A capital city beloved for its vibrant exuberance and sense of style, Madrid has never let its status as Spain’s business and financial centre hinder its creative flair. Through its five royal palaces, historic food markets and lush green parks, Madrid remains an exceptional European city to travel to from Glasgow Airport, whatever the season.
It's easy being Green
Escaping Madrid’s urban bustle is easy when the expansive 300 acres of Buen El Retiro sits right in the heart of the city, complete with a boating lake, enchanting rose garden and bucolic tree-lined walks. More adventurous visitors can take a cable car journey over the River Manzanares to the magnificient Casa de Campo, Madrid's largest urban park. It’s approximately five times the size of New York’s Central Park and, as if to prove that point, it fits in an amusement park and the city’s zoo - complete with aquarium and giant pandas.
Madrid has been the official city of residence for the Spanish Royal Family since the 16th century and is home to five royal palaces, including the Royal Palace of Madrid (Calle de Bailén). Select rooms in the palace are open to the public, and beyond the envious collection of art, tapestries and antiques, the Royal Armoury and meticulously landscaped Moorish Garden (Campo del Moro) leading up to the Palace are notable treats.
Tap into Madrid’s cuisine
Going out for tapas is a true Madrileño experience. La Catapa (Calle Menorca 19) is one of the best-regarded tapas bars in town, or for a more traditional experience squeeze into Bodegas Ricla (Calle Cuchilleros 6), a family-run bar first opened in 1867. Follow this with a taste of Madrid's legendary nightlife, which centres on three main districts: Chueca (the gay village), Calle Huertas (traditional Spanish clubs and bars) and Malasaña (popular with a younger crowd).