Cheap flights to Madrid
Europe's third largest city may not have a beach like Barcelona, but if you come on a city break to Madrid sunbathing is the last thing that'll be on your mind. Spain's capital is one bursting with culture and activities for tourists at every turn, with museums, art galleries and night after night of sexy flamenco.
Madrid's tourism board will proudly inform you that the city has more bars per square metre than anywhere else in Europe. When it comes to appearances Madrid is hard to beat too, having retained much of its historic and regal flair seen in its wide boulevards, elegant fountains and royal parks. And for those of you who are bad with your bearings, don't worry, despite the size of this metropolis, Madrid's centre is surprisingly small. It has one of Europe's best metros too.
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 €4.20 (€3.30 concessions). teleferico.com
Visit Passage Privé, a veritable Ali Baba's cave for treasure hunters, to browse rare and unique items, from giant Playmobil toys of the 80s to original old film posters and Michelin dolls of the 50s, through Jieldé lamps, neon signs, Eames rocking chairs and Tolix furniture (8 Calle San Pedro, +913 691 596, passageprive.es).
You'll find plenty to mull over in this interesting space that integrates art, fashion and design. There's porcelain and crockery in the box shelves against the wall, vintage kitchen equipment and clothes artfully piled on tables or hung on rails. Look out for labels like Henrik Vibskov and Steve Mono (gorgeous leather handbags) and cool homeware by Eno Studio, Johnstons of Elgin, Kinto and Ferm Living, among others (13 Fernando VI, dodesign.es).
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.