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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. 

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May 2017
Avoid the shops peddling tourist tat around the Puerta del Sol and head just behind the square to discover the hip Madrid-themed products at Madrid al Cubo (Calle de la Cruz, 35), many designed by local artists. A great place to pick up everything from unusual postcards, coasters and mugs to paintings and books.

May 2017
Madrid's patron saint, San Isidro is celebrated in mid-May with parties, dancing and shows centred around La Latina, home to some of the best tapas in the city. (May 11-15)

April 2017
This month don't miss the Madrid derby between arch-rivals Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeau stadium on April 9.

March 2017
Take the 40 minute bus to Manzanares el Real, a town nestled in the Sierra de Guadarrama, from where you can embark on a range of hikes. The town is home to a medieval castle and some local bars where you can enjoy a cold beer and some tapas after a day soaking up the beautiful scenery. Buses leave from Plaza de Castilla, for timetables visit: http://crtm.es/datos_lineas/horarios/8724H1.pdf .

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