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Madrid, located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, is perfectly located to visit the rest of the country with seamless transportation connection hubs and high-speed trains to other major cities like Barcelona and Seville. Nevertheless, Madrid isn’t just about getting in and getting out. The city is worth a visit of her own. One of her many claims to fame is that the city is an art enthusiast’s paradise. The so-called Triangle of Art located on an especially green part of the expansive thoroughfare which runs north to south through the city, contains the stately Prado Museum and its historic collection, the modern Reina Sofia, home to Picasso’s Guernica, and the elegant Thyssen-Bornemisza, whose gallery showcases works from the 13th to the 20th century. All are within an easy walk from each other. The city, although one of the three biggest in Europe, concentrates many of its sights within walking distance, luckily for those on a tight schedule. Just north of the Triangle is the rococo Palacio de Cibeles, currently home to town hall. A short walk east is the Retiro Park, owned by the royal family until the 19th century, and now a breath of fresh air for madrileños and visitors alike. If instead you head up a slight hill west, you will hit Puerta del Sol, the starting point for all maps in Spain and bustling with busy shoppers and businesspeople who throng past others just relaxing in the elongated square’s sunny center.
Travel from Jeddah to Madrid
Madrid is the administrative, financial, and business capital of Spain and has been since the crown moved there in the 16th century. Most historic landmarks date from this period, under the Hapsburgs, like the city’s highly symmetrical Plaza Mayor, in the old Madrid de las Austrias neighborhood. Here Madrid has preserved a variety of 19th century restaurants, including the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the world (Sobrino de Botín, founded in 1725). If it happens to be Sunday or a holiday, your walk through Madrid de las Austrias will take you to La Latina and its massive flea market, El Rastro. No visit to the capital would be complete without trying to see a Real Madrid football (soccer) club match. The team tops most all-time-best lists, not least of which is being named the FIFA Club of the Century. There are some contenders vying with it for first place though, like local heavy-hitting rival Atlético.