Spain is a splendid country with wonderful friendly locals and cuisines so delicious that you once you have tasted some of the dishes, you crave it the moment you are away and nothing else ever meets the grade. In this vibrant country filled to the brim with rich culture, you get a sense of joy and vivacity as you traverse from one city to the next. One city that will steal your attention from all else is Madrid, the capital city. This second-largest city is home to about 3.3 million and although very modern, it has preserved its traditional flare, as you will see when visiting any of the historic districts.
There is just something about Madrid that draws people in and it’s not just the food. Here are just a few other things about Madrid that make it so attractive.
1. The day and the nightlife are vibrant and energetic. The cheerfulness in the streets, the togetherness when it comes to supporting local teams, the countless festivals like the Madrid Dance Festival in the spring and Dos de Mayo too; film festivals, giant puppet displays and flamenco dancing, are all activities you will see at some of these outdoor parties. The evening comes alive; in fact it is just a continuation of the liveliness of the day. Everyone stays up late. You go from cafe to café, bar to bar and terrace to terrace. Where some places will close at 3 a.m., others are just starting!
2. The architecture of the city is a beautiful blend of historic and modern design worth seeing. In the older parts you will see the Moorish walls, Gothic churches; Baroque façades and some 18th century styles spread throughout but contrast these to the modern buildings and you will notice the city is two sides of a coin. The modern designs are bold and somewhat abstract, like the El Mirador complex, a 22-storey building that is essentially block-shaped but designed with block patterns in the colour of the façade but also incorporates a square hole – an empty space right in the center. Have a look at the Torre Espacio (the space tower) and see the swirl design that curves its way, leaving one part of the façade looking square and the rest carved out rounded.
3. It is an active city for sport and leisure. If you like natural spaces and being active outdoors, Madrid has something for everyone. With many natural spaces, parks and gardens, there is no shortage of green spaces to enjoy some time. Go golfing, hiking, and take a hot-air balloon ride. Go sailing, windsurfing or simply hang out at a beach. Head to the Sierra de Madrid mountains for snow and mountain sports.
4. Shopping is great both in the city and surrounding areas. There are five main shopping areas in Madrid: Salamanca, Chueca, Centro, Princesa and Cuatro Caminos. Find specialty shops, antiques, arts, furniture and top trends and designs. Whatever you are looking for you will find and more.
5. Madrid is your hub to everywhere else in Spain. Once in Madrid you will find that you can go anywhere. Head out to other cities from Madrid as all the major highways start in /connect back to Madrid. The train stations are also centred here so the city can act as your base point if you plan on travelling around Spain. Check this link for tours in Madrid.
There is so much more to Madrid but you’ll need to start somewhere, and once the ball is rolling, you may just fall in love with this inspiring city.