Madrid, Spain

Madrid Airport Barajas (MAD)

Both the capital and largest city in Spain, Madrid holds true to its reputation as an art and cultural hub, but it knows how to let it's hair down and have a good time, too. The city's architecture takes you on a tour through the past. Wander Puerto del Sol, one of the most well-loved and busiest areas in Madrid. It's located at the center of the radial network of Spanish roads and serves as a meeting place for locals and travelers. Applaud the street performers as you stroll past the Statue of King Charles III on horseback, then head over to the clock tower whose chimes toll the new year (and encourage the traditional eating of Twelve Grapes on New Year's Eve).

See Madrid with an Artist's Eye

Madrid has plenty of museums that are worth taking time to explore. The Museo de la Reina Sofia houses the work of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, among other great artists. Other collections like the Museo de América, the National Archeology Museum and the Museo de la Ciudad are worthy of hours spent exploring as well. And no art lover's trip to this city would be complete without a stop at the Museo del Prado, which features one of the world's finest collections of European art from the 12th to early 19th centuries including more than 140 works by Goya.

At night, Madrid hits the town. Start your evening with a flamenco show that will put fire in your veins, or sip sangria while people watching on a quiet square. When in Madrid, you must enjoy tapas and paella, but prepare yourself: in this night owl city, dinner is usually served around 9 or 10pm.