Multiple rankings put Madrid among the best cities to visit

by Lorraine Williamson

MADRID – In 2021, the city of Madrid received one of the highest honours. UNESCO awarded the city the World Heritage Label in the category of cultural landscape. Last year, Madrid was also once again named the best congress destination in Europe (World Travel Awards). 

But the Spanish capital received more awards last year. Madrid was tipped as the best destination (Time Magazine) and as the best city to visit at Christmas. Madrid thus overtook New York and London (eBooking). But the city is also attractive from a business perspective: it is the ninth-best city to invest in (Institute for Urban Strategies of Japan’s Mori Memorial Foundation). This fine list of recommendations and high rankings will continue to grow in 2022. 

#4 City trip 

On 14 January, the market research agency Euromonitor International included Madrid in its list of the ten best urban destinations. Madrid took fourth place, after Paris, Dubai and Amsterdam, but ahead of Rome, Berlin, New York, London, Munich and Barcelona. In terms of sustainability, Madrid even tops the list. In terms of political and tourist attraction, the city is third, a nice increase from 2020, when Madrid finished twelfth.  

1# Interesting trip  

On 12 January, the specialist portal Musement named Madrid the best provincial capital in the country for an interesting getaway. In compiling the ranking, the platform took into account all Spanish provincial capitals. In each place, a number of things were analysed. These included the number of sights and museums, the quality of restaurants. Also, the climate and the accessibility and reachability by means of transport.  

Although the city is ranked second in terms of the number of sights and museums, the ranking appreciates the ‘enormous’ cultural offer of the city. Madrid is also recognised as a ‘true gastronomic paradise’, being by far the city with the most restaurants awarded the Soles of the Repsol guide. Madrid also scores best in the category of accessibility and connectivity by means of transport (air, rail and land).  

#10 Best city in the world  

The ‘World Best Cities 2022’ places Madrid in 10th place in the top 100 cities worldwide for the second consecutive year. Special mentions include the Unesco award and the city’s investment in social housing and equitable development with the Madrid Nuevo Norte urban redevelopment project. 

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The European dream  

On 13 January, the Financial Times called Madrid’s Plaza Olavide (in the Chamberí district) a ‘European dream’. Madrid mornings may be chilly, but by lunchtime the autumn sun is shining and it feels like 20ºC. I am sitting on the tree-lined, octagonal Plaza de Olavide, on the terrace of one of the square’s cosy but quaint restaurants, sipping an aperitif of white Albariño wine (…) the European dream’, says journalist Simon Kuper. He continues:  

‘As in the best Spanish squares, there is an open space in the middle, where the parents can de-stress while the children play. All this at the foot of beautiful bourgeois flats, surrounded by pedestrian streets with which the area brings peace to the centre of Madrid’. 

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