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Madrid Ideas And Tips  
User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3767 posts, RR: 19
Posted (4 years 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1402 times:

I'm going to Madrid in a few weeks, and having never been there before I was keen to get some ideas and tips on the city.

I am flying into MAD and staying for a few nights.

Can anyone recommend an area to stay in/hotel (mid budget)?

Any ideas on places to visit in the city including sights, shopping, areas etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  

Rob!   

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5680 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1344 times:

It all depends what you're into, I suppose, but well worth checking out are the DK Top Ten guides which include pull-out maps and recommendations for everything. They cost about ten euro, but are well worth it.

http://www.dorlingkindersley-uk.co.u..._Travel_Guide:_Madrid_Melanie_Rice

If you're into art the Prado is not to be missed, but there is so much there to see too long in the place can be overload. One of the simplest and most enjoyable things to do is hang out in the Parque del Retiro. There used to be a great buzz about the place with bongo drummers and other musicians hanging around the large monument by the lake, but the last time we were there (last July) they had disappeared and there was a smaller group further away (just follow the sound), which wasn't quite as atmospheric, but good nonetheless. I have a feeling there has been a clampdown on them, unfortunately.

The Rastro (market) is a great place to hang out on Sundays. It seems as if half of Madrid turns out for it. Even if you're not interested in buying, the buzz is great.

One thing to definitely do in Madrid is eat, and you can quite easily spend your few days living on just tapas. One cheap and excellent tapas restaurant just off the Gran Via is O Faro de Finistere. The food is superb, and cheap to boot. The place isn't glamorous, but you can eat at the tables outside and watch the world go by:

http://11870.com/pro/faro-finisterre

One thing I have to say about Madrid, and Spain, unfortunately, is the frightening increase in pickpocketing, so be careful, particularly on the metro from the airport. Pickpockets target the line and if you're observant you can actually see them eyeing up potential targets (usually tourists who have just arrived). Watch out for them, particularly around the station Alonso Martinez, where you have to change lines. Keep your money well hidden when you're on the metro -- not just the airport line -- and if anyone touches you for any reason back off immediately or shout at them. There is no reason for anyone to touch you or your clothing on the street, and if they do you have to assume they are up to no good. They work in groups, and one trick is to create a distraction while the other pilfers your pocket. However, don't let this put you off, Madrid is a fantastic place to visit, and you'll have a great time.


User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1341 times:

The Gardens are nice.

There's a Real Madrid museum which is pretty good too.


User currently offlinevandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 497 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1338 times:

I really liked the Atocha railway station. There is a great garden inside the building. Furthermore you should really have a look at the royal palace and it's views. The centre itself is very pretty too. You can walk around there for quiet some hours.

User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7263 posts, RR: 85
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1323 times:
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I'd stay away from Madrid and do Barcelona, Sevilla, etc.   

User currently offlineSKY1 From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 879 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1323 times:

Right now, in Summer time, it's a good idea visiting some parks like "El Retiro" and "Parque del Oeste" where you have a beautiful view (Temple of Debod, in a extreme of the Parque del Oeste) to the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and the Madrid "Sierra". And don't forget to eat "tapas" in the Plaza de Santa Ana/Huertas St. area or Almendro St. area.

Close from Madrid, El Escorial deserves also a visit. -- 1 hour by train--

Anyway, this page is going to be very useful to you: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/portal.do

Madrid is a great place to stay in!   Enjoy



Time flies! Enjoy life!
User currently offlineSKY1 From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 879 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1320 times:

Quoting fxramper (Reply 4):
I'd stay away from Madrid and do Barcelona, Sevilla, etc

If you have been in Madrid many times before it could be a good advice but if not it's like to say when talking about France: I'd stay away from Paris and do in Tolouse, Nice, etc" ... or referering to the States: " I'd stay away from New York and do in Los Angeles, Chicago, etc".

Madrid has many interesting things to explore and to do.



Time flies! Enjoy life!
User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7263 posts, RR: 85
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1320 times:
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Quoting SKY1 (Reply 6):
I'd stay away from New York and do in Los Angeles, Chicago, etc".

I agree.

Madrid reminds me of NYC so I stay away.


User currently offlineSKY1 From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 879 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1317 times:

Quoting fxramper (Reply 7):
Madrid reminds me of NYC so I stay away

But ... you know that BECAUSE [I assume] you have already been in Madrid, so cos that you could have your own point of view.

I don't see many resemblances when comparing NYC with Madrid, anyhow   But you know ...that's very personal so no discussion here.



Time flies! Enjoy life!
User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5680 posts, RR: 32
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1301 times:

Quoting fxramper (Reply 4):
I'd stay away from Madrid

Why on earth would you suggest that?

Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
Can anyone recommend an area to stay in/hotel (mid budget)?

There's a really nice mid-priced hotel chain all over Madrid called High Tech Hotels:

http://www.hthoteles.com/htm01/index?user_locale=es_ES


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7146 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1296 times:

Quoting SKY1 (Reply 5):
Palacio Real

This is a must! Great place also the Sofia and Prado art museums. I am not a big art can but both were good. The Prado was better IMO I spent hours in there and I dont like art.

I stayed in a hostal on Gran Villa near the plaza de espana metro station. It was a perfect location and it cost about 40 euros a night private room with a view of the royal palace. If you want to save some money and just want a decent place to sleep in a perfect location I highly suggest this place. http://www.eurocheapo.com/madrid/hotel/hostal-a-nebrija.html



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19565 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1286 times:

You absolutely SHOULD go to the Reína Sofía museum and see "Guernica" by Picasso. Whether you like art museums or you don't (and I'm in the "don't" camp) there is something about the awesome power of that piece that is deeply moving. There are a few pieces of art that are not to be missed. Michaelangelo's David, Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, and Picasso's Guernica all belong on that list.

It's a piece of art so powerful that to this day, it is guarded by armed guards.

Take one day to go to either Toledo or Segovia. These are both accessible by mid-speed rail (200 km/h) and take less than 30 minutes on the train from Atocha. You can leave at 10AM and return at 6-7. Usually €15 or less round-trip IIRC.

Definitely see the Palacio Real.

Your profile says you're 21-25, so you're probably into night life. Ask around. There's a ton of it.

Chueca is the gay neighborhood, but even if you're not gay, don't let that scare you away. It's a classically Spanish neighborhood with narrow, winding streets, funky little shops, and cute little cafés. Check out Mamá Ynez, a cute little coffee house that I like.

Sol is the geographic center of Spain. It's a good place to stay if you can find a hostel there.

Oh, hint: you will be there in August. It's HOTTER THAN BLAZES there. Be prepared. Spaniards seem to be oblivious to heat and wear black.


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7146 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1272 times:

Not sure if your going with some friends or not. But for nightlife I suggest the night club Pasha. Its huge, packed till 7am and just a cool european club. Also compared to the US well LA, Vegas NYC Miami etc.. Prices are not bad even in Euros you can get a bottle and table for about 120euros when I went and that was on a Friday night! Big US cities that will be over $300.


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2758 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1248 times:

For cheap snacks or Tapas you can also try ¨El Museo del Jamon¨ they have a few shops around Madrid.

Croissants, sandwiches and stuff for breakfast for 1 Euro!

MIAspotter.



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7146 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1226 times:

Oh talking about food there is a chain in Spain. There was one right next to the Madrid Atocha Train Station. I forgot the name of the chain I will post it when I remember or someone else will know but they have 100 different types of small sandwiches and they were great! You can have something like 6-8 and chips and a drink for 7-8 euros it was fantastic. Sort of like tapa sandwhiches if you want something quick inexpensive to eat. Or maybe a box of them to take to the park go there. It was one of my favorite places to eat in Spain!


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2758 posts, RR: 25
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1211 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 14):
Oh talking about food there is a chain in Spain. There was one right next to the Madrid Atocha Train Station. I forgot the name of the chain

Pans? Bocatta? those are the 2 chains here selling sandwiches.

MIAspotter.



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19565 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1206 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 14):
Oh talking about food there is a chain in Spain. There was one right next to the Madrid Atocha Train Station. I forgot the name of the chain I will post it when I remember or someone else will know but they have 100 different types of small sandwiches and they were great! You can have something like 6-8 and chips and a drink for 7-8 euros it was fantastic. Sort of like tapa sandwhiches if you want something quick inexpensive to eat. Or maybe a box of them to take to the park go there. It was one of my favorite places to eat in Spain!

When I arrive at MAD, the FIRST thing I do as soon as I can is request a "bocadillo de jamón serrano."

Spain's food is seriously underrated. The Italians get all the credit for the Mediterranean cuisine, and I'll grant their cuisine is excellent. But Spanish food is amazing.

You should definitely have the jamón serrano
Tortilla Española
Paella
Gazpacho or Ajo blanco (if you can find it)
And if you make it to Segovia, roast suckling pig.


User currently offlineLH459 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 886 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1205 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
Spain's food is seriously underrated. The Italians get all the credit for the Mediterranean cuisine, and I'll grant their cuisine is excellent. But Spanish food is amazing.

      I second that! I personally prefer Spanish food to Italian. The freshness, simplicity, and amazing flavors have won me over! So, for heaven's sake, don't neglect the culinary scene while you're there!



"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7146 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1194 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
You should definitely have the jamón serrano
Tortilla Española
Paella
Gazpacho or Ajo blanco (if you can find it)
And if you make it to Segovia, roast suckling pig.

Jamon Iberico con Queso Manchego also! And for Paella well Madrid is not really known for that its more of a coastal thing but if you do get it there make sure its fresh and not just some frozen stuff, the more touristy the area the worse the food IMO. Spanish food is FANTASTIC when done right.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 15):
Pans? Bocatta? those are the 2 chains here selling sandwiches.

No, first all I hated Pans cant believe that place makes it compared to the average bar their sandwiches are horrible had them once never again. Bocatta not that bad but I am talking about 100 Montaditos. I honestly think this is a must do in Spain. I only had it once since the one in Barcelona was in the outskirts away from the metro but it was just awesome. Look for one and go!
http://www.holavalencia.net/2008/05/.../100-motaditos-the-taste-of-tapas/

Also with the Royal Palace make sure to pay the extra money to tour the inside it is well worth every penny.

[Edited 2010-08-03 21:10:22]


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19565 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1188 times:

Oh, also the Spanish beer is called Mahou, pronounced "Ma-oo." One of my favorite lagers. Can't get it in the U.S., I'm afraid.

User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3767 posts, RR: 19
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1179 times:

Really appreciate the help guys!

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
I stayed in a hostal on Gran Villa near the plaza de espana metro station. It was a perfect location and it cost about 40 euros a night private room with a view of the royal palace. If you want to save some money and just want a decent place to sleep in a perfect location I highly suggest this place. http://www.eurocheapo.com/madrid/hot....html

I think I may stay here, it seems pretty cheap and the location looks quite ideal.

Anyone ever done the Bernabeu stadium tour?

Quoting flymia (Reply 12):
Not sure if your going with some friends or not. But for nightlife I suggest the night club Pasha. Its huge, packed till 7am and just a cool european club. Also compared to the US well LA, Vegas NYC Miami etc.. Prices are not bad even in Euros you can get a bottle and table for about 120euros when I went and that was on a Friday night! Big US cities that will be over $300.

I'm going on my own and meeting friends when I move on from Madrid to go to Galicia. I really wanted to go to Pacha but the days that I am in Madrid it's not open. Can anyone else recommend any good clubs to go to on a Tuesday/Wednesday evening?

Thanks again.


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7146 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1169 times:

Quoting B742 (Reply 20):
I think I may stay here, it seems pretty cheap and the location looks quite ideal.

The guy who runs the place is old fashion probably the reason for his cheap rates in such a great location it really is perfect you can walk to most places. Its only cash and I dont think he speaks english much.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
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