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Palaces, parks and plazas are the hallmarks of Madrid. The city’s world-class museums include the Big Three – the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia – all with vast and mesmerising art collections. When you've had your fill of Goya, Velazquez and El Greco, take a Sunday stroll with the locals in Retiro Park, watching boats on the lake and demolishing an ice cream.


Shopping and partying
Browse through the boutique-y shops of the Salamanca district, and then take a well-earned siesta before things get going again at dusk. Madrid has plenty of late-night buzz, with many clubs opening their doors at midnight. Madrilenos tend to eat late and party late; so don't bank on being early to bed.

The old walled city of Toledo makes a great day trip from Madrid, and it's easily reached on the country's high-speed rail network. Look out for hand-made lace and don't miss the beautiful cathedral.

Historic sights
Visit the capital’s famous Plaza Mayor to admire its arcaded colonnades and statues. If you tire of sightseeing grab a seat in a pavement cafe and watch locals and tourists pass by. Go there on a Sunday to catch the bustling and colourful market. Madrid’s medieval quarter (Barrio de la Moreria) is a honeycomb of narrow lanes, while the royal palace (Palacio Real) has a glut of frescoes and royal memorabilia.

The Prado museum – brimming with the works of Goya, El Greco and Velázquez – is one of Europe’s blockbuster art collections. For a more modern take, walk through the eclectic Thyssen collection or the Reina Sofia.

Retiro Park
Take a break from the busy city and join the locals for a Sunday stroll (or a game of petanca) in the grassy surrounds of Retiro Park.

Mid May
It’s fiesta time – in honour of Madrid’s patron saint, San Isidro – with nightly gigs and concerts in and around Plaza Mayor.

Mid August
Sangria-laden street parties start after sundown to celebrate the saints’ days of San Cayetano, San Lorenzo and La Paloma.

Find a quiet restaurant in a secluded backstreet and enjoy a hushed candlelit dinner together surrounded by Spanish voices and fine food.

Boutique Hotels in Madrid

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