Barcelona and Madrid Before Christmas

Old Apr 20th, 2024, 12:30 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,299
Likes: 0
Received 21 Likes on 2 Posts
Barcelona and Madrid Before Christmas

If our new dog lets us, Tracy and I would like to spend four nights in Barcelona and four nights in Madrid a couple of weeks before Christmas. Could someone give us a little idea about the festivities during this period. I've seen photos of Casa Batlló all lit up during the holidays, which looked pretty cool. Thanks! (but please don't tell our dog and cat)
maitaitom is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2024, 12:34 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi maitaitom,
I'll post more later on, but read Revulgo´s and my posts on lrice´s thread about the magic of Christmas in Madrid. It has tons of info about the run up to Christmas into NYE in Madrid. Warning! The Christmas season, starting with the illumination of the gazillion lights on Black Friday is magical!

Madrid Apartments Restaurants, Bars, Sites, Activities for Christmas/New Years
Maribel is online now  
Old Apr 21st, 2024, 05:18 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you can, I would head to Barcelona first, then end in Madrid. From Barcelona to Madrid you now have your choice of 4 high-speed trains, the original AVE, the French low cost OUIGO, the Italian IRYO and Renfe's low cost AVLO.

In Madrid the days leading up to Christmas are filled with excitement for me.
The elaborate Christmas light displays will be illuminated in 2024, I think, on Nov. 29. This usually coincides with Black Friday, but BF comes 5 days later this year, so I'll wait for Revulgo, my "eyes and ears of Madrid" to let us know for sure.
The Naviluz bus will be running, starting that Friday to take passengers around to see the light displays, including the giant illuminated Menina and Christmas trees and that's always fun. Revulgo will also tell us when these tickets go on sale, as they sell like hot cakes.

There will be full size, intricate Nativity Scenes (belenes) displayed all over the city, including in the Palacio de Cibeles, the Casa de Correos at the Puerta del Sol and at the Royal Palace.

Since you haven't been to the Royal Palace since the opening of the Royal Collection Gallery, you'll want to put this on your itinerary. This vast and priceless collection has become my favorite museum, and it's also an architectural marvel.
Another museum that I love that always has a special exhibit upstairs---the Museo Sorolla, the house-atelier of Post Impressionist Joaquín Sorolla, which is a gem, and a visit here is a lovely retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Other special exhibits for your stay, already announced: The Prado will display the "The Workshop of Rubens" and at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, "Gabriele Münter, The Great Expressionist Woman Painter" will be running.
Dec. exhibits haven't been announced yet for the Caixa Forum, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía or the Fundación Mapfre Sala Recoletos.

On Dec. 7, 8 and 15 there will be a Christmas concert at noon at the Teatro Real, and there will probably be other special concerts as well, but I don´t know when or where yet. Revulgo will keep us posted, I'm sure.

The giant Christmas globe will be displayed in the renovated Plaza de España and there will be a chocolate &. churros stand by the Chocolatería San Ginés next to the ice rink, and lines will be long both there and at the mothership!

Starting on Dec. 1 on the Paseo de Recoletos you will have the arts and crafts outdoor market, with artisans from all over the country displaying their wares: paintings, prints, ceramics, scarves, jewelry, et.

There will be an outdoor food court and Christmas market with lots of famous name food trucks in front of the El Corte Inglés on the Castellana at Nuevos Ministerior including David Muñoz's Pollo Muñoz food truck (where I stood in line for 1 hr 40 min!! last year to have a ¨Chicken Waffle burger¨ from the "best chef in the world". But there are other food trucks there and Christmas gift stands that don´t require a long wait, if you get there early when the outdoor market opens.

But speaking of other Christmas foodie things: there will be lovely displays of pricey and elaborate Christmas gift baskets in the gourmet delis, Christmas sweets such as turrón at the venerable Casa Mira on the Carrera de San Jerónimo, Troncos de Navidad, Panettone and Roscones de Reyes in all the pastry shops, including La Mallorquina at the Puerta del Sol and arguably Madrid´s most beautiful, jewel box pastry shop, La Duquesita on Fernando VI

And two Christmas "musts" for us: having a slice of Roscón de Reyes (with or without whipped cream, nata) in the back tea room of El Riojano on Calle Mayor
and...
having a cup of sherry-laced consomé and cocido croquettes downstairs at the super elegant gourmet deli of Restaurante Llhardy, also on Carrera de San Jerónimo.

Just a few ideas...


Maribel is online now  
Old Apr 21st, 2024, 11:05 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What about Opera?: Maria Stuarda.
https://www.teatroreal.es/en/show/maria-stuarda
Revulgo is online now  
Old Apr 21st, 2024, 11:11 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, Revulgo, I knew you would mention that! Thanks! You are indeed my "eyes and ears".
Didn't know if maitaitom is an opera fan, but I am.

To add for maitaitom,
Since I know you like rooftop terraces (as in your Lisbon hotel), in Madrid you have so many to choose from….on the Gran Vía alone there are now as of this month a grand total of 27.

My current favorite rooftop terrace is the top of the Club Financiero de Génova, at Plaza Colón, a private club now open to the public on weekends. From there you have glorious views, great cocktails and even dishes created by the prestigious La Ancha group. A friend of ours is the maitre there.

On top of the Palacio de Cibeles (the City Hall building), 6th floor, you have the new Azotea Cibeles for (pricey) cocktails, also with great views of the city lights and Cibeles fountain.
But.. your chosen hotel may have a great roof top terrace with heaters or a hotel nearby.

And if you want to pick up some ornaments for your home tree, El Corte Inglés on Serrano builds at holiday time a little Santa Christmas house outside, just chock-a-block with holiday décor of all types. It’s where we’ll purchase our (fake) tree.

I love the lively, electric atmosphere of Madrid during the holidays. It's my very favorite time to be here.

Last edited by Maribel; Apr 21st, 2024 at 11:32 AM.
Maribel is online now  
Old Apr 21st, 2024, 05:23 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,299
Likes: 0
Received 21 Likes on 2 Posts
"Didn't know if maitaitom is an opera fan, but I am."

Revulgo, I loved Tommy, but that might be the wrong type of opera, but should we make to Seville, I will definitely stop by a barber Thanks for the suggestion. We got season tickets to the opera in L.A. one year, and I guess we are not opera aficionados. I have started reading the lrice post, and I'm going through all of your and Maribel's comments. Thanks so much.

maribel, We will fly into Barcelona because it is non-stop from LAX. Thanks for all the tips, and the link to the report with all your suggestions there. I haven't even finalized the September Belgium/France trip yet. Guess my ADHD is kicking in. My late sister once said if I'd been born ten years later they probably would have prescribed Ritalin.

Last edited by maitaitom; Apr 21st, 2024 at 05:28 PM.
maitaitom is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 09:23 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm assuming you'll fly on the non-top LEVEL flight to BCN? Will it be just you and Tracey or the dynamic quartet, your usual partners in crime?
Maribel is online now  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 10:11 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,299
Likes: 0
Received 21 Likes on 2 Posts
'Will it be just you and Tracey or the dynamic quartet, your usual partners in crime?'

Still to be determined about Kim and Mary. As long as Tracy remains married to me, she's in for sure.
maitaitom is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 10:30 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Maribel is online now  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 04:30 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,299
Likes: 0
Received 21 Likes on 2 Posts
Maribel and Revulgo, I have booked a suite at the Room Mate Alba on Calle Huertas. If K&M join us on the trip, we'll have them over for cocktails. Very affordable. Thanks.
maitaitom is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 08:49 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Room Mate Alba in the Las Letras neighborhood. Map:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/vi...vQ77iSvY&hl=en
Revulgo is online now  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 01:34 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I really like the RoomMate Alba. You can do major damage in beautiful Spanish handicrafts at La Real Fábrica Española at Cervantes 9, but don´t. tell T & M.

And we like Salmón Guru (no rezzies), Viva Madrid (gorgeous interiors), LOVO and Mauz Madriz on Echegaray, the "golden mile" of cocktail bars in the Barrio de las Letras. Have yet to try Santos y Desamparados.
Maribel is online now  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 06:06 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,299
Likes: 0
Received 21 Likes on 2 Posts
Revulgo, that map is awesome. Thanks so much!!

Maribel, You had me at "the golden mile of cocktail bars" and Tracy at "La Real Fábrica Española."

Thank you both for all your help (I might have a few more questions along the way).
maitaitom is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 07:57 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's Revulgo's map totally and completely awesome! Someday I'm going to learn how to do those nifty maps for other cities (or not... )

Questions? We're here to answer them!
Maribel is online now  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 08:40 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Love this place; it's a 3-minute walk from the Room Mate Alba.
https://vivamadrid1856.com

Maribel is online now  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 02:31 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,299
Likes: 0
Received 21 Likes on 2 Posts
"Love this place; it's a 3-minute walk from the Room Mate Alba."

Definitely our type of place. Thanks.
maitaitom is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2024, 08:16 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,299
Likes: 0
Received 21 Likes on 2 Posts
In Barcelona, we reserved Casa Fuster Has anyone stayed there? Looks kind of cool.
maitaitom is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2024, 08:06 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is super cool! I hope you got a good rate (rates here usually run high). We've seen the rooms (yes, I do a lot of hotel room touring!), we've had drinks on their rooftop terrace (also cool) and have listened to Thursday evening jazz in the downstairs Café Vienés, where Woody Allen played when filming Vicky Cristina Barcelona (also cool).
https://www.hotelcasafuster.com/en/jazz-club/

The only issue is that it´s at the top of the Eixample, which means you´ll have a longer walk for some of your touring, but you´ll just get in more exercise. And the northern part of the Eixample is less hectic than the bottom portion near the Plaça de Catalunya, which can be busy, busy, busy.
Maribel is online now  
Old May 1st, 2024, 11:44 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2024
Posts: 13
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you'll be there a few weeks before Christmas, the Christmas lights should already be on, and the Christmas markets should be open as well.
Beware of the "superpuente" in early December: two bank holidays one two days apart from the other: December 6 is constitution day, and December 8 is the day of the Asuncion de Maria. While many shops might be open, they are still weird days when not everything is open as usual.
morganphoenix0071 is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2024, 02:33 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,964
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
maitaitom,
I´ve checked the museum-monument opening hours.
All the Moderniste monuments in Barcelona will be open as well as the Picasso Museum, Museu Frederic Marès, Joan Miró Foundation and the National Museum of Catalan Art on those two bank holidays, Friday, Dec 6 and Sunday, Dec. 8, (although hours may be truncated), if you plan on being there on those dates.

Also you might check the performance schedule at the magnificent Domènech i Muntaner-designed Palau de la Música during your dates. Concerts there are always a treat for me, whether it be a Gran Gala Flamenco, a string quartet, a classical guitar trio or a famous singer.

The wonderful Basque choir, 125 years old, the Orfeón Donostiarra will be performing Carmina Burana on Dec. 4 at 8 pm. They are one of the most acclaimed choral groups in the world.
Maribel is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -