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Madrid!

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#1
Hello Folks... a little birdie (husband) has told me that I might be spending 2 or 3 days in Madrid in the Spring... and whilst it's not part of a camino and I'm not seeking camino advise (this time), it did occur to me that there may be a few knowledgeable members that could recommend things to see and do whilst in town?

So... if you had 3 days as a tourist what would you do? :cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#2
Great museums, food and wonderful vibe on the streets in the evening before going out for dinner. Segovia is close enough for a day trip. The Camino Madrid starts here, it is very serene walk to Sahagun.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#5
Toledo is great, Cuenca is also worth a visit. Like the madrileños say "the best of Madrid is how close it is to great places to visit in Spain" ;-) BC SY
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug 2017: Le Puy to Santiago
Nov 2018: Kumano Kodo (partial)
Jul 2019: San Miniato to Bolsena
#6
Go to the Prado in the morning, before the crowds! It's an amazing museum, and much more pleasant when it's a bit quieter.

And make sure you visit a vermuteria, in case you missed them on the Camino. Spanish vermouth is in a league of its own, and I don't know if this trend has caught on in other countries yet.
 

Madidi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Santiago de Compostela - Fisterra Aug/Sept 2012; SdC - Fisterra - Muxia Sept 2013.
Camino Ingles May 2014. Camino Madrid (Madrid - Sahagun) May 2015. SdC -Fisterra-Muxia and back to SdC Oct 2015. Camino de San Salvador and Camino Primitivo Aug-Sept 2016
#7
The Mercado de San Miguel is always worth a visit: fab for food :):)
 
#8
Madrid is a monumental city. The Plaza Mayor rivals Salamanca’s IMO. its historic center is chock full of beautiful buildings, squares, and parks. My slightly off the beaten path suggestions to add to the standard must-see places.

For anyone who likes impressionists, the Sorolla museum (in his house) is an absolute must. The light and shadows on the beaches of Valencia with mothers and children are some of the most beautiful paintings anywhere, IMO.
http://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/msorolla/inicio.html

The Egyptian temple at night is very evocative.
It was dismantled and given to Spain by the Egyptian government.

The Goya frescoes at San Antonio de la Florida. Nearby is Casa Mingo, a rotisserie chicken place that is (or was) pretty great.

The municipal museum is in a building with an amazing baroque facade. The collection has a model of Madrid that is oh so interesting. The museum is located in a slightly less touristy part of Old Madrid. Lots of cafes shops etc in the neighborhood. https://www.madrid.es/portales/muni...nnel=c937f073808fe410VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD

Convento de las Decalzas Reales. 16th century. A few minutes from the Corte Inglés in the Puerta del Sol, it’s often overlooked. http://www.patrimonionacional.es/real-sitio/monasterio-de-las-descalzas-reales

Oh lucky you. I agree that Toledo is a great trip but the crowds may be over the top. Staying there for the night when the crowds are gone will give you a different impression. So many things to see there though that a day might not be enough.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#9
Hello Folks... a little birdie (husband) has told me that I might be spending 2 or 3 days in Madrid in the Spring... and whilst it's not part of a camino and I'm not seeking camino advise (this time), it did occur to me that there may be a few knowledgeable members that could recommend things to see and do whilst in town?

So... if you had 3 days as a tourist what would you do? :cool:
It depends on what interests you and what the weather is like. Retiro Park is very nice when the weather is good, not as nice on a cold, wet day, for example.

I would spend a day in the art galleries: Prado, Reina Sofia, etc. If you like impressionists, there is a museum dedicated to Sorolla that you may really enjoy.

I would also spend some time in the area around Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, perhaps combining with a walk to the Cathedral and Royal Palace. The cathedral is new. It was closed for renovations when I was living in Madrid. It's a pleasant stroll from the Palace to the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple that was gifted to Spain by Egypt.

The nightlife in the bars is really the heart and soul of Madrid. When I was living there, I would ask the locals why every other city (or town) in Spain had a cathedral but Madrid did not. The answer invariably was "We have bars." There are a number of different districts, depending on the type of crowd you like to hang out with.

And I would never visit Madrid and not stop by Chocolateria San Gines.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#10
Also, as was mentioned, there are a ton of great day trips. You've already heard about Toledo and Cuenca. I did Toledo as a day trip when I was back there with my son. Segovia is another possibility. But I'd also highly recommend El Escorial as a day trip if that is your kind of thing.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#11
I'm aware you asked about the Madrid but since I'm not so familiar with its monuments, churches, museums etc. I would add my suggestions for one day trip:
- Segovia + La Granja de San Ildefonso,
- Toledo
- Avila
All of them easily accessible in less than an hour with public transport.

Enjoy!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#12
Wow thanks folks! lots of great ideas :) I think we'll be staying in the city but it doesn't sound like we'll be stuck for things to do... we'll only have 2 full days... luckily not a Monday :)

It's great to have ideas for food and drink too... always difficult as a tourist to know where the locals go.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#13
Around plaza de Opera near the Royal Palace there are a lot of places to eat. To have a drink also near the Royal Palace the terrazas of Las Vistillas or the ones in Plaza de Oriente.
On Sunday morning you can visit El Rastro a popular market on the street.
 
#14
Around plaza de Opera near the Royal Palace there are a lot of places to eat. To have a drink also near the Royal Palace the terrazas of Las Vistillas or the ones in Plaza de Oriente.
On Sunday morning you can visit El Rastro a popular market on the street.
Hi, Pelegrin,
I was going to edit my post to add the gardens around the Opera and Royal Palace. They are beautiful.
 

texano

Married to a Madrileña
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Camino Portugese
#15
El Parque Retiro Saturday Morning
El Rastro on Sunday
La Pitarra for weekday lunch
Mercado San Miguel at sundown followed by a tapas walk from Plaza Santa Cruz to Plaza Santa Anna for a nightcap.
Joaquin Sorolla Museo, Del Prado, Museo Reina Sofia, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum,
Day trips via Train (seniors get the Tareta Dorado) to Segovia, Toledo, Avila, Salamanca or Leon, El Escorial/Valle Los Caidos
Visit Plaza Del Sol, La Majorquina, El Corte Ingles, Plaza Major, Calle Preciados
 
Last edited:

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Piamonte
Aragones
Elizabethpfad
#16
If your interests include fine art then there are three outstanding galleries; the Prado, the Thyssen collection and the Reina Sofia, which contains Picasso's Guernica.

Toledo is indeed lovely but deserves a night stopover, which is probably unachievable with your tight schedule.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#17
Museo Nacional Del Prado, Goya - The Drowning Dog
Museo Reina Sofia, Picasso - Guernica
Plaza Mayor
Mercado San Miquel
Royal Palace of Madrid
Basilica of San Francisco el Grande
Lateral (tapas) Plaza de Santa Ana
Gourmet Experience Gran Vía (rooftop) Cortes Ingles
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#18
Wow! Wow! I can't wait now! We might have to add an extra day!

Thank you all so much... Just need to book some flights now.
 

rick1977

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
At some point, perhaps 2019.
#19
As the wonderful (and wonderfully convincing) song Vente Pa' Madrid by Ketama argues, all the best things are in Madrid.

I second all the museum recommendations. In the Prado I'd spend a bunch of time in front of Velazquez's Las Meninas and Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/23/AR2010122301932.html

Vermut is a great suggestion. Plenty of solid places to get vermut de grifo (from the tap), one of my favorites is Taberna Ángel Sierra in Chueca. Another good alcohol suggestion would be to get some sherry at La Venencia, which is close to Sol. See the relevant section of the article below on Hemingway's Madrid.

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/travel/a-tour-of-hemingways-madrid.html
 

Deputy Dan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Logrono to Burgos in week of October (2017); Camino Frances in 2019 or 2020
#20
I arrived in Madrid late Friday evening and left early Monday morning - not nearly enough time! Beautiful Fall weather the whole weekend!!

I merely googled Madrid and (somewhere!) found a self-guided walking tour that hit many of the high spots - On Saturday I wandered around and through Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral and Royal Palace and the handful of other notable historic sites in between - including a stop at Chocolateria San Gines. I wasn't in a hurry - tired a bit from my brief week on the Camino(!) - and took a bit of time to just sit on park benches and watch the crowds. My only (minor) regret is not taking the tour of the Royal Palace but the crowds were huge by the time I got there. Perhaps I should have started there - early when the lines were just forming - and continued from there.

I did manage to squeak into a Flamenco show Saturday night. Pure luck! I found a discount coupon but when I called for a reservation they told me there were sold out - but suggested I come sit at the bar in case they had any no-shows. Sat at the bar for about an hour sipping some great wine and had marvelous (better than dinner!) snacks provided by the bartender. About two minutes before the curtain went up I got called and sat RIGHT next to the stage with a couple of other stand-by patrons. Someone no doubt paid dearly for those seats and then didn't show!!

On Sunday I wandered through Retiro Park on the way to the Prado. I'll admit to NOT usually being a huge art fan, but I spent most of the day wandering through the galleries there. The sheer history of what they display is amazing. If I go back alone I'll visit the Reina Sofia, but if my wife joins my next trip I'll willingly go back to the Prado!
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
#21
And make sure you visit a vermuteria, in case you missed them on the Camino. Spanish vermouth is in a league of its own, and I don't know if this trend has caught on in other countries yet.
Many years ago I was visiting Madrid with my brother. We met two Irishmen and had a very convivial evening, rounded off with a visit to a vermuteria. Never again. I had a hangover with a half-life of forty years, and it was several days before my brother recovered the power of speech.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#22
Everything linkster said.
If I only could see one museum, for me it would be the Reina Sofia.
If you are there on a Sunday, El Rastro is not to be missed!
 

Jamieb

New Member
#23
I arrived in Madrid late Friday evening and left early Monday morning - not nearly enough time! Beautiful Fall weather the whole weekend!!

I merely googled Madrid and (somewhere!) found a self-guided walking tour that hit many of the high spots - On Saturday I wandered around and through Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral and Royal Palace and the handful of other notable historic sites in between - including a stop at Chocolateria San Gines. I wasn't in a hurry - tired a bit from my brief week on the Camino(!) - and took a bit of time to just sit on park benches and watch the crowds. My only (minor) regret is not taking the tour of the Royal Palace but the crowds were huge by the time I got there. Perhaps I should have started there - early when the lines were just forming - and continued from there.

I did manage to squeak into a Flamenco show Saturday night. Pure luck! I found a discount coupon but when I called for a reservation they told me there were sold out - but suggested I come sit at the bar in case they had any no-shows. Sat at the bar for about an hour sipping some great wine and had marvelous (better than dinner!) snacks provided by the bartender. About two minutes before the curtain went up I got called and sat RIGHT next to the stage with a couple of other stand-by patrons. Someone no doubt paid dearly for those seats and then didn't show!!

On Sunday I wandered through Retiro Park on the way to the Prado. I'll admit to NOT usually being a huge art fan, but I spent most of the day wandering through the galleries there. The sheer history of what they display is amazing. If I go back alone I'll visit the Reina Sofia, but if my wife joins my next trip I'll willingly go back to the Prado!
Tell me more about the flamenco show....I’ll have 2 full days before I fly home next summer and plan on doing pretty much what you have done.
 
#24
If you are there on a Sunday, El Rastro is not to be missed!
Not unless you have any sort of discomfort being smished into huge throngs.:oops: I went to the Rastro a few times in the 70s, and then went back in the late 90s. Maybe my tolerance had changed, but I know the Rastro had also changed. What used to be a place where antigüedades were the predominant thing on offer, it was then a lot like all those non-food markets you come across in small towns while walking, just hundreds of times bigger. Maybe I just didn’t know where to go, but the junk and the crowds were just way too much for me. And I do not typically feel claustrophobic. If you do go, make sure not to have anything anywhere near the surface that can be snatched.

Annie, I assume your experience has been different?! Buen camino, Laurie
 

blamoca

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
#25
the best place for Flamenco in Madrid is Casa Patas..its authentic. The bar resto itself has a great vibe too with great jamon at ... http://casapatas.com

the show popular at Villa Rosa in Plaza Santa Ana is tourist dinner show and not authentic.
 

blamoca

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
#26
Ideas for neighbourhood I know (Barrio Las Letras) in central Madrid:

- Mercado San Miguel (food shopping /food emporium)
- Plaza Mayor (Madrid Main square, Tourist Office, walking Tours)
- Calle Arenal (pedestrian shopping street)
- Puerta de Sol (Corte Ingles, shopping on all surrounding side streets, Madrid Bear statue),
- Casa Lhardy (old coffee shop)nearby on Calle San Jeronimo, good restaurant too, by reservation
- Chocolateria San Gines - Pasadizo de San Gines 5,..for late night churros (still popular after evenings out)
- Plaza Santa Ana, cafes, resto's, shopping on all side streets
- Barrio de las Letras (a great neighbourhood, including Calle Leon, Calle del Prado, Lope de Vega, Cervantes,) all in and around this Barrio area, are lots of interesting bars, restaurants, shops, boutiques)

... a few local typical bars, restos in that barrio:
- Bar Taurina .. Carrera de S. Jerónimo, 5, bull fight inspired bar.
- La Perlora, calle Magdalena 40, very good paella, good tapas, family owned..
- Casa Patas - restaurant and AUTHENTIC Flamenco show (you can't get more authentic than this,) Calle Cañizares 10, Madrid. look online for their website for show info or if no show.. a great bar, good jamon
.-Taberna Los Chanquetes - Callle Moratin 2, Madrid... bull fight inspired bar...
- La Venencia . bar , Calle de Echegaray 7.
- Mercado Anton Martin (typical Spanish indoor food market, with several tapas bars inside, incl. authentic popular Japanese resto/ sushi bar 'YokaLoka' in lower level, the BEST Japanese resto in Madrid

- Cine Doré - famous national review movie theatre. Calle Isabel nº 3
- Basilica of Jesus of Medinaceli, 28014, Plaza Jesús, 2, 28014 Madrid..where line ups to see virgin/saint in high altar, some devoted people still walk on knees
- Atocha Railway Station, with interior garden.
- Paseo del Prado beautiful Avenue (famous Cibeles fountain, famous Neptune Fountain, beautiful avenue)
- Retiro Park - beautiful park

- Museo del Prado Museum. - right up there with the Louvre in Paris, great art.
- Reina Sofia Museum for Picasso's 'Guernica' alternate entrance at back with zero lines if long lines in front, or buy entrance tkt in advance online.
- Sorolla Museum, small intimate (in different neighbourhood), Paseo del General Martinez Campos 37
- Train Museum 'Museo del Ferrocarril de Madrid' at Paseo de las Delicias 61 (in different neighbourhood) , fun to see all old rail cars, of course one train still has a bar car still operating.
- Casa Museo Lope de Vega - tiny Museum, Calle Cervantes 11,. free, but by advance reservation only....must sign up for an available time slot.

Lots more to Madrid than this...but great to be able to see so much in one neighbourhood especially with only a few days, but you can't go wrong anywhere! Say hi to Madrid for me, my favourite city!
 

RRat

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning 2017
#29
After over 30 days on the Camino, Madrid was overwhelming and expensive. Hostels are not alburges and have a different clientele. I had five days to kill so did overnighters in Salamanca, Toledo, and Segovia. Price of Hostel in Madrid is same as hotel in small cities. Last day in Madrid visited the Prado and prepared for next days flight.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#30
Interesting - of course the Prado and the Reina Sofia are wonderful, but for me the best museum is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. It was the second largest private collection in the world (second only to the British royal family), and contains only the very best of each genre. No wading through the mediocre. Fills in all the gaps. I keep going back and now I pick one or two rooms only, and spend time with just that small selection.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
#31
Am I the only person to be surprised at finding that Picasso's "Guernica", on display at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, actually is in black and white? All those years I thought I was looking at a black and white photo of a colour painting.........
 
#32
And to think I took four days to walk there!
The fast train to Segovia takes only 28 minutes. It has turned Segovia into more of a Madrid suburb. Segovia has experienced a lot of residential development lately. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing towns in the Comunidad de Madrid. Always interesting to watch these transformations, sometimes with bated breath. But in one great step forward, cars can no longer drive under the aqueduct!
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
#33
"De Madrid al cielo". Dicen los madrileños.
 

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