Europe’s Under-the-Radar Capitals: Madrid

At the mention of Europe’s capitals, the first few places that pop to mind are probably London, Paris, Rome, Berlin and Amsterdam. However, apart from these 5 lovely cities, Europe has a lot more capitals that you should take the time to visit. This time we will talk about Madrid and try to convince you to visit this jewel of European city tourism.

Madrid Is the City of Art and Culture

prado museum

Madrid has a rich, vibrant cultural life and the best thing about it is that it’s not “mainstream.”

You should definitely start from the world-renowned museum of Prado (Museo del Prado) with its astonishing collection of the greatest Spanish painters. There are, of course, other highlights of Prado’s collection such as Titian, Dürer, Bosch and Rubens. Apart from Prado, you can also visit other smaller but equally impressive museums such as Reina Sofia and Thyssen.

It’s interesting that Thyssen was originally a private collection and there you’ll see exhibits from the 13th century to the present day. On the other hand, in central Madrid you’ll see a number of nice small galleries and you never know what kind of magic you might find there. The people will give you a warm welcome and all the necessary information and you will learn something new.

One thing you’ll notice is that everywhere you look there are glamorous movie theaters. Unless you speak Spanish you will, unfortunately, not be able to experience watching a movie in Spain since they dub all foreign films. Still, when you get back home, you should definitely take the time to see at least some of the greatest Spanish cinematographic works.

Madrid is also a city of plays and musicals. Madrid is Spain’s theater capital. There’s no better way to improve your language skills than seeing a play in Madrid. For those of you who can’t speak Spanish, there are still options to have fun at one of the Madrid’s finest theaters. They often host concerts and dance performances. View some simple  Spanish phrases here.

Spaniards enjoy music. There’s music everywhere you go in Madrid. Madrid has the chotis, which is its typical music and dance of Scottish origin. For the best chotis experience you should travel there during the music festivals season.

Here you can take a break before we continue and listen to this famous song about one of the Madrid’s most memorable sites – La Puerta de Alcalá:

Victor Manuel and Anna Belen- La Puerta de Alcalá

Chivalry Is Not Dead In Madrid

Ladies, if you miss having somebody hold your door, pull out your chair from under the table and walk on the outside of the sidewalk, then come to Madrid. Here you will find some good practices of old-fashioned chivalry. Equality is not about keeping score and it’s always nice to see that some men have preserved these timeless manners and etiquette. Madrid is definitely Spain’s capital of manliness. Here you will undoubtedly meet many modern day gentlemen.

Everywhere You Look You See Something Pretty

majestic cibeles fountain on plaza de cibeles in madrid

Madrid is one of those eye catching cities with something pretty everywhere. It may not have the world’s most praised architecture, but the fact that even the outskirts of this town look fairly nice and worth seeing is a very convincing argument in favor of visiting this place. There is a lot of foreign influence in its architecture, due to historic reasons.

Madrid is probably placed among the top cities in the world when it comes to the number of wide streets. Most of the streets of Madrid are in fact avenues and boulevards. Or at least that is the impression you have when you are there. The feeling you get when you walk down a huge avenue is something not many of us could describe with words. Take your camera and go for a walk. Feel like a winner and enjoy going through the beautiful pictures you took afterwards.


If you want to salir (go out) in Madrid, that means that you will not be coming back to your hotel room before 5 AM. If you return earlier than that means that you only went out for a couple of drinks. It’s completely normal to eat your dinner after 10 PM and continue from there on. Clubs here open when most clubs in other European cities close. Spaniards are infamous for always running a little late, but the good side of it is that everything ends early in the morning.

In case you’d like to indulge yourself with a couple of nights of heavy partying, eating and drinking, Madrid is the place to go. It offers options to spend a night out on the town for everyone’s taste.  Tapas have become one of the most popular dishes recently. People have gone crazy for this delicious Spanish recipe. Spanish people eat them as snacks between the meals, while in US they are considered a meal. Here are delicious tapas recipes for every taste.

Have you been to Madrid already? We would like to hear some of your thoughts and maybe some trip advice. Share your experience in the comment section below.


About the author


Lisa is a young lawyer with various interests and hobbies to keep her mind off her work at times. She is a true fan of contemporary American literature, European movies, Asian food, African Wildlife and all those little things in life that make us genuinely happy.

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