Madrid is a city with a relatively short history compared to other European capitals but it has acquired artistic possessions that make it one of the world’s most exciting cultural destinations. The best-known museums are on the city’s “Paseo del Arte”: The Museo Nacional del Prado with its world-renowned collection of paintings by great Spanish artists and other European Old Masters; the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia which focuses on art from the late 19th century to the present day; and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, a vast privately-owned collection with works by Titian, Goya, Degas, Renoir and other artists from the 13th to the 20th centuries.
Beyond its world-class museums, Madrid has much to explore with its narrow-laned old quarters, handsome plazas filled with regal statues and its wide avenues and modern architecture. The city also has excellent nightlife with numerous cafes, bars and restaurants open all hours. Madrileños love to eat well and there is a huge choice of cuisine ranging from the traditional to the new and innovative. The shopping is also excellent with a wide selection of exclusive stores, boutiques and local markets.
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"Really hard to pick just one [highlight]. Predictably, the cathedral in Córdoba, the Alcazar in Seville and the astonishing Alhambra Palace complex in Granada, in terms of visits. The fragrance of orange blossom on the streets was sublime. The kindness and warmth of people we met."