Madrid Travel Expo
Tips for tourists to Madrid, Spain
Madrid may be lacking in architectural beauty compared with other major Spanish cities, but it makes up for this with its boundless energy, blue skies, art, culture, and some of the most exhilarating and exhausting nightlife in Spain, and indeed Europe. The city is compact and easy to navigate on foot - most of the sights of interest and the city's major attractions are found in the downtown area between the Royal Palace and Parque del Retiro.
The capital of Spain since 1562, Madrid sits in the geographic centre of the Iberian Peninsula and has long been an important stop on any art tour through Europe. The famous Museo del Prado on the city's 'Museum Mile' houses important works by Spanish and European masters from the Renaissance onwards, while the Museo Thyssen-Bornemiza houses one of the most extensive private collections in the world. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is devoted to 20th century Spanish art, with works by Miro, Dali and Picasso.
Visitors wishing to take a break from all that art may want to see the Plaza de Toros, Spain's largest bullring, where regular bullfights are still held. Sports fanatics who like something a little less bloodthirsty can watch Real Madrid, or Atletico de Madrid, Spain's most famous football teams kick off.
The city sits atop a plateau and is the highest capital in Europe, making its climate somewhat extreme with steaming hot summers and bitterly cold winters. Spring is the best time to visit and explore the squares and alleyways in the heart of this crowded city. (Word Travels)
Culture & Lifestyle
The culture and lifestyle of this city is based around the history of the monarchy and religion in Spain.
What first comes to mind upon mentioning Madrid is the Plaza de Toros de la Ventas, the city’s bullfighting arena. The Plaza de Toros, with the seats divided into the sunny-side (sol) and the ones set in the shade (sombra), is the country's largest bullring and one of the most impressive landmarks. Corridas mainly take place in May, attracting crowds of world-famous toreadors. Madrid’s diversity and special flair make for its unique character, very different from what you might expect of a European capital. The prime example is the Monasterios de las Descalzas Reales, where you can indulge in a serene stroll within the centre of the city near the Gran Via. The tranquility (but also the beautiful frescoes, Flemish tapestries and Titian paintings) of this Medieval palace that was converted into a monastery in the 16th Century enchants all visitors and makes them want to came back for more of this peaceful atmosphere.
Aside from the famous landmarks, Madrid’s culture incorporates one of the world’s principal art museums, El Prado. The vast building contains over 4,000 great works including Spanish masterpieces such as ‘Las Meninas’ by Velasquez and many of Goya’s evocative and dark etchings including ‘Naked Maja’. The gallery also displays a multitude of works by Titian, Botticelli and boasts a collection of French Impressionist artists, thus ensuring many days of exploration. Other reminders of the bygone palatial splendour can be seen at the Retiro, the city’s sprawling park filled with landscaped gardens, leafy shades and a large selection of fine statues. Initially conceived as the gardens of the Buen Retiro Palace, they are currently open to visitors and become crowded at the weekend, sporting the invariable presence of street performers, fortune-tellers and clowns. Other parks in the city include the Casa del Campo, which offers excellent options for people-watching and cultural immersion, as well as the off-beat Parque de Atracciones.
Madrid also has a leisurely commercial lifestyle and daydreaming at a terrace café or lounging with a cocktail in a classy bar is probably the most widely practised pastime of the Spanish capital. Paseo del Pintor Rosales, set in the western end of the Arguelles district, proves to be a particularly suitable location for such a lifestyle, followed by Paseo de la Castellana and Paseo de Recoletos. Madrid’s shopping culture, which is dominated by ritzy boutiques and designer stores, also includes the city’s famous flea market, stretching down Calle Ribera de Curtidores. This open-air spectacle interweaves sellers of fake antiques, groceries, reproductions, used books and great deals on cheap items. If you wish to experience the city’s old-world charms and see for yourself what Hemingway saw in the city, a visit to one of Madrid’s literary cafés is a must. It is here that intellectuals, artists, and a great deal of the idle and pretentious ‘artistic’ elite come for a laid-back chat or to hold social gatherings. Having originated in the 19th Century, the ‘literary cafés’ became a traditional pastime by the 1930s. (europe-cities).
Nightowls will find Madrid a paradise every night of the week. Visitors must keep in mind the late dining hours; restaurants do not even open until eight or nine o’clock. Many night establishments are open until the early morning hours.
• In the vicinity of the Plaza de Santa Bárbara, the Glorieta de Bilbao and Alonso Martínez, a large number of popular bars, pubs, fast food restaurants and ice cream parlors are concentrated.
• The bars in the districts of Arguelles and Moncloa are generally frequented by University students and a younger crowd.
• Malasaña, in the vicinty of the Plaza de Dos de Mayo, has countless cafés and bars with live music, in addition to moderately–priced restaurants.
• The Calle Huertas and the Plaza de Santa Ana offer a lively nightlife and cafés with live music.
• The streets of Paseo de la Castellana, Paseo de Recoletos and Paseo del Prado boast quality restaurants, cafés and popular night spots.
• In the summer months and especially at night, open–air terraces abound in the areas of the Paseo de la Castellana and the Parque del Oeste. The daily newspapers generally publish a weekly entertainment supplement on Thursday or Friday which provides detailed information on restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters, art galleries, etc.
Places to go
• Plaza MayorPlaza de Santa Ana, Huertas - The most common place for tourists to go out, it has a lot of Irish pubs, and many other interesting bars, but some of the locales here serve alcohol of questionable quality.
• La Latina - In the old section, many small bars and pubs, a generally older crowd (late 20s, 30s). Contains the area of Plaza Mayor and Cava Baja. Avoid places in the Plaza Mayor. Multiple bars serving fantastic tapas in the Cava Baja and Cuchilleros.
• Torre Europa - A very posh or "pijo" crowd, quite expensive and virtually uniform music, places, and people.
• Tribunal - Plenty of bars related to Madrid´s famous "movida", the plaza 2 de Mayo is in this area, you´ll find a higher concentration of bars playing rock, punk, etc in this area.
• Chueca, The gay neighborhood; and, by far, the most cosmopolitan place in town. Has become quite chic and expensive.
• Alonso Martínez - Many pubs and later on small discos. Until about 3 am, a very young crowd, and if you´re around here before midnight, and over the age of 20, prepare to feel positively old.
• Moncloa - Many cheap bars and discos as it is near the university although some of the places are best avoided. (Madrid Guide).
A melting pot of cultures and cuisines, many argue that cosmopolitan Madrid does not have its own distinct flavour of gastronomy, but the Spanish capital is highly influenced by the contributions of the immigrants who once settled here.
Madrileño fare can never be called dull or boring with such delicacies as tripe and sausage, or crispy pig's ears and sweetbread (bull's testicles), but plenty of other safer options exist for the less adventurous, such as gazpacho (chilled tomato and cucumber soup), Besugo al horno (baked bream), Cocido (beef, pork, chicken and vegetable stew) and the well-known tapas (savoury tidbits of appetisers). Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy barquillos (rolled wafers), buñuelos (type of fritter filled with custard and whipped cream) or bartolillos con crema (type of small pie with custard).
As in most Spanish cities, tapas restaurants can be found all over Madrid and some of the most popular and diverse eateries can be found in the area around Plaza Mayor and Sol. Visitors should bear in mind that lunch and dinner start much later than in many other countries. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest evenings for eating out and it is advisable to make a booking in advance to be sure of securing a table.
Immortalised by Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises
, when Jake invites Brett to Botin for the Segovian speciality, the Restaurante Botin has been catering to guests since 1725. Botin is a family-run restaurant that has spanned three generations, offering friendly customer service. Much of the décor pertains to the original restaurant, from the charcoal hearth to hanging copper pots and an 18th century tile oven. The mixed fish casserole and the grilled filet mignon 'Botin' are excellent, a dessert favourite is strawberries with whipped cream. Open daily for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended.
Address: Calle de Cuchilleros 17
Telephone: 91 366 4217
This intimate and luxurious restaurant is decorated in deep shades of red and gold, and furnished in the finest dark wood. The menu offers and array of mouth-watering temptations which include lobster salad with sherry vinegar, followed by duck stewed in port. The chocolate blini with pineapple rounds the evening off nicely. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday, and dinner only on Saturday. Reservations essential.
Address: Alvarez de Baena 4
Telephone: 91 561 5935
Favoured by international celebrities and politicians, Jockey has been serving gourmet Spanish cuisine for over four decades and is dedicated to customer service and quality produce. A recipient of a Michelin star, this restaurant is ideal for a special occasion. Small but sophisticated, Jockey extends over two levels with wood panelled walls, white linen tablecloths and turquoise suede seating. Recommended dishes are the sea bass, lamb a la Provencal and marinated partridge. With a wine list of over 600 wines from across the globe, and a mouth-watering dessert menu, a meal at Jockeys is a wonderful experience. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended.
Address: Amador de los Ríos 6
Telephone: 91 319 2435
La Bola is one of the last restaurants in the city to don a blood red façade, initially operating as a wine shop in 1802. This family-owned restaurant has been passed down over seven generations and continues charming visitors with its 'olde worlde' décor of velvet, Spanish tiles and lace curtains. La Bola guarantees affordable prices and homemade dishes, packed with flavour. House specialities include Madrileña-style stew and roast lamb. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, and Sunday for lunch only. Reservations recommended.
Address: Calle de la Bola 5
Telephone: 91 547 6930
A modern restaurant that offers cool interiors, tasty food and attentive service, Wagaboo is a good bet for lunch or dinner in Madrid. Specialising in pasta and noodles, Wagaboo has a great selection of contemporary Italian and Asain cuisine. The stylish industrial interior of exposed brick and piping is complimented with chic lighting, red leather seating and shiny dark wood tables. Contemporary art and photography adorn the walls, and the glassed-in kitchen allow patrons to see the pasta and noodles being made. Try an Asian stir-fry or the pizza with pesto, cherry tomatoes, arugula, feta and parma ham. Open for daily lunch and dinner.
Address: Calle Gravina 18, Chueca
Telephone: 915 316 567
With two Michelin stars and a white minimalist setting, designer cutlery and large windows looking onto the street, La Broche has been designed so that the only colour in the restaurant is the food. A perfect location for a special celebration, La Broche's menu offer a variety of haute cuisine, from freshly baked bread placed on the table with four different olive oils to a carpaccio of wild mushrooms or escargots and salmon risotto. Don't forget to look at the dessert menu! Open Tuesday to Friday for lunch and dinner, dinner only on Monday and Saturday. Reservations recommended.
Address: Calle Miguel Angel 29-31
Telephone: 91 399 3437
Bazaar serves creative Mediterranean food in a trendy environment. Priding itself on fresh produce and modern cuisine, Bazaar offers dishes such as thinly sliced tuna with mango chutney, or tender ox with parmesan and rocket. With oils, wines and various fripperies on display, Bazaar has an initial delicatessen feel to it. Follow the large staircase to the dining area with cream leather banquettes, and windows overlooking the streets of Chueca - ideal for people watching. The menu is displayed as a list of dishes with no definition between starters, mains and desserts. There is a wide-ranging wine list. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, reservations recommended.
Address: Calle Libertad 21
Telephone: 91 523 3905
Situated oppostie the Royal Opera House, Chic serves seasonal cuisine with a daily menu featuring only fresh produce and innovative combinations. Set in a long, low-lit cellar, the restaurant is made of up three rooms - the cool bar area with fresh colours, the first dining area with cream walls and crimson tablecloths, and the second dining area with olive green walls, exposed brick and white linen tableclothes. To compliment the Iberian nouvelle cuisine, there is a selection of wines from the cellar and tapas snacks. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: Calle Campomanes 5
Telephone: 91 541 8307
Maintaining its old world charm, quality dishes and unpretentious ambiance, Casa Paco has been a favourite of Madrilenos for over thirty years. A superb steak house, meat at this taverna is ordered by weight and the Casa Paco Solomilo (fillet steak) is a firm favourite. For those after something lighter, the sole and baby lamb are also first-rate dishes. The tiled dining room and traditional décor at Casa Paco add to the homely atmosphere, as does the old fashioned bar, natural sidra
(cider) and conscientious service. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Address: Puerta Cerrada 11
Telephone: 91 366 3166
For the best paella and a quality selection of cavas (Catalan champagne-type wine) that compliment this traditional dish, Café Balear is the place. The elegant dining room is simply decorated with white linens and curtains, lifted by art prints and potted palms. Try the stuffed aubergines a la Mallorquina
, or perhaps the vegetarian paella with fresh ginger. Attentive staff and a friendly atmosphere add to the appeal of this lovely restaurant. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: Sagunto 18 near Plaza de Chamberi
Telephone: 914 47 9115
On the Madrid Calendar
Between the end of February and the beginning of March, the Carnaval festivities are held to celebrate this age-old religious tradition which was banned for 40 years during the Franco era. The event culminates in the ancient ceremony of the Burial of the Sardine at Paseo de la Florida on Ash Wednesday.
Corridas de Toros
Bullfight is an ultimate emblem of Spainish culture, and the period from the beginning of March to the end of October is literally the bullfight season as the Las Ventas bullring hosts bullfights every Sunday throughout this span of time. Night shows with discount admission are offered some Fridays in July and August.
Fiestas de San Cayetano/San Lorenzo y La Paloma
Fiestas de San Cayetano are Madrid's popular working class celebrations that involve religious processions, lavishly decorated streets and wild parties filled with 19th-century costumed locals who drink lemonade, eat aubergine fritters and dance to live music. The celebrations begin at the first weekend in August to the middle of the month.
Fiestas de San Isidro
The celebration for Madrid's own patron saint, Fiestas de San Isidro, takes place at San Isidro's chapel. Visitors will be regaled by the sight of the Madrileño donned in 19th-century costumes as well as the presentation of variety of shows, tranditional dancing, flamenco concerts in Plaza Mayor and Las Vistillas. The big day is the Sunday closest to May 15, when the Spanish Army serves an enormous batch of cocido madrileo (typical tripe stew) for the masses in Plaza Mayor.
Fiestas del 2 de Mayo
Several spectacular open-air festivities are arranged in Malasaa district on May 2nd as the locals gather to honor their forefathers' resistance to the French invasion in 1808. There is a traditional military display in Plaza de Oriente in the afternoon, followed by superb fireworks display in Jardines de las Vistillas.
Noche de San Juan
This ancient celebration of the summer solstice every June 22nd and 23rd with bonfires and fireworks has received a renewed interest in recent years. Visitors are encouraged to bring along any of their old and unused items such as broken toys or old furniture to throw into the pyres. Every popular meeting points in the city offers fun-filled fairs and parties.
New year's celebration in Madrid involves a curious countdown ritual where the crowds gather in Puerta del Sol, each bringing 12 grapes to eat with each chime of the clock as it ticks toward midnight. Those who despise the crowd are of course welcome to attend private parties or get together with their family and friends.
As a Catholic country, Easter holds a strictly important religious implication for every Spaniard. There are processions to commemorate the life of Christ as well as impressive live music and spiritual flamenco to accentuate the somber mood of the occasion throughout the city.
Saint Anthony Patron Saint Day
The week-long celebration for Saint Anthony's day is one of the major holidays observed in Madrid. The events are celebrated with religious processions and live concerts which leads up to the blessing of the animals at the altar of the saint in the city. It's also a great opportunity to shop for hancrafted souvenirs and sample local food from street vendors.
Fiestas de San Antonio de La Florida
Madrid's first fiestas of the summertime sees the locals rejoice in dressing up, getting together with friends, drinking, dancing, and having a wonderful time. A religious ceremony takes place in the morning of June 13th at San Antonio's chapel where the crowds gather and later enjoy a luncheon on the terraces before proceeding to the fair ground packed with stalls of local products, confectioneries and amusement rides. (Madrid Spain Travel).
Sightseeing in Madrid (Wikitravel)
Golden (art) Museum Triangle
Museo del Prado
The northern entrance to Prado
, Paseo de Prado s/n, +34 90 2107077, Metro:Atocha or Banco de España, Bus lines 9, 10, 14, 19, 27, 34, 37 and 45. Tu-Su: 9AM-8PM, Closed M and some holidays. Tickets €6, students, children, etc. €3, free: Tu-Sa 6PM-8PM and every Su 5PM-8PM. One of the finest art collections in the world and the best collection of classical art in Madrid. Includes many different collections: the Spanish (El Greco, Velazquez, and Goya), the Flemish and Dutch (Rubens, van Dyck, and Brueghel), Italian (Botticelli, Tintoretto Caravaggio, and Veronese) and German (Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach, and Baldung Grien). Some highlights not to miss at the Prado:
- The Bosch masterpiece The Garden of Earthly Delights.
- The famous Velazquez piece Las Meninas.
- The Black Paintings of Goya.
- The Third of May 1808 also by Goya.
- Adoration of the Shepards by El Greco.
- David with the Head of Goliath by Caravaggio.
- Reina Sofía National Museum and Art Center, Santa Isabel 52, 28012 Madrid, metro Atocha.), ☎ +34 91 7741000 (fax: +34 91 7741056). Mo-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-2:30PM. Houses Madrid's best collection of modern art. It includes many of Pablo Picasso's most revered works including the renowned Guernica. The Reina Sofía also houses masterpieces by Miró, Kandinsky, Dalí, Bacon, and more. €6, free Saturday from 2:30PM till 9PM, Sunday from 10AM till 2:30PM.
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art. Opens from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10AM-7PM. The ticket office closes at 6:30PM. The Museum is closed all day on 1 Jan, 1 May, and 25 Dec. Contains a large art collection including masterpieces by Monet, Goya, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, Picasso, Mondrian, Bacon and Lichtenstein. Tickets are about €6.
National Archeology Museum
Dama de Elche: Iberian (preRoman) fertility goddess statue
, C/ Serrano 13, Metro: Serrano, +34 91 5777912. Hours Tu-Sa: 9:30AM-5PM, Sun and Holidays 9:30AM-3PM, Price: About €3, Free entry Saturday afternoons (after 2:30PM) and Sundays. Don't let the sound of it frighten you. This well designed museum houses an incredible collection of archaeological finds from across the peninsula. It leaves the visitor with a sense of the chronology of civilization in Spain (Iberian, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Visagoth, Arab, and into the modern age). The famous Dama de Elche, an Iberian (pre-Roman) fertility goddess statue, is in this museum. There are also a few pieces from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Closed: M; Jan 1 and 6; May 1 and 15; Dec 24, 25, and 31. (Holidays: Apr 5 and 6, May 2, Aug 15, Oct 12, Nov 1 and 9, Dec 6 and 8.)
- Museo de Lazaro Galdiano, C/ Serrano 122, Metro: Gregorio Mariñon, +34 91 5616084. Hours W-M: 10AM-4:30PM. Entry €4, free on Sundays. This museum houses the stunning collection of Spanish entrepreneur José Lázaro Galdiano (1862-1947) and is considered to be one of the best private collections in Spain. Not only will you find works by Goya, Velázquez, El Greco and others, the museum is also filled with jewelry, furniture, sculpture and ceramics. This is an excellent museum that is usually not crowded and well worth the price of admission. Closed: Tu; Jan 1; Easter Thursday and Friday; May 2 and 3; Nov 1; Dec 6 and 25.
- Real Academia de Bella Artes de San Fernando, C/ Alcalá 13, +34 91 5240864, Fax +34 91 5231599, Metro: Sevilla or Banco de España. Hours Tu-Fr: 9:30AM-7PM, Sa-M: 9:30-4:30PM. Entry €3, students €1.50, free W, free for children and seniors. Highly impressive art collection with paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints. Several Goya masterpieces.
- Museo de América, Avda Reyes Católicos 6, Metro: Moncloa, +34 91 5492641 and 91 5439437. Hours Tu-Sa: 9:30AM-3PM, Su 10:00AM-3PM, Closed Mondays, Jan 1, May 1, Dec 24, 25, 31. Entry €3, students €1.50, free Su, free for seniors and children. An excellent museum that many tourists miss, this museo houses thousands of artifacts from the Americas. The exhibit displays objects from many native cultures from before European conquest to colonial times and beyond. Don't miss the Tesoro (Treasure) de los Químbayas a collection of gold objects that was given as a gift by the Colombian government. Also of interest is the Tudela Codex, an Aztec law book from the 1500's. Beware: most explications to the objects on display are in Spanish only.
Places of Interest
- Palacio Real, C/ Bailen s/n, +34 91 4548800, Metro: Opera. M-Sa: 9AM-5PM, Sundays and holidays: 9AM-3PM, closed occasionally for official ceremonies. Entry €8, guided tour €11, students and children €3.5, free W for EU citizens. The Palacio Real (Royal Palace) is an enormous palace, with scorching plains of concrete around it and the Real Armorial (Royal Armory), a two-story collection of medieval weapons and armor. Explications in the armory are in spanish only, so do not expect to understand much unless your know spanish names for all that medieval stuff. In spite of its name, the palace not the residence of the current royal family. The Royal Palace is considered to be one of the most emblematic and beautiful buildings in Madrid, not only for its location but also for its architecture and the artistic treasures to be found in its rooms. The façades of the palace measure 130 meters long and 33 meters high with 870 windows and 240 balconies opening on to the facades and courtyard. It has a surface area of 100,000 square meters with 44 stairways and more than 30 principal rooms. Also located within the palace is the Pharmacia, which contains hundreds of bottles of early medicines and a reconstructed laboratory.
- Plaza Mayor, Metro:Sol or Opera. The best known plaza in Madrid, this impressive square is now one of the main stops on any tourist visit. Originally built outside the city walls, this square has played host to bullfights, markets, symphonies, tournaments and executions. The statue of Felipe II sits in the middle across from the beautifully painted Casa de la Panadería, the former headquarters of the bakers guild.
Puerta del Sol
The famous bear statue at Puerta del Sol
, Metro: Sol. This plaza is the "heart" of Madrid and one of the busiest places in the city. On the north side of the plaza there is a famous statue of an oso
(bear) climbing the madroño
tree, which is the symbol of Madrid. Also in Sol, just in front of the Capital building of the community of Madrid, is Kilometer Zero, a plaque showing the point where the measuring of national highways begins. Both the bear statue, and Km. Zero are common meeting spots for friends. The giant neon Tío Pepe
sign above the plaza is also a famous fixture of this area. New Year’s celebrations are broadcast from Sol every year with the ringing of the clock bringing in the new year.
- Atocha RENFE. (Metro: Atocha RENFE) A large train station across the street from the Reina Sofia Museum of Art. The interesting thing about it is the palm garden inside the old building, complete with a pond full of small turtles. It's free, and very much worth visiting.
- El Retiro, (Metro: Retiro, Ibiza or Atocha). Considered to be the "Central Park" of Madrid, the perfect place to take a rest during a sunny day, or take part in the drum circles around the statue of Alphonso XII on summer evenings. There is a large boating lake where one can hire a rowing boat - great fun for the children! There is a monument to the victims of the Madrid 3/11 terrorist bombings, the Forest of the Absent, and the Crystal Palace, a large structure entirely made of glass. Sunday afternoons in summer are a treat in the park, where young hippies play bongos and dance.
- Catedral de la Almudena. This massive cathedral can be found facing the Palacio Real. Finished in the end of 20th century, it is where the Princes of Asturias Felipe and Letizia were married in 2004.
- Gran Vía, (Metro:Gran Via, Callao, Plaza de España, Banco de España). Literally, "Broadway", Gran Via is one of the busiest avenues in Madrid, what you could call the main street of Madrid, and the location of the cinema district. The Gran Via is very similar to Times Square in New York City. Gran Via has a constant buzz of traffic and life. 3-4am early morning traffic jams are not unusual.
- Plaza de Cibeles, (metro: Banco de España). Houses one of Madrid's emblems, the fountain of Cibeles, and one of the world's most beautiful post offices, Palacio de las Comunicaciones.
- Plaza de España, (Metro: Plaza de España). Contains a sculpture of Cervantes and his famous Don Quixote and Sancho Panza characters.
- Templo de Debod, Paseo del Pintor Rosales 2, +34 91 765108, Metro: Plaza de España. Tue-Fri: 10AM - 2PM and 6PM - 8PM, Sat-Sun: 10PM- 2PM, closed Mondays and holidays. Free. An Egyptian temple, located in one of Madrid′s most beautiful parks. Near the Royal Palace and Plaza de España, it was a present given to Spain for its role in saving the temple of Abu Simbel from the floodwaters of Lake Nasser following the construction of the Aswan Dam in southern Egypt.
- La Casa de Campo, (Metro: Lago, Casa de Campo, Batan). The park at the rear of the Palace (Palacio Real) which used to belong to the Royal family. Much of the park has been taken to smaller activity parks such as the Zoo but in general it's peaceful. From Moncloa you can take a teleferico across into the park.
- Museo de la Ciudad (Museum of the City), Calle Príncipe de Vergara 140 (Metro: Cruz del Rayo), ☎ +34-91-5886599. Mo: Closed Tu-Fr: 10am-2pm and 4-7pm Sa&Su: 10am-2pm.. With five floors it tells the city's history, since it was founded by the Arabs. There are models of some urban areas. Entry is free. (40.444657,-3.678288)
- San Antonio de La Florida Hermitage. This small church is famous for its murals, painted by Goya. It's also the mausoleum of the painter.
- Real Madrid Museum. Located in the famous Santiago Bernabeu stadium, it showcases all the trophies of one of the most successful football clubs in the world. - Real Madrid.