Madrid and Prado: an absolutely essential combination. On the other hand, it is the most important museum in Spain, as well as one of the most important art galleries in the world. In particular as regards painting until the nineteenth century. Suffice it to say that within its halls are exhibited works by major Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, German, and Italian artists. A must to start your Madrid weekend.
The advice is to arrive at opening hours, early morning. In this case, being your first day, even in the early afternoon, it would not be a catastrophe! Take the metro and get off at Atocha stop. The metro station is part of the Estación de Madrid Atocha, a grandiose and splendid railway station. Many will also remember it for the sad terrorist attack by 2014. Outside, the Monument to las víctimas del 11m, Honor victims 192 victims who lost their lives. A walk of about 10 minutes on Paseo del Prado will take you to the Prado Museum. Before arriving at the building, on the right, you will pass by the Real Botanical Garden; if you have time available, visit it.
The museum is housed in two buildings. To the original one of Villanueva, the Jeronimos building was incorporated; this name is dedicated to the adjacent Cloister of the Church of San Jeronimo en Real. You pass the statue of Velázquez, the work of the sculptor Aniceto Marinas, in front of the homonymous gate. At the end of the building is the Puerta de Goya with which you enter the Museum (here are the ticket offices).
It is a museum of incredible charm and well managed. Inside nothing is missing: free wardrobe; library; library; shop; restaurant; Cafe. And, again: elevators; escalators; toilettes.
Real masterpieces are kept inside. Of Francisco Goya, there are more than 100 paintings distributed on the various floors of the building; every phase of Goya's artistic life is masterfully represented. The offer is also exceptional Velázquez. Among his masterpieces here guarded, stands out Las Meninas, considered one of the most important paintings in all of Spain! And again ... you will find exhibited masterpieces and works of Sandro Botticelli, Caravaggio, Correggio, Andrea Mantegna, Parmigianino, Raphael, Giambattista Tiepolo, Titian; El Greco, Rogier van der Weyden, Hieronymus Bosch, Rembrandt, Pieter Paul Rubens, Antoon van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens and many others.
The various temporary exhibitions that are set up during the year are also of great value and certain interest. Also, inside, visit the Church of San Jeronimo en Real.
The Museum is open every day according to the following schedule: from Monday to Saturday, from 10: 00 to 20: 00; Sundays and holidays, from 10: 00 to 19: 00. The 06 / 01, 24 / 12 and 26 / 12, from the 10: 00 to the 14: 00. Closed the 01 / 01, 01 / 05 and 25 / 12. Entry is allowed within 30 minutes from the closing time; visitors must leave the 10 galleries minutes before closing time.
The admission ticket costs 16,00 €; reduced, 8,00 €. Ticket plus audio guide: 25,00 €. We recommend that you purchase the ticket online in advance to avoid the line at the ticket office. Through this link, you can buy SALTALAFILA tickets at a special price.
Surely you will be tired. At least mentally. Stop in the area: there is plenty of choice, especially if you just want to relax a bit. Bars, cafes, restaurants or fast-food restaurants to refresh you according to your needs before continuing. Maybe, a tapas bar and an aperitif are what you need.
Madrid is a city full of squares and ... fountains. If you still have some gas, continue along the Paseo to admire some really beautiful ones. In the evening, then, all illuminated are really suggestive. Fuente de Nettuno, Apollo e Cibeles. We refer the description to the second day.
Try, however, not to miss a visit Gran Via, Madrid's beating heart. Hotels, cinemas, banks, bars, and lots of traffic! Start from Calle de Alcalá and ends in Plaza of Spain. The part that starts from Plaza de Callao to Plaza of Spain it is known as the "Madrid Broadway"; between saint Louis e Callao there are the shops of international fashion chains. We recommend, s this point, to reach the metro and return to the hotel. A shower, and a little relaxation before your evening. Madrid, you know, is an extremely busy city, with a really wide choice and for all tastes.
The first evening you could spend it in the area La Latina. With the metro, 5 line, get off at the homonymous stop. It is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Madrid; for this reason, very frequented by the Madrilenians. Here you can breathe a truly unique atmosphere. The neighborhood is mainly populated during the weekend and on Sunday mornings, on the occasion of the "El Rastro" market, which we highly recommend visiting. Between the streets of Cava Baja e Cava Alta, and the squares of the Barley and Straw, you will find many places to spend your evening, toasting and partying. Good fun.
The second day, in general, is the one in which we always invite to give our best; just during this day you should try to concentrate the most energy for your day ... without overdoing it. Start with a proper breakfast. Get off the metro at the Sol stop.
As soon as you leave, you will find the Puerta del Sol, one of the most famous and important squares of the city and of the historical / political life of Madrid. In this crowded square, the arrival of the new year with the 12 chimes of the famous clock is celebrated. The KILOMETRE ZERO tag in the square indicates the point from which the road distances are calculated. Also present the statue of the Bear with the strawberry plant, symbol of Madrid (above).
We said about breakfast! From Sun, continue on Main Street; turning a moment (what you want it to be!) on the left, you'll end up in Plaza Mayor. It is a splendid and immense quadrangular square, all surrounded by palaces. The Plaza retains the charm of a time with its cafes and bars with old signs. In the middle, the equestrian statue of Philip III. The square has nine access doors; of these, the Arco de Cuchilleros is the most famous.
Returning on Calle Mayor, turn right on Calle Coloreos; after a while, you will find the Chocolatería San Gines (the indications are not lacking). Churros dipped in a wonderful hot chocolate. You can not miss it. We tried these delicious fried batter. A pair really ... mouth-watering.
Photo, 2011 Luis García (Zaqarbal)
Las Descalzas Realesa little further on, it is an ancient 16th century convent; it is one of the most important religious places in the city and hosts important works of art. The Monastery, in fact, welcomed many noble ladies who took their vows, and brought important goods as dowry. Beautiful cloister, famous for the processions during Holy Week.
The monastery is open every day from Tuesday to Saturday from 10: 00 to 14: 00 and 16: 00 to 18: 30; Sunday is open from 10: 00 to 15: 00; closed on Mondays.
The admission ticket costs 6,00 €.
In front of the semicircular Plaza de Oriente, The real It is a splendid 19th century theater. It is an Opera Theater, created by Antonio López Aguado. THE Jardines del Cabo Noval e De Lepantoin the square, they present twenty statues of kings and queens; in the center, dominates the equestrian statue of Philip IV. Who wants to know more, and know the shows on the bill, can do it from here through the official website.
Before visiting the Royal Palace, we recommend a trip to the adjacent Real Monasterio de la Encarnación. This is another ancient convent of Augustinian nuns, created by the will of the Royal House. To see the hall of the Kings, the choir, the cloister and the rich art gallery displaying paintings by J. Carreno de Miranda, J. de Ribera, A. de Pereda, Luca Giordano and Gregorio Fernández. But it is the Hall of the Reliquary the most important; hosts a collection of 700 pieces in bronze, coral, ivory and refined woods, and several sculptures. Among the various relics there are also the ampoule with the blood of Saint Pantaleo which, according to tradition, is liquefied every year on the day of the saint the 27 July (as San Gennaro in Naples).
The monastery is open every day from Tuesday to Saturday from 10: 00 to 14: 00 and 16: 00 to 18: 30; Sunday is open from 10: 00 to 15: 00; closed on Mondays.
To enter you must pay the ticket equal to 6,00 € per person.
Il Royal Palace, is the residence of the Spanish kings, and the place where official events and state ceremonies take place. It was built in the place where once stood theAlcazar, destroyed by fire, at the behest of Philip V. Evident French influence and taste; the Palacio Real was inspired by the Louvre in Paris. Inside, the apartments are luxurious and lavishly decorated. The Salón de Gasparini it is a prime example! The Salon of the Throne preserves the furnishings of Charles III, with mirrors, rococo furniture and numerous paintings; the throne is still used for ceremonies. Some excellent works by Italian artists are kept in the splendid Salón de Alabrderós. In the Sala de Porcelana there are beautifully decorated walls and ceilings with majolica tiles. The Royal Chapel is also very beautiful, with walls decorated with black marble columns.
Real Armería boasts one of the richest collections in the world concerning weapons and relics of the genre. Many are of Italian and German manufacture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The armor of Charles V on horseback stands out among the relics. In this part of the building there is also the Real Pharmacy that houses ancient vases used to treat people at court.
Schedule Palacio Real and Armería: from October to March, every day from 10: 00 to 18: 00.
From April to September, every day from 10: 00 to 20: 00.
Entry is allowed within one hour of closure.
Tickets: whole, 11,00 €; Reduced (children up to 16 years, over 65 and students up to 25 years who have a card certifying their status): 6,00 €. Free up to 5 years.
We report that there is a cumulative ticket from 17,00 € available at the ticket offices that allows entry to the Thyssen Museum.
If you find yourself on Wednesday, you can not possibly miss the Changing of the guard. This is a beautiful ceremony that takes place every Wednesday (except January, August and September), from 11: 00 to 14: 00. A show in which two sentinels on foot and two on horseback, in perfect uniform from gala, make the change every 30 minutes. The ceremony takes place from Puerta del Principe del Palacio. On the first Wednesday of each month, instead, at 12: 00, the traditional Solemn Passage of the Guard is performed with music and sounds of drums.
Il Royal Palace it is surrounded by a vast green area. To the north lie the Jardines de Sabatini; it is a public park with an area of 2,54 hectares. It is the kingdom of Madrid jogging, but also the ideal place to relax. The gardens extend to the west Campo del Moro, beautiful. They have been declared, in the 1931, of historical and artistic interest. They were created in the 1848, extending between the palace and the banks of the Manzanares River. Take a walk: a little further on you will find the shopping area is a rich offer for lunch. Take some time to get back in shape and regain your energy.
Il Temple of Debod, is an ancient Egyptian temple dating back to the 4th century BC It was donated from Egypt to Spain in 1968, as a reward for the help provided in the rescue of the temples of Nubia. When it was transported from Egypt to be placed in its current position, it was rebuilt so as to respect the original orientation. The reconstruction also received UNESCO's support. It is located inside the splendid Parque del Oeste; it is reached after a rapid climb that leads to this evocative temple.
With the Metro, get off at the stop Seville. Better not get tired too much. A few minutes walk and you reach the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza. It is hosted in the Palazzo Villahermosa, an eighteenth century building which, however, certainly does not affect the imagination; especially when compared to the nearby Prado. But it is the interior that most strikes, or better .... as guarded. Above all, as regards the variety and richness of the works. More than 800, belonging to the private collection of Thyssen barons; a collection of works that the Thyssen have obtained during a grueling research for over 70 years, among international markets. Today, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum houses works ranging from the 1300 to the half of the '900; many are of absolute value. You will spend several hours admiring all these works. We advise you, not having much time available, to dwell on those that might be of interest to you. At the entrance, with the ticket, you will receive a map with the list of major works. Alternatively, you can consult the official website from this link to get an overview.
HOURS: every day, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10: 00 to 19: 00. On Mondays, from the 12: 00 to the 16: 00, only the permanent collection is open to the public. TICKETS: whole, 12.00 €. Reduced (over 65, students, pensioners), 8.00 €. Free admission on Mondays. Through this link, you can buy the entrance ticket from the comfort of home, avoiding the line at the ticket office!
With the combined ticket with Palacio Real at the cost of 17,00 € you can visit the Thyssen Museum, the Palacio Real and the Armería.
Not far from the building, there is the Fuente de Nettuno, in the center of the Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo. The Fountain depicts the God of the Sea with a snake coiled on his right hand and the trident on his left. In the evening, all lit up is even more impressive. Then, subsequently, continuing to the immense Paseo, you will be captured by the splendid Fuente de Apollo. It is a beautiful fountain inaugurated in the 1803. The sculptures in the lower par represent the four seasons; hence, the nickname of Fontana delle Quattro stagioni.
The last fountain in order of appearance, is the Fuente de la Cibeles (Top photo). This is the real symbol of Madrid, with the Goddess of abundance Cibele on a chariot pulled by lions! It was so revered by the Madrilenes, that during the civil war, many risked their lives just to protect it! La Fuente is located at the center of the vast Plaza de Cibeles, surrounded by some important buildings. The Palacio de Comunicaciones, today seat of the Municipality; there Casa de America, with its neo-baroque facade; the Palacio de Buonavista, headquarters of the Army Headquarters, which was once the owner of the woman who was portrayed by Goya for her lady "vestida" and "desnuda"! finally, the building of the Banco de Espana.
Copyright, 2012 Selbymay
Cafe, lounge bar or the James Joyce Irish Pub. Stop a bit. Just enough time to get your energy back. Before the evening, one last effort. reach Puerta de Alcalá; an eighteenth-century triumphal arch built to celebrate the passage of Charles III to Madrid. The circular Plaza de la Independencia dominates. North of the Puerta, from Calle de Serrano the district begins Salamanca District. In the rectangle consisting of Calle Velázquez, Goya, Ortega y Gasset e Calle Esquerdo, you will find department stores, restaurants, exclusive cafes, art galleries and the shops of great brands and elegant shopping. Ideal for spending the last part of the day before the evening.
The evening…. quite right! After much work out it's okay to party. On the other hand, this should be the last evening in Madrid. The Spanish capital offers a lot and, above all, for all tastes. After a stop at the hotel, you can choose what suits you best. The area of Plaza de Santa Ana, in the center, is the heart of the literary district. Here it is, not surprisingly, the monument to Calderón de la Barca. At night, however, it is the favorite place to party; right here, you will find the best "Cervecerías" in Madrid. Eat and drink a lot of beer. Anton Martin e Sun, are the nearest metro stations to get to the Plaza. Plaza Dos de Mayo is a valid and lively alternative to the more known Santa Ana. For lovers, in the Glorieta de Bilbao area there are several clubs and discos for your night. Well ... do not be too late, otherwise on the third day you will have little or nothing to see!
Do not be sad. Do the holidays come to an end? It matters little, you will plan others soon! Try to end your weekend with a flourish. Hoping that you have followed our advice, and you have retired at a decent time the day before. Hoping that any hangover is disposed of ...
Is Sunday? Do not delay and leave at a time de The Trail, historical flea market and the realm of bargaining. Every Sunday you will find half the city that invades the area between Plaza Tirso de Molina, Calle de Lavapies and Calle Toledo. There is a real crowd; people everywhere and hundreds of stalls. It sells a little of everything: second-hand clothes; jewelry; technological products used. The market is renowned above all for antique products. With the metro, just get off at La Latina.
Copyright, Luis Garciá (Zaqarbal)
About 15 minutes walk away is the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, wonderful museum, located inHospital General de San Carlos; the latter is a never completed building of the eighteenth century. The structure was then recovered through a series of works, including the three crystal towers. The Reina Sofia is a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art from the '900 up to the seventies. Developed on 5 plans, it boasts important works including the Guernica by Pablo Picasso, a real attraction. In general, the whole museum is really beautiful, well maintained, with well organized spaces. Excellent collection. All in a beautiful setting. In our opinion, it can not miss in your Weekend Madrid. The Museum is located near the subway station Atocha.
Open Monday and Wednesday to Saturday from 10: 00 to 21: 00. Closed on Tuesday. The admission ticket costs 8,90 € and it can be purchased directly from this link, avoiding the row at the cash desks.
A few steps, passing Paseo do Prado we arrive at the Parque de El Retiro, green lung in the city center. To define El Retiro, a simple park is at least reductive; you really find everything. Furthermore, the Park is really well maintained and cared for. You will really be enchanted. After all, the Weekend Madrid can certainly not be defined complete without having gone from here. Ideal, even and above all if you have children in tow. We are sure you will love it.
The park is really huge: impossible to visit in a few hours. You will find beautiful and large tree-lined avenues; squares; fountains; colonnades; immense trees; rosebushes. And, again, a playground, monuments and a beautiful lake! There are also several bars scattered throughout the park and refreshment points in which to refresh. If you have the chance, take the bikes. But…. let's start by degrees.
Coming from the Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, you can begin the visit of the park from the South area. This is perhaps the most characteristic and interesting part of this wonderful park. There Estatua del Ángel Caído, located along the homonymous Paseo, it is the first monument along your path. It is a very particular statue ... Made in the 1874, it represents Lucifer in the moment of the fall from the sky! For the more curious, only in Santa Cruz de Tenerife exists another monument in the world dedicated to the devil !!
Once passed the statue, you will find yourself in front of The Rose Garden, beautiful garden in the garden. A rose garden and a marvel of floral art that finds its maximum splendor in spring. Very beautifull! To the west, the elegant and refined Pabellón de los Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez; to the north, the Crystal Palace, (photo above) or the Exhibition Hall, by 1887. Reclaimed in the 70 years, it is considered the symbol of the Retiro. At the foot an artificial lake from which cypresses sprout; along the adjacent path there is a small waterfall. To the north, the Palace of Velázquez, built by the architect of the same name between 1881 and 1883; made of bricks with a covering of iron arches, it hosts temporary exhibitions of the Reina Sofia. There Fuente de Alacachofa, is an 18th century fountain; it is so called (Artichoke) because in the upper part some children are represented under a large artichoke.
Beyond the fountain, there is theEstanque grande del Retiro, beautiful lake very popular. You also have the opportunity to take a ride on rowing boats for a few euros; it's really nice and relaxing. It is located at the foot of the Monument Alfono XII, a complex sculptor or tall 30 meters, long 86 meters and wide 58 meters; It is composed of a large marble colonnade with numerous sculptures surrounding the king's bronze statue.
Madrid is a city that has a lot to offer. Thinking of visiting it in such a short time is almost impossible. We at Kanoa always put our own. The guide is a simple advice ... the important thing is that you always follow your tastes and your instincts.
Have a good trip with Kanoa and good Madrid Weekend.