Madrid is a must-see city in Spain. Not only is it the capital and the country’s biggest city, there are many places to see, museums to visit, restaurants to eat at, and lots of shopping to do. Two places anyone visiting Madrid for the first time must see are the Palacio Real de Madrid (the Royal Palace) and the Puerta del Sol.
Visiting the Palacio Real is not simply sightseeing, it is an experience. The interior of the palace is extravagant and excessive and evokes the times when Spain was the richest country of the world. Gold and royal hues are used along with elaborate designs and no plain walls are in sight. People are left feeling dizzy by intricate design and bold color at the end of the tour! The Royal family today does not reside in this palace, but rather in a palace about fourty-five minutes outside the center of Madrid.
Another place to visit when visiting Madrid is the Puerta del Sol. Here reside the offices of some important Spanish politicians, a few symbolic statues, and Kilometro Cero. Kilometro Cero (Kilometer Zero) is a plaque on the ground that indicates the center of Spain. Around the Puerta del Sol are also excellent areas for shopping and eating. Relatively inexpensive stores such as Stradivarius are mixed with brand-name stores (such as the Spanish brand MANGO) making it a good shopping place for all budgets. There is also a Corte Ingles, an excellent department store with everything imaginable. It even has an extensive supermarket underground, with brands from all around Europe and the world.
Story by Pauline Choi and Photo by Carolyn Balk