The Spanish capital has a thriving nightlife, charming green spaces, and many cultural treasures thanks to its impressive art museums. The sweltering heat in the summer mean many Madrileños escape to the seaside in August; oddly due to its height above sea level winters are cold and it often snows.
You may not associate skyscrapers and congested roads with Spain, however Madrid is a large city like any other in this respect. Despite this there is green respite in the form of the 350-acre Parque del Retiro, as well as countless cafes, bars and ‘chiringuitos’, little pop-up establishments offering snacks and refreshments.
The Puerta del Sol is in the very middle of the city, and is the scene of the New Year celebrations each year. Many tourist attractions are dotted around here, such as the Plaza Mayor, with its cobbled courtyard. Take a guided tour around the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) or wander around the surrounding gardens.
The famous Museo del Prado, Museo Reina Sofia, and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza are all situated along the Paseo del Arte (Art Promenade). The Prado is over 200 years old and boasts works by Boticelli, Goya and Velazquez. The Thyssen features more great classical artists, whilst the Reina Sofia displays the breathtaking Guernica by Picasso.