Are you feeling that chill in the air? Just because it’s no longer sunny outside doesn’t mean you should put aside the holidays for another year. Madrid is a great choice all year round.
Now the summer is over, it’s time for a different type of holiday. Autumn is great for travelling since it’s in the shoulder season; prices are dropping and so are visitor numbers, but if you time it right you’ll still get some great weather. The cooler months are time for a city break, leave the beaches for next year and experience something new, exciting and cultural.
Spain is a great place to grab some winter sun without having to reach the southern hemisphere. Besides, there’s something very appealing about cold fresh air coupled with glorious sunshine. Madrid is full of things to do that don’t require a hot summers day. There is so much art to be seen and so many art galleries famed all over the world.
I chose to visit Madrid with the one goal to see Picasso’s Guernica, it did not disappoint. It’s home is the Reina Sofía at the heart of the museum district, a few steps from the Prado. Painted in 1937 after the Spanish Civil War, Guernica helped create an awareness worldwide to the horrors of this War. Guernica stands at 3.5m high and 7.75m wide, a scale so large it can only really be appreciated in person.
Madrid is home to the only Egyptian temple in Europe, The Temple of Debod was a donation from Egypt in 1968. It was deconstructed and rebuilt in the Parque del Oueste near the Royal Palace of Madrid. This is the world’s largest Royal Palace by floor area, it contains 3,418 rooms whereas Buckingham Palace has just 775. Parque de El Retiro is a wonderful park to the East of the city. It’s home to the Crystal Palace, an all glass building which, when I was there was host to a modern art exhibit. The contrast between the glass and the fading orange trees surrounding created some wonderful pictures. I was surprised to find that all of these attractions were either free all the time or had certain hours of the day that were free to all. Any city that makes their cultural attractions available to all is fantastic in my eyes.