Madrid, a picturesque Spanish city full of passion, charm, and warmth, is one of Europe’s premier cities. It is home to Mutua Madrid Open, a joint ATP and WTA prestigious clay-court event. It provides the perfect reason to spend a week in the May sun of the Spanish capital.
Here are the ten best things to check out in Madrid:
Two of Europe’s most famous squares, the Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol are in the center of the Spanish capital. Built during Spain’s golden age, the former features a famous statue of King Philip III and is home to some of the city's best cafes and shops. The latter is the center point of the historical city and features the symbol of Madrid, the famous bear eating strawberry tree statue.
The most famous street in the city, Gran Via serves as Madrid’s Times Square, and is the most photographed spot in the city. The street is a hotspot that offers luxurious shopping, fine dining, and bustling nightlife.
Featuring hundreds of acres of green space, Buen Retiro Park is the city’s biggest public space and one of the best parks in Europe. You can hop in a canoe and ride the pond in the center of the park. While there, be sure to check out the stunning Crystal Palace as well.
Just across the street from Retiro Park is one of the most famous art museums in the world, the massive Prado Museum. Founded in 1819, it has one of the biggest art collections in Europe. It has so many pieces that only a seventh of the collection is on display at any time. Art lovers can take in pieces from Spanish art masters such as El Greco, Goya and Velasquez.
One of Europe’s largest royal residences, Madrid’s Palacio Real is home to the Spanish royal family, featuring more than 3,000 rooms. Built in the 18th century, the palace is now open to visitors, giving tourists a chance to take in the country’s rich history.
The neoclassical architecture of the Spanish capital is on full display at the Plaza de Cibeles – a famous government building, and the Puerta de Alcala – an arch serving as the gateway to the city.
No trip to Madrid is complete without taking in soccer, Spain's national passion. You can catch a home game at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home of the Real Madrid, one of the most famous teams in the world. You can also take a tour of the stadium to learn about the history of the renowned team.
Explore the local side by taking a trip to Salamanca and Malasana, two of the city's most colorful and vibrant neighborhoods.
Experience the food and drink scene by checking out the famous Mercado de San Miguel, home to hundreds of local vendors selling jamon, tapas and other delicacies. You can satisfy your sweet tooth by picking up churros con chocolate at the famous Chocolateria San Gines, or treat yourself to morning pastries at La Mallorquina.
One of the best tennis venues in Europe hosts the Mutua Madrid Open each May. The Caja Mágica, the tournament's modern stadium, has produced some of the best clay-court tennis on tour.