Spain’s major contribution to dance is definitely the flamenco, and the Corral de la Moreria is one of the oldest and most famous flamenco show restaurants in the world. Artists, celebrities, foreign dignitaries, and even royalty have been known to dine here, and the food is as delicious as the nightly performances are spectacular.
The beautifully appointed formal gardens, fountains, lakes, and outdoor cafes of this tranquil green space in the heart of Madrid are a nice place to take a breather after a long day of art galleries. One of the most visited sites in the park is the statue of El Angel Caido (The Fallen Angel), believed to be the first public statue dedicated to the biblical devil. The benches around El Angel have also made it a popular place for young lovers to sneak off and make out.
The Puerta del Sol public square is the heart of the city and the symbolic centre of Spain. Often the favored site for rallies and protests, on quieter days, Puerta del Sol is more famed for El Oso y El Madroño, a massive statue of a bear eating fruits from an arbutus tree, which is the official symbol of the Madrid.
If you'd like to see how to live like a real king or queen, you have to visit the Palacio Real (Royal Palace). Spain’s royal family – returned to power after the end of the military dictatorship in 1975 – remains incredibly popular among the people, and its royal residences are much more open to the public than those of other European monarchs. The 3,000-room Royal Palace has stood on the Plaza de Oriente since 1734, although the current King Juan Carlos lives in a smaller palace outside Madrid. The sumptuously appointed state apartments are filled with art treasures and antiques, and the royal armory is also a highlight.
The Paseo del Arte is the route that links the three crown jewels of Madrid’s splendid collection of art galleries: The Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornomisza.
The Prado is one of the greatest art galleries win the world, with more than 7,000 paintings in its collection, including works by the medieval, renaissance, and romantic-era European masters such as Botticelli, Titian, Rembrandt, Goya, and Velasquez.
The Reina Sofia National Art Centre Museum is dedicated to 20th century Spanish art, including works by Dali, Miro, and Picasso. The star of the museum’s collection is Picasso’s massive black and white mural Guernica, which depicts the horrific bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by German planes during the Spanish civil war.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum houses a smaller but still impressive collection in a restored 18th-century palace. The collection includes works from all the major periods of Western painting from the 13th to the 20th centuries, including masterpieces by Caravaggio, Rubens, Dali, Monet, and Picasso.