Madrid Journals

Madrid From Kilometer Zero

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A May 2004 trip to Madrid by KJP

Madrid, Spain Photo, Madrid, Spain More Photos
Quote: Located in the Puerta del Sol, kilometer zero is the point from which all of Spain’s highway distances are measured. Its geographical significance aside, kilometer zero is at once the center of Madrid’s historic past and its vibrant present, an ideal starting point from which to explore this beautiful city.

Madrid From Kilometer Zero

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Overview

Madrid, Spain Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
Ernest Hemingway once wrote that Madrid "has none of the look that you expect of Spain...yet when you get to know it, it is the most Spanish of all cities, the best to live in, the finest people, month in month out, the finest climate..." Who am I to disagree? While Madrid may not possess quite the grandeur of Paris, London, or Rome, there are still plenty of rewards for the traveler. With opulent palaces, old world plazas, world-class museums, wonderful architecture, beautiful parks, great cuisine and shopping, and nightlife second to none, Madrid is a sophisticated city that has it all. ...Read More

Petit Palace Londres

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Hotel | "High Tech Petit Palace Londres"

Petit Palace Londres Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
Occupying a former palace constructed in 1920, this moderately priced three-star hotel, fully renovated in 2001, offers 76 rooms in a great location, just a short walk from Puerta del Sol and the Sol Metro stop.Bleary-eyed after our overnight flight from the States, we arrived at the hotel around 9:45 a.m., fully expecting to drop off our bags and then return in the afternoon to check in. So we were thrilled when the desk clerk told us if we wouldn’t mind waiting, our room would be ready at ten o’clock. After about 10 minutes he called us over, and moments later we were checked in. Let me tel...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2004

Petit Palace Londres
GALDO 2
Madrid, Spain 28013
34 91 5314105

Villa de Luarca

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Restaurant | "La Villa de Luarca"

Villa de Luarca Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
Exploring the streets near our hotel for a suitable dining experience on our first day in Madrid, it became apparent that we’d wandered into the red-light district north of Gran Via (you can draw your own conclusions as to what we saw). Undeterred, we continued perusing the menus in each restaurant window. On Calle de la Ballesta we found a tiny place called La Villa de Luarca. What caught our eye was their three-course meal offering: appetizer, entrée and dessert (including bread, wine and tax) for the unbelievably low, low price of 7.20€. That’s less than US$9.00, for those of you keeping score at home....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 22, 2004

Villa de Luarca
Calle de la Ballesta
Madrid, Spain

Colonia del Sacramento

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Restaurant

Colonia del Sacramento Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
We stumbled upon Colonia del Sacramento purely by accident as we walked from the Palacio Real to Plaza Mayor. A yellow flier in the window caught The Better Half’s eye: "Tango: Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights" was the gist of the message.Now, The Better Half loves to tango, and she is an excellent Argentine tango dancer. It’s through her that I became involved in it, and well, let’s just say that she makes me look good, and I’ve mastered enough to make myself not look like an idiot (most of the time, anyway). Once we checked out the menu and deemed the cuisine acceptable, we made a mental note of our location, knowing we would be back....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 22, 2004

Colonia del Sacramento
Plaza del Comandante Las Morenas, 3
Madrid, Spain
+34 91 548 44 17

Puerta del Sol

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Attraction

Puerta del Sol Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
Puerta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun) is in many ways the very heart of Madrid. A half-moon shaped confluence of ten streets, Puerta del Sol is highlighted by Kilometer Zero, a small plaque in the sidewalk demarcating the point from which all of Spain’s highway distances are officially measured. Several of Madrid’s most important streets originate at this junction, which used to mark the gated east entrance of the old city. Take Calle de Mayor west to Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Ville and Madrid’s City Hall. Follow Calle del Arenal to the Teatro Real (Opera House) and the Palacio Real. Calle de Alcalá to the east leads you the Plaza de Cibeles, the Parque del Retiro, and w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2004

Puerta del Sol

Madrid, Spain 28013
none available

Plaza Mayor

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Attraction

Plaza Mayor Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
Plaza Mayor dates back to 1620 when it was completed under the order of Felipe III, whose statue dominates the center of the square. After a series of fires, modifications completed in 1853 resulted in the structure that exists today. Once the sight of bullfights, coronations, trials under the Inquisition, and executions, Plaza Mayor is a focal point for the vibrant energy of today’s Madrid. In the evening, crowds flock to the many outdoor cafes in Plaza Mayor. This was our favorite place in all of Madrid. We loved the musicians serenading crowds in the outdoor cafes. The centuri...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2004

Plaza Mayor
Heart of Old Town
Madrid, Spain 28012

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

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Attraction

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is said to contain the most important private art collection in the world. The museum occupies the 19th century Palacio de Villahermosa, which was remodelled by architect Rafael Moneo to house the nearly 800 paintings. The collection was assembled by Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his son, Hans Heinrich, and includes works by Caravaggio, Monet, Degas, Gauguin, van Gogh, Picasso, Hopper, O’Keefe, and many others. As a fan of the impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern sty...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2004

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Paseo Del Prado, 8
Madrid, Spain
+1 34 91 3690151

Museo Lazaro Galdiano

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Attraction | "Museo Lázaro Galdiano"

Museo Lazaro Galdiano Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
The Museo Lázaro Galdiano is located in the former mansion the financier, editor, author, and art collector Lázaro Galdiano (1862-1947) built for his wife. He bequeathed the mansion and his collection of fine and applied art to the nation under the condition that the collection be displayed exactly as he’d left it. You’ll find a heavy dose of 15th to 19th century Spanish art here, including works by El Greco and many lesser known pieces by Goya and Velázquez. Examples of the Italian, Flemish, English, French, and German schools are covered to lesser extent, although the collection does include a Rembrandt and paintings by British artists Turner, Cons...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 22, 2004

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

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

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Attraction | "Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia"

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia occupies what was once Madrid’s San Carlos Hospital, a late 18th century building that’s been updated with recent expansion and slick exterior glass elevators. The emphasis here is on 20th century Spanish art, and some of the obvious notables such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Juan Gris, and Joan Miró are among the artists given prominent space. Picasso’s Guernica is by far the most famous painting at the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 22, 2004

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

Prado Museum/Museo del Prado

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Attraction | "Museo Nacional del Prado"

Prado Museum/Museo del Prado Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
I suppose you could call the Museo Nacional del Prado Madrid’s version of the Louvre. The museum contains paintings from the 11th - 19th centuries, classical sculptures, drawings, and decorative arts. As one might expect, there’s a heavy dose of Spanish art here, and the Prado’s collection of Spanish paintings from the 11th - 18th centuries is the most thorough in the world. If names like El Greco, Rembrandt, Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio, Goya, and Velázquez trip your trigger, then the Prado is for you. Besides Spanish art, you’l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 1, 2004

Prado Museum/Museo del Prado
Calle Ruiz De Alarcón 23
Madrid, Spain 28014
+34 91 3302800

Guide to Madrid Parks

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Story/Tip

Madrid, Spain Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
Introduction With more than forty public parks and gardens, Madrid boasts an abundance of greenery that rivals most any other major city in Europe. What’s more, these are some of the most beautiful and impeccably maintained parks I’ve seen. Here’s a primer on just a few of Madrid’s most popular sites. Parque del Retiro The Parque del Retiro is Madrid’s most famous park. Once the playground for Spain’s monarchs and their guests, it encompasses over 350 acres in Bourbon Madrid. The heart of the park is a large boating lake, where you can rent a rowboat or enjoy a leisurely lunch on the steps of the crescent-shaped colonnade below the equestrian Monument of Alfonso...Read More