A city of elegant plazas, lively streets and manicured parks, Madrid, Spain, offers visitors everything from the world-class art to mouthwatering food to all-night dance clubs – not to mention bullfights! View the Spanish masters at the Prado Museum, relax in El Retiro Park, hop from one tapas bar to the next, hit the clubs, then finish off as the madrileños do with an early morning con churros before finally getting some sleep.
Bullfights and Folk Dancing: Fiesta de San Isidro
Taking place each May, the Fiesta de San Isidro, which begins with a speech by the mayor and ends with the cooking of an enormous Cocido Madrileño (Madrid’s most traditional dish), honors Madrid’s patron saint and marks the start of Madrid’s bullfighting season, drawing top bullfighters and breeders. Throughout the festival, Madrileños dressed in traditional outfits gather in Plaza Mayor for folk dancing and open air concerts, or else head to Casa de Campo for rock concerts. While the festival started as a religious celebration, today it’s an excuse to have fun!
Vintage Goods, Tasty Eats and Live Music: Mercado de Motores
One weekend each month the old Delecias metro station (now a museum) plays host to the Mercado de Motores, a vintage market set among classic trains. Wares include home decorations, books, vinyl records, recycled furniture, classic bicycles, crafts, food, and more. But Mercado de Motores is more than a flea market – it’s a place where you can find, try and buy original Spanish products in a lively atmosphere. So, stroll along the stalls, enjoy the live music, and refresh yourself with a cold beer and a warm snack. Now this is Spanish living!
Travel to Ancient Egypt: Temple of Debod
When in Madrid, do as the Ancient Egyptians did! Yes, you heard right. The Temple of Debod, located in one of Spain's most beautiful parks, the Parque del Oeste, was originally built in southern Egypt in the 2200 BC. The two gateways and the temple were moved block by block to Madrid in 1968 as a gift from Egypt in return for Spanish archaeologists saving numerous monuments from the rising waters created by the Great Aswan Dam. While somewhat incongruous in the centre of Madrid, the views from the surrounding gardens are easily some of Madrid’s finest.