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Madrid is a city so full of life and culture that it’s hard to do justice to it in a few paragraphs. Artistically the city holds its own against any in Europe, with the of the best art museums on the continent where renaissance masterworks and seminal 20th-century pieces are waiting to captivate you.
Take in all the historic sights and get the background on the Spanish Empire that spanned the globe in the 16th and 17th-centuries. There are also countless little things that make Madrid memorable, whether that’s a café con leche in a stately square, drinks at a rooftop bar or a wander through the Retiro or Casa de Campo on a sunny day.
Whether you’re a supporter of the club or not, the truth remains that Real Madrid are Europe’s most successful football team with a record-breaking 11 European Cups to their name.
So any fan of the game should consider a pilgrimage to their gargantuan 85,000-seater stadium, where history has been made many times down the seasons.
A tour will grant you panoramic views of the stadium, you’ll step inside the dressing room, visit the dugouts and see all sorts of interesting bits including the trophy collection, press room and presidential box
On Sundays it will seem like the entire city has descended on Ribera de Coritodores and Plaza de Cascorro.
This is when some 3,500 stalls are open, hawking pretty much anything you can think of, whether used or new.
It’s the largest flea market in Madrid and gets pretty hectic, so it’s always a good idea to show up early.
Even though it’s a Sunday the antique shops on the streets branching off Ribera de Cortidores will be open, and there are also cafes if you’re in need of a pick-me-up after wading through the crowds.
In the summer many of Madrid’s bars and restaurants spill out onto the city’s pavements and squares.
This an essential part of going out and socialising in the city.
On Plaza de la Cebada on balmy summer evenings it can even be difficult to work your way through the throng.
On the rooftops are terraces of a different kind.
These bars enjoy jaw-dropping views of the city and are a fine way to usher in the sunset.
Close to Plaza Mayor is The Hat, which like many of these bars doesn’t give you much of an indication of what you’ll find on the rooftop, where tables sit beneath a glass canopy and you can feast your eyes on Madrid’s cityscape.
Flamenco is a dance that originated in Andalusia, Murcia and Extremadura, and even if it’s not strictly native to Madrid the city has some of the most famous tablaos in the country.
These are special halls that cropped up in the 1960s, and here you see a show over a candlelit meal with sangria.
It’s a fine way of killing two birds with one stone: Tucking into Spanish specialities like jamón ibérico, migas (fried bread seasoned with paprika) or roast suckling pig, while seeing one of the country’s most famous art-forms expressed by some of the best dancers in the flamenco world.
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