Beautiful places in Madrid
Madrid is the capital city of Spain and the main rival of Barcelona when it comes to tourism cities one should visit in Spain. We would recommend Barcelona for those who want to visit a city designed to conquer hearts, and Madrid to those who want to experiment life in Spain’s most cosmopolitan city.
Madrid is one of Europe’s most developed capital cities. This city could be easily described as a collection of coffee shops, restaurants, theatres, art galleries or night clubs. Madrid’s most symbolic icons are its notorious bull fights, and the city is known for being the capital city of this tradition.Luxury shopping is one of the main activities one can do in Madrid taking into account that all famous names of the luxury goods market can be found on the streets of the city. Madrid is also charged with a high cultural influence, and you can experience it by visiting the Prado museum or the Real Palace.
Madrid is divided into 6 main touristic areas: the Real Palace, the Mayor Square, the Art Passage, and The 2nd of May Square, the Colon Square and The Gate of Europe.
The Real Palace (Plaza Real)
This area is also known as the San Antonio de la Florida zone, and is one of the closest areas to the mountain. The mountain air can be easily sensed here, while you descend from the Casa del Campo to the area of Asturias. In this area you can visit the imposing Real Palace, while enjoying the view of the Orient Square. If you’re tired you could have a carajillo, a coffee made in a Spanish way and a tapita, a small sandwich. The chapel of San Antonia shelters Goya’s paintings, while in the north zone of this area you can visit the Oeste Park. In this oasis of plants you’ll have the chance of discovering the Egyptian temple of Debod, a mysterious incursion into the life of an ancient civilization.
The Mayor Square (Plaza Mayor)
Located into the heart of the city, this area of Madrid is also known as the Gate of Sun (La Puerta del Sol). Every day this zone accommodates a human sea of tourists who walks through the city decorated with imposing windows and luxurious products. Before noticing it you’ll arrive to the Mayor Square, magnificent and big. This zone is perfect for those who want to observe the Spanish way of life. Here at the time of lunch everyone go on the streets, and serves lunch in the restaurants located en El Rastro. The party spirit wakes up at night, and everyone goes partying the Spanish way. If you also want to party the Spanish way, we advise you to get ready for a long journey from coffee shops to restaurants, from the concert to the club, and from the club to warm and cozy bed.
The Art Passage (Paseo del Arte)
In the north of the Alcala Gate, you’ll find an arc of triumph from the 18th century. This zone is known for its three main museums. While enjoying the views of statues and fountains and descending the Prado passage you’ll encounter the museum of Prado, Thyssen and Queen Sofia. By visiting these museums you’ll have the chance to see the authentic Guernica painting, a cubist version of the Spanish Civil War painted by Picasso.
From here you’ll observe the magnificent view of the Cibeles Square and its goddess with her carriage driven by lions. Another visiting point you may consider interesting is the tropical greenhouse from the crowded Atocha station. In this area you’ll also have the chance of seeing the big park of Retiro, a gathering place for locals or the neighborhoods of Huerta and Chueca.
The 2nd of May Square (La Plaza de dos mayo)
This zone is one the main areas in Madrid, and connects the most important points of the city. The main reference point is the Gran Via Street. Once you arrive in this point, if you turn to the east the Cibeles Square will arise, while on the west you’ll find the Spain Square and the statue of Cervantes meditating while watching the buildings from the Franco period.
In the southern part of this area, you’ll encounter La Latina, while in the north zone you’ll find coffee shops, luxury shops and the Malasaña neighborhood where the artists of the city used to reunite. The San Vicente Ferrer and Palma Streets are the perfect places to be if you want to experiment Madrid’s night life or simply dance till you drop like the Americans use to say.
If you want to experiment the delicious Spanish food, make sure to visit one of the restaurants located in the area. We are going to recommend everything you should eat while you’re in Madrid in a future article. After lunch pamper yourself with a coffee with milk and a croissant while you enjoy the view of a crowded and agitated square.
The Colon Square
This area connects the zone with the Salamanca one. In the north, you’ll find the romantic house of Sorolla and the ones of the collector Lazaro Galdiano will offer you a moment of artistic joy. The Colon Square is one of the biggest ones in Madrid, but unfortunately in recent years has become at night a gathering place for junkies. You might want to be careful while visiting this zone because it’s not the safest ones in Madrid.
The gate of Europe
This area will offer you a glimpse of a day in an authentic Spanish Square. The Nuevos Ministerios zone will offer you the chance to experiment Madrid’s financial area. The Castilla Square marks the place where the Kio Towers are located. The buildings lean one towards the other and create what is called the Gate of Europe. The giant financial district of Madrid is situated overlapping the surroundings of Tetuan and its vivid and lively market.
Madrid mixes the symbols of Spanish culture with all the influences and attitudes a capital city usually has. People have an active and busy life, but when the night comes they return to their original spirit and party the Spanish way. If you want to enjoy the cultural life of a country with a rich history, and to observe a population with strong Latin roots, Madrid is the perfect place to visit.