Madrid preview

Spain

Madrid is a cornucopia of entertainment for people of all tastes, sub-cultures, interests and budgets. If you’re bored in Madrid, it’s because you’re not taking advantage of all that the city has to offer.

Touristic and cultural entertainment includes the spectacular Palacio Real (Royal Palace), the largest in Europe, and the three art museums located within the so-called Golden Triangle: the Reina Sofia National Art Museum, the Prado Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. All three of these museums, which have permanent collections, and several privately funded cultural institutions, such as the Caixa Forum, Circulo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Circle, Fundacion ICO, etc., host temporary exhibits year round.

Next to the Golden Triangle is Retiro Park, a vast area of green tranquility right in the middle of the urban center. On the opposite end of the city center, to the west, next to Plaza de España, the Parque del Oeste, is another large park that is home to the Templo de Debod, the only complete Egyptian monument located outside of Egypt. To the Southwest lies Casa de Campo, a huge park, complete with a lagoon, the Madrid Theme Park and ample space for jogging and picnicking.

If the performing arts are more your style, Madrid’s countless theatres, from the simple and small to the regal and large, keep the city buzzing with musicals, standup comedy, dance performances, concerts and plays. There is also a wide selection of cinemas, several of which show subtitled films rather than the standard dubbed films.

The capital city also has a strong indoor and outdoor café culture. Madrid’s thousands of bars/cafes are open morning, noon and night, and are great locations to meet up with friends or to take a break from a busy day.

Madrid truly comes alive at night. The citizens of Madrid have been nicknamed gatos (cats) because once the sun goes down they do not return home until the early hours of the next day. Staying out all night is no difficult task in Madrid, as there is always an open bar or club no matter the hour.