Why to Visit Madrid
Madrid is often overlooked when it comes to holiday destinations in Spain in preference for Barcelona, Granada or the coast. It often gets painted as a sprawling capital with little to see and little beauty in comparison to other areas in Spain. This however is not the case.
If you are an art lover, Madrid is the destination for you, with tons of exhibitions and galleries, the most famous of those being the Museo del Prado, the Centro de Arte Reina and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. You could literally spend weeks ogling the vast variety of artists’ works on offer.
Madrid is a surprisingly green city with plenty of parks and public spaces. The Parque del Buen is huge and filled with carefully maintained lawns and flowerbeds centered around a lake, which on some days is almost emerald green in colour. Connected to this park, and linking through to next door to the Museo del Prado, is the botanical gardens. While there is a small charge, these are well worth visiting for their stunningly maintained plants and its picturesque design.
Architecturally speaking, Madrid doesn’t fall short either. There are many attractions to see but be sure not to miss either the resplendent Royal Place or the red bricked Plaza Mayor, which is filled to the brim with restaurants and stalls and has a buzzing atmosphere which is hard to match. The back streets of the Old Quarter are well worth a wonder with hundreds of tapas bars and restaurants, bars and clubs and some brilliant live music venues a stones throw from many affordable apartments.
Madrid also serves as a good base to head out to both Segovia, home to cobbled streets and a beautiful aqueduct which slices the centre in half, and Toledo to the south, a stunning old city which sleeps in the arms of the river Tagus (Tajo in Spanish).
Madrid is a metropolitan city with plenty to offer everyone. The greatest thing about this city is its vibe, both active yet very easygoing, and as large cities go, still maintains a definite Spanish nature. It is unapologetic in its character which provides a very egalitarian atmosphere which is easy to lose yourself in.