Madrid: Main Sights
Spain's buzzing capital
Why not take a tour of the majestic Royal Palace? It is the largest in Europe with 2000 rooms and tours are in English and cost about 10 euros. You can usually visit about 30 rooms, including the Throne Room of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. It is just breathtaking to see the priceless treasures, incuding artwork, furniture, and Queen Sofias private collection of Stradivarius violins. After your visit to the palace, you can walk across the courtyard to the cathedral.
There are several ways to spend your day at this lovely central square - stroll around and admire the architecture and the murals or you could even buy an original watercolour from one of the many talented pavement artists. When Felipe II formed the Court in Madrid, he decided that this square should be reserved for special occasions, and it started to take its present shape from 1790 onwards. The striking statue peering out over the centre is of Felipe III.
Museo del Prado
Commissioned in 1785 by King Carlos III, the Museo del Prado houses the works of the nation's three great masters: Fransisco Goya, Diego Velazquez and El Greco – and not forgetting a couple of famous and rather startling works by Hieronymous Bosch.
Santiago Bernabéu stadium
If you are a football fan then why not look in on the impressive stadium, where kids under 14 get a reduced rate. You can see the President's Box, the dressing room, the players' tunnel, the benches and coaching area, as well as the pitch itself, the Trophy Room and of course the official Real Madrid shop.
One of the best private collections in the world is now available for all to see at the stunning Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Most of the great artists of the past 150 years are represented and it is a hugely popular place to visit. The gift shop can be expensive but the outdoor café is much better value and a great place to reflect on your day admiring art.