Your guide to Madrid with Grenham Travel

Madrid is an ideal destination for a city break, with a manageable flight time of just 2 hours 40 minutes from Dublin. With its bustling energy and vast range of attractions, an excellent public transport system, and more than 240 sunny days per year, Madrid certainly leaves the visitor spoilt for choice.

Madrid is a city that treasures and preserves its customs, among them Flamenco. The city offers some of the best Flamenco live shows in Spain; for more information see www.tablaosmadrid.com Madrid’s annual cultural programme includes Flamenco festivals (such as Suma Flamenco which occurs during the month of June ) and other cultural events throughout the year.

Art lovers wil enjoy the Paseo Del Arte art walk, taking in three major museums within a 10-minute walk - the Prado Museum, one of the finest galleries of the world; the Reina Sofia Museum specialising in contemporary art including Guernica by Picasso; and the Thyssen Museum which houses one of the most important private collections in the world.

For history buffs, the largest royal palace in Western Europe is a must-visit. Home to the Kings of Spain from Charles III to Alfonso XIII, Madrid’s Royal Palace takes you on a journey through the history of Spain. Though it is no longer the royal family’s home, it continues to be their official residence.

In Madrid, gastronomy is both leisure and culture. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Madrid is home to the world’s oldest restaurant, Casa Botin, which opened in 1725. You can enjoy traditional food in restaurants that have been serving local dishes and the best local wines for over 100 years. Madrid has more than 3,100 restaurants, offering everything from traditional Spanish cuisine to ultra-modern trends, for all tastes and budgets.

Madrid is the perfect place to enjoy tapas, which have to be served with a good drink - in Madrid blond beer and wine are the favourite choices. Check out the Literary and Hapsburg quarters and La Latina where you can go from bar to bar eating a little bit of everything you fancy.

When you need to kick back and relax, the El Retiro Park offers cultural, leisure, and sport activities for both locals and visitors. This 125-hectare green oasis in the centre of Madrid is home to over 15,000 trees. The park houses some very important gardens: the Jardín de Vivaces, the Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez (classical gardens in Andalusian style ), the Jardines del Arquitecto Herrero Palacios, the Rose Garden, and the Parterre Francés with the oldest tree in Madrid, a bald cypress that is believed to be 400 years old.

You can also get behind the scenes of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium - explore the club’s fascinating museum and step into the players’ changing rooms!

If you’re still not finished exploring, six heritage sites can be found within a 30-minute drive of Madrid: Segovia, Ávila, Toledo, Alcalá de Henare, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and Aranjuez.

Contact the award-winning team at Grenham Travel to arrange an exciting break to this vibrant city. Call (090 ) 6492028, email [email protected], or call into their office at 1-3 Connaught Street, Athlone. For more information see www.grenhamtravel.ie

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