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Madrid in 20 Photos

I won’t say that I like everything about Madrid, Spain – I don’t agree with bullfights – but I do like most of it. It’s a city with a long history, which I think is always a big plus, lots of food, museums and cervezas.

One of the things that almost instantly struck me when I arrived in Madrid was how grand the city’s architecture is. It almost rivals Paris‘, although honestly no place can compete with the grandeur of the French capital. Madrid, however, has its fair share of majestic buildings, iconic structures, great plazas and victory arches. Let’s not forget that Spain used to be a major colonial power and at one point ruled half of Western Europe. Several centuries ago even Belgium was Spanish, and known as the Spanish Netherlands. Think about that.

I spent a week in Spain’s capital, doing what I do best. That is, playing tourist, going to bars, eating loads of food and taking tons of photos.

I arrived back home with a couple hundred photos; these are my twenty favorites.

Madrid in 20 Photos

Puerta del Sol in central Madrid
The Puerta del Sol is one of Madrid’s liveliest squares and is effectively the heart of the city. It is in fact the center of Spain, as this is the place from where all highway distances are measured
Wide shopping street in Madrid
Wide pedestrian shopping streets, such as Calle Arenal, are found all over the city center
Beautifully lit building at a square in Madrid
When night falls, many historic buildings and plazas are lit up beautifully in all kinds of colors
Church of Sacramento, Madrid
Madrid is filled with churches and religious buildings. Here is the moon shining on the Church of Sacramento
Metropolis Building on the Gran Via
Due to its location on the majestic Gran Via, the Metropolis Building is one of the most photographed structures in the city. It’s particularly stunning at night, when it’s all lit up
Royal Palace seen from Campo del Moro
The Royal Palace – or Palacio Real in Spanish – seen from the Campo del Moro gardens
Palacio de Cristal in Retiro Park, Madrid
The beautiful Palacio de Cristal in Retiro Park was modeled after the Crystal Palace in London
Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, Spain
The historic covered market of Mercado de San Miguel is one of the most charming and fun markets in Madrid and a great place to sample tapas and have a sangria or two
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
The Plaza Mayor is probably Madrid’s most famous square. A rectangular square, it is lined with beautiful arcaded red brick buildings
The Alcala Gate stands at the Plaza de la Independencia in Madrid
One of the city’s best known symbols, the magnificent Alcala Gate strands proudly at the Plaza de la Independencia
Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid
Another major plaza in central Madrid is the Plaza de Cibeles. This is often regarded as the most beautiful of all squares in the city
The striking Almudena Cathedral
The striking Almudena Cathedral looks much older than actually is; it was consecrated in 1993
Alleyway and architecture in Madrid
A typical Madrilenian alleyway is lined with typical Madrilenian buildings
Plaza de la Villa, Madrid
The Plaza de la Villa is a small and picturesque square near the Plaza Mayor. This is the site of the former town hall of Madrid
Bear statue at the Puerta del Sol
The ‘El Oso y El Madroño’ statue at the Puerta del Sol is the most famous symbol of Madrid. It depicts a bear eating fruits from a tree; the bear represents the fertile soil of the area and the tree symbolizes the aristocracy
Alfonso XII statue in Retiro Park
Located in the middle of Retiro Park – or Parque del Retiro in Spanish – the Alfonso XII Monument overlooks the park’s lake
The impressive Royal Palace in Madrid
The Royal Palace is without a doubt one of the most impressive palaces in Europe. It has no less than two thousands luxurious rooms!
Calle Postas in Madrid
The cozy Calle Postas is another pedestrian street in the heart of Madrid. It connects the Puerta del Sol with the Plaza Mayor
City Hall of Madrid at Plaza de Cibeles
Definitely one of the most breathtaking buildings in the city is the City Hall, located at the Plaza de Cibeles and also known as the Palacio de Comunicaciones
Madrid in a nutshell: small squares, statues, beautiful architecture
Lastly, a picture that sums up central Madrid: a small stone square with a large statue, flower beds and beautiful buildings

You can find more of my photos in my travel photography portfolio.

My favorite things about Madrid was the architecture. What did you like best?
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