One week in Madrid
We start from the most beautiful point in Madrid and from where everything started over one thousand years ago: Plaza de Oriente.
Our suggestion is to enjoy a nice breakfast sitting at one of the terraces with the best views in Madrid. The traditional Madrid breakfast is a cup of chocolate with churros. Try it while beholding the views of the Royal Palace and the Cathedral in front of you, and the Royal Theater on your right. Is there any other place where you can have breakfast with such beautiful and gorgeous sights?
Now you are ready to visit the luxurious Royal Palace . Most of the palace has been kept intact as it was at the time of King Carlos III during the 18th-century. The throne room is the palace masterpiece, and everything is still kept as it was three centuries ago when kings sat at their thrones.
Don’t forget to visit the Royal Armory, one of the most charming museums in Madrid. It´s considered the first one of its kind in the world. Gorgeous!
Before lunch we still have time to visit the Cathedral . It´s not the kind of ancient and majestic cathedrals like those found in other cities of Spain or in France, nor a modern and cutting-edge one like Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, but it is interesting and charming due to the perfect mix of different styles given by the different architects that worked on it. The doors, a work of Master Sanguino are a beautiful example of how news and information during the Middle Ages was transmitted to people through art.
It’s the only cathedral in Spain blessed by a Pope: Joan Paulus II. A large statue commemorating his visit is erected outside.
Let´s have some Spanish food at the oldest restaurant in the world, Botín, as confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records. A charming place filled with plenty of history, many famous people have preceded you eating here. Just see their guestbook. Hemingway was one of the guests who have enjoyed unforgettable feasts here.
Now it's time to see the Plaza Mayor ,one of the largest and most beautiful squares in Spain. Have a coffee in one of the many outdoor bars that fills its sidewalks, while enjoying the views of its arcade, the ancient shops, hundreds of people walking around, and the frescoes of its facades.
Gran Vía´s100th birthday was celebrated this year (2011). Take a stroll to see how our own "Broadway avenue" is changing its former dozens of cinemas and theaters into numerous international fashion shops.. Fuencarral Street and the Chueca neighborhood are the areas for cutting-edge fashion shops. Walk through its narrow streets to discover the latest fashion trends and boutiques.
After such a long walk, it´s time to enjoy a typical Spanish dinner. Try our delicious Tapas, sitting at one of the several terraces in Plaza de Santa Ana.
Then if you want to explore Madrid at night, find a bar in Huertas. Here you will find unlimited choices for any kind of fun: Live music, cocktails and bars.
What about a good cup of coffee to start the day while we sit at the charming outdoor Botanic Bar, just in front of the Botanical Garden a few meters away from el Prado?
Next up is art! Tons of master pieces, paintings, sculptures, drawings and more are located within the Walk of Art, the largest concentration of Art in the world. Although everything is located within a few hundred meters, you’ll need hours to cover everything.
El Prado offer different tours depending on your available time. Don’t miss Velazquez, Goya, El Greco or Rubens.
Now enjoy a quick lunch of Tapas at the bars behind the Hotel Palace. Try some Tapas in each of them, as locals do when they go out for lunch or dinner.
Then keep walking up the same direction until you reach Cibeles fountain and the Palace where City Hall is located. The Palace has been totally restored recently with spectacular results. It’s worth visiting to see its impressive interior and iron and crystal structure.
When you leave the Palace you will find the Puerta de Alcala on your right hand side, then go to the Retiro Park , take a relaxing stroll in the largest green area of Madrid where thousands of locals go daily to play sports or simply be relaxed. It’s nice to row a boat on the lake!
Once you get out of the Park, take Serrano Street, where the Gold Mile starts. Most luxury internationals shops opened their shops either in Serrano and Ortega y Gasset. To name a few: Louis Vuitton, Prada, Scada, Loewe and some others dazzle you when looking at their luxury shop windows.
For a fancy dinner tonight, book a table at the exotic restaurant inside the Atocha train station, Samarkanda. You´ll be taken to far and exotic lands. To fully enjoy their international cuisine at very affordable prices, book your table at the outdoor pavilions located in the middle of the exotic and tropical garden unique in its type in the world.
To conclude the day, there’s nothing better than going out for a drink at one of the numerous gin bars, which are very popular among locals.
Today let’s move from Madrid and visit Toledo, a unique ancient city full of charm and history, declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
Toledo is the city of the three cultures from the three single faith religions: Muslim, Jewish and Christian, all of which left imprints on the city.
Toledo was the capital of Spain in the times of Emperor Carlos I, and it is steeped in history today as it was in ancient times: in every alley, under every cobblestone, in every building, behind every corner. Its unique artistic heritage is palpable on any stroll. Churches, synagogues, convents, the city wall, bridges and towers all make Toledo an endless museum to be discovered among its narrow streets.
Toledo's gastronomy is based on traditional Spanish cuisine. You can eat at any of the several restaurants (Mesones) that you encounter in the city and enjoy the specialty: lamb.
Back in Madrid after experiencing Toledo’s culture, art and history, why don't we have fun attending one of the fantastic musicals that play every week in our theaters?
Today we can start off with a unique breakfast at the Chocolateria San Ginés, where you can order our traditional local breakfast: chocolate or coffee with churros. Meanwhile sit at their nice terrace consider our two proposals for today:
We have a couple of different routes, both with the same content, but slightly different regarding places.
Both routes are about art, and the first one is to stroll through the Walk of Art to visit the Thyssen and Reina Sofía museums. The Thyssen was considered the world's best museum in 2010, and the Reina Sofía is within the top 20 most visited museums in the world.
It's lunch time! Why don't we go back again to the Plaza de Santa Ana to taste those other Tapas that you couldn’t ask for last time?
In the afternoon, we suggest you visit the Conde Duque area, a renovated and fascinating area with plenty of modern shops.
This is your fourth day in Madrid, and you haven´t tried paella yet? Ok, don´t worry, book a table in one of our selected Paella restaurants. Here you´ll find authentic paella.
The itinerary is as follows:
First take a visit to El Valle de los Caídos a huge basilica carved in the rock to commemorate the end of the civil war and to honor those killed on both sides. It has the largest and highest Cross of Christianity which can be seen from 40 kilometers distance.
Then go to El Escorial and visit the Monastery, the masterpiece of Emperor Felipe II, erected to commemorate the victory against French troops in San Quintin and to keep the remains of his father the Emperor. The monastery is considered the eighth wonder of the ancient world. It’s austere and huge and reflected the spirit of the Spanish monarchy of that time: austere but strong, severe but gorgeous, simple but wonderful!
We´ll hit the road again to have lunch in ancient Segovia, where you can admire the Roman aqueduct which is today as it was in Roman ages.
We suggest a couple of choices for lunch: The most famous restaurant in Segovia: Candido, close to the aqueduct, or Duque, the other famous one in the city. If you prefer good quality at more affordable prices, your place is El Tunel, just in front of the aqueduct. It has the best terrace in Segovia, from which you can admire the same stones that the Romans did in the 1st century of our era.
After lunch, take a walk following our route down the Royal Street up to the Plaza Grande, where the fascinating Gothic cathedral is located.
Before you go back to Madrid, you can have a coffee or a drink in one of the several bars on the square.
At the hotel take a shower and go out to enjoy a real Flamenco show at one of our selected Tablaos. You can have dinner there too.
To have a balanced trip, it´s not only about shops for her! Now it´s time for him, let´s have a visit to the world's best soccer team of the 20th-century, yes: it's Real Madrid, At the stadium you can visit the pitch and trophy rooms among other interesting places inside the stadium.
Then, let's walk to the nearby Plaza Castilla and find the tallest skyscrapers in Madrid, named the 4 Towers, which were built just few years ago.
But on the way, we must stop at La Garriga (on the left hand side if we walk up to Plaza Castilla), to taste the best Jamón Serrano with a cup of cava (Spanish champagne).
If you are in Madrid during Torosseason, you can watch an exciting real bullfight at las Ventas live.
What do you prefer for dinner tonight: A romantic restaurant? Japanese? Do you love Spanish cuisine? Or would you prefer to try some exotic tastes? A wonderful Chinese restaurant at any number of luxurious hotels? Or is it the time to splurge in one of the starred Michelin restaurants? Find your choice in our restaurant section.
Today it's your last night in Madrid, so it's your last chance to challenge yourself in one of our lively Discos . There are more than enough choices for of all kinds of music and atmospheres.
If today is Sunday, it’s mandatory to visit the Flea Market, El Rastro, a second hand market where thousands of locals go every Sunday morning to search and find hidden treasures at bargain prices. You can walk around and then take a snack (aperitif) as locals do in any one of the several typical bars that you´ll find there.
Then, a brunch is a must. Find the most suitable one for you at our brunch site.
On Sundays, locals love to enjoy and relax at Parque del Retiro, where musicians and artists cheer up the entire afternoon.