Palacio de Cristal

Palacio de Cristal, Madrid

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In the middle of the gigantic city park: El Retiro park is Palacio de Cristal, or the glass palace. The Palacio de Cristal, in the shape of a Greek cross, is made almost entirely of glass set in an iron framework on a brick base, which is decorated with ceramics.

Built in 1887, this glass palace was used as a greenhouse to display tropical plants from the Philippines, but today it belongs to the Reina Sofia Museum and is used to host art exhibitions throughout the year.

In front of the Palacio de Cristal is a beautiful pond where the trees literally grow out of the water. The pond is home to many turtles that swim around here and sunbathe in the grass.

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Royal Palace of Madrid

Royal Palace of Madrid or Palacio Real

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The Royal Palace of Madrid, is the royal palace of the King of Spain, Felipe VI. and one of the main attractions of the city. With an area of over 135,000 m² and more than 3,418 rooms, this is the largest royal palace in the world.

The royal family only uses the palace for official state affairs, but no longer lives there themselves. The palace is still widely used for official ceremonies and state occasions.

Part of the palace is now open to the public. During a tour of the baroque palace, you can enjoy beautiful paintings, the richly decorated dining room, the palace gardens and see some of the 3,418 magnificent and beautifully decorated rooms of the Royal Working Palace of Madrid. The palace is a must-see on every visitor’s list when coming to the capital of Spain.

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Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor, Madrid

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The Plaza Mayor is Madrid’s most famous square, located in the center of one of the oldest parts of the city. The square, formerly called: Plaza del Arrabal, was built in 1577. In the middle of the square is the beautiful equestrian statue of Felipe III, made by Giovanni de Bologna and his pupil Pietro Tacca. This statue was placed on the square in the mid-nineteenth century.

It was the place where local markets were held, bullfights were organized and public executions took place. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen anymore these days. Walk through one of the nine arches to the main courtyard surrounded by terracotta-red palatial buildings. And nowadays enjoy the small shops, restaurants, terraces and the central place for many events and street artists.

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El Retiro Park

El Retiro Park, Madrid

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El Retiro park is an oasis of calm in busy Madrid. It is the most famous park in all of Madrid, in the heart of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Until the 17th century, this park was the private park of the royal family. Fortunately, it is now an open city park, where everyone can escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

With an area of 1.4 km² you will always find a place where you can enjoy peace and quiet. Walk around the large rowing pond, take a tour in one of the rowing boats, see the glass ‘Palacio de Cristal’, enjoy the greenery, the atmosphere and the street musicians.

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El Micalet

El Micalet or Miguelete Tower, Valencia

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One of the most striking buildings in the center of Valencia is El Miguelette. The Miguelete Tower is the bell tower of the Valencia Cathedral. This octagonal bell tower of the cathedral, with a height of over 50 meters and more than 200 steps, is one of the most popular sights in Valencia. When you see the view, you will understand why!

The tower dates from the 14th century and is built in Gothic style. Climb a spiral staircase of 207 steps for a magnificent view of the beautiful city of Valencia. It’s a nice walk up, but believe us, once at the top it’s well worth the effort.

From the tower you have a phenomenal 360 degree view of Valencia. From the tower you can see Plaza de la Reina and Plaza de la Virgin, which is behind the tower. You will also see Mercado Central, the Torres de Serranos, Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias, the port and the beach of Valencia.

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Mercado Central de Valencia

Mercado Central or Mercat Central

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A visit to Valencia is not complete without entering a market. The most famous and tastiest place in the city is the Mercado Central. Located in the historic center of Valencia, this beautiful market hall is a gigantic building in a modernist style. All fresh products come directly from the irrigated horticultural regions of Valencia. Once inside, pay attention to the ceiling and round windows.

In the Mercado Central you have stalls full of cured hams, Spanish delicacies and local products. It’s a nice place for a drink or dinner. So don’t hesitate and stroll through Mercado Central, where all your senses will be satisfied!

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Plaza de la Virgen

Plaza de la Virgen, Valencia

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During a city trip to Valencia you will pass many squares. Plaza de la Virgen with its marble tiles is one of the most beautiful squares in Valencia and you can see the fountain and the cathedral from the terrace. The Plaza de la Virgen is a lively square in the historic and Valencian district of El Carmen.

In the square you will find the Basilica de la Virgen de los Desamparados (Holy Virgin of the People in Need) which is certainly not inferior to the Cathedral of Valencia, to which it is connected by an arch. This important basilica was built between 1652 and 1667 in Baroque style. The pink color immediately catches the eye.

In the evening this square really comes to life and is filled with people from circus performers to musicians. A wonderful place to have a drink and tapas.

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Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

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Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias, or the City of Arts and Sciences, is one of the well-known sights of Valencia. A futuristic complex in the south of Jardín del Turia. The Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias is a must if you come to Valencia. It is a design by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava.

The complex looks very futuristic compared to Valencia itself. That’s probably because Valencia itself is a beautiful old city. On the complex you will find bright blue baths and fountains with different white colored buildings. You can walk through the city gardens, visit the opera house and conduct small scientific experiments in the Science Museum.

It consists of six parts: L’Umbracle, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (the Opera House), L’Oceanogràfic (an aquarium park), L’Hemisfèric (IMAX 3D cinema), the Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe (Science Museum) and the Agora (event venue).

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