Take a trip to Madrid
Located in the heart of the country, the capital of Spain boasts a large number of squares, gardens, monuments, ancient churches and palaces. Of course, Madrid also promises a wide variety of shows, expositions and concerts. Madrid’s neighbourhoods are all distinct from one another. You can travel to the city’s historic centre, with its narrow streets, small boutiques and quiet terrasses. Or there is the Passeo del Prado, a magnificent boulevard where you can find one of the most prestigious museums in the world, the Prado, which has works by artists such as Goya, El Greco and Velázquez. And then, for a short break, you can head in the direction of the Retiro Park with its huge lake.
Tour guides in Madrid
Five ideas for guided tours in Madrid
Templo de Debod
Located on the hill which looks over the Parque De la Montaña, and just a short walk from the Plaza de España, which without a doubt offers the best panorama of Madrid, the Temple of Debod was a gift from the Egyptian government to Spain in 1968, to prevent it from being flooded after the construction of the Aswan Great Dam. Under the orders of king Adijalamani of Méroé, the temple was first built 2200 years ago, and was dedicated to the Egyptian Gods Amon and Isis. Since then, it has been rebuilt brick by brick, whilst still keeping the original’s Westwards orientation.
Mercado de San Miguel
One of the oldest markets in Madrid has been transformed into a bazaar with a tasting and culinary experience like no other. Entry to the San Miguel Market is free, or you can donate a euro to taste the many delicious foods before you buy them. A diverse range of cuisine can be found freshly served, from charcuterie, vegetables and sushi to cheeses, ice-cream and chocolate. Situated just next to the Plaza Mayor, the building is illuminated by bright daylight, shining through its magnificent glass roof.
Parc El Retiro
The Retiro Park is located right at the centre of Madrid and is an immense area of 120 hectares. Containing numerous fountains, a lake where one can sail small boats, and more than 15,000 trees, it is no wonder why it is often compared to New York’s Central Park. It is a great place to relax or take a stroll, on foot or by bike, journeying through its verdant scenery. The gardens were set up in the 17th century for the royal residence. Indeed, you can also visit le Palacio de Cristal, a reminder of this ancient epoque which, along with the Velsasquez Palace, served as showrooms. These botanical gardens are veritable heritage sites in the city, housing very rare plants and trees.
The Prado Museum, located in the centre of Madrid, is a museum of legendary status. It was inaugurated in 1819 and has one of the most beautiful art collections in the world, with works dating from the 17th to the 19th century. In total, some 8600 paintings and more than 700 sculptures can be found there. It’s a great opportunity to stroll around and appreciate the works of Velasquez, Murillo, Goya, Rubens and Le Greco. It’s the ideal place to discover the Spanish, Danish, Flemish Italian and French art-schools. Give yourself no less than half a day to just see the essential works in the museum.
Like all major Spanish cities, Madrid is no exception to the rule with the Plaza Mayor at its centre. Built at the start of the 17th century, and accommodating markets and public celebrations, it very quickly became the centre of city dweller life. On each side the square is lined with balcony adorned buildings, all of the same style. Following a fire, it was partially renovated during the 19th century, and it was at this time that it took on its theatrical décor, with archways running along the edge of the square. Today, the Plaza Major is the prime “rendezvous” point for the people of Madrid, largely because of its many boutiques and restaurants