Enjoy art,sightseeing,do sports activities, eat & drink and party!
Madrid definitely have a very interesting cultural offer. Starting with the two main museums of the city: El Prado and Reina Sofia, which are two of the most important museums of the world. At El Prado Museum you can find paintings in permanent exhibition from famous artists such as Goya,Velazquez, El Greco,etc.There is free entrance from Tuesday to Saturday 6:00 to 8:00 pm and on Sundays 05:00 to 8:00pm. At Reina Sofia museum you can enjoy of modern art, painting and sculptures. You can see the famous “Güernica” of Pablo Picasso and other paintings of Dalí and Miró. It also has free entrance Monday to Friday from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm, Saturdays from 2:30 pm to 9:00pm and some bank holidays. In the same area Paseo del Prado,there is a third museum Thyssen Bornemisza that has good exhibitions of other artists such Gauguin, Vang Gogh, Munch,etc. Three more suggestions to complete your art tour all in the same area, Caixa Forum Foundation where you can find modern photography exhibitions, sculptures, multimedia art,etc and nearby at Atocha Street La Casa Encendida where there is much more of urban art, conferences, and more exhibitions.El Matadero Madrid is a very good place to go and visit, you can find a whole conglomeration of music,art and culture in that place.
There are many points of interest to explore in Madrid.The most quick and comfortable way to do it is by going in the Madrid double Decker tourist buses. These buses have different thematic routes such as classical Madrid, Modern Madrid,etc.By doing this, a visitor who doesn´t have much time could have a very good idea of the main spots of the city. For a visitor with plenty of time the best way to do it is walking. Madrid is a very friendly city for pedestrians.It´s a lovely city to walk around. The essence of Madrid is in the down town. Old buildings,narrows streets,monumental squares,etc
There are some monuments that are icons of the city such as La Puerta de Alcala, the most famous of the all old city gates, The Cibeles Fountain, which is an emblematic symbol of the city. Squares in Madrid are synonym of life, always with many people,street artists, specially in spring and summer, there are various such as Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Plaza España, Plaza Santa Ana, and many others.Madrid have mainly two parks that are “the lungs” of the city, these are Retiro Park and Casa de Campo, in both you can relax and do exercise in order to rest from the metropolitan stress. There is another smaller park, Parque del Oeste where there is located El Templo Debod that is an Egyptian Temple donated from Egypt to Spain in 1968, that´s a very good spot to take pictures of the Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, Opera house, and theJardines de Sabatini (Royal Palace backyard) which are other historic places that you cannot miss. Around the Royal Palace you have beautiful Austrias style buildings, as well as the beautiful architecture of the buildings around Gran Vía -Alcala street and close to Plaza Santa Ana in Huertas street, don´t miss El Barrio de las Letras where many of the most famous writers of the Spanish Golden Centuries (XVI and XVII) Lope de Vega,Quevedo,Góngora used to live. At the north part of the city you have the modern icons such as Real Madrid Football club Stadium “El Bernabeu”, Kio towers and the four sky scrapers called as Madrid Trade Centre.Don´t miss El Rastro public Market every Sunday morning, you can see all kind of antiques and second hand things for sale. In the surrounding streets alongside the market you will also find many stores specialised in trekking, mountain climbing and other adventure sports.And I almost forget Madrid Rio, a beautiful Boulevard in the Manzanares River.
Do sports activities
Madrid have a big cycle path around the city it is called “Madrid green cycling ring”. With 64 Kms it extends to the city suburbs. Many people use this path to cycle, walk, jog or skate to the Retiro Park where they meet with family and friends. You can also hire a rowing boat on the lake in the park. For winter sports, there is a ski station at Navacerrada just 45 minutes away from the city, of course this is possible only in winter but if not in the city there is a ski track open the whole year inside a shopping centre called Xanadu . For motor sports lovers at the same place there is a go-kartsracetrack. You can also go trekking and mountain biking in the Madrid Mountains (Sierra de Madrid) and do other activities like paintball, quad biking, rock-climbing, horse-riding,etc. To the north west side of Madrid at Sierra de Guadarrama ,1 hour by car there is an awesome spot to climb called “La Pedriza”.
Eat & drink
Spain is one of the countries with more bars & restaurants per habitant in the world. In the streets of it´s capital city there are many restaurants, cafes, bars of all kind. The most famous internationally are the Spanish Tapas you can find in many places where you can taste all the various types from all over Spain. To do a “circuit of Tapas” go to “La Latina” streets Cava alta and Cava baja and the main square. A very traditional food in Madrid is “ Bocadillo de Calamares” (squid sandwich) and the best 2 places to eat it are in one of the corners of the Plaza Mayor and it´s very cheap, no more than 3 €.For those with “deep pockets” very close of the Plaza Mayor in Cuchilleros street is located “El Botin” which is the oldest restaurant in the world according to the Guiness Book of World Records, its speciality is “El cochinillo” (baby pork) Madrid’s local dish. There are two relatively new important spots in Madrid to eat Tapas, these are “ El mercado de San Miguel” and “El Mercado de San Anton”but unfortunately as these places are so busy it is difficult to find a place to sit, just like in the Asturias bar called “El Tigre” in downtown Madrid between Hortaleza street and Barquillo; in this same area there is a good place to eat tapas and drink good cocktails called “ La Tita Rivera”.Another, not very famous bar where you can enjoy of a fantastic Madrid´s down town views is “Casa Granada” located on the last floor of an old residential building close to the square Tirso de Molina. To taste international food, there are many Indians, Asians and Africans restaurants located around Lavapies square.For more exclusive restaurants and bars go to Barrio de Salamanca and Paseo de la Castellana. There is a good spot at one of the Madrid´s sky scraper, Eurostars hotel Tower. The bar of the hotel (public free access) have a incredible view of the city. Remenber that Madrid local beer brand is Mahou, a little beer is called “cañita” ,mixed with lemon soda is called “clara con limón”and you can also find the famous “Sangria” a mix of wine with fruit. Please don´t miss the places specialised in wines, you can find a very good wine in Madrid, there are normaly called “Vinotecas”, and there is a good one just in front of Plaza Santa Ana.
Madrid never sleeps! you can go any time at night on a week end and find rush hour with many people walking in the streets and going from bar to bar (it´s what madrileños called it “ir de marcha”). There is a huge discotheque of 5 floors in town called Capital where there are “isolated environments” where you can dance and listen to different kind and styles of music. Another famous discotheque in town is Pacha. If you want to go to more alternatives,techno and with good Dj´s and rock and roll bars “El bar co” and Moby Dick bar with live music are good places to go. To try “Marcha” way of partying the best areas in Madrid are “La Latina”,”Huertas”, “Plaza Santa Ana” surroundings, and Chueca (the gay area).
If you want to try the “typical Spanish rumba” go to a tablao flamenco where you can enjoy of the famous “bailaoras y bailaores”.
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