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  • El Castle
  • Santiago de Bernabeu Stadium
  • Statue of Neptune
  • The Botin Restaurant
  • Museo del Prado

Madrid - the city that never closes

A glass of wine, a pitch-black café solo and maybe some fried squid with a few slices of serrano ham from the tapas bar is often a good starting point before throwing yourself into the life of Madrid, the Spanish capital.

It is a city where people hardly sleep and where no-one talks about closing time.

You get the real feel of Madrid on the Plaza Mayor. The writer Gomez de la Serna wrote that "the plaza was the courtyard of the Spanish Empire." It is a perfect place for people watching. The equestrian statue of Felipe III and the murals on de la Panaderia (the Bakery) demonstrate the importance of the square.

Nine entrance gates lead us to the Plaza Mayor. Happy tourists and street artists of all kinds can be spotted in the beautiful archways packed with shops. Head down Ciudad Rodrigo and Cava de San Miguel to discover a local market. Continue further to the Puerta Cerreda district, where you will find Las Jeronimias Monastery.

Puerta del Sol, the second city centre, is also worthy of your attention. Ten streets meet in a square and allow you to explore the place in a unique way.

By Spanish standards, Madrid is not an old city. It was built as a compromise by Felipe II in the mid-1500s and developed rapidly to become the seat of Spanish power. The wide avenues and majestic buildings rose in no time.

Gran Via is a cosmopolitan street. It is also the city's main artery with skyscrapers, restaurants and fine shops, hotels and entertainment venues.

Madrid is Spain’s "frying pan" because it is scorchingly hot in the summer and relatively cold in the winter. In addition, the city spreads out on a plain.