As the capital of the Spanish Empire, Madrid was once the richest and most powerful city in the world. That kind of past leaves a big impression on a place and in Madrid it is easy to see. For palaces, museums and concerts it is up there with the best in the world. The museums of the "golden triangle" alone, namely the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza, feature a stunning array of paintings ranging from Old Masters to modern surrealists all housed in some of Spain's most magnificent buildings. And the rest of the city is just as rich in cultural icons and architecture. But Madrid is also a city for going out and partying. The area of Malasana is packed with bars and restaurants that stay open until dawn and rival anything Barcelona has to offer.

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