With the peak tourist season almost upon us, many travelers are set to descend upon European cities across the continent.
Madrid is among these destinations, as their diverse collection of museums, markets, shopping streets, and nightlife districts makes this city highly attractive to those looking for a break from their daily lives.
While these trips can be fun, getting there can be a chore. Make things easier on yourself by ordering a private car service from Madrid airport. This way, you won’t have to deal with taxi drivers who might not understand you, have a shaky sense of direction, or who might try to take the long way to your hotel.
With that PSA out of the way, here are several attractions you won’t want to miss on your upcoming trip to Madrid.
1) Royal Palace of Madrid
Of all the attractions in Madrid, the Royal Palace stand head and shoulders above them all. The ceremonial home of the Royal Family, it is only used for state functions – the King and his family members now live in less conspicuous homes outside the city center.
With over 3,400 rooms taking up over 1.4 million square feet of space, there is plenty to see within this luxurious complex, so plan to spend the balance of the day discovering all the secrets that this regal residence has to offer.
2) Prado National Museum
Lovers of art won’t want to miss dropping by the Prado National Museum. Filled with works from the collection of the Spanish Royal Family, it is one of the world’s richest and most diverse.
On its walls, you will find paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures that date from the 12th to 20th centuries, with plenty of representation from artists like Francisco de Goya, El Greco, and Peter Paul Reubens.
Located within close proximity to a number of other excellent museums, the Prado is a great place to begin a culture crawl.
3) San Miguel Market
Foodies will want to fit the San Miguel Market into their schedule, as this well-loved institution has been home to purveyors of fine meats, vegetables, fruits, and baked goods for over 100 years.
Spanish culture is well-regarded for the quality of its foodstuffs, and this place does not betray this reputation, as you’ll find no shortage of fresh product in the stalls here.
In addition to the ingredients which can be purchased, there are many stalls which prepare made-to-order tapas, and others which serve local beer, wine, and spirits. Salut!
4) Gran Via
Have a shopping itch which needs to be scratched? You could hardly do better than strolling the length of Grand Via, a street which is the home address of Madrid’s most exclusive boutiques.
In addition to incredible buys at stores like Mitsuoko and El Jardín de Serrano, the buildings that line this busy thoroughfare are an attraction by themselves, as many of them were constructed in architectural styles ranging from Vienna Secessionist to Art Deco.
After dark, this street becomes a hot nightlife destination, so return after a late meal to party until the sun comes up.
Header image courtesy of CC user 72906133@N00 on Flickr