Madrid and Its Amazing Food, Fun, and Must-See Sights

Written by Travel & Daily Life Staff |
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Bestowed with a vibrant atmosphere throughout the city, Madrid boasts many exciting experiences (food, fun, and attractions) for both its inhabitants and visitors. Besides being in Spain, a country with several other major attractions and cities like Barcelona and Seville, Madrid has always proved worthy competitor, if not leader, with respects culture, attractions, and social events.

The Plaza Mayor de Madrid public square.

Top Tourist Attractions In Madrid

Madrid, a modern cityscape with well-established streets and beautiful parks, is home to an endless collection of attractions such as The Royal Place of Madrid, Plaza Mayor, and El Retiro Park. Besides these beautiful parks, historical monuments, and public architectural spaces, Madrid hosts numerous museums like the Museo Nacional del Prado and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, which exhibit Spain's artistic heritage, as well as, offer a taste of the city's modern culture and pride.

Palacio Real and El Retiro Park

The Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real). The official residence of the Spanish Royal family.

Palacio Real and El Retiro Park are some of the city's highlights. Each is enveloped by garden areas which accentuate their beauty. At the palace of Palacio Real, you will find natural beauty in Sabatini Gardens which features a stunning Neoclassic style garden adorned with a pool, statues, and fountains. This palace is adjacent to green spaces of Casa de Campo and the Almudena Cathedral which lure visitors with the expectation of a breathtaking view. El Retiro Park is one of the most vibrant and visually stunning parks in the world. The locals spend their afternoons rollerblading, strolling, boating, and practicing tai chi in this verdant green space full of hidden gems of architectural beauty. Tourists spend their time in awe of Retiro.

The Buen Retiro Park (Park of the Pleasant Retreat) lake.
The Casita del Pescador in El Retiro Park.

Beautiful garden areas such as Jardin de Vivaces and Jardines del Arquitecto Herrero Palacios are found in El Retiro Park. These create an environment which forms the heart of the city with a colorful, copiously green and inviting scenery, and relaxed setting. Monuments like the Magnificent Monument of Alfonso XII add stately elegance to the park. There also sits a statue of the presumed fallen Angel, Satan, adjacent to the Rose Garden. Fountains such as the Galapagos Fountain and Teatro de Titeres also form part of the attractions in El Retiro Park.

The beautiful Retiro Park Monument to Alfonso XII.

The Museo del Prado and Madrid's Art Scene

One of the most famous museums in the world is the Museo del Prado. The Prado Museum is Madrid's best-known attraction, representing the most substantial artistic portion of its cultural heritage. It has been in existence for 200 years hosting some of the country's most important Spanish art of the past 500 years; art by renowned artists such as Goya, El Greco, and Velázquez. What catches your eyes when you first visit the place is its walls which are constructed using the most elegant design materials from the Spanish and Italian worlds. Inside the museum are over 700 sculptures and over 8000 paintings. In spite of the numerous extensive kinds of paintings housed here, Prado is described as a museum of painters, not of paintings.

Interior of the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Other Impressive Sights

Spain has the most artistic and attractive churches and other religious buildings, most of which are situated in Madrid. The Basilica of San Francisco el GrandeParroquia de San Jeronimo el Real de Madrid, and Parroquia de Santa María la Real de la Almudena are some of the impressive religious buildings in the city. These buildings tell the story of the strong religious background and history belonging to the people of Spain.

Basilica of San Francisco el Grande, Madrid.
The iconic Cybele Palace (Plaza de Cibeles) of Madrid.

The Fun and Social Mindset of Madrid Residents

On a social dimension, interacting with the residents of Madrid can be exciting and even more fun since Madrid's inhabitants are very friendly towards their fellow neighbors and tourists. They seem to embrace the tourism industry with a fervor, unlike many big cities. They have long been known to show generosity to visitors by offering them food and other treats for free. This welcoming spirit is no doubt derived from the "good life" experienced by the locals; a good life which includes dancing and music. 

The Spanish are known for their exuberant and fun lifestyle centered around fun, food, dance, and music. Spain’s most famous style of dance and music, Flamenco, is known the world over for its energy, color, and beauty. It would certainly be an incomplete experience of Madrid if you missed one of the performances at the many Flamenco venues such as the Corral de la Morería; the oldest flamenco locale in the capital, with its first spectacle taking place over fifty years ago in 1956. 

Spanish music is dramatic while incorporating excellent dance styles and instrumentals. Madrid hosts significant events related to Spanish music, providing a platform for renowned musicians. The Spanish style of music embraces a diverse set of instruments; mostly the guitars. If your timing is right, your visit to Madrid should include a visit to one of the music events. There are also festival events hosted in the city such as the Madrid Pride of the week, San Isidro, La Paloma, among many others.

Top Must-Try Typical Foods In Madrid

Spanish dishes are some of the most delicious and fancied all around the world, and Madrid is no exception. Boasting delicious cuisine like Cocido Madrileño, to Huevos Rotos, to Churros con Chocolate, to Oreja a la Plancha, Madrid is a culinary vault of experiences. These dishes are available in restaurants at affordable prices due to the wealth of restaurants in Madrid. These establishments have an impressive menu selection including other dishes such as Paella, Manchego’s cheese, Gazpacho, Malaga’s fried fish, Cochinillo, amongst others. Now, every region of Spain boasts its own style of cooking, but Madrid tends to be a melting pot of typical food from every region of Spain. Still, different restaurants offer different categories of foods, but there is unexpected fun in deciding what dish to experience based on your preferences. However, no trip to Madrid would be complete without a visit to El Mercado de San Miguel, a monument to Spanish cuisine located in the heart of Madrid. This local is a mecca for sampling some of the best tapas in the city. 

Delicious tapas at San Miguel Market.

Besides, Madrid offers a wide selection of wines from different ethnic groups. Several regions grow grapes which are prepared into sweet wines, for instance, Cava wine from Catalunya, Moscatel from Malaga, and Ribera del Duero wines. You have the chance to enjoy these sweet wines once you visit Madrid.

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Author: Travel & Daily Life Staff
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