Whenever I think of an awesome getaway for a few days or even longer, Madrid city breaks are the way to go for me. Spain’s capital city is beautiful and interesting: the perfect combination for both relaxation and sightseeing!

Bustling with shows, exhibitions, galleries, museums and night life, Madrid offers a huge selection of things to see and do. Here’s five of the best:

1) Take an art walk on Paseo del Arte

Paseo del Arte — English for “Art Walk” — is a must-see for art lovers. This area of Madrid boasts some of the most famous art galleries in Spain, including the Prado Museum, theRoyal Botanical Gardens and the Reina Sofía Museum. With at least 15 museums and galleries in a one-kilometer stretch of the city, I never get bored there.

 - photo courtesy of Ricardo Ramirez Gisbert (flickr)

The beautiful garden of El Prado – photo courtesy of Ricardo Ramirez Gisbert (flickr)

2) Soak up the nightlife in Malasaña

Madrid has a well-deserved reputation for lively night life, and the Malasaña neighborhood is the best place to start. With a huge range of established bars and clubs, visitors to Madrid should give this a try: I love to go there and drink and dance until the sun rises! There’s a huge range of music styles to suit all tastes.

3) Visit the Royal Palace

I love to soak in some of Spain’s history with a visit to the Royal Palace — still the official residence of Spain’s royal family today. The palace is beautiful, with 3000 rooms, opulent decor and iconic artworks. Don’t forget to drop in the Royal Armoury and Painting Gallery too!

4) Shop at the Rastro

Madrid’s most famous street market, the Rastro has been a shopping area since the medieval era. It’s open on Sundays and public holidays from 9 am until 3 am. There’s just about anything for sale: from household items to clothes, through to antiques and jewelry. The Rastro is located in the La Latina district, and it’s full of locals and tourists all mingled together.

There is always an interesting find at the Rastro - photo courtesy of Nelson Benitez

There is always an interesting find at the Rastro – photo courtesy of Nelson Benitez

5) Relax in the park

Madrid is a very green city, with lots of public parks. One of the finest is the Quinda de Los Molinos: 21.5 hectares full of trees, fountains and a lake. The pink and white flowers of its almond trees are a well-kept secret: I love going there during spring to see (and smell) the spectacle!

That top five is just the start. For a quick getaway or a longer visit, Madrid has so much to offer that you’ll want to keep going back again and again and thanks to the online great deals, this is easily doable.

hiking in garrotxa

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