It's all about Madrid
Madrid Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Contemporary Madrid is a sprawling, modern city with a population of three million. While the suburban areas are awash in uniform, concrete apartment buildings, the city center of Madrid Spain is a delightful mix of narrow alleyways, gourmet restaurants, and world famous modern art and Renaissance museums. Everyone arrives in the capital with varied pictures of Madrid Spain in their mind, yet the city always shows you something new, something you missed or hadn't expected.
Compared to Barcelona, and the historic cities of the south, Madrid offers fewer architectural sightseeing opportunities. However, the dearth of architecture is more than compensated for by the world famous museums that are the chief cultural attractions in Madrid.
But if these past masters leave you yawning, check out the collection of modern art at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. This converted hospital focuses its collection on three of Spain's greatest modern masters--Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Joan Miro, as well as other Spanish artists. The museum's showpiece is Picasso's Guernica, which depicts the horrors of the Nazi fire-bombing of the Basque town, Gernika, during the Spanish Civil War.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza is among the newest art center attractions in Madrid. The museum occupies the 18th century Villahermosa Palace on the Paseo del Prado.
But more than bullfighting and masterpieces of art, it is the madrilenos (locals) themselves that overshadow all the other attractions in Madrid. Like New Yorkers, or Parisians, madrilenos are an exuberant passionate people. And from the nightclubs to the universities--the bullring to sidewalk cafes--there is a feeling that Madrid really is the center of it all.