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.
Ride the Navibus, the city's Christmas bus that takes passengers on a tour of Madrid's glistening Christmas lights and trees. Theres's no better way to soak up the Christmas atmosphere!
The Three Kings parade. Forget Christmas Day, Spanish children traditionally receive their presents from the Three Kings on January 6th, the Epiphany. Madrid holds a huge Three Kings parade every year on January 5th, with dancers, floats, and of course, Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar, who throw sweets out to the children in the crowd.
Get your sweet fix at Casa Mira, which has been making the Spanish Christmas classic turrón a nougat like sweet since 1842. The turrones are all hand-made and cut and bought by weight, a perfect traditional gift from Madrid.
The Puerto de Navacerrada ski resort is just 60km from Madrid and accessible via public transport. Make the most of the wintery weather and spend a day or two on the pistes of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
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