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Madrid, Opera: Perfect day


Madrid’s Opera district is its cultural epicentre. The stunning opera house, inaugurated in 1850, is a designated national monument behind which you’ll find the beautiful Plaza de Oriente. This is surrounded by delightful 19th-century cafés, with great views of the magnificent Palacio Real, and in the ancient streets nearby you’ll discover a wealth of alluring shops and restaurants

Laura Edgecumbe-Ansdell ,

10am
Explore the area around the Opera house, which has become a magnet for specialist music stores such as the award-winning Contreras Adagio, where you can buy the finest flamenco guitars

12pm
Make your way to Calle del Arenal to check out some of the most popular Spanish high-street stores, such as Camper and Mango

2pm
Have lunch at the famous Lhardy restaurant in Carrera de San Jerónimo, a haunt of Spanish royalty since 1839. Madrid stew is one of the specialities for which it is justly famous

4pm
Before leaving Lhardy, visit the restaurant’s shop to buy gourmet Spanish hams, cheeses and wines. Then splash out on some artisanal biscuits from nearby El Riojano, which has been serving fine pastries since 1855

5pm
Take a sunset walk through the Sabatini Gardens, then treat yourself to coffee on the terrace at the elegant, Parisian-style Café de Oriente

7.30pm
Follow in the footsteps of great operatic composers such as Giuseppe Verdi, by making a pilgrimage to the Teatro Real to see one of its world-class productions

10pm
Head to the minimalist restaurant La Viuda Blanca in Calle de Campomanes for excellent modern Spanish cuisine, then round off the evening with cocktails at its stylish bar

Pictures: Paolo Giocoso © E.M. Promoción de Madrid, S.A.

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