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A Basic Guide to Madrid

The city of Madrid, in the center of Spain, is one of the most visited destinations in the country. With its variety of landmarks, museums, parks, restaurants and shops, the city attracts many visitors who are willing to explore it.

How to get to Madrid?

Madrid’s Adolfo Suarez- Barajas airport is located a short train ride away from the city center. The airport connects this city to most of the major airports, making it an ideal destination for a city break. Getting around Madrid is easy. There is a wide public transport network that connects the center with the outlying districts, and most of the historical neighbourhoods are located close together and can be explored on foot.

Where to stay?

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There are many types of affordable accommodation in Madrid. Those on a budget can rent an apartment in the ethnic and multicultural Lavapiés district, close to many bars and steps away from the city center. Those who want to stay in a chic boutique hotel in Madrid can book a hotel near the Malasaña neighbourhood, known for its trendy bars and lounges. If you are into large suites with marble decorations located in the city center, then the area around the Prado Museum is the ideal place for you to stay at.

What to do?

Madrid is known for its variety of places to visit. Sporty types can enjoy the city’s parks, ranging from the traditional gardens of the El Retiro Park to the newly built Madrid Rio park on the banks of the Manzanares river, ideal for a bike tour around the city center. If you are into culture, visit the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum. These are located close to the Puerta del Sol, the historical city center, known for its architecture.

Where to eat?

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Eating out is another way of exploring the local culture. Check out the city’s many tapas bars and its Michelin-star restaurants. If you are on a budget, then your ideal choice of a place to eat is one of the city’s centric markets. In the Antón Martín market, close to the main train station of Atocha, you will find freshly baked pastries, sandwiches and sushi together with stalls selling juicy olives, fruit from local farms and slices of cured ham. Next to the party districts of Malasaña and Chueca is the San Antón market, offering a variety of local dishes for an affordable price. Do not miss its terrace, which has views towards the city center. Close to the Puerta del Sol area you will find the San Miguel Market, with a variety of stalls selling foods from other regions in Spain.

Head to the city center and join the locals for a night out. Some of the most popular tapas bars are located in the Huertas district, around the Plaza de Santa Ana, steps away from the historical city center. If you are interested in ethnic food and shisha, then the nearby Lavapiés is what you are looking for. In the chic Serrano area and around the Castellana boulevard in the city’s business district you will find seafood restaurants that cater for the finest palates.

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