First time in Madrid. I cannot wait to see everything.
Madrid is a city of elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks such as the Buen Retiro.
The old center, a maze of small streets around a few squares in the vicinity of the imposing Plaza Mayor, contrasts with the stately Neoclassical buildings and grand boulevards created by the most eminent architects of their day.
Get to know the culture, history, and top attractions of Madrid in less than half a day on a walking tour. Discover the hidden history and all the beautiful architecture from the iron balcony/gates to the design around a door, window, etc.
Plaza de Toros.
Our first day and started with the wrong stop while going downtown by bus.
We stop to find a Spanish bullfighting arena called the Plaza de Toros. All major Spanish cities have impressive bullrings but probably the most outstanding are those in Madrid, Seville, and Ronda. Madrid is one of the last corridas in Spain because of the controversy about killing bulls.
While it has already been banned in places like Catalonia, it is still very much alive in Madrid as the local government declared bullfighting as a protected part of Spain’s cultural heritage.
We visit the place who is very beautiful and also the museum.
Buen Retiro Park
Buen Retiro Park is one of the largest parks in the city of Madrid, Spain. The park belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century when it became a public park.
It is very beautiful and covering over 125 hectares and comprising more than 15,000 trees and El Retiro Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city. You’ll find interesting monuments, gardens, including the Jardín de Vivaces, the Jardin de Cecilio Rodríguez, the rose garden.
The royal palace is the official residence of the Spanish royal family, although now only used for state ceremonies. This place is big when you enter you can see all kinds of entertainment on the site even the change of the guards if you are there at the right time.
The marvelous human statue, I don’t know how he/she can stay still a long time.
This is one of the main squares in Madrid. Something to see in Madrid for sure though. The plaza is always bustling with activity and you can see people moving around all the time. Huge plaza packed with cafes, bars, and tourists.
Plaza Mayor might seem like a regular central plaza when you are standing in it, but I suggest walking around it on all sides and going to the information center in the north inside. It is therefore rich in history and still intriguing.
This plaza is located very near to the metro station Puerta de Sol.
Take the time to sample the local gastronomy. There are a lot of restaurants in the streets leading off Plaza Mayor square, in the area around the Cathedral, and Plaza del Azoguejo square. On a warm sunny day, there are numerous terraces where you can sit and enjoy the impressive views over the monuments. When you order, make sure you order Sangria and olives, one of my favorite now.
Walking all over Madrid
The Teleférico de Madrid
We took the bus to visit the zoo aquarium, it was close due to renovation. We walk through Casa de Campo an ecological forest and a huge park in the west of the city, a great place to go for a picnic or a long bike ride. It is also home to the amusement park and the zoo the most important zoos in the world with animals from every continent.
And if you plan to go on foot from Casa Campo to Lago metro station, be prepared to some steep downhills, which are not even marked properly to guide you and it is a very long walk.
In the end, we did not want to walk back, we took the “Teleferico in Rosales ” to go back to the other side. It’s nothing fancy, but the views are great. You go right over parts of the city you see the Campo below and the city.
The Teleférico de Madrid, or Madrid Cable Car, is a gondola lift in the Spanish capital city of Madrid. It is 2,457 meters long and links the Parque del Oeste with the Casa de Campo. The line was built by Von Roll and opened in 1969.
The other side is a beautiful park, cafe, restaurants. We ask the direction to go back to the hotel, we were lost again. Next time I will put the map on my phone.
Going to Segovia for the day. We are heading in from Madrid by train and be leaving from Chamartín station, in the middle of nowhere. Then catch a bus at the Segovia Guiomar station. The bus brings you right to the aqueduct.
On the left side of the aqueduct facing away from the city center, you can ascend part of the city wall and get a view from up high.
The Aqueduct is a marvel of ancient ingenuity. Be awed by the remarkable legacy of the Ancient Romans as you stroll around the colossal structure that has towered over Segovia’s Old Town for 2,000 years.
However, once in Segovia you will find the city offers much more. Old Jewish quarter, outstanding views, and more.
The Holy Cathedral of Segovia is a Catholic temple devoted to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and San Frutos, also the last Gothic church in Spain. The entrance is free on Sunday to visit.
In that aspect, you could probably skip the interior if you have already seen a lot of cathedrals. However, the tower is impressive. The climb is a lot, but it is not too bad. It is broken up into three phases, so you can rest along the way. You get to see the rooms inside the tower, including a house! The views from the top are impressive. It is a great photo opportunity.
Catedral de Segovia And Alcázar de Segovia
**Segovia Cathedral is the Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral located in the main square of the city of Segovia, in the community of Castile-Leon, Spain. The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built in a Gothic style in the mid-16th century.
**The Alcázar of Segovia is a medieval castle located in the city of Segovia, Castile, and León, Spain. The fortress is a World Heritage
We took a one-day tour bus to Toledo from Madrid.
I don’t take a tour guide usually, you cannot hear them and lots of places I will have love to see it a bit longer but you are rushing out.
So we went on our own and visit. Make sure you are back on time, the bus driver doesn’t wait.
We started walking in the old city. Enter the monumental Primate Cathedral, a magnificent example of Gothic style, before continuing through the narrow streets of the old Jewish quarter to the Church of St. Tomé, where you’ll see El Greco’s The Burial of Count Orgaz. The next stop will be the old Synagogue of Santa Maria la Blanca and then the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz. These houses of worship stand as symbols of Toledo being a City of 3 Cultures for centuries.
I loved Toledo and the view of it from across the river. Take the time to cross the river, climb up and look at the panoramic view of the city. It is gorgeous.
Beautiful viewpoint to see the historical part of the city with a view of the Tagus river. You can see all the main monuments of the city and click some nice shots too. You can walk there.
Toledo is on top of a hill, you can see it better when you go back on the road. That’s the time that you see the whole town is way up, amazing.
If you take the tour on your way back sit on the right side of the bus so you can enjoy the view and take pictures.
Toledo is one of the most beautiful places in Spain.
Good To Know
*Language: The official language of Spain is Spanish, some people do speak French the level of English spoken there isn’t high.
*Currency: The currency in Spain is the Euro.
*Credit Cards and ATMs: You won’t have any problems finding ATMs around Spain unless you go really off the beaten track. If you’re spending time in an isolated area, it’s best to keep enough cash on you for the basics. Mastercard and Visa are usually the choices at most machines as well as restaurants and shops. Find out most places don’t want an Amex card.
*Plugs: The plugs in Spain are type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. *
*Safety: Spain is one of the safest European countries. While there is a low crime rate, you’ll need to be aware of pickpockets in the metros and in crowded areas that are popular with tourists. I have a TRAVELON BAG, safety lock, anti-Theft Bag, RFID.
Things to remember
*Tipping is not compulsory but if you’re happy with the service, feel free to tip any amount you want to.
*Eating out in Madrid can be cheap if you know where to go. Walking among the little streets and you will find a little restaurant with good sangria and tapas. But don’t forget to take a picture of the street if you want to come back (some of them we couldn’t come back) lesson learn!!
*Drinking alcohol in public places is illegal, but you can enjoy your drink outside if you sit in one of the many terraces around the city. Spaniards love meat, so there isn’t a lot on offer for vegetarians. It’s best to do some research in advance to find convenient places to eat green during your trip.
*Remember! Spaniards usually eat their meals later than people from other countries. Rush hours are 2-4 pm and 9-11 pm. To avoid the crowds, eat before those times.
Plan for siesta….Many small shops are still close from about 2 to 5 pm. If you have important errands to run, make sure to get them in the morning. Madder of fact, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, and take a little nap yourself.
*The temperate times of the year are spring and fall, which are also the most attractive seasons for visitors.
*Good Shoes…you will walk a lot.
Travelodge Hotel in Madrid
Calle Torrelaguna, 69,
28027 Madrid, Spain
(+34)91 405 73 93
The rooms are very clean and with Wi-Fi. The buffet breakfast is good, with lots of choices. The location is convenient from Metro (800m from Bario de la Concepcion (a long walk, but feasible) or you can take the bus in front of the hotel to downtown (#52 bus).
The Travelodge exceeded our expectations, very good service. We have stayed in many hotels and never received hospitality like this. Every single time we asked for anything, they went way above and far beyond what we were hoping for. Every time we go to Madrid, this is our place to stay.