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What to Do in Madrid During the Day

By Chris Boyle

Reina Sofía Museum

Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art provides a wealth of cultural experiences.

The tree-lined Paseo del Prado is the location for three worldclass museums; the Prado, Reina Sophía and Thyssen Bornemisza. For some fresh air after a day at the galleries, stroll through the beautiful nearby Real Jardin Botanico and Parque del Buen Retiro.


The Palacio Real is the official residence of the Spanish royal family, although the present King prefers to reside outside of the city at Palacio de la Zarzuela.

more rooms than any other palace in Europe and a vast courtyard, the sheer scale of the Palacio Real cannot fail to impress. It is no surprise that it took 26 years to build. Over half of the opulent state apartments are open for viewing, so wander through the lavish halls and banqueting and armory rooms, and enjoy the uninterrupted garden and parkland views. Look out for the legendary Stradivarius violins and Goya portraits. The Palace Real may be shut at short notice for state occasions.


An entire day could be spent studying Prado’s vast collection of great European masters.

The royal collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century paintings has been relocated to Prado from the palaces of Madrid, and Spanish artists are well represented, with 50 paintings by Velázquez and no fewer than 140 works by Goya. Goya’s legendary Black Paintings, including the unforgettable image of Saturn Devouring his Son, are housed in this eighteenth century neo-classical building. These paintings, which were originally painted directly onto the walls of Goya’s house, Quinta del Sordo (House of the Deaf Man), were transferred onto canvas after his death and donated to the Prado Museum.

+34 91 330 2800

Edificio Villanueva, Paseo Del Prado, 28014


Stand above a lava flow, experience a tropical storm and swim with seals, all in an afternoon.

Using state-of-the-art climate control systems, imported vegetation and 1,500 different species of animals, Faunia Nature Park has created ten distinct ecosystems. The polar ice cave doubles as a private function room, where guests can watch penguins swim underwater while they sip on classic Margaritas.

+34 91 301 6210

Avenida de las, Comunidades, 28, 28032


Do not be put off by this Opera House’s solemn exterior, for the interior is truly breathtaking.

To fully appreciate the lavish décor of the Teatro Real, ask your concierge to arrange a day time tour. Located in front of the Palacio Real, this prestigious opera house hosts an average of seventeen different operas every year, alongside ballet performances and classical recitals. Both national and international opera companies perform here, drawn by the superb acoustics. The opera season runs from early September until late July.

+ 34 91 516 0660

Plaza de Isabel II, s/n



With a stunning permanent collection of twentieth and twenty-first century Spanish art, the Reina Sofía is both inspiring and provocative.

The paintings, which include Pablo Picasso’s seminal piece Guernica, are displayed alongside sculptures and video instillations. The gallery hosts exceptional temporary exhibitions from around the world and is home to the Contemporánea performing arts festival. Both the auditorium and protocol room are available to hire for special occasions.

+34 91 774 1000

Santa Isabel, 52, 28012

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