Madrid, Spain's central capital, is a city of elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks such as the Buen Retiro. It’s renowned for its rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum’s works by Goya, Velázquez and other Spanish masters. The heart of old Hapsburg Madrid is the portico-lined Plaza Mayor, and nearby is the baroque Royal Palace and Armory, displaying historic weaponry.
In the 1970s Madrid became the epicenter of La Movida, a burst of expression in the arts. The Prado forms a “Golden Triangle” with the Reina Sofía Museum (home to Picasso’s “Guernica”) and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Sunday flea market El Rastro is in the medieval La Latina neighborhood, popular for nightlife, theater and tapas bars. Central square Puerta del Sol houses the statue of the Bear and Strawberry Tree from the city’s coat of arms, while the Museo Arqueológico Nacional displays a vast collection of historic artifacts. Real Madrid, the dominant soccer club, plays at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.