Madrid is considered one of the top European destinations for art museums. The Golden Triangle of Art is located along the Paseo del Prado and comprises three museums. The most famous one is the Prado Museum, known for such highlights as Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas and Francisco de Goya’s La maja vestida and La maja desnuda. The other two museums are the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, established from a mixed private collection, and the Reina Sofía Museum, where Pablo Picasso’s Guernica hangs.
Most of the tourist attractions of Madrid are in the old town. The nerve centre of the city is the Puerta del Sol, starting point for the numbering of all city streets and all the country’s highways.
Chueca (Pronounced Choo-aye-ka) is Madrid’s gay village, located adjacent to Gran Vía in the heart of Madrid. Over the last 20 years it has changed from being a run down ghetto where drugs and prostitution were rife and has now, thanks to us gay folk moving in, become one of the most desirable zones of Madrid. Chueca is a tightly compact area centered around Plaza de Chueca and is easily accessible from Chueca metro station.
Gran Vía es el main street in Madrid, with Chueca just behind those buildings in the photo. It is home to some of the world’s most famous restaurants, entertainment venues and high end shops. By day its a bustling shopping centre and by night the party goers take over. Having been displaced from Chueca, it is now home to much of Madrid’s prostitution and drug dealing, so caution should be exercised at night. Keep to the tourist area and don’t wonder off down unknown side streets.
Puerta del Sol
The Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun) is one of the most well known and busiest places in Madrid. This is the centre (Km 0) of the radial network of Spanish roads. The square also contains the famous clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes at the beginning of a new year. The new year celebration has been broadcast live on TV since December 31st 1962.
Metro: Puerta del Sol
Parque del Buen Retiro
Parque del Buen Retiro (literally “Park of the Pleasant Retreat”), is a large and popular park at the edge of the city center, very close to the Puerta de Alcalá and not far from the Prado Museum. A magnificent park, filled with beautiful sculpture and monuments, galleries and a lake.
The Prado is a museum and art gallery, featuring one of the world’s finest collections of European art, from the 12th century through the early 20th century.
The Museum is an art gallery. Known as a part of the “Golden Triangle of Art”, which includes the Prado & Reina Sofia galleries.
Reina Sofía Museum
The Reina Sofía is Spain’s national museum of 20th century art. The museum is mainly dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain’s two greatest 20th century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso’s great painting Guernica.
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace of Madrid also called Palacio de Oriente, (Eastern Palace) is the official residence of the King of Spain. King Juan Carlos. The royal family do not actually reside in this palace, instead choosing the smaller Palacio de la Zarzuela, on the outskirts of Madrid.
Templo de Debod
The temple was built in southern Egypt. Dedicated to the goddess Isis. In the early 2nd century BC, Adikhalamani, king of the country of Meroë, started its construction by building a small chapel dedicated to the gods Amon and Isis.
Madrid Flea Market
El Rastro de Madrid or simply el Rastro is the most popular open air flea market in Spain. It is held every Sunday and public holidays during the year. A great variety of products (new and used) can be found at el Rastro. A number of antique shops in the local area are also open on Sundays.