Madrid is a city with staggering architecture, resplendent palaces, and a venerable dining scene. After a ten-year hiatus, Air Malta has commenced its route to the Spanish capital.
Madrid has a shorter architectural history than its European capital counterparts. Inhabited since prehistoric times, it was a Moorish stronghold in the 9th century and remained a provincial town until Philip II moved the royal court from Toledo to the city of Madrid in 1561, making it the de facto capital of Spain.
Plaza Mayor was designed by Juan de Herrera and Juan Gómez de Mora in the 1600s. This grand public space, with its tall grey slate spires and brick-red facades, typical of the Castilian Baroque style, is characterized by symmetry and austerity. The most eye-catching building is Casa de la Panadería.
The Plaza Mayor was a marketplace for food and the site of events such as bullfights, public executions, trials during the Spanish Inquisition and crowning ceremonies.
The city has its share of treasures, including the Baroque Palacio Royal (The official residence of the Spanish Royal Family).
Madrid’s Culinary Scene
In Madrid you’ll find Michelin-starred eateries, taberna's and family run restaurants all offering a different take on local cuisine.
The sprawling food halls of the Mercardo de San Miguel is one of Madrid's oldest food markets, encased within the early 20th-century glass walls.
Some of the newest restaurants in Madrid can be found on Calle Ponzano.
The Museo de Historia de Madrid and the National Archaeological Museum provide a glimpse into centuries past. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is a world-famous modern art museum featuring a collection of 20th-century Spanish art, from Picasso to Solana.
Go Beyond The Periphery
The cities of Aranjuez, Alcalá de Henares and San Lorenzo del Escorial are World Heritage Sites. Picturesque towns such as Chinchón, and villages in the mountain make a splendid day trip. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the vineyards of the Ribera del Duero.