Planning your city break in Madrid is simple, just tell us how many days you have, what you fancy doing and we'll design an itinerary tailor made to suit!
Whether you’re travelling on a budget or looking for a luxury experience, you’ll find Madrid a destination that delivers. This is a vibrant and welcoming city, with the atmosphere of a muliticultural and forward looking capital. Madrid really has something for everyone - family holidays, classic cultural visitors, gourmands, LGBT travellers and those pursuing the latest trends in fashion, music and art.
Bursting with exciting things to see and do, Madrid is a splendid destination for an active city break. The culture-rich Capital of Spain boasts a host of world-class museums and monuments; highlights include the unmissable Prado Museum and the architectural wonder that is the Royal Palace. It has a diary of concerts, performance, theatre and sport to match any world-class city.
Shopping In Style
If shopping is high on your agenda, you won't be disappointed with Madrid’s array of deluxe boutiques and high street favourites. Lose yourself in the splendid Retiro Park – 350 acres of natural beauty right in the heart of the city. Food lovers are spoilt for choice in Madrid with its thousands of restaurants and there's certainly no shortage of tapas bars.
History & Culture
The history of Spain is writ large across this sprawling city and its environs. The very fabric of the city tells the story of Spain's influence on European and World History. This is a city that lends itself very well to exploration on foot - if you know where to go and what you're looking at. We'll introduce you to places off the tourist map with our fascinating tours...
Explore The Neighbourhoods of Madrid
Austrias - is the oldest part of Madrid with the majestic Royal Palace and popular atmosphere of Plaza Mayor.
Barrio de Las Letras - the district where many giants of the Golden Age of Spanish literature had their homes.
Barrio de Salamanca - home to luxury stores of the Golden Mile, Michelin-starred restaurants and the most stylish nightlife.
Casa de Campo - the largest urban park in Spain, Casa de Campo is a short ride from the centre.
Castellana - Madrid's financial district walking tour passes by a sports classic: the Bernabéu football stadium.
Chamberí - a traditional district with an aristocratic architectural flair in the heart of Madrid.
Chueca - Shops, culture, fine food, the latest trends and fun in a fashionable neighbourhood.
Conde Duque - explore around the old military quarters, a district with narrow streets, traditional taverns and original stores.
Sol-Gran Vía - a busy area in the very heart of the city is possibly Madrid's most touristy area.
La Latina - El Rastro flea market, the tapas, the festival of La Paloma, Las Vistillas Gardens, it's a fun-loving area .
Lavapiés - melting pot of cultures and traditions, Lavapiés has never been stripped of its essence.
Madrid Río - newly regenerated green area for sports and leisure on the banks of the River Manzanares.
Malasaña - Triball - for bohemian and hipster urbanites, it's a mecca of vintage style and underground culture.
Paseo del Arte - site of Spain's top museums and an area is the city's cultural hub par excellence.
Princesa - From Plaza de España to Moncloa, you'll find countless tourist attractions including an Egyptian temple.
Retiro - Explore Madrileños' most beloved park.
Salesas - a blend of the latest fashion and traditional establishments like Café Gijón.
THE PRADO MUSEUM - simply unmissable. If you only do one thing in Madrid - come and spend a day here. This is the crown jewel of the capital, housing the greatest collection of Spanish painting in the world. The two most celebrated Spanish masterpieces here are Velázquez' "Las Meninas" and Goya's "Third of May, 1808". The entire Prado collection numbers over 8,500 paintings and 700 sculptures, so you need to plan your visit or book a tour with one of our Art Guides.
Among the Spanish collection you'll find rooms devoted to El Greco. The Golden Age is represented by Ribera, Zurbarán and Murillo. Velázquez's most important paintings are on display. The Goya galleries display a wide range from his tapestry cartoons for the Royal Tapestry Factory, to the haunting Black Paintings from his house La Quinta del Sordo (Deaf-Man's Villa). Many more rooms are dedicated to C19th works by Fortuny, Federico, Madrazo and Sorolla.
Italian painting had a very strong influence on Spanish art, and the masterpieces on display here are sublime; Botticelli, Mantegna, Messina, Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese, plus Caravaggio, Reni and Carracci - all priceless treasures of the Prado. The Flemish school too is very well represented by the masters such as Van der Weyden, Bosch's, Rubens, Brueghel, Jordaens and Teniers. French, Dutch and German painting is also represented - Dürer, Lorrain, Rembrandt and Watteau. And don't miss the galleries devoted to sculpture and decorative arts including Roman statues and the fabulous Dauphin's Treasure - a most spectacular collection - comprising more than 120 items of jewels, golden and silver objects, pottery, and more. There are also series of galleries with temporary exhibitions, an auditorium, a café, a wonderful shop and a restaurant.
THE ROYAL PALACE
Madrid's Royal Palace takes you on a journey through the history of Spain and is still the royal family's official residence, although they no longer live there. Emir Mohamed I chose Magerit (the city's Arabic name) as the site for a fortress to protect Toledo from the advancing Christians. Charles I and his son Philip II turned the building into a permanent residence for the Spanish royal family. In 1734 it was burnt to the ground and Philip V ordered the construction of the Palace that stands today.
The architetcure was inspired by sketches made for the Louvre in Paris, with a large courtyard, galleries and parade ground. It comprises over 3000 rooms - the Main Staircase has over 70 steps; the Throne Hall has a ceiling painted by Tiepolo; the Gasparini Room, has grand C18th century decoration on a floral theme; the Royal Chemist's with natural medicine cabinets and the Royal Chapel, which is home to a collection by the legendary Antonio Stradivari. The Royal Armoury houses weapons and armour worn by the kings of Spain since the 13th century. The Painting Gallery has artistic treasures, including Morales, Caravaggio, Velázquez, Goya, Madrazo and Sorolla. The Changing of the Guard is held every Wednesday (except July, August and September).
PUERTA DE SOL
This is one of Madrid's best known squares - always buzzing and lively - it feels like the heart of the city. The famous clock at Casa de Correos is here, where each 31 December thousands gather to take part in the tradition of eating 12 grapes as it strikes 12. There is a plaque marking Kilometre Zero, the point from which the country’s roads are measured, where many Spanish tourists have their photos taken every day. The Puerta del Sol also contains the statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree which appears on the city's coat of arms. In the centre of the square, is the equestrian statue of Charles III, the king who modernised Madrid in the eighteenth century with a series of improvements to the city's infrastructure
Our 3* Hotel is the only hotel in the centre of Madrid located on Puerta del Sol itself. This central location of the hotel means you are within walking distance of several of Madrid's greatest attractions.
An atmospheric cider hall located by San Antonio de la Florida Hermitage in Paseo de la Florida, Casa Mingo is piled high with pungent cider barrels. It also excels in traditional regional cuisine from Asturias, such as chicken and chorizo roast in cider. Waiters pour cider at arm's length to splash life into it.
A popular restaurant run by actor Javier Bardem's family. The tapas menu includes croquetas "Jamón Jamón", named after the film that helped propel him to stardom, along with co-star Penelope Cruz. His family are also actors, reflected in the memorabilia on display. The lamb dishes are particularly popular.
Fast and noisy as only a Madrid bar-restaurant can be, El Brillante's traditional tapas menu attracts locals of all ages. It's particularly renowned for bocadillo de calamares a la romana (deep-fried squid-ring sandwich). This long, walk-through bar has exits that pass almost into both the Reina Sofia Museum and Atocha station.
This is truly a gastronomic temple. A gourmet food store, super-stylish tapas bar and top-notch restaurant all rolled into one. The menu offers unique creative twists which combined with design sophistication make this one of Madrid’s coolest locations. Much loved by Madrid celebrities it was a favourite haunt of David Beckham during his Real Madrid days!
CONCERTS IN 2017
Isabel Pantoja (WiZink Center. 11 February): The folk singer will be making the most eagerly awaited comeback in the Spanish music industry.
Cecilia Bartoli (Teatro Real. 19 March): One of the world's greatest mezzosoprano returns to Madrid's opera house.
Bruno Mars (WiZink Center. 3 April): Grab the chance to listen to one of today's most powerful voices as the American musician embarks on his international concert tour 24K Magic.
Shawn Mendes (WiZink Center. 9 May): The young Canadian singer-songwriter will be heading to Madrid as part of his Illuminate World Tour.
Anne Sofie von Otter & Brooklyn Rider (National Music Auditorium. 26 May): The internationally acclaimed mezzosoprano will join forces with the American Quartet to perform some of our most iconic pop songs.
Joyce DiDonato (Teatro Real. 2 June): The renowned singer returns to Madrid's opera house to perform works by Pucell and Händel, among others.
Aerosmith (Auditorio Miguel Ríos de Rivas VaciaMadrid. 29 June): The iconic American band will bid their final farewell to Europe with their Aero-Vederci Baby! Tour.
Mad Cool Festival 2017 (Madrid Caja Mágica. 6-8 July): Foo Fighters and Green Day will be headlining the 2nd edition of this eco-friendly music festival.
JAZZMADRID17 (Main venue: Conde Duque. November 2017): Madrid's international jazz festival brings together some of the world's top musicians.
Andalucía Flamenca (National Music Auditorium. Till 7 May): The new season of this fantastic programme of flamenco music features eight unmissable concerts.
EXHIBITIONS IN 2017
Masterworks from Budapest. From the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde (Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. 21 Feb-28 Mar) A carefully-selected group of over 60 works, including paintings by Dürer and Raphael, from the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
It's All True. Bruce Conner (Reina Sofia Museum. 22 Feb-22 May): First museum exhibition in Spain of one of the most important American artists of the 20th century.
Rafael Moneo (Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. 21 Mar-11 Jun): The first major retrospective dedicated to one of the most internationally acclaimed Spanish architects.
Auschwitz (Canal de Isabel II Foundation. March-October 2017): The exhibition on the German concentration camp that will travel around the world for seven years will first stop in Madrid
Visions of the Hispanic World. Treasures from the Hispanic Society, Museum and Library (Prado Museum. 4 Apr-10 Sept): 200 works from the holdings of the Hispanic Society of America in New York
DANCE SHOWS IN 2017
Vienna State Ballet (Teatro Real. 11-14 January): One of the world's leading dance ensembles will perform Adolphe Adam's beautiful ballet 'Le Corsaire' .
'Rumba' by Mayumana (Teatro Rialto. 12 Jan-12 Feb): A fascinating dance and percussion version of 'Romeo and Juliet', with music by Spanish rock group Estopa.
Rafael Amargo – Íntimo (La Estación. Gran Teatro Príncipe Pío. 20 January): Combining the purest flamenco roots with touches of contemporary dance.
Carmina Burana – La Fura dels Baus (Nuevo Teatro Alcalá. 9-19 February): The renowned Catalan troupe is staging a magical version of Carl Orff's scenic cantata.
Sara Baras - Voices (Teatro Nuevo Apolo. 23 Feb-30 Apr): After taking all five continents by storm, the flamenco legend returns to the Spanish capital with her latest show.
TAO, Samurai of the Drum (Teatros del Canal. 21-26 March): An amazing drum battle by the international sensation that is the Martial Art of Drumming.
Romeo and Juliet: Ballet & Breakdance (Teatros del Canal. 20-22 April): Two dance forms are brought together on stage for this production of one of literature's most famous tragedies.
The Nutcracker (Teatros del Canal. 3-7 May): The Cuban National Ballet presents a magical production of the Tchaikovsky classic.
Giselle (Teatros del Canal. 10-14 May): The Cuban National Ballet, home to some of the world's top dancers, performs the iconic romantic ballet.
Suma Flamenca (Various venues. 6-18 June): Two weeks of the most sublime flamenco singing and dancing.
Martha Graham Dance Company (Teatro Real. 8, 10 and 11 June): The American dance company is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a spectacular programme.
Madame Butterfly (Teatro Real. 27 Jun-21 Jul): A unique adaptation of Puccini's opera directed by Mario Gas that takes place on a 1930s film set.
Macbeth (Teatro Real. 11, 14, 17 July): Plácido Domingo takes the lead role in the first of Verdi's three operas based on the work of Shakespeare.
Billy Elliot, The Musical (Nuevo Teatro Alcalá. From 5 October) 17 years after opening in London's West End, the musical featuring music by the great Elton John arrives in the Spanish capital.
SPORTING EVENTS IN 2017
EDP Rock´n´Roll Madrid Marathon & 1/2 2017 (23 April): Sport and music at one of the most important sporting events of the many that take place across Spain.
Mutua Madrid Open 2017 (Madrid Caja Mágica. 5-14 May). Tickets are now on sale to watch the world's best tennis players in action.
Race for Women 2017 (7 May 2017. To be confirmed) Madrid has been holding this charity race for 12 years, which paints the streets of the city pink.
REAL MADRID AND ATLETICO MADRID LIGA, EUROPA LIGA GAMES VARIOUS DATES - ASK FOR DETAILS
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