Gran Vía is the main street in Madrid, with Chueca just behind those buildings in the photo. It is home to some of the world's most famous restaurants, entertainment venues and high end shops.
By day its a bustling shopping centre and by night the party goers take over. Having been displaced from Chueca, it is now home to much of Madrid's prostitution and drug dealing, so caution should be exercised at night. Keep to the tourist area and don't wonder off down unknown side streets.
How to get there: Gran Vía station
Puerta del Sol
The Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun) is one of the most well known and busiest places in Madrid. This is the centre (Km 0) of the radial network of Spanish roads. The square also contains the famous clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes at the beginning of a new year. The New Year's celebration has been broadcast live on TV since December 31st 1962.
How to get there: Puerta del Sol station
Madrid Flea Market (El Rastro de Madrid) El Rastro de Madrid or simply el Rastro is the most popular open air flea market in Madrid. It is held every Sunday and public holidays during the year and is located along Plaza de Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores, between Calle Embajadores and the Ronda de Toledo, just south of La Latina metro station. A great variety of products (new and used) can be found at el Rastro. A number of antique shops in the local area are also open on Sundays.
How to get there: La Latina Station
Experience the much-loved art of flamenco in the intimate Tablao Las Carboneras, lavishly decorated with historic flamenco memorabilia. Enjoy the show with dinner, selecting from a wide range of menus focusing on traditional Spanish dishes with a distinctively modern and innovative flair (1 Calle del Conde de Miranda, +91 542 8677).
Get high in Madrid on the Teleférico de Madrid, an extraordinary 2.5km cable car trip over the Casa de Campo and Parque del Oeste. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Palacio Real, Río Manzanares, and Madrid's skyline. Return tickets cost €5.50. teleferico.com
Parque del Buen Retiro
The main park of Madrid, Spain, the Jardines del Buen Retiro or Parque del Buen Retiro (literally "Gardens" or "Park of the Pleasant Retreat"), or simply El Retiro, is a large and popular 1.4 km² (350 acres) park at the edge of the city center, very close to the Puerta de Alcalá and not far from the Prado Museum. A magnificent park, filled with beautiful sculpture and monuments, galleries, a peaceful lake and host to a variety of events, it is rightfully one of Madrid's premier attractions. The park is entirely surrounded by the present-day city.
It is also one of the main gay cruising spots of Madrid, especially around the Fallen Angel statue, which is the only statue in the world dedicated to Lucifer. (The Devil)
Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real de Madrid)
The Royal Palace of Madrid also called Palacio de Oriente, (Eastern Palace) is the official residence of the King of Spain. King Juan Carlos and the royal family do not actually reside in this palace, instead choosing the smaller Palacio de la Zarzuela, on the outskirts of Madrid. However, the Palacio Real de Madrid is still used for state occasions. The palace is owned by the Spanish state and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional agency. The palace also has the distinction of being the largest royal palace in Western Europe in size, with over a combined area of over 135.000 m² and more than 2.800 rooms.
The palace is located on Bailén street, in the western part of downtown Madrid, east of the Manzanares River, and is accessible from the Ópera metro station. The palace is partially open to public, except when in official use.
How to get there: Opera station
Catch a train at Atocha Station and in just 40 minutes you can be in Aranjuez. There's an impressive 17th-century palace, formal gardens and bubbling fountains to enjoy. Take a picnic to eat by the river.