Madrid is the capital of Spain and it has become a universal city that conserves their huge cultural and social patrimony alongside their modern infrastructure. Madrid is known for its vibrant enthusiasm and cultural contribution to civilization that reflects on the passion and friendliness of its inhabitants.
This is the most populous city in Spain with 3.165 million citizens and it has a rich and diverse culture and traditions. One of the main ones being art, as the city is home to many celebrations and festivals that showcase expositions and events all year round as well as many theater shows, film and concerts.
The nightlife of Madrid is also very vibrant and highly popular amongst those who visit, as well as the gastronomic diversity the city offers.
More than 60 museums have their doors open in Madrid, amongst the most popular you can find are the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Museo del Prado and the Reina Sofía National Art Center, that is focused on contemporary Spanish art and it also houses works by many great and world-renowned painters like Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Juan Gris amongst many others.
On top of museums and many cultural sites, the city is also home to numerous large parks and beautiful gardens like El Retiro, where you can row on a boat and watch the beautiful sunsets, feed the animals that roam freely in the area and enjoy a great afternoon in one of the greenest places in all of Europe.
Parque del Retiro
This area located in downtown Madrid measures about 125 acres and is home to more than 15,000 trees, making it the perfect location to spend an afternoon with the family, sitting by one of the terraces to admire the summer landscape or spend some time on a boat floating on the pond. Inside the park, there are some gardens like Jardín de Vivaces and the garden of Celio Rodrigues, where you can find the Seagull Fountain (Fuente de las Gaviotas), a beautiful fountain that was donated to the park by the Norwegian embassy. Another one of the gardens in named Los Jardines del Arquitecto Herrero Palacios and in here you can find some classic buildings like the Casa de Fieras, duck ponds and some ornate cages made of iron and stone. La Rosaleda is another beautiful garden opened in 1958 with the purpose of dedicating the specific area to planting roses. The garden is the stage for the yearly international competition of Rosas Nuevas Villa de Madrid, where people from all over the world come during may to see the amazing arrangements and the most beautiful roses in the world.
There are other architectural elements in the park like sculptures and fountains like the monument to Alfonso XII by the architect José Grasés Riera o El Reservado of Fernando VII amongst others.
Temple of Debod
This place is considered one of the greatest treasures of Madrid and it is located west of the Plaza de España. The temple is about 2,200 years old and it was originally brought to Spain from Egypt in 1968 as a gift to the country for helping in the effort of preserving and saving the Abu Simbel temples. The Temple was opened in July of 1972 after two years of restoration. Sadly, most of what the original temple was have been lost forever but the current pieces in Spain are a great effort of conservation of a relic that could have been gone already.
The temple is surrounded by many gardens that are perfect locations to visit and have a picnic or photograph the beautiful surroundings.
Access to the temple is free of charge, and you can learn a lot about Egyptian mythology, hieroglyphs and this amazing ancient civilization in general.
Plaza de Cibeles:
This plaza is located exactly in the center of Madrid and is one of the city’s most iconic sites. The main attractions is a fountain and the buildings that surround the plaza, which were built in the late 17th century and some in the beginning of the 20th century. The architect Ventura Rodriguez designed the Cibeles Fountain by creating a representation of the goddess Cybele, the queen of mountains and the earth, riding on a cart pulled by lions. Originally, the Plaza de Madrid, later changed to Plaza de Castelar and finally this name was replaced as well for its current denomination.
Surrounding the plaza there are my buildings of great importance to Madrid like the Banco de España, Linares Palace and Buena Vista Palace.
Madrid is one of the greatest destinations in Europe and one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in the entire world. If you choose to visit, make sure you check out the Apartamentos Plaza Basílica, a great place to call your home away from home located in the very heart of Madrid and fully recommended by us here at Royal Holiday Destinations.