City guide: Madrid, Spain | Private jet charter
Located in the centre of Spain, Madrid is the country’s vibrant and historic capital. An ideal city break destination, this fascinating metropolis is home to world-class museums, an award-winning restaurant scene with some of the best cuisine in Spain, eclectic street markets, as well as an abundance of parks and gardens to explore.
Top five must-see sights and attractions
Museums and galleries
This famous 1km thoroughfare in the centre of Madrid is home to an extraordinary selection of museums and galleries, including the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
The Prado is one of the world’s most famous galleries and celebrates its 200-year centenary this year. Spain’s national museum, it attracts over three million visitors a year to see works by El Greco, Goya, Velázquez, Rubens, Titian, Rubens, Hieronymus Bosch and many more. The Prado first opened in 1819 and contains more than 20,00 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum also has an impressive collection of art spanning seven centuries of European painting – and free entry on Mondays – while Picasso’s Guernica is among many other contemporary Spanish art treasures housed at the Reina Sofia Museum.
Parks and gardens
Madrid temperatures can reach 40 degrees in the summer, so escaping to one of the city’s many parks and gardens is a must. Retiro Park is Madrid’s most popular green space – an 118-acre haven with more than 15,000 trees amongst its beautiful monuments, sculptures and gardens. Hire a rowing boat and enjoy a paddle around the impressive lake.
Casa de Campo is Madrid’s largest park, popular with joggers and busy at weekends when families visit the zoo and the lake. Take the cable car that connects the Campo with the Parque del Oeste on the opposite side of the Manzanares River.
Madrid’s Royal Botanical Gardens are heavenly at any time of the year boasting more than 30,000 plant species.
Faro de Moncloa
Enjoy panoramic views across Madrid from the top of the Faro de Moncloa tower. Located on the Avenida de La Memoria in the heart of Madrid’s University district, the 110m former transmission tower was built by architect Salvador Pérez Arroyo in 1992.
From the glass-walled observation deck at 92m, look out over Madrid’s iconic monuments including the Torrespaña Almudena Cathedral, the Telefonica building, the Royal Palace and across to the mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Madrid has an abundance of street markets selling everything from fresh food to antiques and clothing. Head to the Embajadores neighbourhood on Sundays and enjoy El Rastro, Madrid’s oldest and best-loved street market. You’ll find hundreds of stalls located around Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores selling clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts and more. Meander off the main street for antiques and souvenirs.
Specialist markets worth investigating include Lost and Found at Conde Duque that sells second-hand books, comics, clothes, tech and records. Head to the Barrio de las Letras for a mix of food and art, while the Painter’s Market every Sunday on the Plaza Conde de Barajas is a magnet for art lovers.
Watch live Flamenco dancing
Flamenco is the national dance of Spain, and where better to see a live performance than in a traditional Flamenco tablaos. From intimate venues to grand theatres, flamenco sounds and rhythms are part of the pulsating heart of Madrid – the epicentre of the flamenco record industry. The genre came to prominence in the 19th century and today’s tablaos continue the legacy.
Torres Bermejas offers visitors superb Spanish cuisine – and top flamenco performances – at its central Madrid location on Calle de Mesonero. Awarded the National Gastronomy Award, Corral de la Moreria is a celebrity hangout with two restaurants run by chef David Garcia. An 18th-century palace is home to Café de Chinitas, wowing audiences with its flamenco and food, while Candela is the place for ‘cave’ dancing until sunrise.
Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas International Airport is just 12km from the city centre. Buy a Tourist Travel Pass for 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days unlimited travel across Madrid’s efficient public transport system. Cards can be purchased at metro stations, the airport and at tobacconists.
Best time to visit
Spring: March to May the weather is usually mild. Easter week in Madrid has spectacular processions, and the San Isidro festivals are well worth seeing.
Summer: Peak tourist season in Madrid. The weather can be overbearingly hot in July and August. June is the best summer month to visit Madrid when the weather is at its best and the days are long.
Autumn: Early autumn is a great season to visit Madrid, with fewer visitors and milder temperatures.
Winter: November to February is off-season in Madrid. Sunny and cold days are ideal for exploring the city. Christmas is very popular however, when prices and tourists are at their peak.
Madrid has a rich cultural legacy with world-class shopping, and fabulous museums and galleries to visit – in addition to an award-winning restaurant and bar scene that attracts the best chefs and innovators.
Watch the sun rise over tapas at a flamenco dance and take a romantic walk along the city’s heritage streets. Enjoy brunch at one of the many street cafes before exploring the food markets. Madrid has a sophisticated charm that merits a long weekend stay at the very least.
To arrange your private jet charter to Madrid, contact the team today.