Madrid is not a city of half-measures: Europe’s highest, youngest, sunniest capital likes to boast Desde Madrid al Cielo ('from Madrid to Heaven'), with a matter-of-fact assumption that when you’ve seen Madrid, the only place left is Heaven.
The city is as famous for what it lacks as for what it boasts – there’s no great river, no architectural marvels, no immediate picture-postcard charm. But what it does have, it has in spades: a fabulous collection of western art held in the Prado, the Thyssen and the Reina Sofía; a crooked old centre where almost every alley is stuffed with excellent tapas bars and restaurants; a famously intense blue sky; and an even more intense nightlife that makes most other cities look positively staid. The city is busy, but there are plenty of ways to take a deep breath and relax, with views from the Teleferico, and enviable array of green spaces including Parque del Retiro.
You want more? Well, you can now go and discover Madrid's passionate flamenco and soccer scenes, which is where you'll get to the heart of the city.