FULL of LIGHT. with VIEWS of OPERA SQUARE, GREAT VIEWS, EXCELLENT LINKS WITH UNDERGROUND,BUSES and TRAINS. A FEW MINUTES WALK FROM SOL, GRAN VIA,...
SURROUNDED BY LANDMARKS ,IN THE HEART OF MADRID, NEXT TO ROYAL PALACE, ROYAL THEATRE, THE OPERA HOUSE, CATHEDRAL, HISTORIC GARDENS , TOWNHALL, MAYOR SQUARE, WITH BEST CINEMAS, RESTAURANTS, CLUBS, ART GALLERIES, THEATRES, SHOPS, ETC
IT IS A FEAST FOR THE SENSES AND for THOSE SEEKING TO INDULGE THEMSELVES IN A GASTRONOMICAL, CULTURAL, ART AND ENTERTAINMENT STAY IN BEAUTIFUL ENVIRONMENT. IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERYTHING YET STILL PEACEFUL.
Most of the best restaurants, supermarkets, delicatessen, tapas bars, patisseries etc are here as well as being surrounded by unique historical surroundings, MADRID AT ITS BEST.
The Plaza Mayor is the name of the 16th-century square whose center features a statue of King Felipe III. The square had undergone several renovations after being sabotaged by three fires. It served as a market square until the 19th century and has become one of Madrid's important landmarks as well as an ideal promenade.
Puerta del Sol
Dotted with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, Puerto del Sol is a lively hangout place for young people and also a springboard for visitors who later head off to explore the Royal Palace, the Prado Museum or the Retiro Park. It is also a significant gathering place every December 31st as the Madrileños flock to the square and try to eat twelve grapes within the last 12 seconds before the arrival of new year.
Just to the south of Palacio Real is the Moorish quarter, one of Madrid's oldest districts. There's a short stretch of city wall here, built by the early-medieval Muslim rulers in the 9th century. In summer the area is a venue for open-air theater and music performances.
Centro De Arte Reina Sofia
The Reina Sofia Museum is one of Madrid as well as the nation's famous modern art museums as there are extensive displays of well-known pieces by Spain's three great modern maestros such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miró as well as other less internationally recognized artists. The museum also provides research facility, cafe, souvenir shop as well as restaurant.
Museo del Prado
A massive number of 7,000 works are housed in this natural history museum-turn-Spanish art repository. The displayed pieces are invaluable properties of the royal court. Magnificent works by the legendary 17th-18th century artists such as Velazquez, Goya and da Ribera are displayed on the first floor whereas a sizeable collection of works by their Flemish and Italian counterparts like Rubens, Van Dyck, Botticelli and Titian are featured in other sections. Definitely a heaven for western art aficionados.
Real Jardin Botanico
Created by King Carlos III and located near the Prado, this botanical garden houses countless thousands of botanical species from all five continents on its precinct. A visit to the garden can be as entertainingly educational as well as invigoratingly refreshing.
Palacio Real de El Pardo (Royal Palace)
Highly acclaimed as one of the finest palaces in Europe, this place had been occupied by Felipe II who appointed Madrid as the nation's capital in the 1550s, as well as a favored choice of residence of General Franco during his fascist supremacy. There are various displays of the lavishly decorated interior as well as adornments done by Goya and Tiépolo which make the palace truly worth visiting.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
This historic complex is divided into three parts: the monastery (with Lucas Jordán's frescoes), the royal mausoleum, and the palace. The palace's magnificent rooms are decorated with paintings by Titian, El Greco, and Claudio Coello, as well as wonderful 18th-century furniture. The library contains a fascinating collection of manuscripts and the Museum of Painting and Architecture is worth a look. Felipe II commissioned Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera to build everything between 1563 and 1584 to commemorate Spanish victory in the battle of San Quintín (1557).
Parque del Buen Retiro
Parque del Buen Retiro is a great place for a reflective retreat after an exhausting day of museums and palaces' exploration. This public garden offers a fine sight of the lake, the gargantuan mausoleum of Alfonso XII and the sphinx-laden fountain. Plenty of activites such as puppet show, buskers and tarot readers are also available.
Puente de Toledo
Arguably the most beautiful bridge in the city, this nine-arched bridge over the River manzanares support the baroque shrines holding statues of San Isidro and Santa María de la Cabeza. The bridge was built under the commission of Felipe V, and is now close to traffic so you can enjoy the fascinating sight from the bridge undisturbed.
FOOD IN MADRID
Madrid's food scene clearly brims with dishes representing both traditional and international flavors. The capital's own gastronomy has been a product of influence from the Andalusians, Galicians, Asturians as well as other immigrants who have settled in Madrid throughout the history.
Cocido Madrileño is often recommended as one of the most typical Madrid's dish. It is a hotpot which stews chickpeas and several kinds of vegetables together with (often smoked) garbanzos, pork, black sausage, and chicken. The broth is served as a first course, then the vegetables, and finally the meat. Another local menu frequently found in well-established restaurants throughout Madrid is Callos or tripe stew enlivened with smoked pork and a smidgen of wine and brandy. Not to be forgotten is the garlic soup or Sopa de Ajo, a simple but delicious Spanish delicacy found especially in and around Madrid. The soup's ingredients include water, cured ham, egg, bread, oil, garlic, and paprika. The Sopa de Pescado is a fish soup which can be prepared in myriad countless ways. Highly exotic is Gazpacho, a cold blend of bread, vegetables, tomatoes, garlic and water. Other dishes worth tasting are the wholesome potato omelette (Tortilla de patatas), the emblematic roasted baby lamb and suckling pig, and the renowned baked bream (Besugo al horno) which are commonly served in Madrid's eateries. Cod (bacalao) is also widely consumed in the capital. In fact, despite its geographical distance from the sea, Madrid is one of the world's top-five biggest fish markets.
The realm of Spanish dessert expand to cover many recipes that can be considered common of Madrid, including the famous springtime snack torrijas (a kind of French toast), the rolled wafers (barquillos), a custard pie (bartolillos con crema), and a delicious fritter filled with custard and whipped cream filling (bunuelos). The anise-flavored donuts called rosquillas de anis are often passed around during the festival of San Isidro, Madrid's own patron saint. Christmas is also a time of celebration where sweets such as the mazapán (marzipan) and turrón (soft and hard nougat) help mark the season's fiestas.
Tapa is a typical Spanish tradition which is refered to a variety of appetizers the Spaniards enjoy throughout the day in between primary meals. Many restaurants are specialized in just the tapas which are often served with beer or wine. As a capital of the country, Madrid also offers a large selection of fine wines to choose from.
NIGHTLIFE IN MADRID
There are literally hundred of venues to enjoy after-dark parties in Madrid. The most popular stomping grounds are the reliable Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol as they are replete with tapas bars and drinking taverns. The major streets for a tasca crawl or bar crawling are Cava de San Miguel, Cava Alta, and Cava Baja. Little streets branching off the Gran Vía are other places which may be worth checking out, but the area's actual trademarks are focused on cinemas and theaters. Chueca has dozens of clubs and is also a celebrated gay nightlife district. For the young and young-at-hearts, the areas of Argüelles and Moncloa are often frequented by university students as there are plenty of upbeat discos, ale houses as well as several inexpensive fast-food chains.
DINING IN MADRID
As a capital of the country, Madrid presents a cornucopia of restaurants representative of virtually every palate on earth. Traditional Spanish restaurants which usually incorporate seafood in their menus are Asador Guipuzcoa, El Almirez, Casa Lucio, Dantxari, La Barraca, and Cabo Mayor.
Succulent tapas as well as wines and beers are specialities of El Bocaito, Casa Paco, Zerain and La Chata. Edelweiss and Fass are German restaurants which are well-known for their beer, sausages and pig's trotters.
For pizza, pasta and the like of Italian delicacies, head to either Pummarola, Emma y Julia, Festin or Ciao Madrid. El Bodegon, Chez margo, Obrador and Brasserie de Lista serve great French as well as other Mediterranean dishes.
Thai cuisine makes its far-from-home appearance at Siam and Thai Garden which are very famous with businessmen. If you have an appetite for crispy tempura or raw fish and green wasabi, definitely make a tour to Kaiten Sushi Ginza, Donzoko, Robata or Janatomo. Shila is a pioneering Korean Grill. Chinese steaming dim sum and low mein are to be found at China Crown, Dynasty and House of Ming.
For even more adventurous flavors, try Moroccan food at Al-Mounia, Egyptian food at Samara, Russian at El Cosaco, or Indian at Delhi, Annapura, and Taj Mahal.
Dress code: Suits are the norm in Madrid if you're here to do business. Otherwise standard casual clothes are appropriate for any visitor in general. High-end restaurants and some hotel lounges may require a jacket and prohibit tennis shoes. It is also recommended to study the weather of Madrid before your trip and pack accordingly.
Language: Castilian (Spanish), but English, French and German-speaking staff can generally be found in large hotels and restaurants as well as in tourist centers.
Banking hours: Banks in Spain are generally open from 9 am to 2 pm on Weekdays and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday.
Time: GMT/UTC +1 (+ 2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
Currency: Euro (EUR).
Useful numbers: International country code: 34
Dialing tips: Dialing Spain from abroad: +34 - area code - number.
Internet access: There are numerous cybercafés all over the city with prices ranging from 1.7 € or 3.5 €.
OPERA SQUARE, AUSTRIAS MADRID in PALACIO AREA. FURNISHED 1 bed TOP FLOOR APARTMENT, LOUNGE , FITTED KITCHEN, DOUBLE BEDROOM and BATHROOM. EXCELLENT LOCATION.