Oh Madrid, festive Madrid! Why Gods were so cruel and didn’t situated this amazing city in my country?!? I’m awfully jealous of Miss Champagne having such a hometown. Vital, exciting with its irresistible ‘live for the moment’ attitude. City which never sleeps,not counting mandatory siesta of course.
Top-notch metropolis very often underestimated by tourists remembering little besides the Prado Museum and Puerta del Sol. It is so much more than set of historical buildings, it is an idea, an attitude and a way of life, so hard to resist…
By day, Madrid is sophisticated, steeped in history and culture. A city with hundreds of sights which would keep one occupied for weeks. Starting from outstanding Santa Maria la Real de la Almundena Cathedral in miscellaneous style, Gothic mixes here with statues by contemporary artists. Having magnificent Royal Palace as a neighbour.
One shouldn’t miss a walk around Plaza de la Villa to breath Golden Age times. Another ‘must see’ is Plaza Mayor which during the Spanish Inquisition served as a main ‘autos de fe’ place in the city, situated close to famous Puerta del Sol. A very significant place, a zero kilometer of every national road, a place where You can find The Bear and the Strawberry Tree. And my favorite Plaza de Cibeles with its opulent fountain.
However, monuments are not really what Madrid is about. To get a true feel of the city You have to experience contrasting characters of different barrios. Get lost in Grand Via, explore ultra trendy boutiques of Salamanca, the upscale and chic bars of Chueca , the medieval elegance of La Latina.
Have a stroll in El Rietro Park to see lavish Palacio de Cristal, taste Morcilla in Lateral. Admire Naked and Dresses Maya by Goya in Prado Museum, classics of European paintings in Thyssen Bornemisz Museum or masterpieces of Spanish artists such as Picasso, Dali and Miro in Reina Sofia.
Oh Madrid, festive Madrid!
By night, dramatic change occurs, city is letting its hair down and becoming a truly dancing queen in frenzy. Bustles with energy, nightly excursions, high end restaurants, posh nightclubs, tapas bar hopping, flamenco clubs and trendy but laid-back bars.
The nightlife here extends till late wee hours and You haven’t experienced the Spanish capital until You do the same. But remember to made it past 4am It’s called ‘salir’ and it means you went out in the language of la vida masrilena. Otherwise it is just a ‘vuelta’, like a stroll around the block and will not impress anyone.
Madrid’s spirit is contagious and intoxicating. You have been warned!
I share perpetual fondness for the city with all Madrilenos and let me only say : ‘De Madrid al cielo , y en cielo una ventanita desde donde verlo’. ( ‘From Madrid to heaven, and in heaven a little window from which to see it’).