Exploring Madrid's Wide Variety of Cultural Activities
As the third largest European city, Madrid offers a broad range of cultural activities, including three of the world's most prestigious museums. The Thyssen Museum (private collection) and the Prado Museum (public) can be found on the Paseo del Prado; the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art is located at Santa Isabel Street, number 52. Ticket price varies depending on the sections of the museum you are planning to visit, and the temporary exhibitions offered at the time.
One of the best ways to enjoy the city is by walking through its parks and gardens. Unfortunately, this has become common knowledge for those who call Madrid home; thus, streets are always chocked full of people going for strolls, snacking or simply soaking in the sun. Although the most famous park is the ***Retiro Park***, you cannot leave Madrid without having visited the Parque del Oeste, Western Park, and its Rose Garden (free entrance). Remember to catch the aerial tramway (daily from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM; round-trip price is € 5.90 (around $6,50)). The, panoramic view of the Casa de Campo Park, the lungs of Madrid, is well worth the affordable price.
Venues serving cañas (beers) and tapas (typical Spanish snacks) abound. The Malasaña, La Latina and Lavapiés neighbourhoods are a few favourites of Madrid natives. While it is possible to spend all-nighters here partying, you should check out the flamenco theatres for more Spanish cultural entertainment. Options range from the more lavish, like the Corral de la Morería Flamenco Theatre (Morería, 7) to the more modest, like the Candela Flamenco Theatre (Olmo, 2).
- The Teatro Real (Royal Theatre) puts on magnificent opera productions making said theatre one of the main international spotlights for this musical genre. (Plaza Isabel II Square. Telephone: 915160600. Programming: http://www.teatro-real.com/es/temporada-16-17/opera/. Admission: € 20-220).
- During the Bernabéu Tour, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the stadium and visit the playing field, the locker rooms and the football museum that tells the story of the players and the Real Madrid Football Club’s history. (Castellana, 144. Telephone: 913984370. Daily: 10:30 AM - 7:00 PM. Admission: € 20).
- Since the year 2008, the Madrid Open tennis tournament has been held in the city. This is a tournament held in the Caja Mágica Sports Centre for a little over a week each year. Paseo de Perales, 23. Telephone: 917220400. Tickets and Schedule: http://www.madrid-open.com/. Price of Admission: starting at € 25.
- The FIBA Hall of Fame was conceptualized to be a museum fully dedicated to basketball, with the aim of making this sport's players, coaches, and administrative personnel more well-known and popular. Avda. Olímpica, 22 - Borislav Stankovic Building, Alcobendas. Telephone: 916621784. Unfortunately for basketball fans everywhere, the museum has not operated as such for three years, leaving all looking forward to the day it reopens.
- The Madrid Casino was started around the mid-19th century as a social club for Madrid's social elite. They used to meet in the stately building to read, talk and interact. Now, however, all are welcome to visit the building to see a concert, an art exhibition, or eat in its luxurious restaurant. Alcalá, 15. Telephone: 915211735. Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM - 2:00 AM; Sundays: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM. Groups of 15 people or more can enter by hiring a group tour.