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Female senior traveling to Madrid alone Need suggestions and advice

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I am a 81 year young female planning my annual trip to Paris and Nice and am thinking of adding a few days in Madrid. My trip is planned for April and May 2012. I have not been to Madrid for about 40 years so this will basically be like a first trip. Also thinking about adding 2 more days and going to Balbao.
I love to walk about cities, sit in cafes people watching,eat in nice restaurants go to a conceert, go to some museums and parks and try to absorb as much local atmosphere as possible.
I need suggestions as to moderate price hotels about 80 -120 euros a night, and also most important which area should I stay in. I have been traveling alone for many years , first on business and then after my husband died .My main requirement is being in a safe area.
I am a city person, I live part of the year in New York City so I like being in the heart of a big city.
In Paris I always rent an apartment in the Marais. Hopefully this information about myself will be helpful.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions .

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