Madrid, the capital of Spain, truly impacts visitors with its welcoming warmth and beauty. Imagine walking down a narrow cobblestone street, pausing to look towards the cloudless sky.Overhead, countless flowering balconies line the walls of an 18th-century building.You hear flamenco music in the plaza around the corner. Melodic rhythm of the Spanish language fills your ears.You are in Madrid, city of culture, energy, art, excitement and romance. Enjoying many more clear, sunny days than any other city in Western Europe, Madrid is noted for her "Velázquez skies" or "Velasqueños", named after the worldfamous Spanish painter. Situated on the Castillian Meseta, Madrid overlooks the nearby Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range where pine groves purify the air and provide majestic views.
Madrid has magnificent museums where you can admire famous works of art by classic and contemporary masters.There are museums dedicated to sculpture, archaeology and science. One of the most intriguing is the Prado Museum, where visitors marvel at works of Spanish and European art from the 12th to the 18th century. Once morning's round of sightseeing and museum touring is over, your appetite will be whetted for wonderful dining. Along with international restaurants, savor traditional Spanish cooking. Enjoy regional dishes such as "paella valenciana", "bacalao a la vizcaina" and "Pollo a la chilindrón". Not to be missed, Flamenco, or Andalusian Gypsy dancing is a phenomenon in Madrid.This sensual art form can be seen in theaters, cabarets and nightclubs but be sure to ask the locals, for there are certain special clubs where the real Flamenco connoisseurs go.