15 Things Madrid is Known For

Madrid is the capital of Spain and residential to round 3.3 million individuals. It’s the political, financial, and cultural middle of Spain and it’s positioned proper on the coronary heart of the nation.

The town additionally homes the headquarters of the World Tourism Group (UNWTO), a particular company of the United Nations (UN).

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However what’s Madrid identified for? Madrid is thought for its historic buildings, meals markets, and the royals. It’s additionally identified for its renaissance and up to date artwork museums, sunny blue skies, distinctive neighborhoods, and bustling nightlife.

Madrid is a metropolis of pleasure and life. When you go to, you’ll most undoubtedly want to return – I do know I did! I’ve visited two years in a row and might hardly await the third.

So let’s go over the 15 issues that Madrid is thought for!

1. Puerta del Sol

puerta del sol madrid

Puerta del Sol, actually “door of the solar”, is among the most well-known squares in Madrid and a gathering level for locals and vacationers alike. It’s the middle of the town and the primary cease for many guests.

Right here, you’ll discover three of the principle symbols Madrid is thought for. The primary is El Oso y el Madroño (Statue of the Bear and Strawberry Tree), which represents Madrid’s coat of arms. It’s the place you’ll discover individuals impatiently their watches, as it is a well-liked assembly spot. The second is Actual Casa de Correos (Home of the Put up Workplace), which isn’t identified for its impeccable postal providers however for its clock as an alternative, the place 1000’s of individuals collect yearly to eat 12 grapes earlier than welcoming the New 12 months. Third and final is Kilometer Zero, the start line for each highway in Spain.

It’s additionally a beautiful place to buy souvenirs or have a beautiful Spanish brunch, full with toast with tomato sauce and jamón ibérico (smoked ham), a slice of tortilla (potato and egg omelet) and a freshly brewed café con leche.

2. Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is positioned just some meters from Puerta del Sol and the Royal Palace. Designed by Juan de Herrera and Juan Gómez de Mora within the Baroque type, it’s one other of Madrid’s must-sees.

One of many details of this sq. is the Equestrian statue of Philip III. It was throughout a free guided tour across the metropolis that I realized concerning the symbolism of horse statues… Apparently, if the horse is rearing (with each entrance legs within the air), the rider died from battle; if just one entrance leg’s up, which means the rider was wounded in battle; if all 4 hooves are on the bottom, then the rider died exterior battle. Attention-grabbing, proper?

Right here, you’ll additionally discover Casa de la Panadería, one of many first bakeries to be established in Madrid again within the 1500s, and El Arco de Cuchilleros, essentially the most well-known out of the 9 completely different entrances to the sq..

When you occur to be visiting throughout the vacation season, there’ll be a standard Christmas market that’s been taking place for practically 150 years, the place you’ll discover loads of festive decorations and reward choices.

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3. Royal Palace of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid was constructed within the 18th century and is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Household.

Really, these days, the palace is used completely for receptions, ceremonies, and official acts, because the monarchs of Spain have taken up residency within the Zarzuela Palace.

The Palace is surrounded by Campo del Moro Park, to the west, that dates again to the Center Ages, and the gardens of Sabatini, which you’ll go to throughout the daytime.

The altering of Guard on the Royal Palace of Madrid takes place each Wednesday from October to July at 11 am.

4. Gran Vía

Gran Vía, essentially the most well-known boulevard of Madrid, was constructed between 1910 and 1929 to attach the Salamanca and Argüelles neighborhoods. It’s full of outlets, eating places, and a number of the metropolis’s most iconic buildings, just like the Metropolis or the Carrion constructing with the well-known Schweppes signal.

Within the olden days, Gran Vía was named the Spanish Broadway, however yearly extra theaters and cinemas shut down.

Regardless, it’s nonetheless “the road that by no means sleeps”, because it’s one of many epicenters of nightlife in Madrid and even most outlets keep open till darkish. Evidently, this is among the greatest areas to remain in Madrid.

5. Parque del Retiro

Parque del Retiro is Madrid’s most well-known park and, since opening to the general public in 1868, it has change into a backwater of historical past and peace.

It was initially constructed for the enjoyment of King Philip IV. It received considerably broken throughout the Battle of Independence, however later regained its appeal and class, changing into a spot for commoners and royals.

There’s a scenic lake, the place you’ll be able to lease rowboats or hop in a bigger boat that goes across the pond; there’s a Crystal Palace, a greenhouse turned exhibition gallery; and the monument to King Alfonso VII, a powerful statue on the finish of the lake the place musicians normally collect round to entertain passing guests.

Parque del Retiro at sundown – Photograph by Filipa

That is the very best place to relaxation after an extended day of touring. When you can, get some tapas to go, a pleasant bottle of wine, and have your self a picnic, while having fun with the greatest sundown in Madrid.

6. Museo del Prado

Madrid is thought for its artwork and Museo del Prado is essentially the most famend museum within the metropolis and probably the most essential artwork museums in the entire world. The constructing is the work of Juan de Villanueva and was inaugurated in 1819.

The gathering is based on work from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Amongst these, masterpieces by painters equivalent to Velázquez, El Greco, Rubens, Hieronymus Bosch, and Goya.

You’ll be able to go to the museum free of charge from Monday to Saturday between 6 pm and eight pm, Sundays and holidays between 3 pm and 5 pm. Kids as much as 18 and college students underneath the age of 25 might enter the museum free of charge at any time.

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7. Templo de Debod

templo de debod madrid

Templo de Debod (Debod’s Temple) is among the greatest hidden treasures of Madrid. It’s so unknown, I solely knew of it the second time I visited! It’s positioned west of the Plaza de España, subsequent to the Parque del Oeste.

The temple was initially from Egypt and over 2,200 years previous. It was later gifted to Spain as a thanks reward for his or her assist with rescuing the temples of Nubia.

The perfect time to go to is at nightfall when you’ll be able to see the temple mild up underneath the darkish blue sky. You too can go to the inside free of charge! Though it’s not fairly the identical as visiting the temples of Egypt, it’s undoubtedly value it, particularly in case you’ve by no means visited the true factor. You’ll be able to study Egyptian mythology and hieroglyphics.

8. Museo Reina Sofía

The Reina Sofía Museum is among the most essential museums in Madrid and provides guests an in depth assortment of Spanish up to date artwork.

It options work by famend Spanish artists equivalent to Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró.

You’ll be able to go to the museum free of charge on Mondays from 7 pm to 9 pm, Wednesday by means of Saturdays from 7 pm to 9 pm, and Sundays from 1.30 pm till 2.15 pm.

9. Puerta de Alcalá

Puerta de Alcalá is among the most consultant and photographed monuments of Madrid. It’s a neo-classical arch, positioned firstly of Calle Alcalá, in Plaza de la Independencia, near one in every of Parque del Retiro’s entrances.

It was inaugurated in 1778 by Francisco Sabatini, an Italian architect who spent most of his life working in Spain. He’s also referred to as the architect behind the gardens surrounding the Royal Palace.

10. Actual Madrid

Positioned within the Paseo de la Castellana, Santiago Bernabéu is the stadium of Actual Madrid, a soccer membership beloved by some and hated by others. It is among the most visited locations within the metropolis, with greater than 1 million guests per yr.

Actual Madrid is thought for having had legends of the game roam its pitch, legends Zinédine Zidane, David Beckham, the Brazilian Ronaldo, AND the Portuguese (arguably the very best of all time) Cristiano Ronaldo.

You’ll be able to tour the stadium, go to the presidential field, the altering rooms and even step foot on the sector.

11. Mercado de San Miguel

Proper subsequent to Plaza Mayor, you’ll discover the historic Mercado de San Miguel, is a beautiful gastronomic area that preserves its authentic iron construction of the early twentieth century.

Right here, you’ll be able to take pleasure in most of the Madrid’s well-known meals, equivalent to patatas bravas (also referred to as papas bravas, fried potatoes with a spicy sauce), calamari sandwiches, pimentos padrón (small inexperienced peppers, usually coal-roasted), and a pleasant glass (or two) of the genuine sangría.

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12. Oldest restaurant on the planet

I used to be very skeptical when advised that Sobrino de Botin was the oldest restaurant on the planet, but when Guinness attests to that, then who am I doubt it?

Inaugurated in 1725, it has since by no means stopped working. It’s well-known for the home particular – roasted piglet.

roasted piglets Sobrino de Botin
Photograph by pepoexpress

Initially, it was an inn created by Jean Botin and his spouse, who then handed it over to their nephew, who turned it right into a restaurant – therefore the identify which accurately interprets to “Botin’s nephew”. Its picture retains the spirit of the seventeenth century.

Nonetheless, the constructing dates approach again to 1580. The wooden oven used at present remains to be the unique of that point. It’s very fashionable amongst vacationers so don’t go in considering you’ll be paying the unique seventeenth century costs!

13. Chueca

Chueca started to face out as a nightlife epicenter a couple of many years in the past when the LGTB+ group stuffed its streets and squares with life, which till then had remained considerably forgotten.

These days, Chueca is a neighborhood open to anybody who’s seeking to have some enjoyable in a respectful and supportive setting.

Right here you will see that the legendary Museo Chicote, elected a number of instances the very best bar in Europe. By means of it handed most of the best stars of Hollywood’s golden age, in addition to the well-known Ernest Hemingway.

14. Flamenco

Though flamenco has its origin within the south of Spain (cities equivalent to Seville, Granada, and Cordoba), Madrid is the place you’ll discover absolutely the greatest flamenco reveals within the nation.

Its origin was the mixture of Andalusian music and dance with a Roman contact. The clapping, faucet dance, and the singing are the pillars of flamenco.

There are reveals in eating places, theaters and phases throughout Madrid however essentially the most well-known and oldest venue is unarguably Corral de la Morería, a restaurant that showcases flamenco since 1956.

15. Madrid nightlife

Madrid is thought for its nightlife; it’s one of many greatest cities in Europe to take pleasure in an evening out.

Relating to pubs, the aforementioned Chueca neighborhood has wonderful out of doors areas, good for the summer season warmth. Huertas, very near Puerta del Sol, is the vacationers’ favourite neighborhood for consuming. Bohemian Malasaña, on the coronary heart of the town, is thought for its 70’s and 80’s vibe.

One of many greatest nightclubs in Europe is within the Spanish capital – the suitably named Kapital. It’s constructed out of an previous theater and has seven flooring, all with completely different environments. On its prime flooring, there’s a rooftop that’s normally opened on hotter evenings.

Now that you understand what Madrid is thought for, it’s time to start out planning your journey!

Earlier than you go, uncover what Barcelona and Spain is legendary for!

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