As Air Malta resumes flying to the Spanish capital, we take a look at the mix of natural, historical, and unique modern attractions that make this city a must-visit for all the family.
Words by Lauren John | Extract taken from April's 2022 Il-Bizzilla Magazine | Read more here
With a flight time of less than 3 hours, you’ll soon be hitting the tarmac at Madrid Barajas Airport and ready to explore all that this vibrant city has to offer. Convenient transport options from the airport terminals include taxis and a regular airport shuttle that runs 24 hours a day all year round.
Whatever your itinerary during your trip you’ll find it easy to get around the city centre and wider Madrid region. There is a comprehensive network of over 300 underground metro stations, an overground rail network and buses to get you wherever you need to go.
Look out for the tourist travel pass which covers all types of public transport within the city in two transport zones. Valid for 1 to 7 days, they are the convenient way to get to your must-do attractions.
Holy Week is one of the most important religious and cultural celebrations in Spain with celebrations at churches and cultural centres across Madrid. There are celebrations through the seven days leading up to Easter Sunday, including Holy Thursday and Easter Friday.
Colourful processions pass through streets such as the famous tree-lined boulevard Paseo del Prado, Calle Alcalá and Plaza Mayor. Costaleros carry floats decorated with religious sculptures, candles, flowers, and embroidered shawls, while music rings out in churches and cultural centres across the city. It really is a feast for the senses, so why not marvel at a colourful procession or drum parade and then fill up on Torrljas (Spanish French Toast) and Potaje de Garbanzos (Chick Pea Stew).
SAN MIGUEL MARKET
Continue on your food journey at one of Madrid’s biggest and best-loved markets, which has been delighting visitors for over 100 years. Easily accessible from Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s main public square, this striking building is the place to be for a gourmet feast. Artisan food suppliers can satisfy your appetite with everything from homemade ice cream to Iberian ham, and international flavours in between.
BACK TO NATURE
While the beautiful green spaces across Madrid are a haven when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, there is far more to them than a pleasant space to enjoy an afternoon walk. The Royal Botanic Gardens are home to 5,000 species of plants from roses to exotic specimens, it’s located next door to the Prado Museum, founded in the 18th Century to create a museum of natural history.
By contrast, the family-friendly Retiro Park is bustling with life of the human kind, and it welcomes visitors of all ages. Take on the jogging route for a workout, rent a bike or go boating in the formal royal park. If you want to slow the pace down, then stop for a picnic, stroll through the botanic gardens, or take your children to see a puppet show.
Visiting Madrid on a good weather day? Then head to the Faro de Moncloa Observation Deck for panoramic views of the city and the Guadarrama Mountain Range. With 360 degree views of the Royal Palace and more, it’s a beautiful photo opportunity. For another photo opportunity, take your football loving family to the Cibeles Fountain. An icon of the city, it's a well-known spot where La Liga team Real Madrid celebrate their victories.
SOAK UP SOME CULTURE
Madrid is a vibrant former European Capital Of Culture that more than lives up to that status years later. Across cultural centres, art galleries, and tourist attractions, this is a city that mixes traditional and modern to keep all the family entertained.
Modern art comes in all shapes and sizes here, from an entire museum dedicated to robots, to the mind-bending illusions and photo ops you’ll find at the museum of illusions. For something more traditional take a trip back in time to the Prado Museum. Take time to appreciate Italian Baroque art, 11th Century Mozarabic Murals, and one of the widest collections of Spanish art in the world.
Madrid has been described as a city of joy and life, and it’s ready to welcome you back, whether you want to rediscover the past, or celebrate the future.
Air Malta operates regular flights to Madrid. More information on www.airmalta.com
Please follow the latest Covid-19 guidelines with regards to travel.