Madrid may be Spain’s capital, but it is all too often ignored when it comes to booking a holiday in Spain. Those looking for a city break will almost always opt for Madrid’s Catalan cousin Barcelona, which unlike Madrid boasts a beach and Mediterranean weather. People should know, however, that Madrid really is worth visiting. There is no better way to get to know Spain than through a stay in the capital!
The Must-sees In Madrid
It may not have a landmark as renowned as the Sagrada Familia, but Madrid has plenty of interesting points of interest to see.
The Royal Palace is not only the official residence of the Royal Family, but it is also a place with a lot of history. The current Palace was built after 1734 when the previous Royal Fortress was burned down. King Philips V wanted to build the new Palace of granite and limestone to make it fireproof and that is exactly what was built.
You’ll also see in the square in front of the palace a bronze statue of King Philip IV. King Philip wanted a statue of himself on horseback. Unfortunately for the King, his advisors failed to mention that balance is required for a statue of a stallion on its hind legs! So the statue frequently fell over until Galileo came up with the idea of filling the horses hind legs full of bronze to give it stability. It may seem simple with hindsight, but not at the time!
Also of interest are the Squares of Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. These two Squares are the most famous in Madrid and were the site of many markets, parades and even executions over the years. Today, you’re more likely to find colourful toys for sale – but you’ll still feel a sense of the history when strolling around.
One of the most famous things to come out of Madrid is its football, with Real Madrid one of the most famous and richest clubs in the world and Atlético Madrid always at the right end of the Spanish League. Both teams’ stadiums can be found close to the city’s centre, with Real’s Bernabéu towards the north and Atlético’s Calderon towards the south by the river.
If looking to see some quality football, then you’re almost guaranteed that one of the capital’s teams will be playing on any given weekend and these games are always worth watching.
Madrid boasts several quality markets and you’d have to be walking around with your eyes closed to leave without a bargain. El Rastro market is one of the country’s best and takes place every Sunday, stretching over many streets a little to the south of Puerta del Sol. The Cuesta de Moyano market specialises in the arts and books. Collectors from around the world come here, so there are some fantastic finds if you have the stamina to examine the bargins!
Where To Stay?
With a great Metro system, it really doesn’t matter which part of the city you stay in. Go with Oh have apartments in several parts of Madrid and with one of these you can be assured a comfortable stay as you enjoy the sights, football and markets of Madrid as well as the other little things that make Madrid special. As long as you arrive with a desire to explore you’ll have a great stay in the Spanish capital!