Set in the very centre of the country, the Community of Madrid is home to Spain's magical capital city and has a huge number of attractions to offer its visitors - from a wealth of fine shops, restaurants and entertainment, to many historic buildings and fascinating museums.
The Prado Museum, Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace, for instance, are all easily reached via the excellent Madrid Metro. A visit to Madrid is great for fashion lovers and shoppers with a wide variety of options - whether you're looking for traditional shops selling fans and castanets, luxury stores like Armani and Valentino, or department stores and shopping centres filled with your favourite brands. Madrid also has 176 street markets where you can find leather goods, antiques, ethnic clothing, jewellery and more.
There's plenty of nightlife too - in fact the city seems to buzz with activity virtually all around the clock. Be sure to try some delicious tapas with some of the best tapas bars to be found in the centre of the city and in the Latino neigbourhood. Traditional food here often has an Arab influence from Madrid's border region, Castilla la Mancha. Or, if you fancy splashing out, there are several Michelin starred restaurants in Madrid.
For a complete contrast, take a short drive out of the city and you'll quickly find yourself entering a world of mountains, lakes and pine forests. Also easily reached from Madrid is Aranjuez, a picturesque town that boasts one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain.