Here are some suggestions of what to do in Madrid to make the most of your stay.
If you are in Madrid, don’t loose the opportunity to visit some of the famous museums of the city, the Reina Sofia art museum, El Prado or the Thyssen Bornemisza. Entrance to El Prado and Reina Sofia museums are free on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
Even if you are not a sport’s lover watching a football match in Madrid can be worth it, since Madrid is home to the famous Real Madrid football team, who plays in the Santiago Bernabeu football pitch. If you are ready for stronger emotions, you can also watch a “corrida de toros” (bullfighting). Madrid’s bullfighting ring “Las Ventas” is one of the most important in Spain. By mid-may the best “corridas” take place in the city as part of the celebrations of the Saint Isidro festivities.
Theme parks: In Madrid there are several attraction parks where you can spend a great day especially if you are travelling with children. The most famous ones are the “Warner Bros. Park” and the “Parque de atracciones de Madrid” (Madrid’s Attraction Park). The first is some 25 kilometres south of Madrid, but easy to reach using public transport, for more information on opening times and fees of the park visit their website:
Warner Bros Park Madrid: www.warnerbrospark.com
Among the monuments not to be missed in Madrid are the central square “Plaza Mayor” of Renaissance style, the Royal Palace built in the 18th century, and the adjacent Sabatini Gardens, and the “Puerta del Sol” (gate of the sun), dating from the 15th century, which was once the main entrance to the city.
In Madrid you will also find lots of good shops and shopping centres, one of the best shopping malls is Xanadú ( www.madridxanadu.com) which includes a snow park where you can ski on artificial snow. A different way of shopping in Madrid is going to its flea market (rastro) on Sunday morning, the market is in Ribera de Curtidores.
Other good option for your leisure time in the city of Madrid is to discover its bars and restaurants, try the famous Spanish wines and the tipical “tapas” or “pinchos”, small portions of food available in most bars before lunch time and dinner time. You’ll find good tapas bars around the “Plaza Mayor” and “Sol” street, in the centre of the city, also, in the zone of Cuatro Caminos and Tetuan or around the “Salamanca” zone. Here are some suggestions:
In Cuatro Caminos: El Quinto Vino, La Toledana, Combarro
In Sol: Casa Paco, Las Bravas, don Pedro, Casa Labra
In Salamanca: Jurucha, Cervecería Alarcia, Taberna la Daniela
You can’t leave Madrid without having tasted the famous “cocido madrileño” (a kind of soup with chickpeas and meats) which is the traditional madrilean dish of excellence. Some exceptionally good restaurants are: Jockey (in Amador de los Ríos, 6) and El Amparo (in callejón de Puigcerdá, 8), these are only some suggestions but you will find plenty of restaurants for all budgets and tastes.