Madrid short breaks
Madrid, the energetic and enticing Spanish capital, makes a fabulous city break destination, or as the focal point for an itinerary taking in other Central Spain attractions. It has an impressive historical centre, beautiful sun-kissed squares, some lovely parks and a population of passionate people who infuse its streets, boutique bars and colourful cafes with their infectious lust for life.
Located miles from the coast, some 700 metres above sea level, Madrid was founded as a capital in 1561, not for its topographic qualities but simply for its position at the centre of Iberia. Freezing in winter and superbly hot in summer, it's a wonder the capital survived, but its wealth of cultural attractions make visitors today glad that it did.
Madrid is especially noted as a European centre for fine art. The Prado museum has a vast collection - notably of Spanish works of which it has over 4,500 - including paintings by Goya, El Greco and Velázquez. Across the Paseo del Prado meanwhile is the Reina Sofia, Madrid's renowned modern art gallery and home to Picasso's iconic Guernica.
Top itineraries in Madrid
Among its rolling hills and sweeping plains, central Spain hides some of Europe’s finest cultural treasures, from medieval fortresses to Roman aqueducts. You’ll take it all in with scenic country drives and stays in historic hotels.
After beginning with Madrid's storied grandeur, drive the beautiful Castle Route of Spain, staying in the region's finest paradors – historic hotels that range from 14th-century castle accommodation to once-ancestral aristocrat homes.
A seven-day self-drive following the La Ruta de la Plata in Spain, staying in historical Hospes hotels
Top places to stay in Madrid
With so much on the doorstep, ME Madrid Reina Victoria is the perfect base for city slickers, art lovers, historians and gastronomes alike
A member of Leading Hotels of the World, this 19th century former palace counts the Royal Palace, Teatro Royal and Almudena Cathedral among its prestigious neighbours. And, from its historic garden setting to its panoramic rooftop views, it’s a haven of tranquility in the beating heart of Madrid
Part of the Mandarin Oriental group, this 1910 belle époque masterpiece takes pride of place in the heart of Madrid’s cultural ‘Golden Triangle’
When to go to Madrid
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