Fodor's To Europe!

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Vibrant Madrid, like New York, is a city that never sleeps. Yes, it's home to world-class museums and palaces, but any visitor needs to experience the nightlife as well. Get out there and do like the locals do. Pull up a seat at a tapas bar, sip wine, and forget about beauty sleep. Nightlife doesn't really get going until after midnight. If you need to clear your head, then a visit to the nearby countryside should do the trick.
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  • Nightlife
  • Shopping
  • Art and Culture

Experiences

  • No trip to Madrid is complete without a visit to the Prado museum, home to masterpieces from Goya, El Greco and Velázquez.
  • The 18th-century Palacio Real features over 2,000 opulent rooms. Visitors can see the throne room and private apartments.
  • Get into the madrileño way of life; nibble on tapas, sip wine in a bar along the Cava Baja, and party 'til dawn at a nightclub.

Festivals

  • The performing arts are celebrated with deep discounts during the Night of the Theatres in March.
  • During the Salón de Gourmets, held in Madrid each April, you can sample the best of Spain's food.

Side Trips

  • The Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial (31 mi/50 km northwest of Madrid) boasts an impressive art collection.
  • Long the spiritual capital of Spain, Toledo perches on top of a rocky mount. These days most people come for the art. Toledo is where El Greco came into his own, and his paintings can be found in many churches here.

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