It would be impossible to sum up everything you’ll be able to do in Madrid in such a short post. Suffice to say, you’ll want to stay as long as you can in your hotel in Madrid to take up all the art, culture and adventure and of course all the shopping opportunities that are on offer in the Spanish capital!
The old part of Madrid, with its cathedrals, palaces and plazas, evokes the power and glory of imperial Spain at its height. Plaza de Oriente is an ideal place to start out from your Madrid accommodation. From here, you can take in the Palacio Real and the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Almudena.
Wend your way to the large, stately Plaza Mayor and stop off at the Mercado de San Miguel, a historic market whose trendy eateries will offer you the best of Madrid cuisine. Or you could head to the Parque El Retiro or El Campo del Moro, two well-maintained parks where you can rest for a while.
Even among European capitals, Madrid’s art collections are exceptional. Head out early from your hotel in Madrid to spend a morning at the Museo del Prado, Spain’s finest art museum. It has collections from Spanish painters such as Goya, Velázquez and El Greco, as well as other European painters. Notable works include Velázquez’s Las Meninas and Goya’s depiction of the Madrid uprisings against French rule in 1808.
In case you thought that was all, two other world-class galleries are a stone’s throw from the Museo del Prado: the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, home to Picasso’s Guernica and a collection of contemporary, mostly Iberian, art. The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is close to the Museo del Prado and is one of the most impressive private collections of European art in the world, covering a wide breadth of styles, periods and countries.
Whether you know or don’t know about the outrageous shopping opportunities in Madrid – you can not leave them out on your stay in Madrid. Be it the season sales in January/February and June/July, locally called “rebajas” or the garage sale on Sundays called “Rastro” you can save money shopping in Madrid. If you are more into the most recent fashion, Calle Fuencarral is the place to be. But these are only a few of the hot spots for shopping in Madrid.
For the gastronomically inclined, a tapas tour of Madrid is a must. The La Latina neighbourhood, and Calle de la Cava Baja in particular, is the centre of Madrid’s tapas scene. While you’re checking out Old Madrid, though, the Sol, Malasaña, Chueca and Huertas neighbourhoods have some promising offerings as well. The menus vary widely, with house specialties ranging from cured meats to omelettes, cod or prawns.
Once you’ve sated your tapas cravings, head out to enjoy Madrid’s nightlife. The Gran Vía is a good place to start, with a variety of bars and nightclubs to choose from. If you book your hotel in Madrid for mid-May, you’ll be treated to a week of festivities as the city comes to life for the Fiesta de San Isidro, the patron saint of Madrid. Between fireworks displays, bullfights and processions through the street, you’re sure to have a good time.
If we’ve succeeded in convincing you that your next trip should be to the Spanish capital, look through B&B Hotels’ offerings to find Madrid hotel deals today!