Dominated by the imposing Palacio Real and the elegant Plaza de Oriente, Ópera is one of the most pleasant and relaxed barrios in the city. The area contains the lavishly restored Teatro Real, the tranquil gardens of the Campo del Moro and the city cathedral, while the two unobtrusive monastery complexes of La Encarnación and Las Descalzas Reales conceal an astounding array of treasures.

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26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

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Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

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Beyond tapas: the Spanish food and drink you need to devour

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