The city of Madrid is open and welcoming, modern yet traditional, stately yet popular, lively yet peaceful… But more than anything else it is a cultural paradise. It is home to what is known as the Triangle of Art, which contains within a limited area the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Art Centre and the Thyssen-Bornesmiza Museum. You’ll also be able to visit such impressive monuments as the Royal Palace, places with their own particular charm like the Plaza Mayor square or the grand avenue known as the Gran Vía, or enjoy what is considered by some to be possibly the most exciting nightlife in Spain… as well as wander in large green spaces such as the Retiro Park, and drop into typical bars and taverns to sample a range of delicious tapas.
But you’ll find the Madrid Region offers much, much more. For example, the cities of Aranjuez, Alcalá de Henares and San Lorenzo del Escorial, all of which have been declared World Heritage Sites. Or small picturesque towns such as Chinchón, and the charming villages in the mountains.
Madrid is a melting pot for cuisine from all over the peninsula. Traditional Madrid dishes include the cocido madrileño (a type of stew). Callos or tripe is another of the typical dishes identified with local cuisine. Also the humble and savory sopa de ajo (garlic soup) and caracoles (snails). Typical desserts are barquillos (rolled wafers) or buñuelos (fritters filled with custard, cream, chocolate, etc.).