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SEPTIEMBRE 28
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Spain Travel Guide

Best of Madrid



Best places of Miami are difficult to find; because of the large number of places to visit and explore as well due to the high quality of each one of them. We will take you to the five most interesting places in Madrid with some descriptions and tips for your visit. Madrid is widely known for its Art Museums, nightlife and cafes.

Puerta de Toledo


The Puerta de Toledo is an entrance to the city, made of granite and located in the southwest of Madrid (exactly in Glorieta de la Puerta de Toledo) composed by 3 semicircular arches with the central one taller than the others, with sculptures and columns. Its construction was ordered by Jose Bonaparte in 1812 and inaugurated in 1827.

The Prado Museum


The Prado Museum is the principal museum in Spain, located in Madrid and boasts one of the most important collections of art. The museum features Spanish, Romanesque, gothic, Early Renaissance, Italian, German, and British paintings; you’ll also find sculptures from Greek, Roman, and Renaissance styles. The Prado museum is the top cultural sight in Madrid.

Retiro Park


The Retiro Park, its name in Spanish is Parque del Buen Retiro or Jardines del Buen Retiro or simply El Retiro; considered the largest park of Madrid; it’s located in the edge of the city centrer. It’s a peaceful and beautiful zone, surrounded by the present day-city and its modernity. Retiro Park includes the Crystal Palace, the Casita del Pescator Fountains such as: the Falling Angel, the artificial fountain; monuments such as: General Arsenio Martinez Campos,

Puerta del Sol


The Puerta del Sol isn’t an entrance but an square well-known in Spain; it’s a good place for meetings, where many people gather for new year celebrations due to the famous clock and bells. From the Puerta del sol you can access easily to the Metro, the Post office and the statue of Charles III (The Major King), the Tio Pepe lighted sight, the Kilometro Cero, El Oso y el Madroño (a famous symbol of Madrid) and more attractions.

The Royal Palace


The Royal Palacio or Palacio Real in Spanish is the official residence of the Royal Family in Madrid; but it’s used only for state ceremonies. More than a palace it’s a fortress, which façade was built with a series of pillars, adorner with statues and other ornaments; Visit this palace, its interior is as or more majestic than its exterior.

Some tips

  • The best Museums: Museo Thyssen
  • The best Tourist area: Royal Palace
  • The best Party area: Huertas
  • The best places for kids: Madrid Zoo
  • Most Practiced Sports in Madrid: Soccer, Golf, Swimming.
  • The best Amusement Parks: Warner Park
  • The best Shopping area: Calle Alcalá

Guernica

Guernica was painted by Pablo Picasso at the time of the Nazi German bombing of Guernica, Spain, by twenty-four bombers, on April 26, 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso painted it until a few days after the destruction of Guernica. The picture contains a hidden message of protest against the terror of war and fascism. Guernica was the cradle of the Basque nation, and Picasso's canvas made it a household name around the world.

Because "Guernica" was banned in Spain during Franco's era and because of a provision in Picasso's will, which bequeathed it to the "democratic" state of Spain, the picture hung until 1981 in the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Urban oases

Across Calle de Alfonso XII, at the southwest corner of Parque de Retiro, is the Real Jardín Botánico (Botanical Garden) (tel. 91-420-30-17; Metro: Atocha; bus: 10, 14, 19, 32, or 45). Founded and opened in the 18th century (1781), these beautiful gardens achieved an international reputation through the import of plants and seeds from America and the Philippines. This garden contains more than 104 species of trees and 3,000 types of plants. The park boasts numerous fountains and statues. There are also two exposition centers, the Velásquez and Crystal palaces, and a lakeside monument, erected in 1922 in honor of King Alfonso XII. This Garden has a specialized library which includes 10,000 drawings of the flora of New Granada brought from South America by the celebrated botanist Celestino Mutis. The park is open daily from 10am to 9pm except in August; admission is 1.50€ ($1.70).

Another beautiful park in Madrir is the "Parque de Retiro", originally a playground for the Spanish monarchs and their guests, extends over 140 hectares (350 acres). In this park you'll find "El Cáson del Buen Retiro", a building from 1886, in which are exposed works of great painter Picasso. The park is open daily 24 hours, but it is safest from 7am to about 8:30pm.

Tapas

A "Tapa" is a free snack to be placed on top of a drink to keep flies and other what-nots out. Like in almost all parts, the practice of consuming tapas in Madrid is inseparable from the agglomeration of masses in small spaces. Here in Madrid "tapas" include: Potato chips, green olives, small bits of rabbit with garbanzo beans, and a large bowl of snails cooked in a tomato sauce. Tapas can also be ordered off the menu and are often a better buy than the "raciones".

There are several places in Madrid where you can eat many varieties of "Tapas". Some of them are La Taberna de Antonio Sánchez Tapas (Mesón de Parades 13. tel. 91-539-78-26), Casa Mingo Asturian/Spanish (Paseo de la Florida 34. tel. 91-547-79-18), Cervecería Alemania Tapas (Plaza de Santa Ana 6. tel. 91-429-70-33) and Cervecería Santa Bárbara Tapas (Plaza de Santa Bárbara 8. tel. 91-319-04-49).

Verbenas

A verbena is a popular Madrid festival, with dancing and fair attractions, drinks and food. The verbenas of Madrid are well-known, attracting people from all over Spain and from all over Europe. On May 15, the city celebrates its patron saint, San Isidro, with several typical events such as verbenas, romerías and the best bullfights of the year. During July and August the city celebrates the Villa Summer, with theater and cinema events, verbenas and music shows organized by the city’s authorities. All the verbenas are related to a religious festival. In August there are several traditional verbenas in the barrio of La Latina.

La Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida

On Madrid´s Paseo de la Florida you will find the Real Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, which aside from being the final resting place of the great Spanish artist Goya is also known by some as Madrid´s Cistine Chapel. The frescoes portray a celerated miracle by Saint Anthony of Padua (Milagro de San Antonio de Padua) and are thought to be one of Goya´s masterpieces. That painting represents one of his most important works.

The hermitage of San Antonio de la Forida, built during the kingship of Carlos IV, Forida was designed by the architect F. Fontana. Goya painted the cupola and the pendentives between June and December 1798.




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