The largest city in Spain, there’s more to Madrid than the football team. From art museums and galleries to a wide selection of restaurants and shopping to choose from, there are plenty of things to do in Madrid. However, there are aspects to this Spanish capital that you might not know about – here are just some of them:
1. Considered to be one of Europe’s greenest cities, Madrid has more trees and green spaces per capita than anywhere else in the continent. However it’s also environmentally friendly too with a vast public transportation system and the second largest metro network in Europe after London’s underground.
2. The Catalan-born architect Oriol Bohigas dubbed the city’s modern art museum, the famous Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, ‘the ugliest building in Spain’ for its large block structure, built in the 18th century. The museum houses many of Pablo Picasso’s works including his 1937 painting ‘Guernica’, which reflects the tragedies surrounding the Spanish Civil War.
3. The Museo Taurino, Madrid’s bullfighting museum, has the original costume that the legendary matador, Manolete died in on display. Manual Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez sported the colourful ensemble when he died during a fight in 1947 at the age of 30.
4. Madrid has three outdoor swimming pools open from May to the end of September close to the city centre. The best one however is Water Park Aquasur, which features five slalom-style slides for kids to play around on.
5. El Rastro isn’t just Madrid’s most popular flee market, but it’s also Europe’s largest outdoor market. Meaning ‘the trail’, the open air shopping space sells a wide range of eclectic objects from vintage clothes to electrical goods and handmade crafts. Located along several narrow, winding streets in the historical quarter of the city, it takes place every Sunday.
6. Madrid’s three art galleries are all in easy walking distance of each other to form a triangular shape, known to locals as the Golden Triangle, a popular meeting point amongst tourists and Spaniards alike. The trio of buildings that complete the unique shape includes The Prado, The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, The Museo Nacional Centro and the contemporary art museum, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.
7. Madrid is Europe’s least cloudy city with 250 clear sky days per year, more than any other city throughout the continent.