Tips & Advice
Plaza Mayor : Sol
The Plaza Mayor is a grand arcaded square in the centre of Madrid. The symmetrical rectangular square features a uniform architectural style with the most prominent building being the Casa de la Panaderia.
Museo del Prado : Estación de Atocha
The Prado Museum, considered being one of the world´s best art galleries, houses famous masterpieces of paintings, with the outstanding presence of Velázquez, Goya, Titian and Rubens, amongst others.
Sunday: 10:00 - 14:30
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00 - 21:00
Palacio Real : Opera
The Palacio Real or Royal Palace is the largest and arguably one of the most impressive palaces in Europe. It has more than 3000 luxuriously decorated rooms, many of which can be visited.
Open: 09.30 – 17.00 Mon– Sat,
09.00 – 14.00. Tel: +34 91 454 88 00
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza : Sevilla
Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza was one of the heirs to the great Thyssen steel fortune and also a world class art collector. He amassed a collection of Old Master paintings and modern works considered to be second among private art collections only, to that of the British monarchy.
Open: 10.00 – 19.00 Tues – Sun,
Plaza de Cibeles : Banco de España
Plaza de Cibeles is considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the grand squares in Madrid. Whenever the local football team Real Madrid wins
If you have only limited sightseeing time in Madrid then there is more than enough to keep you busy. But if you have a little more time then why not venture further afield and visit the beautiful region around the capital. Within a radius of 100km – and within an hour’s travel by bus and train there are some of the greatest towns & villages of Spain.
Toledo preceded Madrid as the Spanish capital and was immortalized by El Greco, who lived and worked there for most of his later career. The city is a living museum to the many cultures – Visigothic, Moorish, Jewish and Christian – which have shaped the destiny of Spain. If you have time for just one trip from Madrid, there is really no other choice.
The old city of Segovia is spectacularly situated at the top of a long, narrow peninsula. It contains a wealth of monuments, including the cathedral, a famous ancient Roman aqueduct, the Alcázar, and various churches built in the Romanesque style including San Esteban, San Martin and San Millan.
Alcala de Henares
A small village situated 30km from Madrid, which in 1998 was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In this village you can fi nd the University of Alcala from the 16th century, the natal house of the Spanish author Cervantes, which today is a museum and the San Bernando convent from 1618. Alcala de Henares can be reached by car (Nacional II) or by train from Atocha.
Madrid is the best city in Spain to go shopping, but as it is a big place, you need to know where to look.
Gran Via & Sol The biggest brands have their biggest stores in this area. Be sure to look skyward on Gran Via - many of the buildings are at their most interesting on the roof. This is also where you will find Madrid (and Spain’s) biggest cinemas.
Principe Pío A bus and train hub, there is also a modern shopping mall built above it. It’s the most central largest covered shopping mall in Madrid. Perfect for when you don’t want the rain to spoil your shopping.
Ortega y Gasset This is the classy district, where the celebrities and footballers go shopping. Not far away, on c/Serrano you’ll find ABC Serrano, a three fl oor shopping mall with some of Europe’s most expensive clothing outlets.
Fuencarral & Hortaleza Just off Gran Via is the hip paradise of c/Fuencarral and c/Hortaleza. Though many of the trendier stores are being pushed out by the big brands, you can still get some funky and quite individual clothing in the Fuencarral market.
Opera The area around the opera house is great for buying musical instruments, especially locally produced guitars.
El Corte Inglés Spain’s omnipotent and omnipresent chain of department stores - they’re so big they count as districts of their own. If you can’t get it in one of their many branches, you’re unlikely to find it anywhere.
Locals tend to eat frequently, but on a small scale. The main meal is lunch (la comida), usually taken around 14.00 and restaurants are particularly busy at this time. Dinner is eaten around 22.00 and many restaurants don’t open until 20.30.
Zalacain : Gregorio Maranon
One of the best restaurants in Madrid combines classic French dishes with traditional Basque recipes. Booking is essential. Calle Alvarez de Baena 4. Tel: 91 561 5935. www.restaurantezalacain.com
Botin :Tirso de Molina
Reputedly the oldest restaurant in the world. Go here to sample excellent food, specialties being cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig) and cordero asado (roast lamb). Calle de la Cuchilleros 17. Tel: 91 366 42 17. www.botin.es
Casa Patas :Tirso de Molina
Combining mouth-watering steaks, tapas or plates of fried fish with flamenco acts, this lively club is a fantastic place to get acquainted with your Spanish dance moves! Calle de Canizares 10, Lavapies Tel: 91 369 04 96. www.casapatas.com
La Broche: La Elipa
One of Madrid’s most modern (and expensive) restaurants sporting two Michelin stars, earned by Chef Sergi Arola for his creative way with traditional Catalan recipes. Hotel Migual Angel. Calle de Migual 29-31, Chamberi. Tel: 913993437