Perhaps the most impressive of the grand edifices erected along the Paseo de los Recoletos in the 19th century, the 1892 Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) dominates the southern end of Plaza de Colón. Downstairs, and entered via a separate entrance, the fascinating and recently overhauled museum is a must for bibliophiles, with interactive displays on printing presses and other materials, illuminated manuscripts, the history of the library, and literary cafes.

Our favourite exhibits are the 1626 map of Spain and Picasso’s Mademoiselle Léonie en un sillón in the Sala de las Musas. There’s not an e-book in sight.