The Museo del Prado with its impressive collection of European and Spanish art and the gardens of El Retiro are only two of the not-to-miss attractions in a city that was once capital of an empire. You can travel through history as you explore the old Moorish quarter of Barrio de la Moneria, survey the "Castilian baroque." architecture of Plaza Mayor and visit the Royal Palace, the official residence of the royal family. But it's not all history in the vibrant city as you'll discover when you shop or catch a musical comedy on Gran Via, the street that never sleeps, or browse the 3,500 stalls that pop up each Sunday morning at El Rastro flea market. Just south of the city is Toledo, the city of three cultures - Christian, Jewish and Muslim- and UNESCO World Heritage Site. El Greco's famous painting of the city hangs not in El Prado but in the Metropolitan Museum of New York.