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10 September 2012
Madrid's Fabulous Five
Autumn is the perfect time to visit Madrid: summer's heat eases off and the city is chock-full of cultural events.
1. Jazz it Up
Madrid's Jazz Festival sees both world-famous and up-and-coming musicians perform in venues such as Teatro Fernán Gómez, Teatro Circo Price and La Villa Cultural Centre. Last year's event was bigger than ever thanks to the opening of the Conde Duque Auditorium, with artists including Anoushka Shankar and Rodrigo y Gabriela. This November Patti Smith will star.
Make your own Art Discovery
Hotel Ritz, Madrid invites you to enjoy some of the world's greatest museums and galleries - right on your doorstep. Our two-night Art Discovery package also includes dinner in the Goya Restaurant, afternoon tea and other special treats. More >
2. Autumn Colours
Head out of town to the gardens of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez to soak up the autumn hues. Admire the fountains, ponds and other cooling water features built by Felipe II, as well as the ornate bridges, Roman statues, Chinese pavilions and grottoes - all features that inspired Joaquin Rodrigo to compose his famous Concierto de Aranjuez in 1939.
3. Exotic Exhibitions
Three top blockbusters: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier (4 October-6 January, Mapfre Foundation), showcases the designer's career; Gauguin and the Voyage to the Exotic (9 October-13 January, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum), also featuring works by Kandinsky, Matisse and others, and Cartier (23 October-15 February, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum), with jewellery once owned by stars such as Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor (Hotel Ritz can provide a private guide).
4. Art in Style
Heaven for contemporary art lovers arrives in the form of Apertura (20-22 September), when around 50 of the city's galleries host special events, exhibitions and tours. Those passionate about design head to DecorAcción (27 to 29 September), when the stylish Literary Quarter becomes a bustling, creative hub. Stores dress to impress and street markets showcase everything from antiques to future trends.
5. Relax by the River
Visit Madrid Rio, the new 10km-long cultural quarter along the Manzanares River. Enjoy attractive walkways and cycling routes, new and restored bridges and a vast 18th-century orchard growing almonds, pears, olives, walnuts and even mulberry trees beside a stream. Stop by Matadero Madrid, the former slaughterhouse-turned-arts centre, for exciting exhibitions, theatre and music.