see + do
Madrid see + do
Madrid's long-standing conservative image has finally slipped, and there's no going back now. Despite the ultimate failure of Madrid's 2012 Olympic bid, the attempt put a spring in the city's step. Major new wings in each of the big-three art museums—the Prado, the Reina Sofía, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza—did the most to install a permanent new sense of pride. There have been other successful architectural events, including the outrageous Hotel Puerta América, created by 20 world-famous designers, and the new airport terminal designed by Sir Richard Rogers. The Barcelona-Madrid axis is to be officially inaugurated by the end of 2007, when one of the world's fastest railways (220 mph) is due to link the two cities. Barcelona-ish energy has been spreading through the restaurant and art scenes of Madrid for years now. But don't overlook Madrid as a city just for walking, from the grand, leafy avenues that still evoke the city's good old stodgy elitism to the gentrifying neighborhoods like Chueca, where real estate seems to change hands and double in value by the week.