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How many days to stay in Madrid? (1st time travel to there..)

How many days to stay in Madrid? (1st time travel to there..)

Old Feb 11th, 2015, 09:23 AM
  #21  
 
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You will find posters who don't like Rome ,Paris, Venice, Barcelona... etc

Many don't know the city in question well, for some the weather not" right", others stay for two days in the
" wrong " area and leave with those impressions. Some visited 30 years ago and think
nothing has changed....

I have visited five times ( a couple of times alone), never experienced any problems with security.
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 04:38 PM
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"I think I'll only book two tours ahead of time - one to Toledo for the day, and one to Segovia" --

No need to take tours, unless you want to. You can easily visit these places on your own.
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 08:45 PM
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Sorry BumbleB6, I just noticed that it's right there on the title of your post, LOL!!

And I want to agree with kja above. No need for tours for Segovia or Toledo, maybe copy pages of a guide book or consult maribelsgides.com. I recommend to both cities you go by fast train.
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 08:46 PM
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sorry, that's maribelsguides.com
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 09:01 PM
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Oh, PLEASE consult and take at least ONE good guide book! Based on my experiences in the area, I strongly recommend the Rough Guide. If you flip through the pages of ANY decent guidebook, you might learn things you never even considered asking!
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 10:09 PM
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Joannyc - where is this "Buying convent sweets is a great thing to do and makes for a very cool story when you get home. " Thank you,
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Old Feb 12th, 2015, 01:59 AM
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Barrio de la Letras is excellent: http://www.barrioletras.com/

Here you find the best tablao in Spain in recent years, Casa Patas: http://www.casapatas.com/

Fabulous Paloma Fantova often dances at close by Cardamomo: http://cardamomo.es/

Cafe Central is the best jazz venue in Madrid. Live concerts from 10pm, only top musicians, shifting every week: http://www.cafecentralmadrid.com/

Close by Populart is also a great jazz place: http://www.populart.es/

I recommend a traditional meal at Casa Alberto from 1827: http://www.casaalberto.es/
Still very popular with the madrileños: http://11870.com/pro/casa-alberto
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Old Feb 12th, 2015, 02:04 AM
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Once again, great info, kimhe! Our trip is less than 3 months away and this info is so helpful!
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Old Feb 12th, 2015, 02:33 AM
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progol,
Have some tapas where also the locals go to. Click on the markers.
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?m...4.kigdje759WYI
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Old Feb 12th, 2015, 05:47 AM
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donnae_b, there are a number of convents that sell sweets.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...ts.Dulces.html

This is the one that I went to in Madrid:

http://www.gomadrid.com/shopping/Con...us-Cristi.html
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Old Feb 12th, 2015, 09:04 PM
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Kimhe,

Anything in particular you recommend at Casa Alberto?
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Old Feb 13th, 2015, 10:21 AM
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BB6--

We spent four days in Madrid and took two day trips. We had already been to Toledo, however. The other place you might consider for a day trip is Avila, which we liked a lot. We had two full days in Madrid (aside from the two day trips) and felt like it was enough. I like your idea of leaving a day open to plan later--if you really like Madrid, you can stay there; if not, take a third day trip.

My general rule of thumb is that, for an initial visit, three full days in any city is enough. That will give you a flavor for the place and the ability to see the highlights. Then you can go back if you really liked it and spend a good bit of time there.

FWIW, I didn't like Madrid as much as some places we've been. We're thinking of going to Spain again this year, and will probably spend only spend a day or two in Madrid--to see the Naval Museum which I've heard is interesting, and to go back to the Prado.
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Old Feb 14th, 2015, 02:25 AM
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cruiseluv,

At Casa Alberto:
Fabulous and expensive Jamon Iberico, worth every penny.

They do excelent Carrilleras de Ternera (beef cheeks) here, and my experience is that you can't go much wrong here with all the classical dishes. Huge portions, so be careful with the starters. The only thing I've had here that wasn't especially interesting was a shrimp and mushroom revuelto which now sems to be off the menu. And a nice bar area where you also can have some tapas or raciones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o5-E-UmrlM
Bar menu: http://www.casaalberto.es/en/gastronomy/bar-menu.html
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Old Feb 14th, 2015, 06:36 AM
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Gracias Kimhe, for sure I'll stop there next week!
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Old Feb 16th, 2015, 11:48 PM
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Bookmarking. Thanks for some great info!
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Old Feb 17th, 2015, 03:03 AM
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BumbleB6,

A few vegan or vegetarian tips:
Vegan restaurant in Barrio de las Letras. Rayén Vegano on Calle Lope de Vega 7.
https://rayenvegan.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/platos-2/

Tapas bar near the Gran Vía. B13 Bar on Calle Ballesta 13.
http://www.b13bar.com/p/english.html

Yerbabuena on Calle Bordadores 3, near the Plaza Mayor.
http://www.yerbabuena.ws/
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Old Feb 17th, 2015, 03:53 AM
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BumbleB6,

You wrote:

"
And I have to ask - why do people hate Madrid?"

What you hear most often is that Madrid is too much of a modern city with too much 20th architecture for some people's travel expectations of "Europe." A very large number of people who post here are Americans pay the money to travel to Europe so that they can "wander" and "soak up the atmosphere" of a pre-17th world. Many especially love places like Venice or Toledo where there are no cars, and they find a place that has modern office buildings to be too much like New York or Chicago and they are disappointed. Madrid also has the special problem that so much of the cityscape was distorted under Franco's dictatorship, and much of the work is regrettable.

Also, a great many people who travel either start out or end up disliking touring art museums, and since all the guidebooks put the museums at the top of the list of things to do in Madrid, many visitors who follow guidebooks never get around to doing anything else in the few days they are in Madrid. They stick to the central museum quarter and never see how fascinating Madrid is beyond that.

Finally, Barcelona and San Sebastian are touted by self-proclaimed "foodies" as having the best food in Spain, but restaurants and bars in Madrid are outstanding (much better than Barcelona, I think) but few people even bother to look (and some "foodies" don't even go). Put that together with the fact that many American tourists eat at 6pm and go to bed at 9pm -- which is when Madrid is just beginning its evening -- they never get around to seeing the nightlife of Madrid, which arguably is the best in Europe in almost all categories.

But -- somebody who hates Madrid might come up with another reason! I happen to like Madrid quite a lot, so I'm just doing my best at reporting what I've read other people post.
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Old Feb 17th, 2015, 09:15 AM
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I'm definitely not an expert (planning my first trip to Spain this year), but since you are scoping out potential places for your daughter to go to school, I believe there is a university in Salamanca. It might make a long day trip, but it could be worth checking out. I've read that it's a great city to visit.
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Old Feb 17th, 2015, 12:55 PM
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Salamanca is stunning, IMO, but trying to visit it as a day-trip from Madrid would make for a LONG day.
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Old Feb 17th, 2015, 02:33 PM
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The university in Salamanca is the oldest university in Spain and the fourth oldest in continuous operation in Europe.

And, as kja says, Salamanca is stunning!!! And well worth a few nights at least.
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