Insider Guide to Madrid, Spain!

Madrid, the capital city, is particular about displaying its national treasures, home of some of the world’s greatest art and sculpture and a place that inspires great civic loyalty. The attitude of this city is part illusion. Spain’s most cosmopolitan city is also the country’s most open and outgoing metropolis.

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Following is the best of Madrid:

1) Shopping and Attractions: Antigua Casa Talavera is probably the best place in Madrid to find examples of the kind of delicately hand-painted ceramics which in southern Spain, above all, are an art form. The real attraction here is the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, the home of the most glamorous and successful football, or soccer club in the world. Then there’s El Rastro which is a big and a varied market in the city. Here the fashionistas will find plenty in the way of clothes, collectors discover lots to arouse curiosity in the way of handicrafts. And for those who are just watching, won’t be bored. For the art lovers there’s Museo del Prado which is the most famous of Spain’s art museums.

2) Nightlife: The nightlife in Madrid is one of the city's main attractions. Tapas bars, cocktail bars, clubs, jazz lounges, live music venues, flamenco theatres and establishments of all kinds cater to all. Every night, venues pertaining to the Live Music Venues Association La Noche en Vivo host a wide range of live music shows. Everything from acclaimed to up-and-coming artists, singer-songwriters to rock bands, jazz concerts or electronic music sessions to enjoy music at its best. Some of the most popular night destinations include the neighbourhoods of Bilbao, Tribunal, Atocha, Alonso Martínez or Moncloa, together with Puerta del Sol area (including Ópera and Gran Vía, both adjacent to the popular square) and Huertas (Barrio de las Letras), destinations which are also filled with tourists day and night.

3) Dinning: Meson Txistu displays its encounters with local celebrity. There are photos of the king of Spain on display and it's popular with the soccer players of Real Madrid. The cuisine is broadly Basque, which means the fish recommends itself. Meson is strong on red meat, too, with a good wine list. Then there’s De Maria, again meat being the focus with a South American influence to the cooking. Then there’s Botin, which is be the oldest restaurant in the world. If you are looking for some Mediterranean food then Café Oliver is the place for you.