Hordes of travellers head to Barcelona – and with reason. It’s gorgeous. But Madrid is fast catching up as the city in Spain that you must see. Our always-on-the-move correspondent Bruce Marais recently found himself in the city for a few days and strolled its avenues, parks and back streets.
Any list of things to do in Madrid would include, high up, walking the streets and seeing the architecture along the way, from the ornate central Gran Via shopping boulevard to the narrow quiet back streets, often festooned with street art (for the city has some great street art festivals to constantly add to its rich collection).
After breakfast, catch some more traditional art at the world-famous Prado, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum, or detour into the gardens of the Royal Palace. The route will probably take you through some of Madrid’s major squares, like Plaza Mayor as well as Plazas Santa Ana and Espana. Chances are you will want to just sit down at a fountain and take it all in.
At the Mercado de San Miguel, the array of food choices will keep you changing your mind what to eat, or just grab some tapas at one of the countless bars and then head off into the streets again.
IF I was a pigeon, I’d live in Madrid. They have great weather, plenty of trees and beautiful fountains.
An afternoon could lead you to the central Parque de El Retiro, to the east of Centro – with its romantic old architecture, pavilions and ponds, and the monument to Alfonos XII overlooking the boat pond – or to the west and Madrid Rio, a park opened in 2011 and created out of an old industrial area along the Manzanares River.
And then the night, where dinner is always late, begins.
I found Madrid to be very quirky and humorous