Madrid, Spain, is a unique city, and at an altitude of 2,100 feet it may be one of Europe's highest capital cities. Madrid is not only the capital of Spain, but it is also the world's capital of bullfighting.
Shop at some of Europe's finest shops, view world class art galleries, party all night or watch a traditional Flamenco dance! You can't go wrong when you travel to Madrid. There are many other wonderful things to see in Madrid, but these are some of my favourites.
1. Puerta Del Sol
Start your trip to Madrid here. The Puerta Del Sol is the centre of it all. This is where all of the radial highways begin.
In the central area of Puerta Del Sol you will find the famous statue of a bear standing against a tree which is based on Madrid's coat of arms.
You cannot go to Spain without seeing a bullfight. Madrid is the home of bullfighting so if you have never seen a bullfight and want to, this is the place to see it.
Some of the best Spanish bullfights are in Madrid. The bullfighting season usually goes from March to October.
3. Palacio Real
The Royal Palace is a beautiful and a very important place in Madrid. Unless there is official business taking place, the Royal Palace is open to the public. You will have to pay an entrance fee, but it is well worth it. Make sure to visit the beautiful formal gardens while you're there.
4. Prado Museum
The Prado Museum is one of the most important museums in the world and without a doubt the pride of Madrid. In this museum you will find the world's greatest collection of Spanish paintings. If you are interested in art, this is a must to see.
5. Plaza Mayor
The Plaza Mayor is a marvellous historical site to see. In the centre of the square stands the statue of Philip III on horseback. Access to the square is through one of nine arches and only foot traffic is allowed in the square.
Plaza Mayor (photo Flickr by j david)
6. Parque Del Buen Retiro
This massive park has a central lake, statues, many fountains, and pleasant walkways. It is a relaxing place to get away from the city during the week and meditate or relax for a while. Go to the lake and hire yourself a boat and float on the lake or enjoy some of the street entertainers that frequent the park.
Parque Del Buen Retiro (photo Flickr by Lance and Erin)
7. The Gran Via
A must see street if you love architecture. Many different styles of buildings are seen on this street and are very well preserved. Literally, "Broadway". It's the most commercial avenue in Madrid. There are people any time in the day (and the night).
8. Puerta De Alcala
This is the most important and longest street in Madrid. It is found in the centre of the Plaza de la Independencia on Calle de Alcala.
9. Estacion De Atocha
One of two main railways in Madrid, the Estacion de Atocha has beautiful tropical garden that grace the main hall. You will come here to catch all of the national, high-speed trains.
10. Plaza Colon
Several monuments of Columbus and his men dating back to 1885 are found here. In the centre of the square are The Gardens of Discovery. Underneath the square is the Cultural Center. In the centre is a theatre, concert hall and exhibition rooms. The centre is hidden from view by a wall of water.
About the Author: Jim Ada has been working in the language industry for over 15 years and has had years of international business experience. Impress the locals by learning some Spanish before travelling to Spain. Find the language course that is right for you at www.SpeakALanguage.com. Visit their website to hear a free Pimsleur lesson.
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