Part of Madrid’s Centro district, the neighbourhood of Cortes stretches from the Plaza de Cibeles past the Museo del Prado to the edge of the Real Jardin Botanico and extends westward toward the exact city centre.
After a visit to the famed Museo del Prado, which technically does not fall within Cortes proper, stray off the beaten path. This area holds many other art museums. The Circulo de Bellas Artes, or “Fine Arts Circle”, hosts everything from concerts and exhibitions to short films and book readings. Its greatest attraction, however, is the 7th-floor terrace boasting some of the best views over the Spanish capital. To the south, Madrid’s Caixa Forum is one of the city’s most distinctive landmarks, covered by brick, iron, and a lush vertical garden. Inside, paintings, photography, and multimedia exhibits showcase the best of contemporary art.
The subway stops at the Banco de Espana and Sevilla stations, along with the neighbourhood’s northern edge. Its southern border is served by the subway at the Anton Martin station. The subway and Intercity trains all converge on the Sol station, which does not quite lie within Cortes’ borders but is well within walking distance.
Sandwiched between the Plaza Mayor and the Museo del Prado, it would be easy to skip over this artistic district of Spain’s capital. Trading a subway ride to explore the area on foot offers a scenic route through central Madrid.