Became capital in 1561 under King Felipe II now is a vibrant city with an historic city centre, excellent museums and art galleries, great shops and exuberant night life.
What to see in Madrid
Palacio Real - the 18th century royal palace but not inhabited at the moment open to visitors.
Catedral de la Almudena - a 20th century cathedral located near the Royal Palace.
Plaza Mayor - popular square fro a coffee and to watch the world go by.
Puerta del Sol - This plaza is the "heart" of Madrid and one of the busiest places in the city, look out for the bear statue - the symbol of Madrid.
Gran Vía - Madrid's High Street - always busy and never sleeps.
Museo Nacional Del Prado - a magnificent collection of old masters - in particular the Spaniards, Goya and el Greco.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum - a mixed collection of art works from the 19th and 20th centuries.
El Reina Sofia (Queen Sofia Museum) - houses a collection of mostly 20th art and in particular works from the great Spanish painters Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. One of Picasso's most famous works - Guernica, hangs in this gallery.
National Archaeology Museum - archaeological finds from across Spain and Europe - well set out displays and exhibits.
El Retiro Park - Madrids largest park with statues and a boating lake.
Zoo Aquarium Madrid - animals and fish but not together!
|Travel Guide to the European Union 2013|