The capital of Spain is the third most populous city in the European Union, after Berlin and London. It is a place plenty of hotel overnight stays and historical, interesting, cultural venues to visit. Also it is the fourth richest metropolis in the continent, surpassed only by the England, France and Russia main conurbations.
A train travel to Madrid should consider visiting its rich cultural heritage. It is represented by international reference museums like El Prado, National Reina Sofia Art Center and Thyssen-Bornemisza. The former focal magnetism lies in the wide presence of Velázquez, El Greco and Goya paintings. Also you find Tiziano’s, Rubens’ and el Bosco’s, with the best and most extensive collections in the planet.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official imperial residence; nevertheless, the present kings stay in La Zarzuela, reason why the previous is used for ceremonies of State and solemn acts. It has an area of 135,000 m² and 3418 rooms which is almost twice as much as Buckingham or Versailles ones, making it the largest majestic spot of Western Europe. Some halls and art collections are open to visitors in occasions.
A pleasure for every taste
If you feel attracted by nature go to El Retiro, a historic garden and public park, one of the main tourist attractions. It comprises numerous architectural, sculptural and landscape collections from the 17th to the 21st centuries, including Alfonso XII monument, Cristal Palace, the big pond, El Parterre, Felipe IV’s door, Royal Astronomical Observatory and Artichoke fountain.
Undoubtedly, the gastronomy is one of the highlights of this modern site. Its traditional cuisine preserves some Castilian dishes with the culinary characteristics inherited from Felipe II epoch. Among the representative ones are Madrid-style tripe, garlic soup, the “casquería” in general and desserts such as silly and smart donuts, saint’s bones and torrijas.
Above all the tourism comes to enjoy Madrid’s nightlife. Discotheques, terraces, Warner and other parks, summer activities; the capital offers to visitors varied alternatives at any time of the year. If you want to know the best “fiesta” look for a downtown lodging to get closer to visitor areas when night falls.