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Reviewed on 5 Jan 2022
Reviewed on 14 Jan 2022
Reviewed on 3 Jan 2022
The capital city and its wider region represent the heart of Castilian Spain and features grand palaces, landmark museums, historic castles and vibrant festivities.
Experience central Spain’s heartland in the Madrid region, a triangle-shaped province containing the country’s stylish capital. This region is home to some of Spain’s most historically significant royal domains and is speckled with steadfast castles, stunning palaces and heritage institutions.
Far from being stuck in the past, Madrid is a cosmopolitan capital city with an exciting nightlife and an energetic cultural scene. Bordered by the Sierra de Guadarrama to the west and river valleys to the east, the wider region also has plenty of magnificent scenery to take in as you tour between captivating landmarks.
A popular port of call in this region is the city of Madrid. Discover the city’s cultural hub, which contains the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía National Art Centre and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum within a few city blocks. Stroll around the majestic Royal Palace, make your way down the splendid heritage boulevard of Gran Vía or take a seat and people-watch in Plaza Mayor. Stretch out in Buen Retiro Park or stop by one of the numerous bars to try local tapas.
Outside the city, discover ancient university prestige in Alcalá de Henares and see the 18th-century grandeur of Aranjuez. This city is known for its Versailles-like palace, its butterfly-breeding estates and its strawberry farms.
Try a local drop of anís in Chinchón or be awed by the enormous Gothic castle in Manzanares el Real. Peruse the library, gallery and enormous monastery in San Lorenzo del Escorial or experience the solemnity of the Valley of the Fallen, where prisoners in the Spanish Civil War were forced to construct a large stone cross.
The hub for adventure in the Madrid region is Cercedilla in the Sierra de Guadarrama. This area is popular for hiking, cycling and rock climbing. Across Madrid, you’ll find exciting festivals during May, June and the Easter period.
Fly into Madrid’s international airport and access the rest of the region via its comprehensive rail network. Rent a car to explore the mountain region or scenic driving routes. The region has hot, dry summers and cold winters, but its architectural treasures and captivating museums make it a year-round destination.