Madrid Hotels Articles

August 17, 2010

Discovering In Madrid – A Manual To The City Of Spain

On the Eastern part of the city you find the classy Paseo des Arte, with its beautiful foliage and three enormous museums, The Prado, the Centro de Arte de Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen Bornemisza, all clumped together just a conveniently short walk from each other. Private apartment complexes and fine dining highlight this area, and the older museums serve as background for the ambience of the bigger three. Just behind the Prado you will find the luxurious length of the rertiro gardens,covered by ponds and fountains,pavilions of glasss,and rose gardens,it is a lovely shaded place to find some relief from the summer heat.

If your looking for tapas bars and eateries go west of Paseo del Arte. Cervantes and Lope de Vega’s influences were instrumental in fashioning the area into a progressive, cultural bastion. At one point in time, the theatres used to compete with the brothels for customer but even today, its a happening spot to be when the sun goes down. Standing room only crowds. During the calmer daylight hours, chic dogs out walking with their trendy professional owners amuse and delight the older neighbors who relax on the benches of the area.

This magnificent plaza is the centerpiece of old Madrid. It is a vast and imposing square, once used to crown royalty, to burn heretics, and now, unfortunately, home to nothing more than plastic covered menus at grimy tourist cafes. The oldest streets in the city, are twisted, bent lanes that curve away from the square; these are the last echos of a city that used to be beautiful. The street is lined with timeless convents, churches, palaces and specialty shops which have maintained their appealing Old World charm. The newly restored Opera House resides just east of here, along with the Palacio Real, which is a wonderful exemplification of extravagant beauty.

Sprinkled below the Plaza Mayor, you will find the customary working class neighborhoods. A great portion of the area is run down and poverty stricken though the brilliant marks of the efforts for the betterment of the same are visible everywhere. There is an enticing combination of people who reside in this area, including not only the eclectic young artists with their newly opened pubs and coffee shops, but also the native people of Madrid, and North African and South American immigrants. The flea market is where you want to find yourself at the end of the weekend.

Enjoy rustic cinemas and luxurious shops as you stroll along wide Gran Via Avenue, which connects the northern section of the old city with east and west. Chueca and Malasana, the neighbourhoods located to the Gran Via’s north, display split personalities, one being old fashioned and sweet in the light of day, and boisterously wild after the sun sets. These are areas in Madrid that are all the rage.

In the northeast section of the city, Swanky Salamanca is comprised of broad avenues containing chic apartments and fine restaurants. As soon as you spot the Ferraris, exclusive clubs and designer boutiques, it becomes obvious that money is in no short supply in Calle Serrano. Some of the nineteenth century mansions enhance the higher end surroundings, and the shiny towers that line Paseo Castellano are a wonderful point of interest for those intrigued by modern building design.

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