Madrid is Spain’s capital and it is the financial and cultural hub for Spain and much of Southern Europe.
It is a city filled with monuments and culture, and there are plenty of things to see and do.
There are more than 60 museums on all kinds of topics and a highlight of the city is the Golden Triangle of Art – which includes the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum. While visiting, take time to also visit the spectacular Plaza Mayor square; the Royal Palace; Plaza de Oriente square; the Teatro Real opera house; and the modern cathedral of La Almudena.
Madrid is also host to one of the most famous bullfighting rings in the world, Las Ventas, which opened in 1931. Built in mudejan style, it’s made of red brick and ceramic tiles and is used for rock concerts and political meetings, as well as fights.
The city of Valencia is Spain’s third-largest city and has a history which can be traced back as far as 138 BC, but it is also a modern and innovative city.
In the warmer months, the promenade and beaches come alive with activity as tourists escape the cooler weather further north, or in the southern hemisphere, and search for a Spanish paradise.
It is the home of paella and you won’t want to miss dropping into a local restaurant to taste some authentic varieties of the dish.
Take a walk or bike through Jardins Del Turia, a park the runs along the river where you will be able to admire impressive sculptures, bridges and ponds filled with turtles and fish, and stop by the Calatrava Bridge which was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava Valls.
There are some fantastic plazas in Valencia where you can dine, shop or simply relax; and you might also enjoy a tour of the Valencia Cathedral and the Holy Grail – believed by locals to be the actual cup that Jesus drank from at the last supper (though this is disputed); and Valencia’s Central Market.