Madrid Luxury City Guide: Although Madrid is an eclectic city in its own right, it used to play second fiddle to nearby Barcelona. But with a recent population growth, the historic capital city has become a luxury destination of its own.
Filled with a rich history, architecturally unique buildings, museums and cultural centers, Madrid is also home of fine dining, luxury hotels and some of the world's best high-end shopping, not to mention an active nightlife.
Madrid is unofficially divided into three areas: The Center, filled with points of interest for tourists; the Ensanchea with luxurious shops and hotels, and the Periphery, a suburb.
In the Center, visitors will enjoy Gran Vía/Plaza de España, the main drag of the city, filled with movie theatres and shopping. At night check out the Plaza Mayor, with wine, tapas, and musical entertainment. Chamberí has become an active hub of upscale activities including restaurants, bookshops, art galleries and museums. In the Gran Vía, you can also find some of the best fashions, furs, jewelry and bookstores in the country.
In the Ensanche, visit the upscale neighborhood of the Salamanca Quarter, a high-end place to live since the late 19th century. Internationally known shops and boutiques can be found here, as can the American Embassy. Along the Castellana, you can find luxury hotels and restaurants, along with other modern points of interest, including a skyscraper and soccer stadium.
Must Sees & Do's:
Madrid is filled with attractions, from ancient churches and cathedrals to museums and former homes of Heads of State.
While in Madrid, visit the Botanical Gardens, The Royal Palace, and The Fine Arts Museum. When you've had enough history, check out Warner Brothers Movie World, Spain's solution to Disneyland. The Zoo Aquarium de la Casa de Campo features over 3,000 animals from 5 continents in a modern facility, which includes a tropical marine aquarium.
Beyond the museums, be sure to immerse yourself in Madrid culture by seeing a flamenco show at El Corral de la Morería, or catch a bullfight at the San Isidro festival.
All through the year Madrid hosts events, from film festivals and fashion shows to major music festivals and even gourmet dining.
Wining and Dining:
At La Ancha Restaurante you can enjoy traditional Spanish flavors in an elegant setting.
Eat at the oldest restaurant in the world, Botin Restaurant. The painter Goya reportedly once worked there and its cuisine has been enjoyed by such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway. Since 1725, Botin has been serving both locals and tourists some of the finest Spanish cuisine in four floors.
One of Spain's best known culinary delights is tapas. Take a tapas tour, enjoying the small bites at the bars of Plaza de Santa Ana or another of the city's famous tapas districts.
For a taste of the nightlife, check out the discotheques of Joy Eslava and Palacio Gaviria on Arenal Street. Terrazas in the summer months also offer more upscale drinking than pubs and are accompanied by music.
For the VIP: Madrid is a diverse city, filled with immigrants and students, but also with a very wealthy populace. To enjoy Madrid in high-class style, use some of these upscale amenities to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.
Because the tapas bars and nightlife of Madrid are scattered on different streets, make sure you do it safely in a chauffeured vehicle from Atrocity Chauffeured Services.
Relax and get connect to the best with a restorative visit to Madrid's Arabic Baths.
Eat your way through the city with a gastronomic adventure from Luxury Spain Gourmet Tours or Luxury Madrid Culinary Tours.
The JustLuxe City Guides have been created for you, our discerning readers, to highlight the most sophisticated, the most popular and the most elegant locations in every destination.
Our local concierge continuously strives to ensure we feature the best of the best in luxury services, dining, hotels and more. Every city offers new things to enjoy, cultures to immerse yourself in and sights to see. We have sought out the best places to see, be seen or just be.