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Things to see
Madrid is a highly attractive capital for tourists. The Plaza de Oriente square, the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral or the Royal Theatre are all must-see places and monuments. Take calle Alcalá from the bottom of the Gran Vía head towards the Puerta del Sol, then on to the Plaza Mayor square. Close by, in the La Latina district, you can find the best tapas bars in the city. No tourist visit is complete without the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen art museums.
The Retiro Park, the lungs of the city since it opened to the public in 1868, is the perfect place to take a stroll or get exercise. It is also home to several monuments. In the park centre there is an artificial pond, where you can rent rowboats and paddle around. Located on one of the banks is a monument dedicated to Alfonso XII of Spain. Close by the pond is the Crystal Palace, used for temporary exhibitions and another of the park's main symbols.
The Gran Vía
The Gran Vía is the street that never sleeps in Madrid. To build this street, more than 300 houses were demolished and nearly 50 streets were affected. Connecting calle Alcalá to the Plaza de España square, the Gran Vía is now the centre of commercial and leisure activity in Madrid. Its old cinemas and theatres, offering leading productions and musicals daily, make it the Broadway of Madrid.