Madrid Journals

no spain, no gain

An August 2003 trip to Madrid by recordnerd

Quote: Chronicles of one twenty-something girl's week and half in the Spanish capital.

no spain, no gain

Overview

Quote:
Four euros takes you over the Parque del Oeste and the vast expanse that is the Casa de Campo in the cable car. Oh, the views are amazing, too.

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

Public transportation is clean and efficient. Despite its slower service, the bus would obviously be a better option if you want to see more of the city.
Quote:
I was especially careful about researching accommodations. Because I’m not really a youth hostel type, I opt for hostels and pensions, settling on the Persal after reading numerous praises of it. Although the room was basically little more than the size of a walk-in closet and construction was going on during my stay, I was still pleased with the well-located hostal, near the Plaza Santa Ana and Puerto del Sol. The rate of the room included a generous breakfast and the staff was unbelievably warm, treating their guests as if they were staying at the Westin or some other such top-rate hotel.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Hostal Persal
Plaza del Angel, 12
Madrid, Spain

Quote:
All I had was a not unsatisfactory cheese sandwich (pricey) and a glass of rioja. Cliché, I know, but the terrace is a nice place to gather your thoughts during summer nights as you look out at the pedestrians and the cars whizzing by. If I had a fiancé(e) and we were in Madrid, this would be the place where I'd propose.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Café del Circulo de Bellas Artes
Calle Alcalá 42
Madrid, Spain
+34 91-521-6942

Café del Sol

Restaurant

Quote:
A block or two down from Hostal Persal on Calle Espoz y Mina, I discovered this place on the way back from wandering around the rest of the city. My feet hurt and after various attempts at walking into other cafés without being self-conscious, I finally gave up and stepped into this one. The minimal lighting and the great music playing in the background (Radiohead, followed by air and other astral rock tunes) were pluses, as was the lack of solid crowd (then again, it was only 11pm). Pleased by the atmosphere, I returned to Café del Sol every night after that, always welcomed with a coffee and ice-cream by hip but pleasant staff. On my last night, my coffee after the delicious vegetarian sandwich was ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Café del Sol
Calle Espoz y Mina, 14
Madrid, Spain

Botillería del Café de Oriente

Restaurant | "La Botillería del Café de Oriente"

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This bistro/café is located next to the more frequented Café de Oriente, both offering views of Plaza de Oriente and the Palacio Real. I returned to this place twice just to remind myself of the tasty fried camembert.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Botillería del Café de Oriente
Plaza de Oriente, 4
Madrid, Spain

Artemisa

Restaurant

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Just when I thought I’d keel over at the sight of the myriad Museo del Jamóns, Artemisa made itself a welcome find. The comfortable atmosphere and friendly staff made my non-fluent Spanish-speaking skills less irritating (to me, anyway).

For an 8 euro dinner, I got a big bowlful of excellent veggie paella and a quite frothy mug of organic apple juice. The surprisingly tasty gazpacho-like soup was on the house and an added bonus either way.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Artemisa
Ventura de la Vega, 4
Madrid, Spain 28014
+34 91 4295092

Pans & Company

Restaurant | "Pans & Company"

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A sandwich chain similar to rodilla, but with a McDonald's feel. This is the place I'd hit when feeling down. "The number 6, please, with a Fanta. And could I have a fork with that?" All in spanish, of course. During the summer around sunset, there's nothing like looking over the frenzy just commencing on/at the Puerta del Sol.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Pans & Company
Throughout Madrid
Madrid, Spain

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The glass and steel elevators immediately brought to mind the centre Pompidou’s exoskeleton in Paris; both showcase modern art. I suppose the most famous work contained therein is Picasso’s “Guernica,” but I weaved my way around the crowd to view other pieces, especially the installations including Miró, Gris, and avant-garde turn-of-the-century Spanish works. With Sunday being a free admission day, it was crowded, but well-worth the visit. The interior courtyard is a serene place to unwind after two hours of cultural elevation.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Santa Isabel 52
Madrid, Spain 28012
+34 (91) 7741000

Museo Lazaro Galdiano

Attraction | "museo thyssen-bornemisza"

Quote:
The Thyssen’s holdings are of a private collection housed in the Palacio de Villahermosa. Accompanied by a free map, don't hesitate to go straight ahead to your preferred art section (begins in the 13th century). I myself can't even remember many of the works I saw except for Lichtenstein’s 'Woman in the Bath.' The gift shop is fun to browse in.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Museo Lazaro Galdiano
Serrano 122
Madrid, Spain
91-561-60-84

Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real)

Attraction | "palacio real"

Quote:
I admit it: I like palaces, castles, and the like. Perhaps I’ve seen too many heritage films and daydreamed too often about waltzing down those grand staircases, the train of my dress flowing behind me. But enough of that; I was wearing simple pants and a clean (enough!) shirt on my visit to this palace. Not as crowded as Versailles or Schoenbrunn, I was able to pace myself (on this fixed route) quite nicely, up the grand staircase, and the various halls and rooms, with the loveliest chandeliers, frescoes, and armoires. The state dining room was impressive -- then again, what wasn't? -- and I heard it's still used for official banquets. All the time I was using mental telepathy to be invited to ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real)
Calle Bailén, 6
Madrid, Spain 28013
+34 91 5475350

Teleférico

Attraction | "teleférico de madrid"

Quote:
Over the Casa de Campo and the Parque del Oeste (and various sights in between) in a cable car dangling over what seems to be a million stories up. Best on a sunny day; not for acrophobiacs.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 20, 2003

Teleférico
Paseo del Pintor Rosales, s/n
Madrid, Spain 28008
+34 91 5417450