Posted by Carter | Under Where to?
Friday Aug 15, 2014
Spotlight Europe: Planning Your Tour of Madrid
Spain is often regarded as the jewel of Europe; world-class museums, culinary delights, and breathtaking architecture abound in this former colonial power. Spain’s influence on the world is undoubtedly vast as their culture and traditions had been spread to all corners of the globe during the time of the Conquistadors. However, Madrid often plays second fiddle to Spain’s tourism mecca of Barcelona. Nestled in the country’s interior, the capital city boasts no beaches or Mediterranean flare but there is certainly no shortage of things to do in Madrid.
When planning a vacation in Madrid, it helps to decide where your interests most keenly lie, as the options can become overwhelming, especially for those who are short on time. One could easily spend days, roaming the streets, just admiring the exquisite architecture and vibrancy of Madrid’s day-to-day life. Therefore, it is vital to narrow down a few “must-see” items to ensure you make the most of your tour of Madrid. The Palacio Real, full of grandeur and opulence, is well worth a visit and will occupy at least half a day when explored properly. Afterwards, wandering around the Gran Via or the Puerta del Sol is a feast for the eyes; high-end designer shops mix seamlessly with centuries-old buildings and busy professionals rushing to work.
If museums are your thing, Madrid has a plentiful selection of world-renowned institutions. The Museo del Prado, Spain’s answer to The Louvre, is one of the most famous museums in the world. Various works from the old world Spanish masters like Velázquez and Goya are prominently displayed in a manner of great national pride. For more contemporary exhibits, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia boasts numerous works from Picasso and Dali, including Picasso’s Guernica which is in itself reason enough for a visit; the artist’s breathtaking masterpiece portrays his vision of the perils encountered during the Spanish Civil War.
Of course no tour of Madrid would be complete without some shopping. One of the most reasonably priced countries in Western Europe, Spain offers everything from the latest in haute couture to locally produced olive oil. The leather work produced by Spanish artisans is some of the best in the world and a hand-crafted and tooled, handbag or wallet can be had for a song compared to neighboring countries. Ham, specifically the ultra-expensive Jamon Iberico variety, is big business in Spain as well; no trip would be complete without sampling this delicacy that can be found in shops just about everywhere. As Madrid is the capital city and home to the royal court, the best of the best, in regards to everything, can be found here.
Even with so many things to do in Madrid proper, a quick road trip to Toledo, an easy drive from Madrid, is a must! Toledo is known as the home of Don Quixote and exhibits some of the best examples of Spanish medieval architecture in the region; the churches, castles, and forts that tower over the cobbled streets are an enchanting lesson in history.
A car rental in Spain can take you along scenic, oceanic highways, the majestic mountains of Andalusia and the quaint and quiet villages ignored by public transportation services. Visitors to Spain that are spending an extended period of time in the country may even want to consider a short-term Peugeot lease in Madrid, as opposed to a conventional rental car to maximize their travel options. Kemwel offers a simple, online booking engine, for the do-it-yourself traveler, or our car rental reservation specialists are available 24/7 via Kemwel’s toll-free number, 1-877-820-0668. With the expert assistance of Kemwel, your dreams of traveling through Spain may begin in Madrid, but they don’t have to end there!