7 Magnificent Sights of Madrid ...

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7 Magnificent Sights of Madrid ...
7 Magnificent Sights of Madrid ...

The sights of Madrid make up one of Europe’s most fascinating and vibrant cities. The capital of Spain is full of historical interest and the Madrid sights bear out the heritage of what was once one of the most powerful empires in the world. It won’t be a surprise that some the best Madrid sights have ties back to royalty and to when gold from the New World was the source of influence and power. Here’s my must sees of the Iberian jewel – 7 Magnificent Sights in Madrid:

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1

Palacio Real

Palacio Real One of the most impressive of Madrid sights is the Royal Palace. It is enormous, indeed one of the biggest in Europe. Set in a massive plain of concrete overlooking a river valley, the impressive white palace scorches in the sun and is considered an architectural masterpiece. You can take a tour of the magnificent state rooms, a medieval apothecary and the royal armory but as it’s one of the most emblematic sights of Madrid, the queues to get in are long.

2

Plaza De Cibeles

Plaza De Cibeles As well as being one of the most gorgeous buildings not only in Madrid, but in Europe, the Palacio de Cibeles which stands in the plaza of the same name, also offers some amazing views of the city from its upper floors. In the Palacio you’ll find a cultural and information center. From the windows you can also see the Fountain of Cibeles, another of the iconic Madrid sights. The fountain is a chariot pulled by two lions, bearing the Roman goddess of fertility.

3

El Retiro Park

El Retiro Park All the world’s top cities have splendid parks and gardens and Madrid’s main one is Retiro Park. Found behind the equally magnificent Prado Museum, Retiro is a great place to spend a sunny day or enjoy a leisurely stroll in the balmy evenings. Take a row on the boating lake, laze on its steps and take in the street performances, visit the Crystal Palace or partake of a snack and drink in one of the bars. Madrilenos love the sport of promenading so if you’re a fan of people watching, cop a squat in El Retiro and indulge.

4

Prado Museum

Prado Museum As befitting one of the best museums in Europe, the Prado building qualifies as being one of the best sights of Madrid. You’ll find it on the fashionable Paseo del Prado close to many of the city’s other main attractions. The museum is so large to take it all in you probably need to spend 2 days viewing the marvelous exhibits which include pieces from Goya, Bosch, El Greco and Velasquez as well as many representations from the major European art schools.

5

Mercado De San Miguel

Mercado De San Miguel The best of Madrid sights for foodies is the main market. Built in 1913, it’s an indoor market area easily identified by its ornate iron posts and galleria. The very best of Spanish produce is on sale here so wander the antique stalls drinking in the atmosphere created by the Madrilenos shopping for dried ham, spicy sausage, fine sherries and delicious baked goods.

6

Las Ventas Bullring

Las Ventas Bullring One of the amazing sights of Madrid is also its most controversial. Las Ventas is the birthplace of the bull fighting. Some people will find the entire idea intolerable whilst for others it’s an amazing spectacle. If you can’t ever see yourself inside watching a fight, the building itself is hard to miss. It occupies a huge plaza in the Salamanca district and seats 25000 people.

7

Caixa Forum

Caixa Forum There are plenty of museums in the city but it is the exterior of the Caixa Forum that makes for one of the surprising sights of Madrid. Whilst the building itself can claim to be pretty special it is the vertical garden that tends to stop visitors in their tracks. The greenery was designed by Patrick Blanc and covers a wall in front of the museum.

Madrid is magnificent by any measure and this was just a few of the amazing attractions for visitors. The city buzzes by day and night so you’ll never lack for Madrid sights, whatever time you venture out to explore the streets and savor the ambience.

Top Photo Credit: weheartit.com

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