The capital of Spain, Madrid City, is the home of over three million people, which makea it the largest city in the country. This city is also one of the most developed cities in the world, being ranked 10th on the “most powerful cities in the world” list and 10th on the “most pleasant city to live in” list.The best time to visit Madrid is during fall and spring. Try to avoid the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter as these seasons tend to be quite extreme in the city. During the summer heat wave most of the locals leave the city looking for a better place to live in the mountains or along the sea coast, leaving the city somehow empty and lifeless. While in Madrid, you will find an abundance of places to eat or drink. Large numbers of bars and cafes are open most of the day and even late into the night. The restaurants serve food from all over the world, including the traditional local cuisine and Asian exotic dishes. There are a number of world renowned restaurants that offer the highest quality food you will ever taste, making Madrid one of the best gourmet tour destinations in the world. A visit to Madrid must include a stop to the well known Prado Museum. This is both a museum and an art gallery and it is home to one of the largest European art collections in the world. Works of renowned artists like Goya, Murillo, Velazquez, El Greco, Rafael, Vel”zquez, Zurbaran or Rubens are all on display at the museum. The Prado has more than 700 sculptures and 7800 original paintings in its collection, but only a limited number of them are in public display at any given time making it a great destination for future repeat visits. Just next to the Prado is the great Parque del Buen Retiro. This is the largest park in the entire city of Madrid, making it perfect for a relaxing walk after a busy day. The park is filled with countless sculptures, imposing monuments and art galleries. This is just one of the places where you can escape the heat of the Spanish summer.The Royal Botanical Gardens are placed around the corner from the Parque del Buen Retireo between it and the Prado Museum. This amazing place was founded by King Ferdinand VI back in 1755 and contains a large number of plants and flowers from all over the world. The beauty of the plants is enhanced by more than 12 beautiful small water fountains, a rock garden and two greenhouses. Those that enjoy shopping should take a trip to the Gran Via, the main shopping avenue of Madrid. Shopping malls, designer stores, boutiques and small shopping outlets line the place making it a tourist magnet. Together with the nearby streets, squares and plazas, the Gran Via stands out as one of the best shopping places in Europe.