Madrid may not win as many plaudits as other western European capitals, but this is a cultural powerhouse of a Big Short Break destination thanks to three of the great art museums, to which we can arrange private visits with art historian guides.
There are direct daily flights to Madrid from London and several other UK airports, so depending on which one we've booked you on you will arrive in the Spanish capital between lunchtime and evening.
You will be met at the airport by one of our on-the-ground team for the 20-minute transfer into the city centre and to your hotel. Our Concierge can recommend and book a restaurant for your first evening.
Time to get your bearings in this fascinating city. Madrid may not be as beautiful as other European capitals, but it is hard to beat for cultural exploration.
After a leisurely breakfast, you will meet by an art historian guide for a half-day private tour of the mightily impressive Prado Museum, including 'jump the queue' access. The Prado is home to many of the finest masterpieces by Spanish artists such as Velazquez and Goya, painted at the height of the Spanish Empire, and your guide will provide added colour so you can appreciate these pieces in even more detail. 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Prado, so it is an even more special experience.
After lunch (again, our Concierge can recommend and book somewhere local) it's time to pop up the road to another of Madrid's magnificent cultural outposts, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, one of the finest private art collections in the world. Again you will have an art historian private guide and be able to bypass the inevitable queues before you explore this stunning collection of artworks stretching from medieval European pieces through to a floor dedicated to 20th Modernist masterpieces, including many fine works by German Expressionists.
Tonight our Concierge can recommend the most fun tapas bars or book a restaurant where you can enjoy dinner and discuss the day's overload.
After yesterday's cultural immersion, and the possibility of a late night (Madrid tends to have that effect) we recommend a leisurely breakfast and morning to relax or explore the city on foot.
After lunch, we have arranged for one last tour, this time to the final piece in Madrid's triptych of exceptional museums - the Reina Sofia, where you can continue your art appreciation of 20th century Modernist marvels. In the company of another art historian private guide (and having jumped the queue again) explore a museum that is home to many of the finest works by the great Spanish artists of the last century, including arguably the most famous of all: Picasso's Guernica, a harrowing artistic protest at the brutal Spanish Civil War. There are also key works by the Spanish Surrealists Miro and Dali.
This evening enjoy one final night on the tiles in the Madrid, remembering not to head out too early - this is Spain we're talking about, after all, where the locals won't even leave the house until after ten or later.
Depending on what time your flight back to the UK is, you might have another morning in Madrid.
Our Concierge can recommend the best boutiques for a spot of shopping, or somewhere to have a brunch before you are met for the private transfer back to the airport for your return flight to the UK.