If you have to spend one or more nights in Madrid, either because you want to do a bit of sightseeing or because your arrival or departure times mean that you can't use the airport shuttle, you have a number of choices.
Madrid, as every big city, not easily covered by foot in one day, but depending on your priorities, you can choose to visit different areas, or just use the metro to move around.
If you like art galleries you are in the right place, and if you donīt, the Prado museum is still something worth visiting. One of the best of its kind in the world, it has recently undergone a massive facelift to increase the number of exhibition rooms, a great architectural achievement. Other galleries include the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza, for contemporary art. They are all along the Avenida del Prado, the main artery that runs through Madrid. If you donīt have much time a stroll along Prado and Recoletos is probably the best choice.
The old quarters: Around the Main square. Full of life, tapas bars and tourists. Old buildings and souvenir shops. In this area you can find the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral, worth having a look at.
"El Parque del Retiro" is Madridīs big lung. A huge garden complex right in the in the middle of the city. It has a large lake in the middle and a little hidden lake. At the edge of this lake is a beautiful glass building, the Palacio de Cristal.
Barrio de Salamanca: The posh area. Beautiful avenues and houses with all the expensive designer shops. It is the other dimension of the city.
Interesting web page: www.madaboutmadrid.com^