Full of energy and packed with cultural attractions, Madrid is a modern metropolis that offers a taste of the real Spain. Madrid is a city with music in its soul and is culture-rich with great food, art and epicurean pleasure, and it's turned into a cosmopolitan, modern urban center while fiercely preserving its traditions.
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
This world-class museum has a collection of more than 5000 paintings. Painting from Italian, Flemish, British, German and Neoclassical Italian sculptures is included in this collection. For a small fee visitors can use the museumâ€™s audio guide which includes a tour of 50 masterpieces. The Church of San Jeronimo el Real behind the museum is displaying a collection of 17th century Spanish religious paintings.
The 18th century palace is built entirely of granite and white Colmenar stone. The majestic Neoclassical facade features Ionic columns and Doric pilasters and the balustrade features statues of Spanish kings. Highlighted features is the striking staircase at the entrance hallway, the The King Charles III apartments, the Salon de Gasparini, the SalĂłn del Trono and the Throne Room. Decorating the wall throughout the palace is masterpieces by VelĂˇzquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco, and Caravaggio, and exquisite Flemish and French tapestries. Visit the palaceâ€™s Royal Armory which contains 3000 exhibits dating back to the 16th century.
Founded by Queen Isabella II in 1867 the museum is Madridâ€™s most important museum. Exhibits feature archaeological finds, ethnography, decorative arts from antiquity, and ancient coins. The permanent collection includes pieces from various time periods and locations, such as Egyptian mummies, Hispano-Roman objects of art, Islamic archaeology, and MudĂ©jar ceramics. The museum's library features publications on art, history, and archaeology.
4.GOYA FRESCOES AT ERMITA DE SAN ANTONIO DE LA FLORIDA
The Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida is an important historic pilgrimage site. The chapel is decorated with frescoes by Francisco de Goya, which are among his finest works. The chapel is designated a national monument and is no longer used for religious services to protect the frescoes.
5.LAZARO GALDIANO MUSEUM
A exceptional private collection of financier LĂˇzaro Galdiano is on display in the museum. An extensive collection of around 9,000 art works including armor, coins, medals, jewelry, Baroque crystal and tapestries is on display. Spanish paintings by famous masters including El Greco, Goya, VelĂˇzquez, ZurbarĂˇn, Ribera, Pereda, and Murillo are also on display.
6.TEMPLE OF DEBOD
A ancient Egyptian temple in La MontaĂ±a Park is one of Madrid's most surprising monuments. A gift from Egypt, the Debod Temple was brought to Madrid in 1968. In the 2nd century BC the temple was built for King Adikhalamani and features includes several shrines, a spacious hall, and a terrace on the upper level. Inside the well-preserved original decorations can be seen. Creating a magical effect gardens, reflective pools and a fountain is surrounding the monument.
7.THE NATURAL SCIENCE MUSEUM
The north wing is housing temporary small exhibitions annually and larger ones lasting around a year. Permanently on display is a large exhibition of Mediterranean flora and fauna, illustrating the region's biodiversity. Outside The JardĂn de Piedras exhibits rocks and fossilized logs, most of them from the Community of Madrid. Highlights in the museum is a replica of a Diplodocus, the skeleton of a Pleistocene era Megatherium americanum and a whale skeleton more than 20 metres long.
8.EL OSO Y EL MADRONO
The symbol and meeting point of Madrid 'The Bear and the Strawberry Tree' sculpture is not only in the centre of the Puerta del Sol, but is also the starting point of all the motorways in Spain. The 'El Oso y el MadroĂ±o' also appears in Madrid's coat of arms. For years the statue was in front of C/ del Carmen, but now stands at the mouth of C/AlcalĂˇ and the Carrera de San JerĂłnim.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
The best way to get around is by bus, taxi, car, metro, cercanias or on foot.
The best time to visit Madrid is in the fall â€“ between September to November, or spring â€“ between March to May, when balmy temps blow through the city, making it come alive.