Any guide to Madrid will tell you about visiting the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bournemisza. But in dutifully traipsing round these three, culture lovers may well be missing out on some of Madrid’s lesser known museums and galleries – well worth a visit for showing you Spanish art and culture outside of Goya and Picasso.
Joaquin Sorolla was one of the most famous Spanish Impressionist painters of the early 20th century. Originally from Valencia, he later moved to this house in 1912. On his death in 1923 it was preserved More >
Spain is a shopping haven, with generally cheap prices and some fantastic brands which you can’t find anywhere else. As the birthplace of such high street favourites as Zara and Mango, as well as world renowned designer names, you’re bound to find the perfect style to suit your budget. Here’s our guide to the best shopping area in Madrid – make sure you’ve left room in your suitcase!
Gran Vía Metro stations: Gran Vía, Callao The biggest shopping street of all in Madrid, Gran Vía is the equivalent to London’s Oxford Street. Start at the end nearest to Gran Vía metro and work More >
Following on from our post about Huertas, here’s our guide to Madrid’s other great nightlife spot, Malasaña.
Madrid’s nightlife is legendary, but most travel guides will only tell you about the big megaclubs such as Pacha, Kapital and Joy Esclava. While popular, you’re likely to a) pay far too much for entrance and drinks b) dance to the same music you could find in any other big club in the world and c) meet only other tourists there. Madrid’s real nightlife is characterised by its tiny clubs and bars, all unique in their own way.
The area is named after Manuela Malasaña, More >
It’s always a good idea to learn a little Spanish before heading to Madrid, but your ‘Buenas dias’ and your ‘Quisiera una cerveza por favor’s are a world away from how people really speak. To truly talk with the locals you need to know the proper lingo. Practise saying these with some Spanish nonchalance and you’ll be fluent in no time.
Vale ‘Okay’, prounced almost like ‘ballet’ is probably the most frequently used word. Repeat at least four times for emphasis, more if desired. There’s really no limit.
Pues ‘Well’, the ultimate conversation More >
Madrid may not have the soaring towers of New York or Hong Kong, but its wonderful collection of classic redbrick rooftops and varied architecture means that sometimes only a bird’s eye view will do. This is particularly relevant during the long hot days of summer, where a cooling breeze on a rooftop is sometimes the only thing that can make it bearable. Here’s our guide to some of the best rooftops in the Spanish capital.
Casa de Granada Calle del Doctor Cortezo, 17, 6th floor Nearest metro: Tirso de Molina
Come for the views, not the food. This small café is situated on More >
Ever wondered how some of the stations in Madrid got their names? Some are easy to figure out – Retiro, Gran Vía and Sol, for example, but many have an interesting history behind the names which few people know about. Here’s a guide to just a few of them.
Atocha Madrid’s most important station was originally named Estación de Mediodía, meaning ‘south’ in old Spanish. But after a fire destroyed the original station, it was reopened in 1892 and renamed after the nearby basilica.
If you want a central location during your stay in Madrid, Gran Vía can’t be beat. The largest and busiest shopping street in the city, Gran Vía is right at the heart of the action, offering you easy access to all the shops, bars, restaurants and attractions the city has to offer. Served by a whole five different metro stops on six different lines, it’s also easy to get from here to locations further out, such as the airport or train station. Since it’s such a popular location, there are over 30 different hotels lining all 1.3 kilometres of it. What’s more, the year 2010 More >
So you’re headed to Madrid for the weekend but don’t want fancy spending your time tramping round the Prado and dodging the miserable tourist trap restaurants around the Plaza Mayor. What you really need to know about is its real Golden Triangle – not the one to the three great museums in Madrid, but the holy trinity of places where every local ends up spending their weekends: the Rastro, La Latina and the Retiro. Here’s our guide to relaxing in Madrid for the finde (short for fin de semana – weekend) the way the locals do.
One More >
Most travellers visiting a city for the first time tend to stick to the underground system to get around. While this is understandable, given that it’s generally easier for a newcomer to navigate, it does mean that you spend more of your trip looking at adverts and arrivals boards rather than seeing the sights: not ideal in a city with such fantastic views as Madrid. Break out of your comfort zone and give the bus network a try: you see more of the city, get a better idea of your bearings (it’s hard to imagine the layout of a place More >
Madrid may be a great city for partying, but sometimes you just need to put your feet up after a heavy night out. Even better if you can get someone to rub them for you. With that in mind, here’s our guide to the best spa hotels in Madrid. Remember that most hotels carry a surcharge for some spa services, so be sure to contact the hotel to make sure.
Two of the hotels in the Vincci chain are home to Nammu Areas spas, where guests can More >