EXERCISE
"Parque del Retiro is kind of like Central Park. It's a perfect place to relax, exercise, or get on a boat on the lake. Casa de Campo is where the golf course, Club de Campo, is located. Other than golf, they have paddle tennis, polo, tennis, and hockey on grass. It's a huge place where you can go walk around or play any kind of sport you want."

SHOPPING
"El Rastro is Madrid's flea market, established in the Middle Ages. It has its main hub in the Plaza de Cascorro and spreads downhill toward the Río Manzanares. Madrid's main street is Calle Ribera de Curtidores, and it is a great place to get bargains, from clothes, furniture, electronics, and CDs … . It is a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning mingling with locals and tourists."

ONE VICTORIOUS NIGHT IN MADRID


"I'll never forget the night I spent last year with the Real Madrid soccer team when they won the league championship. I went to watch them, and after the game they all get on a bus with no roof. The bus takes the team from the stadium to the fountain of La Cibeles right on La Castellana, where they celebrate. It's probably about a 20-minute bus ride, but I'll never forget it. The streets were packed. When we finally got to the fountain, there were about 250,000 people there. It was an unbelievable feeling to be there and see all the people cheering. Soccer is huge in Spain. Golf isn't that kind of a thing, although it's getting better … . That night showed me how much appreciation they have for soccer."


sergio garcia's madrid essentials


lodging
the palace, $296-$927; (800) 325-3535

the ritz, $318-$1,319; 011-34-91-521-28-5

restaurants
chocolateria san gines, churros; $1-$3; 011-34-91-365-65-46

de maria, argentinian steakhouse; $44-$50; 011-34-91-359-65-07