Madrid Journals

Madrid, the city that never sleeps

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An October 1999 trip to Madrid by Katarina

Best Western Carlos V Photo, Madrid, Spain More Photos
Quote: "Nobobdy went to bed here until they had killed the night" Ernest Hewingway. Madrid is bustling during the day but most of the excitement does not start until after midnight and lasts well beyond dawn.

Madrid, the city that never sleeps

Overview

Quote:
Come to Madrid for the world-class art of the Prado, the opulence of the Palacio Real and the bustle of El Rastro's flea market. But Madrid's main attraction is probably its flamboyant night life. The numerous tascas, restaurants, cafes and night clubs stay open until the early morning hours. And do not miss the sultry fever of late-night flamenco.Quick Tips: Mugging is a serious problem in Madrid with tourists being the most likely target. Leave your valuables and passport in the safe at the hotel. Bring a copy of your passport with you since the police sometimes stop foreigners for identification.Best Way To Get Around: Madrid is a compact city, and most of the sights are conc...Read More

Best Western Carlos V

Hotel | "Hotel Carlos V"

Best Western Carlos V Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
Hotel Carlos V is a very nice family-run 3-star hotel located right in the pedestrian center of Madrid. If being just 2-3 blocks from Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real and if the El Cortes Inglese department store is important to you then this hotel is in the perfect location.

The hotel which was renovated in 1996, has 67 rooms with AC and Internet access. We reserved our rooms from the US directly through the Best Western system. The very reasonable rate included a plentiful buffet breakfast served in a very nice guest lounge/dining room decorated with beautiful crystal chandelier. Airport shuttle can be reserved through the hotel for 900 ptas per person.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 3, 2001

Best Western Carlos V
MAESTRO VITORIA 5
Madrid, Spain 28013
34915314100

Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real)

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Attraction | "El Palacio Real"

Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real) Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
The Royal Palace was commissioned in the early 18th century by Felipe V on the site where Madrid's first Alcázar was built in the 9th century and burnt to the ground in 1734. The palace's 2,800 rooms compete with each other for over-the-top opulence. The palace was last used as a royal residence in 1931. Today, some of the rooms are open to the public, others are still used for state business. You can see the palace on your own for 950 ptas or pay 1000 ptas for a two-hour guided tour in English. We have a passion for palaces and have seen many, from Versailles in Paris to Peterhof, Pushkin and Pavlovsk Palaces in St Petersburg; the Munich and Wurzburg Residenz(es) and Neuschwanstein ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2001

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

Plaza Mayor

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Attraction

Plaza Mayor Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
Austere and grand, this 17th-century arcaded square in the heart of Old Madrid is an attraction in itself with its baroque architecture and eye-catching kaleidoscopic-coloured murals. Once the sight of bullfights, public burnings of heretics, canonization of saints, executions of criminals, crowning of kings, royal marriages, masked balls, fireworks and all manner of events, celebrations, festivals, and ceremonies, Plaza Mayor has played a vital role in Spanish history. Today, it still hosts fairs, bazaars, and performances. One can visit the many plaza shops and cafes of the square and enjoy the calm mornings, the busy afternoons, or perhaps dinner at some of the liveliest tapas bars...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2001

Plaza Mayor
Heart of Old Town
Madrid, Spain 28012

Nightlife In Madrid

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Attraction

Quote:
Staying at Hotel Carlos V, in the middle of the pedestrian center, we were surprised at how quiet the area was during the day and how busy it became after what Americans would consider business hours. The first night there, not wanting to venture into the town after dark because of jet lag and all the talk about muggings, we decided to check out the restaurant recommended by our guidebook at around 7pm. To our disappointment, it was closed. We later find out from our hotel that Madrilenos observe late dining hours and restaurants do not even open until eight or nine o'clock. Nightowls wil find Madrid a paradise every night of the week. A typical night would begin at about 11pm at a club, wi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2001

Nightlife In Madrid
Various Locations
Madrid, Spain

El Retiro/Buen Retiro Park

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Attraction | "Parque del Retiro"

El Retiro/Buen Retiro Park  Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
When urban commotion starts to overwhelm, seek respite in the Parque del Retiro, a vast 350 acres of verdant oasis in the heart of the city, at a stone's throw from the Prado. Once the private playground of royalty, Parque del Retiro is a vast expanse of green encompassing formal gardens, numerous fountains and statues, a large lake and children's play areas. There are also two exposition centers, the Velásquez and Crystal palaces, and a lakeside monument, erected in honor of King Alfonso XII. The park is especially lively on weekends, when it fills with street musicians, jugglers, clowns, gypsy fortune-tellers, and sidewalk painters along with hundreds of Spanish families out for a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2001

El Retiro/Buen Retiro Park
Near the Puerta de Alcalá
Madrid, Spain

Toledo Daytrip

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Attraction | "Daytrip to Toledo"

Toledo Daytrip Photo, Madrid, Spain
Quote:
If you have only 1 day for an excursion outside of Madrid, go to Toledo, the fortified town atop a hill and surrounded on three sides by the Tagus River. Toledo is one of the most important centers of European medieval history. It was the capital of Spain until 1560 when it lost its political status to Madrid. Today, it remains Spain's religious center. A natural fortress encircled by monumental walls in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, the medieval city of Toledo represents the coexistence or succession of different cultures: Roman, Jewish, Visigothic, Muslim and Christian. A national landmark, the city that so inspired El Greco has remained relatively unchanged since the 16th century. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2001

Toledo Daytrip
40 miles SW of Madrid
Madrid, Spain

Cathedral of Toledo (Cathedral of Saint mary of Toldeo)

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Attraction | "Cathedral of Toledo"

Cathedral of Toledo (Cathedral of Saint mary of Toldeo) Photo, Toledo, Spain
Quote:
In a town where Roman, Jewish, Visigothic, Muslim and Christian cultures coexist, the Christian presence is most easy to see in Toledo because of the prominent presence of its Cathedral. Rising white and high in the center of the low, brown Muslim city, the cathedral is best appreciated from outside the city, where the hundred-metre spire and the weighty buttressing can be seen to advantage. Once inside the city, the narrow streets of Toledo do not afford a sufficiently broad perspective of its exterior; the Cathedral must be viewed from the interior, where its grandeur may be appreciated. A robust Gothic construction which took over 250 years (13th-15th century) to complete, its rich internal...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 9, 2001

Cathedral of Toledo (Cathedral of Saint mary of Toldeo)
Plaza Del Ayuntamiento, S/n
Toledo, Spain 45002
+34 925 222241