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3 days in Madrid-any "don't miss" suggestions?

3 days in Madrid-any "don't miss" suggestions?

Sep 2nd, 1999, 08:16 AM
  #1  
Tom
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3 days in Madrid-any "don't miss" suggestions?

Any suggestions for "don't miss" in Madrid. We're leaving September 10th - will spend 3 days there without a car.
Thanks. Tom
 
Sep 2nd, 1999, 08:53 AM
  #2  
valiant
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live the night in madrid! the whole zone around puerta del sol and plaza santana. if you like art: museum thyssen
 
Sep 2nd, 1999, 09:20 AM
  #3  
camille
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My husband and I spent three days in Madrid last January and had a wonderful time. During the day, I recommend the three art museums (Prado, Sofia Real, and Thyssen), the Palacio Real, and the Las Ventas bullring. Get a good map and just walk -- especially in the historic center. As the previous poster suggested, Madrid really comes alive at night. Visit the tapas bars around Plaza Santa Ana and try to see an authentic flamenco show.

Beware of pickpockets in the tourist areas. Naive and numbed by jet lag, we were "picked" by three lovely senoritas selling flowers in the Plaza Mayor. As a result, we are much more careful now. Just exercise some caution (as you should in any large city) and have fun!
 
Sep 2nd, 1999, 10:03 AM
  #4  
Maria
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Tom,

Ditto on the museums, especially the Prado for the Spanish collection, and the Royal Palace (which makes Versailles look like somebody's cabin) also:

The Parque del Retiro (Retiro Park which is very near the Prado) for strolling and people watching,

Lots of atmosphere and tapas and people watching in the Plaza Mayor which is fabulous and close to Puerta del Sol

The Ermita de San Antonio de La Florida is a very small, beautiful church whose interior is covered with Goya frescoes and also has the tomb of Goya. Next door is the wonderful restaurant of Casa Mingo with incredible grilled chicken, (the only thing on the menu), and Asurian cider called sidra.

The Royal Tapestry Factory (Real Fabrica de Tapices) is a small, intimate working tapestry factory operating for hundreds of years that gives you a real appreciation for how intricate and amazing all the tapestries you see in all the palaces are,

The Monasterio de las Descalzadas as well as La Capilla del Obispo and el Monasterio Museo de la Encarnacion are beautiful, religious buildings (La Encarnacion has a relics room that absolutely left my non-Roman Catholic born and raised husband with his jaw dropped!!). Note Madrid is, in relative terms, not that old of a city and suffered much religious destruction during the Civil War so its remaining structures are not nearly as old or impressive as almost any other part of Spain but the three I mentioned are quite amazing.

Good Luck!!! Maria
 
Sep 3rd, 1999, 01:08 PM
  #5  
carole
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I'll just add a couple of out of the way favorites. I love the Museo de Sorolla, the former home of Spain's premier impressionist that is now a museum of his works. It's lovely. (but not open in the afternoons, I think, but then morning hours are something like 10-2 or 3). Favorite out of the way plaza for sitting and having a tortilla espanola (Spanish potato and onion omelette, which is one of the world's great simple pleasures) and some wine -- Plaza de Olavide. When I lived in Madrid in 1996, the plaza was completely reconstructed to divert all car traffic and it's a wonderful neighborhood gathering spot. Not touristy at all. Also, I second Maria's recommendations for Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida. There's a great simple restaurant very close by, which serves great roast chicken and Asturian cider (alcoholic), named Casa de Mingo.
 
Sep 4th, 1999, 07:40 AM
  #6  
Caryn
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I did not get as much time in Madrid as I would've liked but I highly recommend El Palacio Real. What a beautiful palace! I enjoyed it much more than Versailles (but the gardens at Versailles beat many others) or any other palace I've been to. This palacio doesn't really have gardens. Anyway, they do give an outstanding English tour for a nominal extra fee and it is well worth it. We got there pretty early by Spanish standards (it was summer) and got the 1st tour. It was not particularly crowded but the next one was!

Puerta del Sol was a really fun place. Lots of great shopping, people watching, ice cream (which I found to be excellent in Spain). If you find that you need anything, just drop into El Corte Ingles. This is a chain department store in Spain but really quite impressive. They literally sell EVERYTHING at reasonable prices. It's like a cross between Macy's, Sports Authority, Wal Mart, Barnes & Noble, Tower Records, Shop Rite & much more. They sell art supplies, cameras, film, gifts, everything! They have a terrific supermarket in the basement with lots of wine, liquor, etc. Some people may wonder why I recommend a department store, but I really enjoyed it. In fact, my boyfriend and I came to depend on El Corte Ingles and looked for it as a familiar friend in every Spanish city. We brought home quite a few gifts from this store including a ton of olive oil.
 
Sep 5th, 1999, 06:02 PM
  #7  
steve
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Spent 3 days there years ago. Spent one day in Toledo - took the early morning 3rd class train. Walked al the way thru town, enjoyed the el Greco house and the atmosphere. Spent another day at Segovia, an easy train ride - say castle, cathedral, aqueduct. Ate flan. Had a friend go to Madrid last year - three people on his tour were mugged - be careful
 

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