#EuroAwayDays: The heart of Spain, Madrid is oh so easy to love
It’s crunch-time in Europe this week, but while Manchester City focus on defeating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to land a first-ever Champions League final spot, travelling Citizens can relax, unwind, enjoy, divulge or dance the night away in Spain’s wonderful capital city.
Madrid has been the country’s capital since the 17th century, and is the third-highest capital city in Europe, after Krusevo in Macedonia and Andorra la Vella in Andorra.
Where it rules the roost however is with its weather, boasting the most cloudless days of any European capital.
So all being well, City fans making the trip across should have some glorious blue skies under which they’ll be enjoying all of Madrid’s finest delights.
We can hear that tummy rumbling already, so let’s start with the local grub…
One of the best places to be seen for dinner in is Platea, a stunning restaurant/bar in an old 1950s style cinema.
Serving everything from Tapas to Michelin-starred dishes, this unique venue also boasts a trio of cocktails bars to kick-off the night in fine fashion.
Madrid favourites include Cocido Madrileno, the city’s own take on traditional Spanish stew, while Casa Lucio is the place to go for some huevos roto – the old favourite of eggs and potatoes.
And if you’re stuck in the middle of town and aren’t sure what to go for, the Plaza Mayor is the home of Bocadillo de Calamares, Madrid’s celebrated fried squid sandwich.
And of course, if you’ve had a few beverages there’s always the renowned churros.
Madrid loves a sherry, or Jerez, and one of the best places to enjoy a glass or two is La Vanencia.
Originally a favourite for anti-Fascists (and Ernest Hemingway) during Spain’s Civil War of the 1930s, a step into La Venencia will take you flying back in time.
The bar has remained largely unchanged in 80 years, and still plays by its original rules today, so no photography – seriously – and you must hold your sherry (Jerez) by the stem, lest you reveal yourself to be a spy.
Stick to the rules though, and you’ll easily enjoy a quiet hour or two.
A night out in Madrid can match any in Europe and it’s believed the city is home to more bars per capita than any other capital city on the continent.
It’s not cheap, but Corral De La Moreria is arguably the most famous flamenco club on Earth
Everyone from Pablo Picasso and good old Hemingway to Mariah Carey and Hugh Grant have popped in since opened in 1957 and you can’t fail but be encapsulated by it all.
We could probably fill a whole article on Madrid’s nightlife, and the city will make it oh so easy to while away the early hours.
Venues like El Sol, the ThunderCat Club, Barco and the mammoth Kapital (it has seven floors) will mean 6am seemingly arrives sooner than anywhere else.
Those seeking a hefty dollop of Spanish history and architecture are spoilt for choice.
Home to one of the finest, and largest, collections of art on Earth, the Museo del Prado is unquestionably the place to go for lovers of Spanish art.
With collections dating back to the 12th century, the museum houses work from Diego Velazquez, Titian and El Greco among others.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofia are also well worth-visiting, with the three colloquially known as the golden triangle of art.
If you want to go a little off the beaten track however, the Sorolla Museum is much less hectic, featuring the work of Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla in what was his former home.
And if you think your Instagram profile is getting a little neglected, the Royal Palace of Madrid ought to sort that right out thanks to some stunning architecture.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.