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Madrid: From the Royal Palace to Chueca and Lavapiés

Madrid is as if it were at the same time one big city and the sum of several smaller ones, each one different, each one with its own character, its own personality. You may be surprised by the majesty of the royal palace, the respect for the diversity found in lively Chueca or, not too far away, multicultural Lavapies, with smells, tastes and colours arrived from the four corners of the world in the form of restaurants, shops and street gatherings.

Clearly, the best way to appreciate such great and beautiful differences is walking the streets of these neighbourhoods. However, there is also another way to do so. And that is at the Bellas Artes cultural centre, since it opened its roof terrace. Being just a few steps away from Puerta del Sol, it allows you to see the whole of Madrid. From up there you can see not only what has already been mentioned above, but also the sunset, going towards Barajas, Alcala de Henares and Barcelona and over the Puerta de America Hotel where by the way, a terrace can also be found, and each floor has been designed by a different designer. The sun may also go down over Las Vistillas Gardens, where Madrid girls in traditional dresses still exist and dance a chotis in all their beauty. From there you can also see the mountains outside Madrid with either the haze of a postcard or the utmost clarity. Seductive, isn't it?

It is funny how in big cities there are places which, wherever it is you go, you always go past them again and again. In Madrid, one of these places, and especially if you are visiting, is the Puerta del Sol (or just Sol, as the locals call it, being well-known for saving words in their language). Restored a few years ago – after years of work – this square is the place where the capital's people have celebrated their historical events; it is the cityscape where the traditional Christmas grapes are eaten; it is a space crossed by tourists who take picture after picture of the famous bear and strawberry tree – el oso y el madroño – made of granite and bronze. That is Sol, both a passing and arrival spot, and no wonder that is the case, as nearby there are hotels, shops, bars and restaurants... Not far away, the city's main museums can also be found: the Thyssen, Prado and Reina Sofia. Busy and lively Huertas Street, which leads to the equally busy Plaza Santa Ana, with the spirit of the days when the Spanish Golden Century authors lived just around the corner. Typical tapas and beers in Plaza Mayor.

Too noisy? Looking for some quietness? Well, Madrid is also the ideal place. Why? Because parks are something you can definitely find in Madrid: El Retiro, Parque Fluvial del Manzanares with its paths and vegetation that go on for several kilometres along the banks of the Manzanares river.

What to see or do in and around Madrid

  • Madrid (Madrid)

    Madrid is very nice city

    We were every day in the restaurants; there are a lot of delicious restaurants and Tapas bars, which is typical in Madrid. We discovered wonderful places like plaza Major. The next time we will discover the Corrida. We recommend : Villa Capri and Juana La Loca which were our favourite restaurants.

  • Madrid (Madrid)

    City of broken dreams.

    As usual, Madrid offered the delights of a super quiet drive on its ring road on a sunny Sunday morn.

  • Madrid (Madrid)

    Madrid as a great place to enjoy short vacations

    Best restaurants around the city, healthy options. Excellent transportation alternatives, great connections among the most interesting places in Madrid. Madrid is a very beautiful city to visit, during hollidays, for business, as a medical check great center. Shopping malls are great, with full of trendy choices.

  • Madrid (Madrid)

    Beautiful City.

    Madrid is a beautiful, very lgbtq+ friendly, royal, huge city in the heart of Spain and has almost everything one desires to offer. For those new in Madrid I very much recommend taking a big walk around the grand via and into the friendly neighbourhoods nearby. I also recommend visiting the royal court and the famous Prado museum.

  • Madrid (Madrid)

    We came for business. It was a very positive trip.

  • Madrid (Madrid)

    Everything of every place

    I will come back

  • Madrid (Madrid)

    Madrid must see for art, pleasure, food!

  • Madrid (Madrid)

    Madrid is a great city that everyone should visit at least once. The people are the friendliest, it has many cultural and tourist attractions and you can visit most of them for free eg Museo Reina Sofia, Museo del Prado, Museo de historia de Madrid. For me, I think everyone should visit Prado at least once in their lifetime, it was the best thing I've ever seen. Also, the city is very cheap, one of the cheapest capitals in Europe and therefore there shouldn't be a problem if you travel low-buget. You can go pretty much everywhere on foot but there are also a metro and city buses.

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