When the winter weather takes a turn for the worst and raindrops hit the ground, you might think your vacation in Madrid is destined to be spoiled. But this is definitely not so! Simply head indoors to experience some of Madrid’s not-to-be missed attractions. Think world-class museums, art galleries and hot drinks in grand 19th century cafes.
Downtown Madrid on a gray day — Photo courtesy of Sarah E. Rogers
Have you heard, perhaps, of the Golden Triangle of Art? Madrid’s high caliber museums and art galleries have put the city firmly on the map, offering up the right dose of art, culture and history. The Golden Triangle of Art consists of Madrid’s biggest and most highly rated art museums, all located within close distance of one another: the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museumand the Reina Sofia Museum.
Comparable only to the Louvre Museumin Paris, Madrid’s Prado Museum is one of the most impressive and most visited museums in the world, and for good reason. The historic buildings house priceless 16th to 19th century paintings from Europe’s grand masters in spacious halls of high-vaulted ceilings. I can say from personal experience that it’s dangerously easy to lose track of time!
The exterior of the Prado Museum — Photo courtesy of Dalbera
Other good choices for spending an afternoon include the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum for its eclectic 13th to 20th century European and American collections and the Reina Sofia Museum for its contemporary art and works by Picasso.
Then when you’re in need of some fortification, head to one of Madrid’s grand old cafes, like the historic Café Gijon, or one of Madrid’s newer but no less grand-looking establishments like El Espejo, with its delicious but faux Art Nouveau representations.
Order a coffee with brandy (carajillo) or a coffee with milk (café con leche) and leisurely while away the time (and soak up the Madrid café culture) like one of the locals. There’s no rush in a Madrid cafe! It’s a refuge for all segments of society to enjoy, whether in the company of friends or simply in one’s own company.
Cafe Gijon — Photo courtesy of Tunguska
To get around, take one of Madrid’s plentiful taxis, or simply catch a train from the city’s efficient subway system, the Metro. Or you can dare to walk. But forgot your umbrella, you say? No problem! Buy one from a nearby shop or from one of the enterprising street vendors who inevitably sell umbrellas at the Metro entrances on rainy days.
For whatever the weather, there’s always something to see and do in Madrid.