Madrid © FSEID/
Madrid © FSEID/

Madrid – The Colourful Heart of Spain

Published: 23 November 2023, 15:00

Madrid is both the political and geographical centre of Spain and is one of Europe’s most vibrant metropolises. The second largest city in the EU (after Berlin) attracts travellers not so much with its wide array of monumental buildings or as a site of historical events, but rather with its unique, multicultural and lively atmosphere and the locals’ infectious lust for life. Madrid is authentic, lively and diverse in many ways: from tranquil and cosy corners with narrow streets, traditional tapas bars and green oases, such as Parque del Retiro, to lively squares, such as Puerta del Sol. And there’s plenty of art and culture here, too: world-famous museums, such as the Museo del Prado or the Museo Reina Sofia, show masterpieces by Picasso, Goya and Dalí. Last but not least, the exciting nightlife and colourful culinary variety make Madrid a destination you will want to return to again and again.

Numbers, data, facts 

  • Time differnce: none
  • Population: 3,3 million
  • Official Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

Ten Madrid highlights

The most beautiful places in the Spanish capital

As in almost all Mediterranean cities, life in Madrid takes place mainly outside. Old and young, travellers and locals meet in the numerous squares, “plazas”, to eat, drink, celebrate or just have a quick chat. There are the monumental squares, such as the main square Plaza Mayor, but each neighbourhood also has its own small and charming squares that are central to social life in Madrid.

Five plazas worth seeing in Madrid

Madrid from BER

Five travel tips for ...

1. Traditional tapas and a cosy atmosphere at El Sur

2. Famous for its prawn tapas: La Casa del Abuelo

3. Wide selection of tapas in the historic Bodegas Ricla

4. Modern tapas interpretations in a relaxed atmosphere at Casa Mono

5. Eat authentic, generous portions at Taberna La Concha

1. A foodies paradise: Mercado de San Miguel

2. Huge market hall with everything your heart desires: Mercado de la Cebada

3. Trendy street food market: Mercado San Ildefonso

4. Vintage finds and craftsmanship: Mercado de Motores

5. Hip market hall with roof terrace: Mercado San Antón

1. Trendy bars, vintage and lively nightlife in the trendy Malasaña district

2. La Latina has cobbled streets and a historical atmosphere

3. Street art and a diverse culinary scene in the multicultural district of Lavapiés

4. Elegant boulevards and exclusive shops in chic Salamanca

5. Colourful alternative scene and vibrant culture in the LGBTIQ+-friendly district of Chueca

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