Escape to the city of food, wine and culture in Madrid 


Incredible art, delicious food and a hub of activity. Jolanda van de Streek, co-owner of ImmoVario, explains what makes Madrid tick

Spain's capital city is the ideal city break destination from the coast, and thanks to the fantastic AVE fast train, it's just a few hours to the centre of Madrid from many of Spain's major cities, so if you feel like having a short break from the sand and sea, Madrid should be top of your list.

For those who love art, an absolute must-visit is the Reina Sofia museum. Located near the fabulous Atocha rail station - complete with its own indoor garden and near the stunning Retiro Park, the Reina Sofia museum's current collection and exhibitions include works by Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Fernando Pessoa. A short walk away is the Prado Museum, with a range of works from classical to modern, including El Greco, Titian, Rubens, Goya and Raphael.

This area of Madrid also boasts the famous Retiro Park. Head down on a weekend to meander with the locals, have a coffee and people watch in one of its cafés or hire a boat on its lake and show off your navigation skills.

The Palacio de Cristal is worth a visit as well but the best thing about the Parque del Buen Retiro is its relaxed atmosphere, so just go with the flow and relax like the madrileños do!

Of course, it's not all about sightseeing. Madrid, like the rest of Spain, is the land of fine food and fine wine. From freshly caught oysters to Serrano ham expertly cut before your eyes and washed down with a caña (small beer), a sherry or just because you can, a chilled glass of Cava with no need for the food to pair it with, the place to head to is Mercado San Miguel.

Once a run down old market, it was renovated over the course of six years and re-opened in 2009 to become a magnet for food-lovers from all over the world. A brilliant atmosphere awaits you at all hours of the day. For a hipster, street food vibe head to Mercado San Idelfonso in the Malasaña district.

With three bars, 20 stalls and two terraces, with food choices ranging from Spanish to Mexican and Venezuelan, as well as regular charity fundraising events, this market is about the greater good.

This just touches this surface of this stunning European capital city. Make a point of visiting next time you are in your holidayhome on the Costa del Sol or property at the Costa Blanca. Travel in first class on the AVE and arrive in style!

Whether you wish to live permanently, buy a second home, or are looking to rent, details of properties available for purchase and rental can be found on our Spanish property portal: ImmoVario.com.

Picture © Andres Garcia Martin

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