- Parks and gardens
- Religious buildings
- Madrid landmarks
- Madrid for kids
- Shopping in Madrid
- Delicious points on the map
- Madrid theaters
Madrid, unlike Barcelona, receives much less attention from a Russian traveler. The city is far from the Mediterranean beaches and tourists who fly to the coast usually get through the airport of the capital of Catalonia. Madrid, on the other hand, becomes the object of attention of those who are interested in the sights of the Middle Ages, who like the silence of museum expositions, because in the capital there are many unique architectural monuments and galleries of world importance. The city is famous for its parks and squares, and the zoo of the Spanish capital is the best place for a family vacation. Where to go in Madrid for a gourmet and should you look for a place with Michelin stars? Answering this question, regular visitors to noisy restaurants with typical Spanish cuisine will certainly name hundreds of addresses where the check amount looks quite budgetary and the quality of the food is beyond praise.
Parks and gardens
Madrid has a large number of green areas where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle and enjoy not only clean air, but also historical and architectural sights:
- Retiro Park is ruled by the Glass Palace, built to house the exotic exhibits of the Philippines exhibition. It was built in 1887 and received dozens of unique plants brought to the Spanish capital. Other attractions include the Fallen Angel Statue, the Turtle Fountain and the Smuggler's House.
- It is especially beautiful in the Sabatini Gardens at sunset, when the large pond, surrounded by marble sculptures, begins to be painted in shades of crimson. The park was laid out in the first half of the 20th century. on the site of the former royal stables.
- More than 5,000 plants planted in the Royal Botanic Gardens are called an artistic heritage site. Excursions are held in the park, and the herbarium, which includes about a million leaves, is of genuine interest not only to botanists.
- Campo del Moro is known for its picturesque views of the royal palace. The park is designed in full accordance with the English canons of landscape design. There are several beautiful neoclassical fountains in Campo del Moro.
An ancient Egyptian burial monument, transported from the land of the pharaohs and reassembled by Spanish architects, is surrounded by the magnificent Debod Garden. The temple was saved from flooding during the construction of the Aswan Dam.
The churches and cathedrals of Madrid are not very famous in the world, unlike those of Barcelona, but the cathedral near the royal palace is by all means included in the list of objects worthy of attention by tourists. The Almudena Cathedral was built for over a hundred years (hello, the Spanish tradition of leisurely construction), and the first parishioners crossed its threshold only in 1993. The temple is decorated in a neoclassical style, but the elements of Gothic and romantic features are also guessed in it. The altar is made of green marble, the stained glass windows let in a sea of light, and the bas-reliefs on the gates remind visitors of the essence of the most famous biblical stories.
The monastery of Encarnación appeared in the Spanish capital in the 17th century. At that time, only novices from noble families were accepted into it, and all the nuns were representatives of the upper class. The monastery received substantial gifts, thanks to which over the centuries it became a repository of many priceless works of art. Among the paintings exhibited in the museum at the monastery, you can see canvases by Jose de Ribera and Lucas Jordan. The walls of the temple were painted by a student of Goya named Francisco Bayeu. The architectural style in which the building was made received its own name - "Erresco" on behalf of the architect Herrero.
One of the richest European monasteries, which is worth going to, once in Madrid, was founded in the middle of the 16th century. on the territory of the royal palace Las Descalzas. The king and members of his family often visited this residence and the monastery, thanks to such close proximity, turned into one of the wealthiest in the Old World. The monks carefully kept the gifts brought, and now all the treasures, with the permission of the Pope, have become available to tourists. The museum at Las Descalzas has a unique collection of precious church utensils, paintings by Titian and Pieter Bruegel-Sr. and the gifts of pilgrims from all over the world.
The list of the most interesting excursion routes in the Spanish capital certainly includes these addresses on the map:
- The Royal Palace, where the official residence of the Spanish royal family is located, was built on the site of an old Moorish fortress. The work was carried out in the middle of the 18th century, and the palace became the brightest pearl of the Baroque and Rococo styles. The interiors are enlivened by paintings by Caravaggio and Velazquez, a collection of musical instruments by great Italian masters and medieval weapons, while the parks surrounding the royal residence are magnificent examples of landscape design.
- Las Ventas bullring, built in the 30s of the last century. The architectural style of the building is neo-Moorish, the interior decoration corresponds to the ideas of Spanish luxury, and the size of the arena allows almost 24,000 spectators to watch the bullfights simultaneously. The museum displays interesting exhibits dedicated to the national entertainment of the Spaniards.
- The Prado Museum contains more than 6,000 paintings by the greatest artists on the planet. The Prado shows its visitors masterpieces by Raphael, Bosch, Rubens and Botticelli. It is also worth going to the largest museum in Madrid for the impeccable frescoes of Goya.
While walking around Madrid, take a look at the Cibeles Square with its elegant 18th century fountain, and at the Plaza Mayor, where bonfires with heretics burned in the Middle Ages, and at Puerta del Sol, where all roads in Spain begin.
Madrid for kids
A veritable green island in the center of Madrid, Casa de Campo Park is a great place for families. Young travelers will also like it here, because representatives of more than 500 species of animals living on our planet are waiting for them in the zoological complex in the park. The territory of the zoo is divided into several zones, each of which corresponds to one of the continents or regions of the Earth. The zoo often hosts interesting events, and daily animal feeding and dolphin and exotic bird shows. It is especially pleasant that all the inhabitants of the zoo are kept in comfortable and spacious enclosures that resemble their natural habitat.
There is an Oceanarium on the territory of the zoo, where two glass tunnels are equipped. The pipes, 18 meters long, are laid in the water column and, passing through them, visitors find themselves, literally, in the thick of events taking place on the seabed.
The Maritime Museum is another useful address for those looking for where to go with their kids in Madrid. The exposition tells about a huge historical period - from the 15th century to the present day. The collection includes ship models and instruments for nautical navigation, old maps and logs, flags and weapons. A huge part of the museum exposition is dedicated to discoverers. The viewers are presented with trophies brought from the New World, the first maps of America, tools and ornaments of the Indians - everything to appreciate the scale of the importance of historical discoveries of the 15th-16th centuries. The history of piracy is also of great interest to the guests. By the way, the entrance to the Maritime Museum is absolutely free.
Shopping in Madrid
If you have unlimited financial resources, head to the Salamanca area, where boutiques of expensive and exclusive brands are concentrated.
Fuencarral and Chueca is a paradise for antiques lovers.
The clothes of inexpensive but high-quality brands Mango, Massimo Dutti and Zara, loved by Russian buyers, can be found in stores in Arguels.
Shopping centers "La Esquina" and "El Corte Ingles" offer a huge assortment of various goods - from souvenirs to furs.
For groceries and the famous Iberian ham, it is better to go to the main market of Madrid, San Miguel.
Delicious points on the map
Mountains of delicious food await tourists in the same main market in Madrid. They serve the best paella in town and fresh oysters.
Close to the Sunday flea market, Rastro welcomed the trendy El Imparcial with mustard ice cream, ceramics at the souvenir shop and reasonable prices.
Chocolatería San Ginés serves churros with chocolate 24 hours a day. The price of the issue is only 4 euros, and the pleasure of the Spanish favorite dessert, received at the marble table of the diner, which has been operating since 1894, is truly priceless.
The Royal Opera House of Madrid is often referred to as one of the city's symbols. It was built in 1850 directly opposite the residence of the monarchs, and members of the royal family are often spectators of the performances of the national opera. The theater hall can accommodate more than 1800 people, and the excellent acoustics of the building allows you to perfectly hear the performance from any place. The repertoire includes performances by Verdi, Wagner and Rossini.
You can watch the performance based on the play by Federico García Lorca in the Teatro Espagnol, located on Piazza Santa Ana. Built in 1583, Espanyol is considered the oldest theater in the Spanish capital.
The zarzuela troupe has its own stage. This art form is close to operetta and reflects many aspects of the life of ordinary Spaniards. In Teatro de la Zarzuela you will see a little flamenco, enough - conversational dialogues, vocal parts and choral singing, in a word, get a lot of pleasure from communicating with the actors, who often go directly to the audience in the hall.