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What to do in Madrid

Culture guide

• Teatro Real: Madrid's main Opera House.
• Auditorio Nacional de Music: Was built in the 80s and houses two concert rooms for classical music.
• Teatro Monumental: The Orquesta Sinfonica de RTVE performs every Thursday and Friday in this old concert hall.
• Teatro de la ZarzuelaThis is one theatre you won't need Spanish for. It puts on the traditional Spanish operettas known as zarzuela, a kind of visual, bawdy comedy. It also programmes Opera and Lied.
• Centro Cultural de la Villa Worth visiting just to stroll under the deafening, refreshing waterfall located below the Columbus monument. It houses a theatre, concerts, a café and a huge gallery space, where group shows of many important Hispanic artists are staged.
• Teatro de la Abadía
• Círculo de Bellas Artes Compared to the ICA in London, or the Kitchen in New York, this great multi functional cultural and social centre, housed in its own fine building since 1926, is older and larger than both. A major player in the arts scene in Madrid, apart from a theatre and concert hall and vast café, it has four exhibition spaces that show work in all media.
• Teatro Español
• Teatro de la Comedia
• Cafe Central Madrid's top Jazz venue.

Important cultural and tourist spots include the so-called Golden Triangle of Art, located along the Paseo del Prado and comprising the famous Prado Museum,free on Sunday mornings, (with highlights such as Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas and Francisco de Goya's La Maja Vestida and La Maja Desnuda), the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum (where Pablo Picasso's Guernica hangs); the Plaza Mayor; the Gran Via; the Casón del Buen Retiro (hosting the 19th-century collection of the Prado Museum; currently closed for reform), the Palacio Real-free to go in on Wednesdays if you have a European Union passport, the Templo de Debod (a temple brought stone-by-stone from Egypt), the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, the Puerta del Sol and the Parque del Buen Retiro.The Naval Museum between Cibeles and the Prado (Paseo Prado,5) is free and gives a great insight into the former Spanish sea-power.

Find a nice and affortable, luxurious hotel in Madrid with our hotels guide. Find the right places to eat and drink nice and inexpensive in Madrid. Restaurant guide How do I get around in Madrid? Read all about it in our Madrid access guide.