Madrid, the capital of Spain and its most prestigious city, has much to be proud of, but its main draws are certainly the lavish cultural and culinary scenes and the exuberant local vibe, comparable with no other.

Situated in the very heart of Spain, Madrid belongs to the community with the same name and consists of 21 districts divided into no less than 128 diverse neighborhoods. Some of the most alluring include the exquisite Salamanca, with its luxurious boutiques and well-heeled atmosphere, the cosmopolitan Chueca and Lavapies, La Latina with its flamboyant tapas scene and old-fashioned charm, Huertas (Barrio de las Letras) – known for its literary feel and pulsating nightlife, and Gran Via – the glamorous Spanish Broadway where many of the city’s prestigious theatres, hip shopping venues, and fancy night spots are located.

Madrid prides itself with an amazing cultural and artistic legacy compressed in over 20 world-class museums. A place no one should miss while visiting the Spanish capital is the impressive Paseo del Arte (Art Walk), home to the city’s finest art galleries: Museo del Prado, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Museo Thyssen – Bornemisza, and the CaixaForum.

Although the culinary scene in Spain’s bustling capital has never been more exciting and varied, Madrid remains in the acceptance of many the city of quintessential tapas and quirky gastronomic habits. It is, however, one of the few places in Europe where time-honored traditions are not overwhelmed by modernism and where a refined dinner in a top-notch restaurant is as good as a tapas tour through the city’s authentic neighborhoods.

With its royal character, awe-inspiring architecture, glamorous shopping, and lively plazas, Madrid stands among the world’s elite cities. Add to all these an incredible nightlife, competitive prices, and the reputation of one of the greenest capitals, and you’ll soon realize why Madrid is so hard to beat when it comes to the ultimate European city break.