is where most landmarks and hotels in Madrid are located. One of the city’s main arteries is the Gran Vía, a street filled with traditional bars, shops and theaters. A short walk away visitors will find the Cibeles and Neptuno statues, where the Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid teams celebrate their victories. Near them stands one of the city’s most photographed structures, the Palacio de las Comunicaciones.
For a taste of the city’s history one can visit the Palacio Real royal palace, where after a tour of the historical rooms filled with antique art and furniture visitors can take a walk around the palace’s Sabatini Gardens. These historical gardens are decorated with fountains and open air activities such as concerts are organized during the summer months.
The city’s most exclusive area is near the Serrano and Velazquez streets. The area is filled with boutiques, chic coffee shops and posh restaurants. Madrid’s hippest barrio is Malasaña, where during the day one can explore the designer boutique stores and vintage shops and during the night enjoy a variety of cañas and tapas before heading to one of the many nearby clubs and lounges.
Madrid Photo: Caroline