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Week-end in Madrid




Madrid being the capital and biggest city of Spain with around 3.5 Million inhabitants you might feel overwhelmed at 1st by the amount of things to see and do on a short week-end trip. You sure won’t be able to visit all of the museums, galleries, palaces, parks, architectural sights, Churches, Cathedrals, etc. it has to offer. Instead of running a marathon, take your time, one of the great things about Madrid is its easygoing atmosphere. If you want to get the most out of the city do just how the Madrilenos do by taking things slowly with lots of coffee breaks and long lunches spread throughout the day.

Aerial view on the final approach to Madrid

 

Arriving in Madrid at the Bus terminal I was so pleasantly surprised by the 21°c that I made it this my first picture. Since temperature does play a role on how you will enjoy a trip I couldn’t be happier for what still is an early month of March. Downtown Madrid can be easily reached from the Airport with public transportations in about 10 to 15 minutes for only 1€ . Look either for the Metro line 8 that will drop you off at the Nuevos Ministerios station or take bus number 200 outside of the terminal 1 and 2 that will get you to Avenida de America station.

 

The Plaza de Cibeles where you can see the Palacio de Comunicaciones (Communications Palace) building in the back. More known by the locals as the General Post Office this extraordinary building was made by Architects Antonio Palacios and Joaquin Otamendi. The influences of this palaces range from Romanesque, Renaissance Gothic, Art Deco and Spanish Plateresque.

 

In the middle of the Square is the statue of Cybele the Phrygian goddess in a chariot pulled by lions

 

The Metropolis is another one of best known architectural sights of the Madrid. The building was designed in 1905 by French Architect Jules et Raymond Février for an Insurance company.

 

The highlight is the dome that glows in the sunlight and its winged statue on top

 

Parque Del Retiro’s boating lake in front of the Monument to Alfonso XII. This large park of 350 acres when it first opened in 1767 was only the playground royalty and aristocracy. Ordinary Madrilenos and visitors has to wait another hundred years before the gates were opened to them.

 

Monument in honor of Jacinto Benavente (1922 Literature Nobel Prize) in Parque Del Retiro

Home to one of the best arts collections is the Prado Museum. Top on the list of most tourists attractions it boats over 9000 paintings with most famous by: Velázquez, Titan, Goya, Bosch, El Greco, Rubens, Raffael, Tintoretto. Admission: 6€ Mon-Sat (Free on Sundays).

A view of the busiest streets of the city: Gran Via

 

 

Quite a contrast with this colorful quiet little side street

 

The Palacio Real: Madrid’s famous Royal Palace with no less than 2800 rooms is considered one of Europe’s most spectacular architectural monument achievements. Open to the public 7 days a week with an admission charge of 8€ (9€ guided tours). Free on Wednesday for EU citizens.

 

The Royal Palace seen from the Sabatini Gardens

The bear and the Strawberry Tree at Puerta del Sol. The statue that symbolizes the city “El Oso y El Madroño”. Madrid’s name even comes from the name of the plant “madroño”.

 

King Carlos III’s statue again at Puerta del Sol

The San Jeronimo church (15th Century)

 

Eucharistic celebration going on inside

 

Some of Madrid’s café and tapas bars

 

 

Madrid’s most popular square: The Plaza Major

 

Capable of holding 50 000 people it was built on a grand scale. During its history it has been used(not in order)as: A market, open-air theater, bullfighting ring, a place where executions and tournaments were held though nowadays its mainly used as a place to relax in the sun…

 

Statue of King Philip III and its fabulously painted bright red facades of Plaza Major in the back

 

Catedral de la Almudena

Entering from one side

The Gothic interior

Exiting from the other side facing the Palacio Real


The Plaza de la villa with at its center the statue of Admiral Alvaro de Bazan who was made famous for defeating the turks in 1571 at Lapano.

 

Art can sometimes be found everywhere… don’t forget to take a look on the top of some buildings

 

 

 

On top of the BBVA bank is an odd sight of two horse pulled chariot sculptures

 

Close up on one of them

 

Time for a much deserved break in this fine looking establishment…

Some good wine and as always drinks are accompanied with some free tapas

The feel from the interior on one side

and another

Monastery of the Incarnation dating from 1611

The Puerta de Alcalá located in the middle of Independence Square was designed in 1769 by Francesco Sabatini

Welcome to the “Museo del Jamón” or Museum of ham where you can sample just about any kind of ham possible at the counter

 

or Take-outs

 

 

The Real de Calatravas church 17th century church

 

La latina district located in the center of Madrid is know for its cafés

 

and good restaurants

 

Streets around la Latina

 

This café gave me some souvenirs from the Philippines and its San Miguel beer I hadn’t tasted since…

 

The Café central Jazz club is rated one of the finest in Europe and since it opened its doors in 1980 booked some of the top international acts. Shows 7 days a week in an exceptional setting for 10€

 

The best place to start your day on a Sunday morning in Madrid would the be Spain’s most popular open air flea market: El Rastro

 

 

 

 


Here is a list of my recommendations for hotels in and around Madrid, Spain:



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9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Week-end in Madrid”

  1. MadridCityPhotoson Jul 6th 2008 at 12:06 pm

    The Gardens of Sabatini is nice place to visit.

  2. Noeliaon Aug 29th 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Spectacular photography – it takes you to the spot with the sunshine, the smells, the sounds, everything. A work of beauty, thanks fo sharing!

  3. Georgeon Sep 9th 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Wonderful city!
    U need at least 7 or more days in order to see and understand all these museums,plazas,
    clubs,etc etc
    An unforgetable experience though!
    Chreers

  4. Gabrielleon Jan 7th 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you for fantastic presentation.
    I have lived in Madrid many years ago, now I am working as a Spanish teacher in Norway and I must admit: I used some of you pictures in class:-)
    They are so much better than the others I have found.
    How I miss it!

  5. Highland Clubon Apr 9th 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Looking through the pictures i got the impression Madrid is a very pompous, traditional city. the buildings, the architecture are classical, sometimes with barocco elements style. i got the feeling of peace, and dignity.

  6. Jacquelineon May 3rd 2009 at 6:54 am

    Bravo!!! You did an outstanding presentation with those beautiful photos and the brief description to each of them. Absolutely, Madrid is an awesome place; no wonder it’s consider, according to the statistics, the second most visited city in Europe. Last year I had the blessing of visiting that beautiful land. VIVA ESPANA !!!

  7. Marieon Jun 2nd 2009 at 6:54 pm

    i loved the pictures of Madrid, great tour for the nostalgic traveler. We stayed in Apartamentos Plaza Basilica for a whole week thanks to our Royal holiday club points and we enjoyed our stay so much. Your great pictures helped me remember the great food and wine and the people’s warmth. Thank you for a wonderful trip through memory lane.

  8. ayshaon Aug 23rd 2009 at 11:12 pm

    dude that was totally awesome! now i think id like to go there!

  9. Paul Koehleron Feb 19th 2010 at 7:29 pm

    I was in Madrid about the same time last year and took photos of many of the same locales and almost to the exact angle. Madrid is a beautiful city with a great transportation system. I like to go back and see what I missed the first time such as the Museo del Jamon! Que tenga Bon Dia!

    Pablo

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