Home' A Plus Magazine : Nov 2012 Contents 56 November 2012
Madrid might not be as beauti-
ful as Seville, as romantic as
Barcelona or as historical as
Valencia, but it's the hippest
city in Spain as well as the country's arts and
culture capital and a paradise for foodies.
The landlocked capital is notorious for
its dry, baking summer heat. By Novem-
ber, however, the autumn chill (by Spanish
standards) has set in and visitors will need
at least one layer of warm clothing such as a
jacket or pullover.
Fortunately, Madrid has plenty of cosy at-
tractions for the off-season tourist. The capi-
tal is laid out in an accessible way for walking
and public transport, such as the 300 kilome-
tre Metro de Madrid underground rail sys-
tem, which is excellent.
Central Madrid lies roughly between two
notable pieces of parkland: Campo de Moro in
the west and the much larger Parque del Buen
Retiro in the east. Two key arteries -- Gran Vía
in the north and the Manzanares River in the
south -- form the remaining boundaries.
Much of the city's cultural life is centered
on its plazas, or squares. Deserted during the
traditional daytime siesta period, Madrid's
open spaces come alive with activities as
In the centre of the city is Puerta del Sol,
one of Madrid's key meeting places (recent
anti-austerity protests have been held there)
and an ideal landmark from which to begin
East of Puerta del Sol is the museum dis-
trict. The Museo Nacional del Prado is one
of the world's greatest repositories of art.
Its treasures include masterpieces by Ve-
lázquez, El Greco, Goya, Raphael, Rubens
Nearby is the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza,
Spain's premier privately owned museum.
This month, the museum highlights works
by Paul Gauguin, Wassily Kandinsky, Henri
Matisse, Paul Klee and August Macke.
The magic of Madrid
The Spanish capital abounds in history, heritage and artistic treasures, as
Travelzoo Asia-Pacific CFO and Institute member Honnus Cheung discovers
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