After finishing our stay in Toledo, Spain, my husband, his parents, and I packed up the car and started the short drive to Madrid. The capital of Spain, Madrid is the country’s largest city and the third largest city in Europe. There are so many things to see in Madrid – we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
The interesting thing about Madrid is that there’s not one specific thing that people flock here to see or one specific thing that it’s famous for. There’s something here for everyone! For instance, Madrid is well known for its art museums, nightlife, parks, and first-class restaurants and tapas bars.
We took full advantage of everything!
Must-See Museums in Madrid
One of the first things to see in Madrid is its wealth of museums. We first went to Madrid’s most famous art museum, the Prado Museum, which has one of the largest art collections in the world. It features artists such as Velasquez, Goya, Rembrandt, El Greco, Picasso, and many others. There were so many rooms to explore and countless pieces of art to view. Even though it was a little overwhelming, we were impressed!
Overall, we found the museum elegantly designed. The pieces of art were very interesting, and even controversial at times. We spent a long time admiring everything here. Unfortunately, the museum didn’t allow us to take any pictures.
We also went to the Reina Sofia Museum, which is a modern art museum. Our main goal here was to see Picasso’s famous painting, “Guernica,” and to see more of Picasso’s well known (and not so well known) paintings. But, Picasso wasn’t the only artist represented here. We also enjoyed seeing work by Dali.
If you ask me to evaluate the museum in general, I’d say it’s … interesting. Similar to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, some of the modern art pieces left us questioning the sanity of some of the buyers and admirers of the pieces.
Madrid’s Magical Ambiance
In between our time at the two museums, we walked through Retiro Park, which provided us with shaded areas to sit and enjoy the scenery. The park was full of joggers, bikers, families picnicking, and couples reading on blankets. It reminded me a lot of Central Park in New York.
Before aperitifs and dinner, we walked to the Royal Palace of Madrid. The building was lit up beautifully against the dark sky. This is definitely one of the best things to see in Madrid, and we wished we had time to go inside. But, we decided to sit outside and share a bottle of wine instead. It was the perfect way to spend our last night in Spain.
Not surprisingly, dinner was fantastic and was one of our best meals throughout the whole trip.
Sad to Leave…
The next day, we packed up the car for the last time and headed to the airport. We thought that ending our trip with Madrid was fitting, since we’d started out in a large city.
During our ten days in Spain, we didn’t have one bad or average meal. The food was excellent, and the variety and flavors made it a new favorite cuisine of ours.
All in all, we saw nine unique and incredible cities filled with history, art, and charm – and we explored it all in a van that was way too big for most of them.
The best part about the trip, though, was that we got to spend it with family. Thanks for a fantastic trip Lori and Joe!