Museums and tapas in Madrid

Madrid Prado
Madrid Prado Museum, photo from Wikipedia by Montrealais

The bustling city of Madrid is located in the center of Spain. This city is known for its many art museums, its centric and chic shopping streets and its many tapas bars.

The museums

The city’s most visited museums are the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, which form the Golden Triangle of Museums. The three museums have a permanent collection and several temporary collections.

Retiro park

These three museums are located near the Paseo del Prado boulevard, filled with chic bars, hotels and lounges. A short walk along along the boulevard leads to the Retiro Park, a park that used to be the royal gardens. The park has many gardens, paths lines with exotic plants and several fountains decorated with sculptures. In the center of the park there is a pond where visitors can rent boats.


The city is known for its many shopping streets. The chic Goya and Serrano areas are located on the other side of the Retiro park. The central Gran Vía street has many local and international brands. The Plaza de España is a square near the Gran Vía where many mercadillos, street markets, are organized, and there are several bars and cafés nearby.

Historic city center

The historic city center offers many ancient churches and small plazas. The Plaza de Sol is known for the statue of the Bear with the Madroño tree, which is the city’s official symbol. The Town Hall and the Plaza Mayor, filled with stalls and terrazas, are located nearby.

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A short walk through the streets built during the reign of the Hapsburgs leads to the Royal Palace. The Royal Palace has several official halls filled with art, a throne room and ancient royal apartments that visitors will be able to explore. Guided tours are organized around the palace and the nearby Sabatini gardens. Near the palace visitors will find the Almudena Cathedral, a large cathedral known for its many chapels and frescoes. The cathedral is one of the city’s main churches.


Another way to explore Madrid is through its many tours. There are bus tours around the city, bike tours around the Madrid Río park, Segway tours and tapas tours. The tapas tours include a visit to several of the city’s many traditional bars. Each bar offers several choices of tapas, beer and wine. Typical tapas include tortilla de patata omelette, huevos rotos con jamón eggs with potatoes and cured ham, and cocido madrileño stew.

There are many traditional tapas bars around the Santa Ana Square and the neighbourhood of Huertas, where visitors will find many bars and clubs. In the La Latina neighbourhood, located south of the city center, visitors will find typical bars, several cultural centers and many ethnic restaurants. After a night partying in the city, visitors can enjoy some traditional churros served with cocoa, a staple breakfast served at the San Ginés Churrería, one of the city’s most popular spots for churros.

Photo by Montrealais on Wikipedia


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10 thoughts on “Museums and tapas in Madrid

  • 31 May, 2013 at 03:39

    I had such little time in Madrid, but enough to know I want to go back. I loved just walking around, but did get to spend a couple of hours in the Prado — amazing museum!

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