With the Mutua Madrid Open going on this week, you might get a chance to see top male and female tennis players walking around and exploring Madrid. Unfortunately, you won’t get the chance to see Novak Djokovic out on or off the clay courts this week since he has withdrawn with an ongoing arm injury. Roger Federer also won’t partake with his wife Mirka giving birth to another set of twins. Congrats Roger!
None of that should keep you from seeing the best Madrid has to offer. When you’re not enjoying the tennis available during this week, make sure you find some time to explore the city. Based on the players twitter accounts, it’s pretty clear that the players were excited to be headed to Madrid as well.
— Kevin Anderson (@kevinanderson18) May 1, 2014
Sharapova and Dimitrov are even taking precious selfies as they stroll around the city. Who needs the Paris, the supposed “City of Love”, when you have Madrid.
— Grigor Dimitrov (@GrigorDimitrov) April 28, 2014
Sorana Cirstea, unfortunately, lost her suitcase on the way to Madrid. No worries, she’s got some good friends on the tour who were happy to help her out. That’s, what I call, a real tennis family.
— Sorana Cirstea (@sorana_cirstea) May 2, 2014
And now check out those places you, and the players, don’t wanna miss while in the Spanish capital:
This building, or better yet, palace, is the official residence of the Spanish royal family. It is the largest palace in Europe (at least by floor area) it measuring in at 1,450,000 sq. ft containing 3,418 rooms. The royal family though just uses it for state ceremonies and thus selected rooms are open for the public to see. Make sure you bring a map, so you don’t get lost.
While many parts of the city are relentlessly crowded, Plaza de Oriente is a haven of peace and tranquility. This square is located in front of the Royal Palace and is equipped with plants and trees that line the broad walkways. Hanging out there, you’ll also get a glimpse of Spanish history in the form of the statues of 44 Spanish monarchs.
Near the Royal Palace of Madrid, discover a spot with a bit of Egyptian influence. It is quite a unique situation for an ancient Temple to be relocated to another city so I wouldn’t miss it. It was donated to the city by Egypt in 1968 and opened on Spanish ground in 1972.
Though small in stature, it is definitely worth a walk through. Located in the heart of Madrid, this square is filled with buildings with contrasting architectural styles. The most popular ones are Casa de la Villa (former Town Hall and prison), Casa de Cisneros (a castle built in 1537), and Torre de los Lujanes (the oldest building on this square built in 15th century).
If you are into good food and always up for trying something new, go to Restaurante Botin, a restaurant run by the same family for centuries. It opened in 1725 and, according to the Guinness World Records, is the oldest Restaurant in the world. Don’t pass up on the chance to dine and drink in a dark crypt like space. Oh, and don’t forget about the food itself, it is supposed to be fantastic.
(6) Museum: Reina Sofia National Art Centre
You are an art lover? If so, do as Petra Kvitova did in her free time in Madrid and visit the National Art Centre. The centre opened in 1990 and boasts over 18,000 items in their collection. Explore both Spanish and international art from the late 19th century up to the present day. On top of that, the museum is located in an old hospital building giving the space an additional unique flair.
Making the most of a day off by visiting Madrid with my super coach/tour guide 🙂 pic.twitter.com/jQJELeqtFJ
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) May 3, 2014
If you are a sports fan, you should visit not only the Mutua Madrid Open but also the soccer stadium of Real Madrid the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. You’ll be one of around 81,000 spectators in the stadium, in one of the world’s most famous and prestigious soccer venues. Also, you might encounter some of the tennis pros since the majority of them are huge soccer fans as well.
Stanislas Wawrinka and Jurgen Melzer both on the same page.
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) May 4, 2014
— Jurgen Melzer (@jojomelzer) May 4, 2014