Seven reasons to visit Madrid | Private jet charter
Spain’s historic and vibrant capital, Madrid is renowned for its world-class museums and galleries such as the Prado, and is home to the Spanish royal family and seat of the Spanish Government. Located in the centre of Spain, Madrid offers tourists an eclectic restaurant and bar scene, as well as relaxing parks and gardens, and speciality markets.
One of the world’s most impressive museums, Prado is home to iconic masterpieces from Goya, Velázquez, El Greco and many more. Titian, Bosch and Rubens are also well represented here. There is free entry to the permanent collections after 6pm (5pm on Sundays).
El Rastro market
Head to the Embajadores neighbourhood every Sunday and enjoy Madrid’s oldest and best-loved street market. You’ll find hundreds of stalls located around Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores offering clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts and much more. Head down the side streets for antiques and other gems. All that bargaining is likely to build up a thirst – quench it with tapas and a beer at one of the bars in the neighbouring La Latina district.
Royal Palace of Madrid
Built on the site of a 9th-century Muslim fortress, the Royal Palace of Madrid is the largest and arguably the most impressive royal palace in Europe. With more than 3,418 rooms it’s almost double the size of Versailles or Buckingham Palace. The Royal Palace’s stunning entrance features 44 limestone statues of Spanish royals and is surrounded by beautiful gardens, including the Sabatini Gardens. Take time to visit Almudena Cathedral, located opposite the palace.
Templo de Debod
Brought from its original home – 15km south of Aswan in Egypt – and reconstructed in Madrid, this is the only preserved Egyptian temple in Spain. A present from the Egyptian government to Spain in return for helping save the Abu Simbel temples at Aswan, the enigmatic 2nd-century Templo de Debod is dedicated to Isis and Amon and is most spectacular around sunset.
Retail therapy is guaranteed along Madrid’s upscale shopping street which begins at Calle de Alcalá and ends 1.3km away at Plaza de España. Known as Madrid’s Broadway, Gran Via was home to the city’s first department store and is now the capital’s entertainment district with cinemas, theatres, hotels and shops.
Day trip to El Escorial
A wonderful day trip out of Madrid is a visit to the mountain town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial whose Monastery was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. Just 50km northwest of Madrid, El Escorial was built in the 16th-century by King Felipe II whose descendants have built up an impressive art collection. Visitors can admire works by Titian, Ribera, El Greco, Velázquez and many more.
Parque del Buen Retiro
Madrid’s most popular park, this 118-acre haven once belonged to the Spanish royal family and was first opened to the public in the 1700s. As well as shady walks, there’s a beautiful circular rose garden and a walkway known as statue walk, which is lined by 18th-century statues of Spanish monarchs. Rent a rowing boat and enjoy a paddle around the lake.
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