The problem with Madrid culture & arts is picking and choosing what to do! Besides the fantastic permanent collections of the Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum and Thyssen Bornemisza, there are dozens other museums, cultural centers, galleries, theaters, cinemas, music venues, flamenco locales, festivals... you get the picture. On the one hand, you can take day trips from Madrid to rich historical towns like Toledo, Segovia and El Escorial or enjoy nature activities in the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Bustling, energetic, vibrant... Madrid churns with energy as only a capital city could. From Puerta del Sol and the Gran Vía boulevard to Plaza de España, Malasaña, Chueca and the Real Madrid stadium, it's not sheer multitude that makes the city stir. It's the madrileño attitude -- a zest for socializing, taking to the streets and cheerfully maximizing every hour not spent working.