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Madrid's Top 10 : Sporting Venues

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  1. Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

    The venerated Real Madrid football club celebrated its centenary in 2002, although this 75,000 seater stadium was not completed until 1946. It is named after Santiago Bernabéu, the club president who brought the team five successive European championships in the 1950s. This success has continued – in 1998 FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, voted Real Madrid the “best club in the history of football”. Their tally to date includes a further 4 European cups, as well as 17 domestic cups and 28 league championships. Visitors can inspect the winning silverware by visiting the sala de trofeos (trophy room) at the ground. The club also has its own website and television station, broadcasting 20 hours a day from the training ground. The players are known locally as merengues (“meringues”) because of their all-white strip.

    • Paseo de la Castellana 144

    • Metro Santiago Bernabéu

    • Trophy room: Open 10:30am–7:30pm Tue–Sun

    • Adm

  2. Estadio Vicente Calderón

    Real Madrid’s archrivals, Atlético de Madrid, play across the River Manzanares in a 55,000 seater stadium, completed in 1966. For most of its history, the club has lived in the shadow of Real Madrid, but all is forgotten when the two clash in annual matches, billed as the “dual of the gods”. The club’s best season was in 1996 when they brought off a league and cup double, but four years later they suffered the humiliation of being relegated to the second division. Atlético’s fans are known as the colchoneros (mattress boys) after their red and white striped shirts.

    • Paseo de la Vírgen del Puerto

    • Metro Pirámides

  3. Palacio de los Deportes

    Inaugurated in February 2005, the Palacio de los Deportes (sports palace) occupies the site of a former sports centre that was destroyed by fire in 2001. The new building seats 18,000 spectators and was designed to accommodate several sports including athletics, basketball, handball, tennis and boxing. As well as improving safety and security measures the centre’s acoustics were improved in order to make it a suitable venue for pop and rock concerts.

    • Calle Jorge Juan 99

    • Metro Goya

  4. Plaza de Toros

    Bullfighting aficionados are divided over whether it is a sport or an art form Corridas (fights) take place in the Las Ventas stadium (capacity 25,000), which opened in 1931 and even has its own chapel and hospital. Officially the season runs from March to December but the real action begins in May with the Feria de San Isidro.

    • Calle de Alcalá 237

    • Metro Ventas

    Plaza de Toros
  5. Jogging Venues

    Pounding the pavement isn’t an attractive proposition in Madrid because of the heavy traffic, although an exception is Paseo Pintor Rosales with views of the Parque del Oeste. Most madrileños head for the Retiro or Jardines Sabatini with mountain and palace views. Jogging (el footing) is especially popular in the evening when the air is cool.

  6. Outdoor Swimming Pools

    Madrid’s outdoor swimming pools are open from June to mid September. There are three pools in the Casa de Campo (children’s, intermediate and Olympic), but they are crowded at weekends. An alternative is the Piscina Canal Isabel II.

    • Piscina Canal Isabel II, Avenida de Filipinas 54

    • Metro Canal

  7. El Hipódromo

    Races are held here every Sunday from 11am onwards. Tickets can be booked in advance by phone or in person at the race track on Saturdays from 10am–2pm. Visit the stables before the racing begins to pick the favourite.

    • Road A-6, exit (salida) 8

    • 61 874 0180

  8. Aquasur

    This huge Water Park, about 40 km (25 miles) south of the city, opened in 1998. Apart from the exhilarating water slides, the facilities include mini-golf and a large swimming pool. If you have a car, the park could be combined with a visit to Aranjuez.

    • Road A-4, 44km

  9. Club de Campo Villa de Madrid

    Golf is now big business in Spain, thanks to the interest generated by the likes of champions Seve Ballesteros and José Maria Olazábal. Surprisingly, given the generally barren terrain, there are several 18 hole courses in the Greater Madrid area. The Club de Campo was designed by Javier Arana in 1957 and is reckoned to be one of the best in Europe.

    • Carretera de Castilla 2km

    • Bus No. 84 from Moncloa

  10. Circuito del Jaráma

    Fans of motorcar-racing (automovilísmo) or motorcycle racing (motociclísmo) should head for this 100 acre track, near San Sebastián de los Reyes, 28 km (17 miles) northeast of Madrid. Race meetings are held here throughout the summer.

    • Circuito del Jaráma, Road A-1, 28km

    • Bus No. 191 from Plaza Castilla

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