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Beautiful Madrid is Spain’s Capital.

To Be in Madrid Is to Feel at Home

Welcome home! Throughout the centuries, this melting pot of different cultures has welcomed wave after wave of migrants. Throughout the 20th century Madrid welcomed people from all over Spain; today it welcomes people from all over Europe and the rest of the world with open arms.

If you have just arrived, start thinking of yourself as a “madrileño”, it won’t take you more than a couple of hours to feel like you are one. Go for a stroll and put away your camera and map for a while. Walk around like one of the locals, pop into a bar and order something: soon you’ll find yourself talking to someone – it may well be someone who also came to Madrid for a couple of days and is still living here years later. That’s Madrid, a city for the people.

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Let’s start off this post with the best parks and gardens in Madrid. If it’s summer, forget it and stay indoors!

  • Parque del Retiro
  • Casa De Campo – “The Casa de Campo is the largest urban park situated west of central Madrid,. It was formerly a royal hunting estate. Its area is more than 1,700 hectares”
  • Parque del Oeste – One of my favorties. Huge, very calm and extremely nice for a relaxing walk or a picnic. 
  • Campo Del Moro
  • Las Vistillas
  • Alameda de Osuna – El Capricho gardens

Parque del Oeste

Out and About

It’s amazing that there can be so many people in so many places at ALL TIMES. they love being outside. The weather is wonderful (not when it’s boiling hot..) and there are places for everybody’s tastes. Madrid’s wide range of open spaces is one of the city’s main assets, and we love enjoying them to the maximum.

You don’t need a plan. Get out and take a walk, wandering the streets without a set destination. You will be surprised to see that there always seems to be something even more interesting on the next block. And you can walk everywhere; it is never very far from one place to the next. Around the next corner you will probably find a place that will become one of your favorite little haunts.

It is very easy also to use the metro if you’re not a big fan of walking long distances; Download the Madrid Metro application for both iPhoners and Androids (Available in English), and just follow the lines. You could also use Google maps to direct you with metro lines uses. If you’re staying for a long stay, get the 10 passes metro ticket, otherwise 1 way ticket should suffice.

Madrid Fiestas

There are dozens of fiestas in Madrid. Here are some:
February: Madrid Carnaval – Week before Lent
March-April: Semana Santa (Holy week)
June-July: La Semana del Orgullo Gay (Gay Pride Week)
August: Fiestas in La Latina and Lavapies barrios – dancing and live music
December: Navidad & NocheVieja (New Years Eve) – Plaza mayor during xmas
Shopping
  • Madrid Shop: The Plaza Mayor Tourist Center sells items related to the city under the brand ¡Madrid!.
  • EL RASTRO FLEA MARKET: Every Sunday
  • CALLE DE SERRANO (SALAMANCA DISTRICT)
  • CALLE JORGE JUAN
  • Gran Via 
  • Chueca District
  • ELCORTE INGLES
  • FUENCARRAL Market
  • Calle Ortega y Gasset
  • Puerta Del Sol
  • Calle Goya
General Information
Addresses: Addresses written as: c/Picasso 2 4izda. , means Picasso street number 2 4th floor, left. (Izquierda).
Pronunciations: Anything with double L is pronounced a Y. For example: Calle is pronounced “Cayye”. Alot of people in Madrid don’t speak English, try to learn some basic words before you head there for example: “No Hablo Espaniol” – I don’t speak Spanish or “Hablas Ingles?” – Do you speak English? and so on.. (The H is silent fyi)
Crime and Personal Safety:  The police in Spain usually come in green uniform-roads, boarders etc., there is also blue uniform police-crime, drugs, crowd control, etc. In the unlikely event that you are robbed (which could happen- becareful!), go to the police where you’ll have to make a statement known as a “denuncia” you can also do it online via policia.es .. If your passport is stolen, contact immediately the embassy or consulate. (Kuwait nationals, you could contact the embassy in Madrid or the consulate office in Paris)
Pickpocketing and bag-snatching is very common in Spain, particularly in Madrid. Never put your mobile phone on the table and forget about it. Never keep it visible from your pockets on your bag.
Spain’s Currency is EURO (€)
OPENING HOURS: almost EVERYTHING in Spain closes for “Siesta” of atleast two hours in the middle of the day. So basically its something like this – Monday to Friday 9.30 AM to 2 PM and 5 PM to 8 PM.
Internet/WI-FI is widely spread in cafes, bars, hotels and other public hotspots. WiFi in Spanish is pronounced (Wee-Fee).
For Restaurants, you could refer to our previous post here.
SIGHT-SEEING & Touristy Stuff
  • Paseo Real (where The Royal Palace of Madrid is, very nice area to walk around))
  • Bernabeu Stadium  
  • Puerta de El Cala
  • Plaza Colon
  • Plaza Santa Ana (very nice plaza with restaurants and cafes outdoors)
  • Plaza Mayor (same, plaza with restaurants and cafes outdoor, must go)
  • Templo De Debod
  • Hop on hop off bus will take you to whatever you need to see.
Museums
Reina Sofia – Modern (20th Century) art.
Museo del Prado – Large collection of 12th ro 19th Century Spanish art.
Thyssen – If you like Impressionist paintings this museum is a must. (more or less similar to Prado) 

 

Cheers!

Toomzie