Freelance journalist from Derry, Northern Ireland.
Published April 22nd 2017
Madrid simply cannot be compared with any other city in Europe, due to its incredible range of activities, sites and views on offer. This historic city, when soaked in the constant rays of sun it is exposed to, provides an inimitable setting for its millions of tourists every year.
Considering the sights on display, the graceful Templo de Debod sits peacefully at the peak of a small hill in the Parque del Oeste, with the Egyptian temple boasting a very cultured history indeed.
Slightly further afield and both the Palacio Real de Madrid and the Almudena Cathedral stand tall and proud, with these magnificent structures justifying the undivided attention they receive from every angle.
Palacio Real de Madrid
The bustling Gran Via provides a full day's activity in itself, offering not only glorious views of the towering buildings but furthermore displaying a unique array of shops and cafes. Whether it is combining attractive, contemporary shopping with the classic Spanish tapas custom, or simply relaxing in the sun with an ice-cold beer, the Gran Via is unquestionably the place to be.
The Plaza Mayor is another delightful area to settle down and watch the sunset while enjoying the local cuisine. Madrid's lively theatre scene then demonstrates its presence with venues scattered all around the surrounding area, offering expert performances of world famous plays like Mamma Mia and The Lion King.
Towering buildings line the busy streets
Considering sporting venues, the city comprises to stunning football stadiums in the Santiago Bernabeu and the Vicente Calderon, housing Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid Football Clubs respectively. The two adore their proud histories yet certainly haven't taken a liking to each other over the years and these two unique and historical venues epitomise their admiration for the game.
The Santiago Bernabeu especially hosts an abundance of success, evident in the wealth surrounding the striking stadium, with luxury apartments, imposing banks and up-market shops dominating this beautiful area.
The majestic Santiago Bernabeu
The buzzing Parque del Retiro sits at the opposite end of the city, filled with street entertainers, with endless options to sit back and relax on the glorious grass areas, or more adventurously in one of many pedal boats that float along in the serenity of the lake. The precious Palacio Crystal is a must-see in the park, glistening in the sun just past the deep blue lake.
Once the sights have dried up, there is no better way to end the day than in one of the hundreds of bars and restaurants, each with their own story to tell. One bar may be charmingly traditional, while the next will certainly be quaint and contemporary, with venues dispersed throughout both the city centre and the outskirts.
If rooftop bars are the dream, then look no further than Madrid. Oscar's Terrace offers incomparable views of the city's skyline and the aforementioned Gran Via and even features luxurious Balinese beds and a pool. Other incredible spots include La Terraza del Urban and Azotea del Circulo, which both provide remarkable 360-degree views of Madrid, while additionally offering food and drink to the highest standard.
Madrid provides an experience like no other and demonstrates why it simply cannot be outclassed and deserves the title of the capital of Spain.