Madrid Journals

Madrid, Spain - Weekend in June 2005

A June 2005 trip to Madrid by cola0

Parque del Buen Retiro Photo, Madrid, Spain More Photos
Quote: Our two-week-introduction-to-Spain family vacation kicked off in Madrid. Compared to the more vivacious and colorful cities of Seville and Barcelona, Madrid has a more bureaucratic feel. It's a good pick to kickstart the Spain travels if you'll have to deal with jet lag and ease into the vacation.

Madrid, Spain - Weekend in June 2005

Overview

Parque del Buen Retiro Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
HIGHLIGHTS: *Parque del Buen Retiro (best place to hang out with your loved ones and soak up the local lifestyle of Spanish families who come to walk their dogs and with their babies and to enjoy the greenery) *Plaza Mayor (designed in 1619; stop here for the frescoes on the Real Casa de la Panaderia, cafes/restaurants, street performers, and tango dancers) *Mallorca pastry shop (best breakfast option and place to pack a nice picnic for the Parque del Buen Retiro) *Botin Restaurant (off a corner of Plaza Mayor, delicious roasted pig and lamb!) *Plaza de Santa Ana (we missed this one, but from the pictures, it would have been a better, more picturesque stop...Read More

Hotel Wellington

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
Rooms were on the cozy side. Even though we reserved two superior doubles and a standard double on the nonsmoking floor, they all seemed exactly the same (so why did we pay extra for the superiors???). It seems that if you make your reservations through internet agencies like expedia, they tend to give you less-than-hearty service. The same thing happened to us in Barcelona and Florence on this trip. Rooms are clean and free of suspicious stains. They also have steel blinds that shut out all sunlight if you want a nice siesta in the afternoon. But the best thing about this hotel is the location (for us, at least!). Unlike other centrally located hotels (which this isn't) near Pu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 9, 2005

Hotel Wellington
Calle Valazquez 8
Madrid, Spain
91 575 44 00

Botín

Restaurant | "Botin Restaurant"

Quote:
The roasted suckling pig and lamb were all that the reviews said it would be - excellent. We ordered several appetizers and main dishes to share, along with a pitcher of sangria. The fish and paella seem to be saltier than our Asian and American tastes, but still, this is one of our top restaurant recommendations in Madrid! Try the asparagus, too.

We wandered in around 9pm-ish, ahead of the local dining crowd. Hence, we were able to get a table for eight without a reservation. By 10-ish, the place really fills up though, so if you plan on eating here during peak hours, definitely call ahead and make a reservation.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 9, 2005

Botín
Cuchilleros, 17
Madrid, Spain 28005
+34 91 366 4217

Mallorca

Restaurant

Quote:
Stand up, sit at the bar, or pack up a picnic to take to the Parque del Buen Retiro. This is the best place to grab a hearty breakfast of coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, pastries, croissant or baguette sandwiches stuffed with ham and cheese, scrambled eggs, fresh salmon, etc., etc. There's a delicious dessert section as well, and a deli meats section that beats anything I've seen in NYC. It was the best breakfast I've had in Spain, fresher and more delicious than any hotel breakfast, and a better value for your buck (or euro) as well! Breakfast for eight ran around 25€. The most expensive thing was the freshly squeezed juices that we indulged in. I'm still craving those sandwiches and ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 9, 2005

Mallorca
Calle de Serrano
Madrid, Spain

Prado Museum/Museo del Prado

Attraction | "Museo del Prado"

Quote:
Personally, I preferred the museums in France and Italy to those I visited in Spain, but they do have several interesting pieces in the collections as well. Of note in particular are the paintings from the Spanish school featuring Velazquez, El Greco (better than those in the Casa-Museo de El Greco in Toledo!), Goya, and Murillo. My personal favorite was Fra Angelico’s Annunciation.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 12, 2005

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

Marching in the Streets of Madrid

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Story/Tip

march Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
We arrived on Saturday morning in June as a family of seven flying in from different places in Asia and the States. Posters for Madrid 2012 Olympics were still up in prominent plazas. By the time we all checked in to the Hotel Wellington and grabbed lunch nearby, we realized that everything was closed for the long afternoon siesta. Given the heat and hot, glaring sun, I understand why they nap during the day and come out just before sunset to work a couple more hours before dinnertime at 10:30pm (when the sun finally sets!). On our first day in Madrid, we ran smack into a city-wide march whereby 100,000 to 300,000 people (depending on who you ask) showed up at Puerta del Sol to protest or co...Read More