You thrive in the bustle of the big city.
A homage to the mythical Santiago Bernabéu stadium has always been on your bucket list.
You can never wait to see new cinema and theater releases.
A day spent in the boutiques and stores of some of the world’s leading fashion brands and labels is would be a dream come true for you.
You need a central location from which to explore the rest of Spain.
You love art of all eras and feel right at home strolling through a world-class art museum.
Your ideal city needs to feel international.
You love the thought of having a huge variety of distinctive cultures and atmospheres next to each other in the same city.
Enjoy a traditional churros con chocolate in San Ginés. Both the “churro” (loop-shaped) and the “porra” (thicker and more closely resembling a walking stick) have managed to become some of Spain’s favorite breakfast items and snacks in general. La chocolatería San Ginés close to the famous Plaza Mayor has been serving the people of Madrid with the finest churros and porras since 1894 – and now does so for 24 hours a day. Its international fame has allowed it to open stores all around the world, as far from Madrid as Tokyo!
Take a selfie at Spain’s “kilómetro cero”. At the absolute center of Madrid at the Puerta del Sol are two of the symbols that best define the city: the statue of the bear and the strawberry tree (that appears on the city’s crest) and the “Kilometer Zero” stone. In the 18th century during the reign of Philip V, six radial highways were built that extend across all of Spain but that ultimately return to this very spot in Madrid.
Treat yourself for lunch with one of El Brillante’s divine calamares sandwiches. Now this one might sound a bit strange at first, but from the very first bite, you’ll know what we are talking about. A calamares sandwich is a true delicacy – and preparing it correctly is an art in itself. Custom dictates that it is normally enjoyed with “salsa brava” (spicy sauce) or mayonnaise, and the very best place to find this gastronomical classic of Madrid is El Brillante, next to Atocha train station.
Get cultured in Malasaña. El Madrid’s most alternative neighborhood delivers intense cultural delights all year round. And at one of Malasaña’s more avant-garde independent theaters, students can put their Spanish to the test with a live show far from anything seen on the traditional circuit.
Take an early afternoon stroll around the impressive Retiro Park. This is the single spot in the heart of this city that offers the greatest number of opportunities to relax and unwind. Visitors can hire a rowboat out on the giant lake, wonder at the light show at the Crystal Palace or amble along the “Walk of the Statues”, decorated with sculptures of royal figures from 18th century Spain.
Give your wardrobe a full makeover. Many of Spain’s fashion labels have succeeded in drawing international fame that their quality and designs deserve. Names such as Zara, Mango, Desigual and Camper own flagship stores across the city that offer the very latest in trends (at prices that are surprisingly reasonable).
Introduce yourself to the masters of painting the Prado Museum. One of the most acclaimed and important museums in the world cannot be missed during your visit to Madrid. The Prado welcomes millions of visitors each year who come to see famed works by artists such as Goya, Velázquez and El Greco, and the museum forms the “Triangle of Art” together with the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia National Center of Art Museum.
Let your draw drop to the floor as you gaze at the royal palaces. The scale, splendor and grandeur of the Royal Palace of Madrid (the largest in West Europe), the Royal Site of San Lorenzo del Escorial (first declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984) and the Royal Palace of Aranjuez give you a great insight into the lives that the Spanish royals of the modern era led.
Follow the footsteps of sports legends at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Take a guided tour of the “cathedral of football” at the home of Real Madrid CF; the world’s most successful football club. Enter the changing rooms, the media room, the players’ tunnel and finally the trophy room – the place where the proud traditions of this institution are most tangible.
Go on tour to see other Castilian cities. Thanks to our excursions and activity programs, you will have the chance to experience Toledo, Ávila and Segovia; perfectly preserved fortified cities that will transport you back in time to eras in Spain’s distant past.