Things to do in Madrid
Cheer on the galacticos with a football match
As 12-time European Cup winners, Real Madrid (tel: +34 91 398 4370; www.realmadrid.com) are a footballing giant. Their success has brought glamour to the Bernabéu Stadium and galacticos (highly skilled footballers) such as David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo to the pitch. See one of the world’s most decorated clubs with a stadium tour or better still, catch a game.
See Madrid from a different perspective
You don't even need a head for heights to see the city differently. Madrid's cable car, Teleférico (tel: +34 91 526 9793; www.teleferico.com) glides just above the trees of the Casa de Campo and offers unobstructed views of the Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral. After disembarking, visitors should take in the views with a drink from the bar.
See the best of the city on a bike
Pedal power is one of the best ways to explore Madrid. Fitter cyclists can circumnavigate the city using Anillo Verde (Green Ring), while hourly rentals from Bike and Roll (tel: +34 91 427 793; www.tallerbicicletasmadrid.com), are ideal for exploring the delightful Retiro Park or Casa de Campo Park on the bank of the Manzanares River.
Tread the path of the royals
Flanked by mountains, Madrid has a wealth of walking opportunities. Among the best is the Royal Path, a reconstruction of the route historically used by Spanish monarchs when travelling around the Madrid Sierra. To tackle some of the lesser-known rambles like La Gran Cañada, walk with Hiking Madrid (www.hikingmadrid.com).
Watch a performance at the majestic Teatro Real
Designed, destroyed, restored and renovated, the life of Teatro Real (tel: +34 91 516 06 60; www.teatro-real.com) in the heart of Madrid has been one of constant change - it has even acted as a gunpowder store. Today it stages world-class operas; catch a performance to see why it is one of Spain's most important cultural venues.