The city of Madrid is the biggest city in Spain and the third most populated in the European Union with around 3.2 inhabitants. However, if we take into account the Metropolitan area includes more than 6 million people.
The capital, is home of the main government institutions such as Moncloa Palace, residence of the President of the Government; Zarzuela Palace, where the head of state (King Felipe VI) lives; the Congress and the Spanish Senate; the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court.
Madrid is a major touristic city that offers iconic sites like Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Cibeles where the city council is located or The Real Palace. It is also one of the greenest cities in the world.
A trip to Madrid is not complete without a walk through El Retiro Park, Sabatini gardens or El Capricho. Casa de Campo is the most important public park in the city being bigger than Hyde Park in London or Central Park in New York.
The cultural offer is wide and diverse. Museums such as Reina Sofia, El Prado or Thyssen are in between the most visited in the world. The city also hosts Contemporary spaces and the latest avant-garde art galleries, theatre shows and exhibitions.
From Football to basketball and horse races, Madrid has everything for sport lovers. Hometown of two of the best football teams in the world; Real Madrid plays at Santiago Bernabéu stadium, which is a must if you are in the city. Atletico de Madrid has also recently inaugurated their brand new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
The vibrant nightlife of the city offers options to suits all tastes. The “movida madrileña” spirit can be found in Malasaña where you will travel back to the `80s. Also, La Latina night scene is busy seven days a week and even during the day where you can visit El Rastro flea Market.
Chueca is one of the most cosmopolitan neighbourhoods in Madrid for those who don’t want to stay at home at night. You can also enjoy more of a quiet evening at the theatre, at the musicals or at the wide range of live music shows that the city has to offer.
Likewise and in regards to fashionable nightspots there are many clubs some of them frequented by personalities such as Cristiano Ronaldo that is a regular in Gabana, an exclusive club in Calle Velazquez or Ramsés where you can usually see football players or coaches like Diego Simeone among others. Also other trendy spots are La posada de las Animas in Lagasca Street or Black Haus in Serrano.
For spectaculars views of the city, you can visit Faro de Moncloa, the city council or the Círculo de bellas artes roof top that is located in the Gran Via and Alcalá junction. The magnificent Temple of Debod, was brought from Egypt as a donation to the Spanish government and hosts the most beautiful sunset in the city.
Madrid is the only city in the world with so many UNESCO heritage sites less than two hours away; wonderful places such as Aranjuez, Toledo, Alcalá de Henares or El Escorial that definitely are worth a visit.
If you want to find out why Spanish cuisine has become renowned all over the world, Madrid is the right place to do so. The best tapas bars are Casa Lucio, and its famous fried eggs with ham; El Triciclo specialized in pig’s trotters or Casa Labra with its delicious croquettes. El txistu or Asador Donostiarra are also well known for its exquisite Basque cuisine. The San Miguel Market, a 100 year old building, has also turned into a real gourmet temple where you can enjoy products of the finest quality.
Madrid also boasts 14 restaurants with Michelin Stars; Ramon Freixa, La terraza del casino, Kabuki, specialized in Japanese cuisine or DiverXO, directed by the famous chef David Muñoz and awarded with three stars. All of them offering exceptional gastronomic experiences.
The Spanish capital is also home of the oldest restaurant in the world; Sobrinos de Botín was established in 1725 and it is specialized in typical Castilian food. Located in the heart of Madrid, in Cuchilleros street and very close to Plaza Mayor you can’t leave Madrid without tasting their delicious “Callos a la madrileña”.
Madrid has a wide range of hotel accommodation in accordance with the increasing number of visitors that the city welcomes every year. The best hotels are located in strategic sites. The Westin Palace is close by the Congress, in Plaza de las Cortes and The Ritz nearby Prado museum. Also the NH collection Paseo del Prado which is located in the same area or the Gran Melia Palacio de los duques with stunning views of the city.
In the financial district of the city where Cuatro Torres Business Arena is located we find the Eurostars Madrid Tower, one of the most exclusives hotels of the capital. And by the Castellana avenue; in the heart of Barrio Salamanca, the most selected area of Madrid, is situated the Villa Magna hotel a reference of luxury and sophistication in the local hotel scene.
In regards to shopping in Madrid ‘Avant-garde’ could well be Fuencarral’s second name. The district draws the latest fashion trends and remarkable young designers, plus lovely restaurants and shops specialising in tattoos, comics, art books or home décor. In the other hand if you are after Top-end designer labels you have to visit Barrio de Salamanca. An impressively elegant shopping street in Madrid, Calle de Serrano is lined with iconic luxury stores for sophisticated retail therapy.
Madrid is a very welcoming city, cosmopolitan and traditional at the same time. A place where no matter where you come from you will always feel at home.