As the capital of the Spanish Empire, Madrid was once the richest and most powerful city in the world. That kind of past leaves a big impression on a place and in Madrid it is easy to see. For palaces, museums and concerts it is up there with the best in the world.
Even if the royal family has largely abandoned the palace, Madrid remains a royal city with refined tastes. The Royal Theatre is Spain’s most important classical music venue, hosting opera and concert events. And at the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) the overwhelming wealth of the Spanish Empire is at its most evident in three thousand rooms bedecked with priceless paintings from down the ages.
If you’re looking for culture, you’ve definitely come to the right place. The museums of the “golden triangle” alone, namely the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza, feature a stunning array of paintings ranging from Old Masters to modern surrealists all housed in some of Spain’s most magnificent buildings. And the rest of the city is just as rich in cultural icons and architecture.
But Madrid is also a city for going out and partying. The area of Malasana is packed with bars and restaurants that stay open until dawn and rival anything Barcelona has to offer. There is also a growing interest in flamenco among Madrid’s young population, which has led to shows and clubs springing up across the city.
Add to that the most successful football team in Europe (Real (Royal) Madrid – what else would they be called?) and it is clear that Madrid today is every bit as confident as it was in its imperial heyday.
Suggestions for optional tours:
Madrid city Hop on Hop off tour
Flamenco show at Torres Bermejas
Madrid City Sightseeing and Royal Palace Tour
Madrid Tourist Travel Pass