Will Madrid prove real deal for Bale? – Gareth Bale's move to Real Madrid will provide as many challenges off the pitch as on it. for the Welshman. So what should the world's most expensive footballer do when he has a spare moment in the Spanish capital?
Picasso's iconic painting – Guernica is Spain's most iconic painting, created by Pablo Picasso and housed at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. It's his depiction of the 1937 bombing of the Basque town by Hitler's Legion Condor.
Spanish masters – Spain's premier gallery, the Prado is home to some 7,000 art works - although only 1,500 are currently on show. The works of Velazquez and Goya take center stage.
Spanish royalty – Arguably Madrid's stand-out building, the Palacio Real, it is the largest royal palace in western Europe. Open to the public, it houses famous art works, fine furnishings and classic tapestries.
People watching – Madrid's main square is a showpiece of architecture and history. It's been home to public executions, bullfighting, crowning ceremonies and fiestas. Nowadays it's just a good spot to people watch.
Green spaces – Parque del Buen Retiro is the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of Madrid life. First laid out in the 17th Century, it is renowned for its buildings and greenery, as well as a rare statue of the devil.
Spanish nibbles – Tapas remains a lifeblood of Spanish life even more so in a struggling economy where it remains the cheap way of eating out. So delve into the delights of the various eateries of the city.
Main course – For finer food, try out Botin, which according to the Guinness Book of World Records is the world's oldest restaurant, dating back to 1725. Goya used to work here before becoming a painter.