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Madrid may not have the obvious wow-factor of many other European capitals, but that’s no bad thing. This Spanish city’s charm is in its rich history, fantastic art scene and thrilling nightlife.

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Impressive architecture takes centre stage in downtown – saunter through the medieval alleyways and squares and you’ll soon soak up the city’s spirit. Handily, there’s something for all travellers in the wider area: whether you’re a football fanatic keen to witness the energy of a Real Madrid match at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium; or an art lover, longing to take in Goya and Bosch at the Museum del Prado, just one of Madrid’s world-class galleries.

By day, locals sip from huge goblets of G&T at alfresco tables, but by night a party atmosphere reigns, particularly in boroughs like Malasaña, where bars range from gritty to glamorous. And whether you’re sampling local hams and cheeses in Mercado de San Miguel, or relaxing over an eight-course tasting menu, you’ll soon see how Madrid has earned its reputation as a culinary haven. It's all-round capital stuff.