a VirtualTourist member
Hello travelers, I am a 25 year old girl going to Madrid the next week and I am so excited about it that I don´t really know what should I do first... I will be spending 4 days in the Spanish capital and I would like to explore as much as possible. Would you recommend the touristic bus? Are the flamenco shows worthed? And by the way I would apreciate some suggestions about hotels/hostels more or less in the city center in order to have all the interesting spots quite close. Thanx in advance!
You could start reading the Virtual Tourist Travel Guide about Madrid. I'm sure you will find '1000 ideas' about what to do/see. See: [original VT link]
happy travels Jaap
I don['t recommend thwe tourist bus either. I found Madrid very easy to explore on foot and by using the Metro (although I only used it once or twice).
It's a lovely city to wander on foot. Definitely go to the Prado. You can get in for free every evening from 6pm, from Monday to Saturday:
[original VT link]
and you can also get free entry to the Thysson museum on Mondays from 1200-1600:
and explore El Retiro:
I didn't bother to go into the royal palace (not my interest) but there are many interesting architectural bits & pieces to find, such as the Mudejar (Muslim) architecture:
[original VT link]
and the rather wonderful 'melting' house:
[original VT link]">[original VT link]
I would add the Reina Sofía Museum where, in my opinion, the greatest painting of the 20th Century resides: Picasso's "Guernica." It is very close to the Prado and is small and manageable.
And it's free Monday to Friday from 1900-2100, Saturdays from 1400-2100 and Sundays from 1000-1900 (plus some specific dates):
And I didn't manage to get there. I am still slapping myself about that.
Sadly not. Sometimes I simply get too tired...it was very cold when I was in Madrid (February 2012) and on the night I'd planned my free Reina Sofia visit I just wanted to go to bed. But Madrid is a cheapish & easy trip for me, so I can always go again! :-)
In Madrid, a must visit is the Prado, one the world’s leading museums. (www.museodelprado.es)
Another art museum favorite is the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, a museum that traces art’s history from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. We loved the journey through styles and countries. (www.museothyssen.org)
Take a relaxing stroll through Parque de Retiro, Madrid’s largest green area and a marvelous place for your daughter to run free.
Yet, another park, Parque de Rosales, offers a special sight, the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple, see my Madrid Things-To-See Tips for background information about how this unique sight reached the center of Spain.
Take a tour of the Royal Palace of Madrid, a sprawling structure that is packed with 250 years of history; it is considered one of the best in Europe. During the time of your visit the hours are as follows: Monday-Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sundays & holidays, 9am-3pm.
Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s historic square, is the heart and soul of the city. Stroll through this vast space; take lunch in one of its cafés; enjoy the pace of the city as you watch its residents pass by. Again, see my Madrid Things-To-See Tips for added information about this beautiful plaza.
In Barcelona, I would say see all things by Antonio Gaudi, master architect of the Modernizmo Movement, Spain’s version of the Art Nouveau.
A list of must-see Gaudi sights includes Sagrada Familia, a massive cathedral that is the world’s most-visited construction site (www.sagradafamilia.org); Palau Güell, a house-museum that shows us how Gaudi thought a member of the nobility should live (palauguell.cat/fitxa.php?idi...">palauguell.cat/fitxa.php?idi...); Parque Güell, a wonderful park with fanciful touches overlooking the city; Casa Batlló, a house-museum that is a joy of color and movement (www.casabatllo.es/); and Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, Catalan for The Quarry, is an apartment house with sample apartment open to the public as well as its fascinating roof (kubic.cat/kc/tours/tour_01.h.... ¡Viva Espana!
Good enough reason to go back to Madrid. I would like to also, but don't know when it will happen.
Hi! I'm a bit of a fan of the Hop on Hop off buses - I use them for a first reccy of the city, listen to the commentary, suss out the sights and get my bearings, also usually meet other travellers from other countries. Then I use it as a means of getting to parts of the city. I needed to get to Stadium for a concert and it was ideal to use it to get there - easier for me than metro. Check out mine and other VTers Madrid pages for things to see and do. I'd also recommend a day trip to Toledo.
Have A Great trip, and look forward to reading all about it here later!
There are a few other spots in Madrid that are a lot of fun as well. The museums are awesome, as are the parks. When I was there 2 summers ago we went to the zoo and aquarium. It was definitely interesting to see a foreign zoo.. standards for captivity and the ability to walk right into the pens (yes.. I saw someone hop the 2 foot fence to go pet a moose... being from Canada I was in SHOCK... and don't recommend doing that). There are some cool things to do there like feed the giraffes, walk with lemurs, etc. There is an amusement park en route to the zoo as well that looked fun, but we never went. If you head out of town via metro and then bus, you can get to an amazing waterpark with tons of waterslides. It's too bad that you can't see the bull fights anymore (please don't hate me animal rights people... I did feel bad for the bulls and do think that it is somewhat cruel) as they were definitely a cultural highlight on my trip. On a side note... if you plan to purchase something from vendors that have their wares displayed on tarps on the ground in the parks, take a look out for the police first. It is actually illegal for you to purchase "fakes" and knock-offs. If a cop shows up they will take off QUICKLY (illegal for them too) and you could face a fine! Make sure that you weigh the risks before any purchases!
Have fun! It's a BEAUTIFUL city with lots to do!
Besides the touristic spots if you manage well your time you could also try a flamenco show or a musical like the super famous The Lion King. Then you could also go for a day trip to cities next to Madrid like Toledo or Aranjuez. About hostels I´ve stayed in a really nice one located right in the city center, it´s called Hostel la Plata, this is their website www.hostal-laplata.com/en the rooms are clean and newely redecorated and the staff very helpful! :)