Top Reasons to Visit Madrid
The vibrant and energetic capital of Spain, Madrid, has been inhabited since Roman times. Known for its nightlife, entertainment, dance halls, as well as a legendary football stadium, Madrid also has a lot to offer in terms of culture, food, and architecture. It's a haven for visitors who love to eat and shop, as well as people who are interested in the history and the culture of Spain.
1
Festivals: Running of the Bulls, La Tomatina, San Isidro and more!
There are tons of different festivals in this mild climate city, some of which are famous worldwide. The Running of the Bulls (annually in August) is probably the most famous. Tourists are strictly prohibited from participating, but frankly, it's much nicer to sit by with a cold drink and watch the cattle stampede by than it is to actually run from them (not to mention must safer).

La Tomatina, a tomato throwing festival, also takes place in August, although you'll have to arrange transport a few hours to Buñol (just east of Madrid, closer to the Valencia coast). This is so much fun for both tourists and locals - if you get the chance, this is a once in a lifetime experience for sure!

Perhaps the most quintessential Madrid celebrations are the festivities of San Isidro, in the spring. You will be able to experience traditional Spanish dancing, costume, and of course, lots and lots of local food. This is also the occasion to see prestigious Spanish bullfighting.

These to are only three of tons of different festivals that make Madrid an exciting place to be. The inhabitants of Madrid don't need any reason to celebrate, and there is always some festival, parade, or other festivities going on in the city streets and outdoor cafes, especially in the spring and summer.
2
Madrid has a rich and long history.
And it's visible on every street corner, in every building, and even in the atmosphere of the city. Museums and art galleries house priceless artifacts that tell story of Spain's history, and towering churches, monasteries and other religious architecture can be found all over, a testiment to Madrid's Catholic past and present. A few highlights include: the Egyptian Temple of Debod (a temple dedicated to the goddess Isis that is originally from second century Upper Egypt and was donated to Spain and reconstructed in 1972), the amazingly beautiful Plaza Mayor (a massive, beautiful square surrounded by 16th century architecture and perfect for people watching), and the Almudena Cathedral (the biggest cathedral in Madrid and the seat of the local Archdiocese). There is way more to see that won't all fit here - palaces, plazas, fountains, museums and more. Culture and history buffs, take note - it will take more than one trip to soak in all that this city has to offer.
3
A historical shopping area for all budgets.
There's no better place for a traveller to shop in Madrid than the Gran Via (literally translating to "Great Way"), which is an ornate boulevard surrounded by 20th century architecture in the center of the city. The Gran Via specializes in the ultimate upscale shopping experience, but you'll also find boutiques and local vendors here, as well as art and theater. It's especially beautiful at night, as all of the buildings will light up, but be sure to hold onto your wallets as pickpockets abound in this tourist zone.
4
Eat some of the best food of your life.
Spain has some of the best food in the world, and Madrid is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants that are recognized internationally in the foodie communities. If food is your passion, you'll definitely want to check out DiverXO (Madrid's only 3 starred restaurant, which has a very limited but ambitious menu made out of only the top ingredients), and La Terraza del Casino, which has Spain's top chef Ferran Adrià as consultant.
For those who don't feel like spending top dollar on a meal, affordable options are available from local restaurants and vendors (who will all swear by their own family recipes!), especially if you are looking for a great selection of tapas. Beside authentic Spanish food, international restaurants also serve Andalusian, Galician and Catalan cuisines.
5
The nightlife simply cannot be matched.
The norm here is to not spend the whole night in one place, but to hop from bar to bar and sample the variety of drinks offered, as well to visit several nightclubs rather than settle on a single one. Madrileños (locals) never hurry the night along: think long, leisurely drinking sessions full of friends and laughter, high energy dance and live music, and relaxing evening strolls in the city streets. For a truly unique experience, check out a cabaret show or take part in some Flamenco lessons!
6
Madrid has some of the most beautiful parks
And what's more, they are always open and free to the public. There are as many as 40 parks in total in the whole city, spreading over 33 square kilometers. The iconic Casa de Campo is 5 times the size of Central Park and is perfect for a bike ride, rollerblading, or having a picnic. In Retiro Park, you can rent rowboats by the hour and leisurely paddle the lake - perfect for photographs (although note that this is a very popular tourist attraction). If you're visiting in the spring time, you definitely do not want to miss Parque de Oeste, as it has a brilliant rose garden full of rare varieties that will be in full bloom. It's also worth checking out the Royal Botanical Gardens, which house over 30,000 species of plants and are located right next to the Prado Museum.
Conclusion
Madrid is a city that is full of energy; the perfect place for a solo or a family vacation, or a backpacking trip with your best friends. The variety of activities that it has to offer cannot be experienced in one trip. Whether you are into history and culture, gourmet local food, popping nightlife or just like taking in the sites, Madrid will have something for you.

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