City Centre, the best area to stay in Madrid
Madrid’s City Centre is a hub of tourist activity. It’s where you’ll find most of the city’s well known attractions, so it’s a good area to stay in and treat as a base if you’re going to be out and about sight seeing.
Madrid’s museums are always popular attractions, and many of them can be found in the City Centre. The Prado National Museum is an art gallery with one of the largest, and perhaps one of the best, collections of art in the world. Then there’s the Museo Nacionale Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, another impressive art gallery that houses 20th century art pieces. As well as these popular art museums, there’s also the National Museum of Archaeology, the Museo de Sera, and the Museo del Romanticismo, and several others located near the Prado National Museum, around the Plaza de la Lealtad. All of these will be within easy walking distance if you stay in the City Centre.
There’s also plenty to see in the area by way of historic monuments and attractions. The Royal Palace of Madrid stands proudly in the City Centre, and is worth a visit if you enjoy admiring grand architecture and beautiful art. There’s also the Puerto Del Sol, which is the geographical heart of Madrid. Whilst this area is actually a busy cross road, there’s a beautiful fountain marking the area’s significance, and several shops and restaurants surrounding the area.
The Plaza Mayor is another historic location in the area, dating back to the 16th century, and centring around a statue of King Philip III. As well as being a site of historical importance though, it is also Madrid’s main square, so it’s where you’ll find many of the City Centre’s restaurants, street performers, and pop up markets. Just a short walk away from this square, you’ll find Gran Via, which is a shopping heaven. This is the city’s main shopping street, and it’s so impressive that it’s often compared to New York’s Times Square. The street is always thriving with tourists and shoppers, and you’ll have the chance to shop until you drop at some of your favourite brands. No matter where you stay in the City Centre, you’ll be only moments away from these popular areas.
Sports fans will be pleased to hear that it’s not all art, history and shopping in Madrid’s City Centre though, there’s also the famous Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Sports fans often jump at the chance to visit the home stadium of Real Madrid, which is often considered one of the best stadiums in the world. You can visit the stadium to discover the displays and football history, pose for a photo in front of the iconic sports venue, or if you’re lucky enough, you might even be able to see a game!
For a more relaxing experience of Madrid, there’s also the central Retiro Park, where you can take a break from the busy city streets, and enjoy a tranquil walk around the park whilst taking in some much welcome nature in an ultimately urban environment.