Located in the center of Spain, Madrid is an ancient city which offers visitors many museums, shops and traditional restaurants. The city center is known for its traditional architecture and the nearby streets are filled with parks and markets.
Many visitors visit the city for its museums. The city’s main museums are the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen Bornemisza, which form the Golden Triangle of Museums. There are many other museums near the city center, including the Museums of Costume and the Naval Museum.
A short walk from the three main museums visitors will find the Retiro Park. The park used to be the Royal Gardens. Visitors will be able to enjoy a caña beer on one of the park’s terrazas. There is a pond where boats can be rented.
A short distance away from the city center is the Casa de Campo, another large park with a lake. There is a theme park with many roller coaster. Next to this theme park visitors will find the city zoo, which has an aquarium, a reptile corner and many aviaries. The park is connected to the city center by public transport and by a cable car. The cable car offers views towards the western part of the city.
Historical city center
The city’s main square is the Plaza de Sol, where the Oso y Madroño statue is located. The statue is the city’s symbol and is located near the Town Hall. A short walk away there are several other squares, including the Plaza Mayor and the Plaza de España. In the Plaza Mayor visitors will be able to enjoy tapas and in Plaza de España there is a small park near the Don Quixote and Sancho Panza fountain and statue. Flea markets and events are organized on this square.
Madrid’s historical city center is known for its narrow cobbled streets filled with traditional houses and shops. Most of them were built during the reign of the Hapsburgs. The Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral, two of the city’s main landmarks, are located nearby. The palace has more than two thousand rooms and guided tours are organized around part of the halls. After touring the palaces visitors will be able to walk around the Sabatini Gardens, where many events are organized.
Markets and shops
The Rastro, located in the traditional and trendy La Latina district, just south of the city center, is one of the city’s main flea markets. Visitors will be able to buy flowers, food and retro and vintage artifacts.
The main shopping street is Gran Vía. The street is near Plaza de España and has many shops, including national and international brands, coffee shops and restaurants. The Serrano area is north of the city center and has many chic boutique stores. For those interested in local designers, the Malasaña district is filled with ecological cafés and small shops.
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