Like the views from the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Giralda in Sevilla, Madrid too has beautiful lookouts away from the bustling streets below.
You can find many postcards with the view from the 7th floor of Circulo de Bellas Artes, the building of a non-profit cultural organization with an arts center and cinema on Calle de Alcalá. Alcalá merges with the famous Calle Gran Vía. If Bellas Artes isn’t the only attraction on your list in this area, you can get off at the Gran Vía metro stop and enjoy the walk. We chose the faster route and got off at Banco de España.
Once you enter the building, you need to go right and pay a few euros to access the elevator. When you reach the top, you have free range along the rooftop to pull out your camera and click away. It was sprinkling the day we went, so we ordered a coffee at the rooftop bar/café in order to be able to use the umbrellas and save our lenses.
The building with the black and gold dome is the Edificio de Metrópolis. It’s merely an office building, but it still adds an elegant feature to the skyline.
Another lookout in Madrid is also in the Gran Vía region of the city in a popular department store, Corte Inglés. Due to the crowdedness inside (we went on a Sunday afternoon), I thought Bellas Artes was a better experience, but nevertheless the view is also unique. Once you enter Corte Inglés, you need to find your way to the 9th floor, or the Gourmet Experience. Here, you can shop for various sweets and foods or sit down and enjoy a meal.
There is an outside terrace you can visit and get some fresh air, but if you are looking for the view of the Schwepps building, you will have to walk to the back and possibly stand in line for a shot, through the window of course.
Both of these attractions have satisfied my curiosity, but I will probably be returning to Circulo de Bellas Artes sooner than Corte Inglés…perhaps next time on a sunny day!