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The Spanish capital is always 'on' – it has been centre of the Spanish Empire and in its contemporary incarnation, the nightlife is legendary. Madrileños enjoy a decadent music scene, fine restaurants, flashes of flamenco and an array of art galleries, museums and festivals to keep the most culturally-minded happy. Siestas only make a rare appearance these days, such is the energy spurring this place on.
In a city rife with round-the-clock spectacle, and where you'll universally be welcomed, here are a few teasers to get you thinking on what you can indulge in while here:
- Visit the Prado Museum – a globally-renowned treasure trove of more than 8,000 artworks, including masterpieces from the Spanish, Italian and Flemish schools
- Try tapas at the minimalist Sula restaurant/bar – in the Salamanca district, there's a couple of Michelin stars floating around this establishment
- Admire the Royal Palace – the site of a royal residence since the 14th century, construction of the current building began in 1738 and noteworthy rooms include the Main Staircase, Throne Hall and Hall of Halberdiers
- Enjoy flamenco in its birthplace – try the venues Corral de la Morería, Café de Chinitas, Las Carboneras and Casa Patas
- Find a traditional or modern treasure at El Rastro market – set up around the Plaza de Cascorro and dating back to medieval times, this is one of Europe's oldest markets and is held each Sunday
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