Below is a list of great activities to discover the authentic side of Madrid in the year to come:

GASTRONOMY

Madrid, as other Spanish cities, is heaven for foodie enthusiasts with an abundance of exceptional food and wine on offer. Travellers visiting the capital of Spain can enjoy some of the best tapas and gastronomic experiences during the Gastrofestival (www.gastrofestivalmadrid.com). From 7 to 23 February 2020, the festival will showcase some of the most iconic restaurants in Madrid making it a perfect excuse to delve into the best dishes, cocktails, tapas and more, across all 21 districts.

With an unbeatable location in Plaza de España, Ginkgo Restaurant and Sky Bar offers a spectacular terrace with 360º views of the city, an outdoor swimming pool and an exquisite restaurant serving contemporary Spanish cuisine making it the ideal spot to end the gastro tour around Madrid. Starters include octopus carpaccio, fried artichokes and Jamón Iberico served with exquisite pan con tomate, whilst mains range from line-caught baby squid served with wok-fried vegetables, turbot with mushrooms and truffled vinaigrette to Galician sirloin with roasted piquillo peppers or a terrine of oxtail and foie.

ART

Madrid is a unique destination for art lovers with three of the world's most prestigious art galleries located in the centre, near and around Paseo del Prado. What's more, Madrid's impressive Palace of Liria has opened its doors to the general public for the first time in November 2019. Up until now, only private guests or art aficionados willing to go on an extensive waiting list were able to visit. The Palace, home of the Duke of Alba, is one of the most prestigious private residences in the city and will allow groups of 20 visitors to tour its ground and first floors.

As well as the Palace of Liria, Madrid's triangle of art encompassing national museum El Prado, the modern art museum Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza featuring a private collection ranging from historical to modern pieces, is an absolute must.

Only minutes away, art admirers can enjoy a blend of Spanish art, design and architecture at five-star hotel, VP Plaza España Design. The property features a vast number of Spanish artists and designers such as Pere Gifre who specialises in sculpture, scenography and interior design, Nacho Zubela; an artist whose pieces are heavily influenced by the surroundings of Valle de Campo in Cantabria, and Fernando Palacios who specialises in painting and sculpture.

Tickets to the Palace of Liria, which includes an audio guide in different languages, are priced from €14. www.palaciodeliria.com

CULTURE

While flamenco has its roots deep in Andalucía, it has become a universal art form and is danced and played all over the world. Visitors can go behind the scenes with a professional flamenco dancer, followed by dinner and show with Insiders Madrid (www.insidersmadrid.com) from €175 per person. Travellers will start the activity by learning more about the traditional dance over casual Spanish cuisine in a local bistro followed by a truly moving and passionate performance of flamenco tablao with two guitarists, two singers, and four dancers.

After the show, visitors can enjoy a cocktail in one of Madrid's best rooftop bars. Ginkgo Sky Bar and Restaurant, located on the 12th floor of VP Plaza España Design, offers an extensive list that will not disappoint, including classics such as Mojitos, original Moscow Mules, Shanghai Cosmopolitans, Daquiris and Negroni 72s, as well as house specials such as 'Passion Bubbles' made from Bombay Sapphire, lime juice and passion fruit hibiscus tonic or 'Daquiri of the Rising Sun' featuring Bacardi rum, yuza juice, ginger jelly and egg white. More info ginkgoskybarmadrid.com/en

SPORTS

Football is more than just a sport in Spain, and early next year, one of the most highly anticipated events will take place in Madrid: “El Clasico”. In other words, the clash between rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. On 1 March, the Santiago Bernabéu stadium will be the theatre for this exciting and intense match. As tickets are like stardust, guest looking to visit Madrid during the event can experience the real deal staying at VP Plaza España Design. The hotel owns a private box at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium and offer guests the possibility to get tickets under availability (prices upon request experienceplaza@vphoteles.com)

For those seeking a physical challenge and keen to explore Madrid more, VP Plaza España Design recommends a great alternative to get around Madrid on an e-bike. The brand SCOTT offer special discounts to hotel guests, allowing them to discover Madrid's hidden corners and explore the Spanish capital in a more unique way. Price from €50/day.