Cultural Corners of Madrid
Collected by Brandy Bell, AFAR Local Expert
Life and art are found all over Madrid, expressed in the smallest of ways to the grandiose. From the national library and Atocha Station to the centers of modern-day community art, here are a few of my favorite things in this vibrant city.
Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22, 28001 Madrid, Spain
I was walking the streets of Madrid when I came across the national library. The only problem was, I wasn't allowed in the part where they had books. The building itself on the outside was amazing. I particularly loved the lights on both sides of...
Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid, Spain
Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain
After paying your patriotic fee of 10 Euro to enter the Royal Palace, you will notice the Almudena Cathedral beyond the courtyards gates. While I was too late in the day to be graced with the inner divinities of this structure I did in fact, get...
Calle de Alcalá, 42, 28014 Madrid, Spain
When in Madrid, I highly recommend to visit Circulo de Bellas Artes. The views from the rooftop of the Fine Arts Circle is breath taking. Buy a ticket at the reception, speed up to the roof and stand by the feet of Goddess Minerva. Highly...
Atocha, Madrid, Spain
This historic train depot is the heart of transit for Madrid. Serving local as well as high-speed AVE trains, it also plays a key role in the ever-expanding railways of Europe. I stumbled upon Madrid's first railway station, which was inaugurated...
Paseo de la Chopera, 10, 28045 Madrid, Spain
Matadero, the former end-of-the-line for Spanish livestock, has been transformed into a lively artistic and cultural space. Built in 1911, the center was not only an abattoir, but a beautiful example of Spanish architecture—down to the detail in...
Casa de Vacas, 28009 Madrid, Spain
Near the Alcala entrance of Retiro Park is Casa de Vacas (House of Cows,) a cultural center that offers daily art exhibitions. In the summer months, art is also displayed outdoors in the surrounding area amongst the trees, with a view of the...
Calle de Embajadores, 51, 28012 Madrid, Spain
This is a former tobacco factory turned communal art haven. During the day, the atmosphere is tranquil and you are free to roam the many rooms and tunnels that connect the large property. Admire the walls, which are covered in life-size graffiti...
Calle Mayor, 59, 28013 Madrid, Spain
It is known as the Queen's Mother, as this pharmacy was in charge of the medicine of the Queen, María Cristina, in the Century XIX. However, the establishment has been at 59 Plaza Mayor since the end of the XVI Century. Reconstructed in 1913 by...
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