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.
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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 >
The most important thing to do before embarking on a trip down Madrid’s most famous party street is to decide what sort of evening you’re after. A quiet drink with friends? Live jazz? One-of-a-kind cocktails in one-of-a-kind places? Or dancing the night away to some of the “best” (ahem) Europop Madrid has to offer? Huertas and its neighbouring plazas and side streets has it all. Start your journey at Sevilla (walking down Calle del Príncipe), or head up Calle del Doctor Cortezo from Tirso de Molina in order to arrive at Plaza de Santa Ana, right at the start of it all.Barhopping More >
There’s no-one better to show you around a new city than a local. The only problem is, how do you meet them in the first place? Especially if Spanish isn’t your strong point, it can sometimes feel isolating being a tourist in a cosmopolitan, yet still mainly Spanish-speaking city like Madrid. Have no fear: an intercambio could be just what you’re looking for.
The word intercambio means exchange, and in this case it specifically refers to exchanging languages. A typical intercambio is held in a large bar, sometimes an Irish pub, where dozens of Spanish-speakers, English-speakers and everything-else speakers come along More >
Last year, the Metro in Madrid ran an advertising campaign with various world landmarks looking enviously at their stations, announcing: “The metro which everyone wishes they had lives in Madrid.” It’s true that Madrid’s metro system can put a lot of others to shame: cheaper than both Paris and London’s, it is also usually clean, safe and easy to use, even for newcomers. Still, you can stay a step ahead by reading our handy guide to mastering the Madrid Metro.Tickets
Every station has at least one ticket machine and a ticket office, though the offices may be closed out of More >
Elsewhere on this blog we compiled a list of the top ten hotels in Berlin according to tripadvisor reviews. This time it’s Madrid’s turn to face the public vote.
One of Europe’s finest cities, Madrid is a bustling cultural centre teeming with world class galleries and museums, and some of the most vibrant nightlife on the continent. The hotels Madrid can boast are rich and varied, with budget options catering for the backpacker fraternity through to luxury 5-star hotels of the highest quality.
Have you ever been to Madrid and had a hotel experience worthy of inclusion? If so, let us know More >
Berlin enjoys the benefits of taking people by surprise. Today it has all but shed its reputation as a symbol of the Cold War and is now considered one of the most vibrant, progressive cities in Europe. And yet, it takes people to come and visit for them to truly believe that Berlin’s transformation is complete.
As a reflection of the city’s bourgeoning tourism industry, Berlin has undergone something of a hotel revolution since the dark days of east-west segregation. Since reunification, the area formerly known as East Berlin has been vying to catch up with its Western counterpart by embarking More >