Jardin Botanico, next to the Prado Museum, is a beautiful botanical garden featuring over 30,000 different, and labeled, plant life species from all over the world. A magnificent avenue divides each section of the garden. Or, stroll through one of Madrid's largest parks, Parque del Retiro, a green oasis in the midst of the city's asphalt, with 130 hectares of woods. The park may be entered by one of three gates in the Plaza de la Independencia.
Shoppers will want to visit the district of Salamanca with its concentration of excellent stores specializing in jewelry, shoes, leather goods, and gifts. Chic clothing fashions, designed by Spanish and international designers, can be found in the shops around the streets of Almirante and Conde de Xiquena.
The cuisine in Madrid is greatly influenced by the various cuisines from all over the peninsula. The dishes and cooking styles of the many immigrants who have settled here have greatly enriched the food. Although restaurants do not normally open until eight or nine o'clock, they do remain open until the early morning hours. Offering dishes that are typical of Madrid, including Cocido Madrileno, a tasty stew of chicken, beef, and pork combined with vegetables such as cabbage, celery and potatoes, you should be prepared for large portions. As with the rest of Spain, Madrid establishments also offer the traditional tapa, savoury little tidbits of a variety of dishes. Night owls will appreciate the late dining hours and lively nightlife of the city!
Visitors will be happy to know that Madrid is basically a dry city, where rain is rare, and the warm temperatures are accompanied by low humidity.