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19 December 2013

A Guide to Madrid

The city of Madrid, in central Spain, is known for its many attractions. There are art and science museums, parks with ponds and restaurants that offer authentic local food.

Monument to Miguel de Cervantes and España Building, Madrid 
image by Carlos Delgado licensed under Creative Commons via Wikipedia Commons

Explore the plazas

Madrid's city center can be explored on foot. The city center is located in the Puerta de Sol area. This square is a popular meeting spot where visitors will be able to see the City Hall, many traditional shops and the statue of the bear with the madroño tree which is the city's symbol. A short walk away visitors will find the Plaza Mayor. This ancient square is known for its architecture. There are many balconies facing the cobblestone square.

Another main square is the Plaza de España square. There are many fountains and sculptures decorating this area, including the fountain of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Many markets selling handcrafted products and authentic churros can be found in this square. A short walk away, crossing the main Gran Via street, visitors will find the Manuela de Malasaña square, a popular meeting spot for local youth who meet there before heading to one of the city's many bars and lounges.

Taste local dishes

Spain is a country known for its gastronomy. The city of Madrid offers a wide range of markets, tapas bars and restaurants that can be adapted to any budget. Street food ranges from sweet doughy churros to calamari sandwiches.

There are many traditional markets in the city. The main markets are the trendy Anton Martin market, where visitors will find fruit shops and meat shops on one floor and bakeries and sushi bars on the other floor. The San Miguel market is located steps away from the Puerta de Sol. This market offers a range of tapas bars, and most of the tapas are made using local products. Another market is San Anton, located on the other side of the Gran Via street, which offers organic and ecological products.

Tour the museums

Many visitors choose to fly to Spain for its beaches, and other choose to visit the large cities filled with cultural landmarks. The city of Madrid is known for its many art museums, including the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen Bornemisza. These three museums form the Golden Triangle of Museums area, located steps away from the main Retiro park and the central Atocha train station. A short walk away is the Naval Museum.

Spend an afternoon in one of the parks

Madrid has many parks. The main park is the Retiro park, located near the city center. This park has a pond with rowing boats, an exhibition center inside a Crystal Palace and many paths lined with fountains and statues. West of the city center is the Casa de Campo park, which has a lake, many paths, a theme park with roller coasters and a zoo. This park can be reached by car, by public transit and by a cable car, the Teleférico, that has views towards the city center.  


  1. Spain is one of the must-see places in my list, I long to get there, hoping one day i can :)

  2. One of these days.. I'm definitely going there!

  3. An afternoon walk in the park would be my ideal thing to do. Beautiful, I wonder when I can go there hehehe.

  4. It is very interesting to find great views about places that others visited and we don't, it gives us ideas on where to go if in any chance we will be able to visit the place.

  5. Madrid would really be a nice place to explore.

  6. I love to visit Madrid and most of Spain in the future. There are lots to see and explore and the country is rich in history and culture. it would be nice to tick another item off my bucket list soon. :)

  7. Such a beautiful city. Hope I can visit it someday.

  8. Spain is in my bucket list sis. I wish to see Madrid, Barcelona and other parts of Spain, hopefully next year if we don't change our plans again. :)

  9. Such a beautiful place! Under my wish list already :)

  10. Madrid is one of my dream vacation spot. Their museums, very regal.

  11. A tour in the museum would be something that my kids would love to do.

  12. Madrid is for me a romantic place. This is one of the places on my travel wishlist. The others are Paris, Venice, Japan and Switzerland.


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