There’s no better place to begin your experience in Spain than Madrid. The capital is a fresh mix of art and culture where every corner tells a story. If you are looking for a place filled with positive energy and delicious dining experiences, you should consider putting Madrid on your list.
Famous for its nightlife, Madrid comes into its own after the sun goes down with swirls of ruffled skirts and live music on the streets. Visitors gather in throngs to the different flamenco shows; you will be swept away by the fiery Spanish passion and mesmerised by the dancers’ moves.
Madrid is home to charming, historical, and trendy neighbourhoods and is becoming an increasingly popular destination to visit throughout the year. It’s not always easy to find a place close enough to all the sites. If you want to easily explore all the cultural and historical highlights, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado is an excellent choice. This boutique hotel lies in the gorgeous Art Triangle of the city, just opposite the world-renowned Prado Museum. It is a superb place to unwind from your city adventures, it also offers a relaxing environment with spa and wellness treatments. Now that your stay is covered, here is everything to look forward to in Madrid.
Madrid is full of stunning buildings from several historical periods. Here’s the list of the top architectural landmarks you should mark off your bucket list:
Puerta del Sol, the busiest and one of the most interesting squares to visit was originally one of the gates of the city. This spacious town square aligns with the rising sun (hence the name) and has witnessed quite the history: it has always been the hotspot for rallies and demonstrations. Its clock also brings in the New Year, with locals following the tradition of eating a grape at every stroke of midnight. Be sure to get some photos and relax in a local bar.
Just a few steps away, you can reach Plaza Mayor. Surrounded by grand Herrerian style buildings with yellow-ochre apartments and 17th-century frescoes, it was once the centre of the town, where the market was held. Today, it hosts the city’s important events as well as the Christmas market each year.
After visiting the plaza, you can take a walk towards the Catedral de la Almudena; this neo-Gothic cathedral is worth a visit. Its dome defines Madrid’s skyline, whilst the interiors are bright and decorated with unique pop-art décor.
If you are more into abstract buildings, you should see the Caixa Forum, an extraordinary structure near the southern end of the Paseo del Prado. It is one of Madrid’s most unusual architectural innovations, with a vertical garden covering one of its walls.
Each meal is an experience, a window into the exotic Spanish culture. Follow your food cravings to Madrid and indulge yourself in new flavours! Madrid boasts an impressive array of Michelin-star restaurants as well as a variety of local food offerings. Eating out is a fundamental part of life in Madrid, and with the fierce competition between restaurants, you can be sure to always eat well.
A perfect morning in the Spanish capital starts at a traditional café, with everyone’s favourite: churros with chocolate. Pick a side street for lunch and try an unbeatable cocido, Madrid’s signature stew. Squeeze in an afternoon snack after visiting the city and try some crispy croquetas (croquettes), a big portion of tortilla de patatas (thick potato omelette), pulpo gallego (Galician octopus) or salty, fried green Padrón peppers. Restaurants aside, the street food stalls serve great tapas and hand-crafted local beer. The most important question is, what will you try first?
Parque del Buen Retiro
When you visit Madrid, you cannot leave without visiting the Parque del Buen Retiro (Retiro Park) —perfect for beautiful strolls alongside fountains, galleries, statues, and magnificent structures. Local families spend their free afternoons here having picnics and sunbathing. In the heart of this park lies a large lake, which is a great spot to paddle around in the rowing boats that are available to hire.
Just next to the lake is the Palacio de Cristal (The Crystal Palace). This glass-clad masterpiece is one of the most notable attractions in Madrid. Formerly it was home to exotic plants but now hosts art exhibitions throughout the year.
Finally, make sure you visit the Paseo de la Argentina, also commonly known as Statue Walk. The path is decorated with statues of kings from The Royal Palace, sculpted between 1750 and 1753. Have an evening stroll here and witness the enchanting history of Spain.
Museo Del Prado
The Prado museum has Spain’s most extensive collection of art with over 7,000 paintings. Visiting this museum can take a while, but it’s absolutely worth a visit, and you can always save some parts for your next trip! Significant works of art by numerous artists like Titian, El Greco, Velazquez, Dürer, Raphael, Tintoretto, Veronese and Goya are exhibited here. The Museo del Prado is indeed a dream come true for all art lovers. With your hotel being so close to the museum you’ll be able to get a head start and fit in all your favourite pieces of art.
Have a great trip!