Travel

Why Madrid – Why Now?

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If you’re looking for an alluring, stimulating, and relatively cheap travel spot, then Madrid, Spain is your city.

El Prado

The Museo del Prado, or Prado Museum is considered to be one of the finest art collections in the entire world. It is home to thousands of European paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art of art – and this is only a small fraction of what it has to offer! What doesn’t fit in the display space is stored or sent on loan to other fine galleries throughout the world. El Prado’s specialty is in European art from the 12th-19th century (The Reina Sofia Museum is the base post-19th century art), that was derived from the Spanish Royal Collection. The most famous piece in the whole collection that is on display at El Prado is Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez. Velazquez’s statue marks the entrance of the museum. This is because of his lasting impression on the collection, as well as Spain’s art history. Give yourself a majority of the day to visit El Prado, as the place is huge, and if you really want to marvel at the fine paintings inside, you’re going to have to devote a good chunk of time to do so.

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Gran Via

If you’re into shopping, then Gran Via will be an absolute paradise to you. This can partially be attributed to the insane amount of shops located on this one street. It literally translates to “Great Way”, and it begins at the Plaza de Alcalá square, and extends across the city to the massive Plaza de España. Along Gran Via, there are thousands of establishments, including various shops, stores, hotels, big banks, fancy restaurants, bars, cinemas and theatres, which makes it one of the most important commercial areas in Madrid. It’s always a treat to walk along the street, and to even check out some of the large statues located at some of the statues that lean off of the edge of roofs. Also, if you get the chance, go to a rooftop bar or establishment, such as “El Corte Ingles”, which is a chain of luxury stores, both department and grocery, plus they have a rooftop restaurant and bar that overlooks the entire city.

Templo de Debod

The Templo de Debod was once located in the Nile Valley of Egypt, 31km from Aswan. It was built in the 4th century BC, and was dedicated to the god, Amun, and the goddess, Isis. Two lofty, narrow gateways lead to the actual temple, featuring a colonnaded porch. The west hall of the temple has hieroglyphics in it. Photos inside of the temple have recorded the long history of the site, including the reconstruction project in Madrid. The Templo de Debod is interestingly situated next to a large pool in a park with incredible views of Almudena Cathedral, as well as the city. At night, it is stunningly illuminated with its own image reflected in the water. The park located just around the temple is one of the best places in Madrid to watch and photograph the sunset, so be sure to check it out!Templo de Debod

Tapas

What is a trip to Spain without eating Tapas? Spaniards are known for their laid back lifestyle, especially when it comes to food. Tapas are small dishes meant to be tried, so that the diner can taste a little bit of everything. Often, when you order an alcoholic beverage in Spain, especially in Madrid, you’ll get a tapa or two for free. While there are as many tapas bars as there are people in Madrid, if you want an authentic and diverse experience, head to an old market building that is full of them. At the Mercado San Miguel, which has existed since the early 19th century, but reopened in 2009 with a stunning glass front, you can choose between dozens of tapas, pasta, fish, pastries, fruit juices, beers, wines, and more! Many locals still frequent this market.