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5 Days in Madrid

Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:08 AM
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5 Days in Madrid

Hey all, I will be in Madrid for five days starting July 16th with my brother. This will be after spending 11 days in France and Germany with my parents. We are both in our 20s and budget travelers. I was hoping to do at least two day trips while I'm there. Here is what I am thinking so far:

Wed July 16th: arrive at 10:30am from Paris - go to Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Retiro Park, relax most of the day

Thur July 17th: Daytrip to Toledo

Fri July 18th: El Prado in the morning, Royal Palace

Sat July 19th: Daytrip to Segovia

Sun: Reina Sophia in the morning

Mon: flight home


Obviously, there are a bunch of little things I can fill in the rest of the days with. I just wanted to address the must-sees for my trip. Does this seem OK or is there anything I should switch around? I'm just trying to get ideas.

Thanks
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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:14 AM
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Where (in what area) are you staying? What in particular interests you both?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:57 AM
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Damturkie,
at the time of the year you are going weekends are busy days in Segovia and Toledo. It is not that bad as far as you avoid the Sunday return.
In your plan you will have plenty of tine for resturants, night terraces and shopping or window shopping.
As far as "must sees", it seems fine if you are interested in paintings and
historic monuments.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 09:13 AM
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Hi, darnturkie -

> El Prado in the morning

Depending on how much you enjoy art museumsrt, the Prado can easily take all day! Also, if you do like art museums, consider visiting the Thyssen-Bornemisza as well.

Enjoy!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 09:29 AM
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El Prado can take days!
Just pick the paintings ( or painters) you are interested in seeing and look for them.
same with Sophia!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Hey thanks for the replies. We will be staying in a hostel very close to Atocha station, so I think we are in a good spot to explore. I know that a visit to El Prado can't be missed, and Picasso is my favorite artist, so Reina Sophia is a must. I've wanted to see Guernica for quite some time now. I figured if I have time and see its not extremely busy, I'd go to Thyssen-Bornemisza, but I wouldn't die if I missed it. I specifically left a lot of time open to account for lingering at the museums. I hope Saturday in Segovia won't be too bad. I thought Toledo is more popular, so do that on Thursday. As far as interests, my brother is big into art, food, and wine. I like art, monuments and archetecture, and culture (I majored in cultural anthropology).
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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 06:00 PM
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I am a little lost, have you been before in Madrid >?
I am saying this because Madrid has a lot to offer and you seem to be getting off Madrid two days out of 5 days.
I would leave Segovia for another trip.
A short trip from Madrid that is worth it is El Escorial. This monastery that offer guided tours is fascinating and a great insight into the times of Philip II and also of his father Charles I. You can get to the little town of El Escorial on your own and then walk to the Monastery.

I would leave aside the ROyal Palace which today is limited to the Baroque rooms . In the old days they showed the apartment of Alfonso XIII and his british wife , I found it fascinating. Check if things have changed and if it possible again to visit it. IF not I would leave the Royal Palace out and concentrate a little o Madrid it self.
Like a day out around the Plaza Mayor going for tapas.
Of course the Prado is fascinating for me it is one of the most wonderful museums in the world.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 07:35 PM
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I know Graziella to be a respected poster here but I have to disagree with the notes regarding the Royal Palace. During a visit in the spring 2008, we found the Royal Palace to be very interesting and would urge you to be sure to include it and take advantage of the audio tour.

You will cover a lot during your visit without getting very deeply into any of it but that is OK. You are very young and will have lots of time to return to explore further those sites that appeal to you. Enjoy Spain.

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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 08:22 PM
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I too enjoy the Palace. I also enjoyed the palace at La Granja and the Alcazar in Segovia.

But I think you can do the Royal Palace on arrival day if you are not too tired (I don't think you will be that lagged) it does not take that long & you are to be in that area anyway. On the day you go to the Prado I would stay & sightsee in the area, do Retiro park and the museums, instead of going from the Prado to the Palace. But do what feels right for you that day and be flexible.

I personally loved the costume museum too. A very low key thing to do but so very interesting if you like fashion but alo since you have an interest in the cultural aspects they do comment on these as well in the exibit.

Take a late lunch, a short rest then and stay up late you are young. Have a great time!

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Old Jun 24th, 2008, 01:41 AM
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Hi GBS, thank you for thinking that some of my posts are useful and ok. What I meant was that if time is short the Royal Palace visit could be set aside for a future trip. Instead I find more interesting El Escorial for instance.
At any rate, may be I am been nostalgic and I regret too much that the apartment of Alfonso XIII and his wife
Victoria Eugenia ( I believe that this is his name...) is now off limits. For me it was like having a window in their lives, it was awesome, instead the baroque saloons and rooms although interesting are more impersonal and similar to many other palaces in Europe.
I must agree that choosing what to do or visit during a short stay in any city is a personal choice and can vary a lot.
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Old Jun 24th, 2008, 06:04 AM
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usually not big on visiting palaces, we found the one in Madrid very interesting ( especially the Armory);
also, the area around the Palace is beautiful.
Madrid is a large city with great night life and lots to do. I agree with leaving Segovia for another time.
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Old Jun 24th, 2008, 06:09 AM
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Darnturkie,

I always assume eveyone here has heard about Maribel's guides. This is probably the single most helpful
guide I have found. She has a very detailed chapter on Madrid.

http://maribelsguides.com/
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Old Jun 24th, 2008, 04:46 PM
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This will be my first time in Madrid. I am fluent in Spanish and have studied Spanish history and culture in depth, so I've wanted to get there for several years. I've just heard both Toledo and Segovia are must-see daytrips, and from what I've been reading, three days is enough to do Madrid. But I might drop Segovia for a future trip. I'm not usually into palaces either but I would like to see the building and the grounds if not tour the inside. And I have read Maribel's guide, which is one reason I really hoped to see Segovia.
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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darnturkie..... Segovia and the areas nearby deserve three days. You will return one day and Segovia will be wonderful. Promise!
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Bonvoyage Maribel!
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 10:24 PM
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Museums on anthropological matters:
* Museo Nacional de Antropología
http://mnantropologia.mcu.es/seleccion.html

* Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas
http://mnartesdecorativas.mcu.es/seleccion.html

* Museo del Traje
http://museodeltraje.mcu.es/

* Museo de América
http://museodeamerica.mcu.es/seleccion.html
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 09:20 AM
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If you really want to see both Toledo and Segovia, do it! Both are delightful.

And I second Revulgo's recommendation for the National Archeological Museum in Madrid.

Enjoy!
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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5-day stay in Madrid, with daytrips into Segovia and Toledo you say?

Here's how we did that:
http://www.onelittleworld.com/madrid_1.html

I hope this helps. But you already did the right thing by reading Maribel's guide!
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 01:50 PM
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Just chiming in with my 2cents--

My wife and I just got back from Madrid (and other parts). We loved Segovia (did it as a day trip) and feel like it was one of the highlights of our vacation. You leave Madrid ~830am, soak in Segovia all day and then come back late afternoon with plenty of time to continue enjoying Madrid in the evening.

As for the Royal Palace-- this can be done very quickly or very slowly depending on how much you wish to get out of it. I personally loved the armory while my wife loved the pharmacie.

have a great trip!
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