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Why am I being so negative about going to Madrid?

Why am I being so negative about going to Madrid?

Old May 5th, 2011, 03:53 PM
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Why am I being so negative about going to Madrid?

Hi everybody,

I know this might come off as an absurd question, but I have my hotel booked and my plane ticket bought to go to Madrid at the beginning of July and, for some reason, I just hate the idea of going there.

I bought them in January and all I've done ever since then is regret it. You might be wondering why I bought plane tickets to go there in the first place? Well, at that time, in January, I thought it a good idea, but as time passed, and having been to Barcelona and having thought it was just "OK", I have changed my mind. I didn't do any planning or research in advance, so I am the only one to blame for this decision.

I think it's the whole deal about Madrid being hot as Hell what's making feel this way. I mean, whenever I tell somebody about it, their first comment is "Why are going in July? It's going to be Hell." So, of course, all I am thinking is "I'm going to spend all that money and people say I won't be able to enjoy it because of the heat". A friend of mine told me she'd gone there once and thought madrileños were the rudest people ever. Another friend told me she thought it was overrrated. So, I don't know. The city looks nice in my guidebook, but why most people seem to hate it?

Have you ever been to a place you thought you might not like and then realize it was better than you expected?

If I canceled the trip, I'd lose all the money I spent on it, so that's why I'm going, but I've never been so "unexcited" about traveling to a place.

Thanks for your time,

OrlandoFato is offline  
Old May 5th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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Why can't you pay the penalty and change your plane ticket and cancel the hotel.

Why did you decide to go to Madrid in July if you don't like hot weather?
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Old May 5th, 2011, 04:08 PM
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I don't like Madrid either. Why don't you take a quick plane, bus, or train ride north to San Sebastian? Great food, great people, nice beaches, and since it's north better weather. This far in advance, maybe you can cancel your hotel? Madrid is worth a day or two for me, but some people really love it.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 04:20 PM
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I have been to Madrid several times in July and even August. I'm one of those that loves Madrid even when it's hot! Sometimes I have been lucky and temps have been milder, in the 80s, other times it has been REALLY hot, like this past summer.
I'm not going to try and convince you to go. If you are really bothered to travel in hot weather, then the odds would be against you. I agree with the PP, maybe you should cut your loses and cancel the trip and go to a place that excites you more.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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--OK,it will be hot,really hot; but more that in the city where you live?
--You can drink cold beer.
--Museums are air conditioned and second to no other in the world(if not considering the Ermitage,the Louvre,the Met and the D'orsay).
--Excellent day trips to Avila,Segovia and Toledo(warning,Toledo is hotter than Madrid).
--Good shopping at corte Ingles,Zara and many others.
--Really good food.
--People is really nice; may be language can be a barrier,but they are not rude at all!!!
Take you decission and enjoy Madrid or any other place!!!
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Old May 5th, 2011, 04:27 PM
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Now reading dilemmalyn's suggestion, I think that's a great one. Northern Spain is beautiful in July. There are many nice places to visit(my favorite area is Galicia, especially Santiago de Compostela). How many days were you planning to be in Spain?
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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Have you paid a nonrefundable fee for the whole of your hotel stay already?

My first thought -- although I loved Madrid when I went there -- was that you should use Madrid as a jumping-off point for somewhere else in Spain.

And then diliemmalyn beat me to it.

You might consider writing off the amount you've spent on the hotel, and find somewhere less expensive to stay in a part of Spain you might just love.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:31 PM
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If you hate hot weather, then you may be better off cutting your losses. However, please don't let other people's negativity
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:37 PM
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Forgive me, but you're from Orlando and complaining about it being hot in Madrid? At least there's no humidity to deal with, and the food and wine are far better.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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Don't know what happened--posted before I finished typing. Anyway, what I wanted to say is please don't let other people's negativity affect you. I have had naysayers pooh-pooh almost every trip I have taken--Cairo is too hot and poverty stricken, Morocco is full of thieves, South America is crime ridden, Parisians don't like Americans, etc. etc.

I ignore them and go wherever I want. Have never had a trip that I regret. Sometimes people make negative comments because of their own jealousy, so i wouldn't give much credence to their input or let it affect your decision.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:54 PM
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Don't be put off. Madrid is magnificent. I too thought Barcelona was just OK. Mind you I was only there one day so I didn't do it justice. However comparing the 2 cities is like comparing an apple and an orange. The strategy for dealing with the heat is simple. Avoid the middle of the day. Do your sightseeing etc. in the morning. The evening will be cooler and this is when Madrid really comes alive. Truly a vibrant night life. Don't be put off by the madrileños demeanour. I too thought at first they were curt and indifferent. However that is not the case. It is just their manner whether they're dealing with locals or foreigners. Don't read too much into it. Stick to your plan - Madrid will be a city you'll never forget and one the knockers will unfortunately for them never experience.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 07:08 PM
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I've been there once, in March, for a couple days, and wouldn't go back. Bare flavors. Few delights. The San Sebastian recommendation was a good one!

Our neighbor in Hamburg went there as a teen as part of a group trip and slept directly on the tile floor every night in order to try make it through the night with the heat. If you have a hotel with A/C then you could at least hang there. Sober, monotonous city. Few charms. Daytrips sound like an option.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 08:28 PM
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I enjoyed Madrid quite a bit. I went for work and had never thought much about Madrid at all. I did plan a few extra days so that I could do some sightseeing since I would be there. I had a great time and am looking forward to returning.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 08:29 PM
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I went to Madrid thinking I probably wasn't going to like it much and once there, absolutely hated it - not because of my preconceived misgivings, either. I just hated everything about it except the Prado. Have never gone back, though I've been elsewhere in Spain and had an OK time. It's not my favorite country by a long shot. But Madrid was especially unpleasant.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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I visited Madrid 3 times ( once in August - it was hot but not humid)
I rather like it, Spain IS my favorite country.
It is a big place , and like other cities that size, it has some beautiful areas and some rather gritty parts.
The museums are great, there are several possible day trips to interesting old towns, the food is very good and the nightlife is outstanding.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:30 PM
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You asked, "Why do most people seem to hate [Madrid]?" They don't. Some people like it, some don't, which is true for pretty much every city on the planet. You won't know how you feel about it until you actually experience it. Attitude has a lot to do with how much you will enjoy your trip,though. If you go to Madrid thinking you will hate it, then you probably will. If you go there with an open mind and the spirit of adventure, you may be pleasantly surprised.

I spent a week in Madrid, enjoyed it, but it wasn't my favorite Spanish city. That would be Seville, which is only about 2-1/2 hours from Madrid by train. Malaga and Salamanca are also about 2-1/2 hours by train or express bus, and Toledo is only about an hour away by bus. So you could venture out from Madrid if you really don't like it.(I realize this doesn't address the temperature issue).

If you are not able to cancel your hotels or change your flights (did you buy some sort of nonrefundable air/hotel package??), then it might be worth it to take a couple of quick overnighters and stay at a budget hotel, or even take a long day trip to one or more of the cities mentioned above. I know some people don't like long day trips, but I've done them plenty of times--take the first train or bus in the morning and a night train back. It might work for you, too.

Whatever you decide, I wish you well, and I hope you enjoy your trip to Spain.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 02:10 AM
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I don't know where you get most people hate Madrid. We just had some Brazilian very well traveled friends here, and they LOVED Madrid, and much preferred it over BCN. Each person is impressed by different aspects of urban life.

Study up.. read Maribel's guides.. try out new restaurants. Take a day trip to Toledo, and another to Segovia.. go to one of the flamenco shows. Get in the mood. Madrid is beautiful.

I can tell you that Madrid as many beautiful corners to discover, and that with some research you should be able to plan a very nice vacation in spite of the many negative remarks you have unfortunately heard.

It may be hot.. it may be boiling or we may get a cold front.

Palacio de Linares.. nice palatial hone saved from the demolition ball across from the new remodeled city hall at cibeles. A gem.

Museo del Traje. Beautiful modern building near the University with a display of clothing. Great café/restaurant adjoining it with lovely terrace. A calm oasis next to bustling metro area Los Ministerios.

Take some tours or a cooking class. Let someone else take you around and show you the highlights.

Try to get into el Convento de las descalazas. It is well worth the effort and getting there early.

Google "open in monday on monday" Or madrid on Monday" to get a list of interesting museums and places to visit that day when most other museums are closed..
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Old May 6th, 2011, 02:29 AM
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I prefer Madrid to Barcelona - for a start it's less pretentious and the people are far friendlier. It doesn't feel as over-run with tourists either and it's blessedly free of British stag parties over the weekends.

Visit the wonderful art museums. Do some shopping. Wander around the old town. Do some tapas bar hopping around Plaza Santa Ana. Sleep when the locals do - between noon and 3.30 and then wake up refreshed and ready to stay up late.

Finally, when you don't have huge expectations of a place, it can really surprise you. It's the places that I was really looking forward to seeing that have let me down more frequently.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:47 AM
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"...Sleep when the locals do - between noon and 3.30 and then wake up refreshed and ready to stay up late. .."

I don't know anyone who can sleep from noon til 3.30. Where did you encounter this?
Small shops close around 1.30 or 2 to go home and have lunch or grab something nearby. Then AFTER lunch, depending on their schedule and place of work, one might fall asleep in front of the TV for a few minutes before going back to session number two of the work grind.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 06:17 AM
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I've previously posted these suggestions for wonderful Madrid:

Have breakfast or lunch at Café del Círculo de Bellas Artes in down town Calle Alcalá, 42. One of the city's most emblematic cafés. Grab a window table and watch Madrid life on bustling Calle Alcalá. Take the lift up to the roof topp terrace (the azotea) for the most spectacular views of the city. http://www.esmadrid.com/en/cargarApl...ntificador=179

Watch the sunset over the Guadarrama mountains from the terrace at El Ventorrillo in the Vistillas park. Great pollo al ajillo, some say the best in town. Map, video and some pictures: http://11870.com/pro/restaurante-ventorrillo

Have lunch or some tapas at Casa Granada, on the 6th floor of an apartment building just off Plaza Tirso de Molina. Hard to find and a great terrace. http://www.tripfilms.com/Travel_Vide...ada-Video.html

Café Central, just off bustling Plaza Santa Ana, is a fabulous jazz venue with live performances from the best artists every night at 10. Entrance 11€. Good food also. Populart, a little further down the street, is also a great place.

Experience world class flamenco at one of the best tablaos. Madrid is arguably the flamenco capital of the world. Although the art form comes from the South (Andalucía), everybody has to conquer Madrid to get to the top. On their way there, or as an opportunity to try out new things and get an up close audience, many of them work the top tablaos. I recommend Casa Patas and Cardamomo, both close to Plaza Santa Ana.

About Plaza Santa Ana/cafés, nightlife etc: http://www.gomadrid.com/sights/plaza-santa-ana.html

Medina Mayrit, an Arab bath-house just off Plaza Mayor in Calle Atotcha, 14. (Mayrit is the old Arab name (from the 9th century) of Madrid, meaning running water and referring to the water sources beneath the city). http://www.medinamayrit.com/

A stroll in the beautiful Retiro Park. http://www.aviewoncities.com/madrid/parquedelretiro.htm

Asturian Casa Mingo for the best grilled chicken and cider: http://www.casamingo.es/
Watch the video, and you're sold:

Txirimiri in Calle del Humilladero, 6 gives you an idea of why the Basque kitchen is considered among the best in the world. In the midst of one of the best tapas/restaurant districts in town, in and around Calle Cava Baja in La Latina.

I never leave Madrid without having had the squid in its own ink and the famous cod at Casa Revuelta, also in the same district.

You should also try the excellent salmorejo, a somewhat thicker variant of the tomato/vegetable soup gazpacho, in Según Emma just behind the newly reopened gourmet-oriented San Miguel food market. http://11870.com/pro/segun-emma

First class dining at El Mentidero de la Villa:

The Reina Sofia contemporary art museum. The second floor with Picasso, Dalí, lots of other painitings, posters, films, photos etc., dealing with a couple of the greatest civilizational breakdowns of the 20th century, the Spanish Civil War and WWII, completely blew my mind off a couple of years ago.
(And of course Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums)

The Chueca and Malasaña area, north of Gran Vía, is Madrid's most lively shopping district that "combine both originality and the avant-garde. Specifically, the section made up of little streets perpendicular to Fuencarral and Hortaleza streets is a shoppers’ paradise".

This site is great about Madrid. http://www.esmadrid.com/en/portal.do

... and I would now add traditional Taberna de Antonio Sanchez just off nice Plaza Tirso de Molina. Great atmosphere, friendly staff, wonderful house wine on barrel and honest food. http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/gui...nt-detail.html

I also recommend to sit down at one of the terraces at Plaza Tirso de Molina. Very central but not by far as touristy as Plaza Mayor and Plaza Santa Ana. I like Taberna Tirso de Molina. http://www.spottedbylocals.com/madri...rso-de-molina/

And perhaps go swimming in Instalacion Deportiva Municipal Casa de Campo? From out here Franco's troops bombarded central Madrid during the hell winter of 1936/37. http://www.world66.com/europe/spain/...alacion_deport
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