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Travel Tips

Madrid is a feast of the senses. It has three of the world’s top art galleries within walking distance of each other:

The Prado (0034 91 330 2800; with Goyas and Velasquez masterpieces; the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (91 369 0151; full of glories; and the Museo Reina Sofia (917 741 000 with its Picassos, especially the extraordinary “Guernica”.

Take a break and walk Prado Avenue to an archetypical bar, El Brillante. Order a cool beer and admire the range of tapas on offer. Wander up towards the Gran Via and lunch at the Circulo de Bellas Artes ( There is a small entrance charge to the building but the inexpensive, gorgeous meal will be ample reward.

Visit the Retiro Park and then head to the grocery shops around Sol to buy ham, cheese, saffron, and wine.

Near the Plaza Mayor is Botin (913 664 217; which claims to be the world’s oldest restaurant.

Later still take in a comic opera at the eponymous Teatro de la Zarzuela (91 524 54 00;

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