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Mad About The Magical Madrid
Planning your very own Eat, Pray, Love Adventure? Make sure that the city of Madrid is on your list! For your benefit, here is a simple guide about the city!
Lying at the heart of Spain with its high altitude, Madrid has established a high standard of living being the financial center of the Iberian Peninsula. Despite its modernized skyscrapers, Madrid has restored its old structures that exhibited its rich history and culture. Moreover, it is one of Europe's prime cities. Some considered as the world’s fashion capital along with Paris and Milan but the Madrilenos, it's simple a place where people know how to party! This city will leave you sleepless with its so-called Madrid madness!
Visa Requirements: A Schengen visa is required to enter certain European countries such as Spain. Kindly proceed to the Spanish Embassies in your cities for more inquiries.
Exchange Rate: 1.00 USD = 0.703438 EUR (as of May 2011)
Time difference: Spain time zone is 9 hours ahead of California (Pacific); 8 hours ahead of Colorado (Mountain); 7 hours ahead of Texas (Central); 6 hours ahead of Florida (Easter); 12 hours ahead of Hawaii (Hawaiian) and 10 hours ahead of Alaska (Alaskan).
United States Embassy in Madrid, Spain: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid, Spain; Telephone: (34)(91) 587-2200; Fax: (34)(91) 587-2303 (Within Spain use phone numbers, omit 34)
How To Get To The Spanish Tierra (Direct Flights)
- New York to Madrid -Get to the Spanish capital from the Big Apple by flying Continental, Air Europa, US Airways, Delta, American Airlines and Iberia.
- Atlanta to Madrid- ATL to MAD via Delta
- Miami to Madrid - Fly straight from Miami to Madrid via Iberia and American Airlines.
- Washington to Madrid- (Washington-Dulles Airport) IAD is closer to MAD via Aer Lingus or United Airlines.
- Philadelphia to Madrid -Bridge the gap between the faraway cities via Spanair and US Airways.
- Newark, NJ to Madrid -Bring NJ closer to the heart of Spain via Continental and Air Europa.
- Boston to Madrid -BOS to MAD is possible via Iberia and American Airlines.
When is the perfect time to mingle with hot Spanish men and women?
Spring season is the ideal time to set foot on Madrid. Take a walk along the streets during the middle of March until May—where the days are balmy and windy and the nights are chilly. Behold the beauty of its architectural wonders exemplified by edifices built during the medieval period. Never miss the Madrid madness without experiencing its pulsating nightlife. Party hard with young Madrileños as they barricade the streets for an all-night “marcha”.
Ka-ching, ka-ching, what to bring?
- Petty Cash/Credit Card- prepare yourself for a shopping getaways
- Camera- to captivate its splendid structures and landscapes
- Sunglasses- for touring the city under the heat of the scorching sun
- Hat - Hats are chic accessory especially in Europe
- Sunscreen- The Spanish has no escape from UV rays as well.
- Party Dress – Madrid means P-A-R-T-Y.
- Dictionary – There may be a language barrier so bring a pocket Spanish dictionary to bridge the possible misunderstanding.
Hungry Travelers deserve nothing but the best Spanish Cuisine.
Combarro Restaurante: If you’re in for some intimate night out, this is a perfect rendezvous. Existing for over 30 years now, this restaurant managed to restore some of Galicia’s traditional dishes and morphed a variety of new recipes.
- Address: Reina Mercedes, 12, Madrid
- Telephone Number: (34) (91) 554-7784
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corral de la Moreria: It is popularly known as the tableo flamenco in the world. Located next to the Royal Palace, this restaurant not only caters authentic Spanish tapas but showcases whimsical flamenco performances. The Michelin Guide, a reference of European gastronomy, commended it for two consecutive years.
- Address: Calle Moreria, 17, 28005 Madrid
- Telephone Number: (34) (91) 365-8446/365-1137
- Website: www.corraldelamoreria.com.
La Buganvilla: An exemplary Mediterranean restaurant that primarily serves rice dishes. Be amazed with their nautical inspired theme while you salivate on their authentic Paella Valenciana, a typical Spanish favorite.
- Address: Calle Almagro, 12 28010 Madrid
- Telephone Number: (34) (91) 319-7550
- Website: www.labuganvilla.es
Restaurante Botin: Botin is the oldest restaurant (Built in 1725) according to the Guiness World Records. Benito Perez Galdos, a Spanish novelist, mentioned it in his few works including the novel, Fortuna y Jacinta. Hence, Hemmingway adduced Botin as his favorite in “The Sun also Rises”. The restaurant has maintained its original structure giving a classical atmosphere. Their menu comprises of traditional Spanish cuisine that surpassed the hands of time.
- Address: Calle Cuchilleros, 17 Madrid
- Telephone Number: (34) (91) 366-4217;
- Website: www.botin.es
Where to spend a night or two under the Spanish skies?
Hotel Orfila: Established during the 19th century, this former palace was morphed into a luxurious hotel without bastardizing its awe-inspiring classical style and tweaked with a modern twist. Situated at the business and cultural heart of Madrid, it is neighboring Prado Museum, Parque del Retiro and Golden Mile.
It became a member of the Relais Chateaux Association, one of the world's most prestigious hotel associations of the world in merely a year of its inauguration. Thus, Conde Nast Johanssen selected this elite hotel as “Most Execelent Charming Hotel”.
- Address: Calle de Orfila 6, 28010 Madrid, Spain
- Website: www.orfilahotel.com.
Westin Hotel: Built in 1912 and a renovated old glamour, this five star hotel was restored of its unique elegance. Standing in a so-called Art Triangle (composed by the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofía Museums), this award winning deluxe hotel houses La Rotonda, Asia Gallery and El Bar de Palace located in the spectacular stained glass dome. It also has the Westin Sommelier program where you can savor the best tasting wines in the world.
- Address: Plaza de las Cortes 7, 28014 Madrid, Spain
- Telephone Number: (34) (91) 360-8000
- Website: www.westinpalacemadrid.com
Ritz Hotel: A lavish hotel built with King Alfonso XIII’s desire to rival Paris and London 1910. Today, it has provided the city an exclusive and elegant pursuit having welcomed some of the most internationally recognized names and some members of Spain’s royalty. The hotel has 137 rooms and 30 suites that are individually decorated with antique furniture, elite interiors and high-end entertainment fit for a king. Ritz Madrid has established a touch of aristocracy, indeedAddress: Plaza De La Lealtad 5, 28014 Madrid, Spain
- Telephone Number: (34)(91) 701-6767
- Website: www.ritzmadrid.com.
Best Western Atlantico: This hotel lies in a prime location amidst Madrid and it will only take you 40 minutes from the Barajas Airport via their free shuttle service. Feast your eyes on its majestic French-inspired façade and beg for more once you immerse onto their air-conditioned and soundproofed guestrooms with high-speed Internet access, mini bars and satellite televisions.
- Address: Gran Via 38, 28013 Madrid, Spain
- Telephone Number: (34) (91) 522-6480
- Website: www.hotelatlantico.es
Hotel Nuevo Madrid: A budget hotel strategically situated near the IFEMA fairground, Congress Center and airport, the hotel boasts of its easy access to public transport terminals, restaurants and clubs. It has 225 carefully decorated rooms equipped with Internet access via cable or Wi-Fi, flat screen TV, free gym usage, spa and room services.
- Address: Calle de Bausa 25-27, 28033 Madrid, Spain
- Telephone Number: (34)(91) 298-2600
- Website: www.hotelnuevomadrid.com
Recommended Boredom Busters
Watch a bullfight at Plaza de Toros de las Ventas (subway stop at Ventas Station) Witness first-hand action between the toro and the matadero via the traditional Bullfight.
Shop till you drop. Madrid is a city where style is ubiquitous. Digging great finds is easy some of the city's shopping haven:
- Salamanca- The Spanish word for magic. Be enthralled by the magical Salamanca that houses the biggest brands in the world of fashion. This is a certified fashionista haven that every style hunters should visit.
- Calle Fuencarral- a typical hub for some artist and musicians. This is home of Madrid's funky and edgy shops.
- El Rastro- This open market is always crowded because of its numerous stalls that sell almost everything. And like Divisoria, prepare yourself for some bargain deal.
- Feria del Libro Antiguo y de Ocasión/Feria del Libro sobre Madrid- Both held in May, these book fairs sell old and used books. This is Madrid's Mecca for bookworms.
Walk and Behold. Madrid's landscape is laden with beautifully designed architectures and panoramic views perfect for photographs.
Dig in the Party Scene. Madrileños know to party hard. Go clubbing and step into the rhythm of Spanish beats that ranges from disco, jazz, techno and flamenco. Splurge into Madrid's after-dark while dancing and drinking 'til the sun shines!
Visit the Art Traingle. Prepare and get struck for a massive art attack!
- Museo del Prado- houses eclectic collection of paintings and sculptures from Goya, Durero, Rembrandt and Rubens
- Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza- exhibits pieces from Gaugin, Hopper, Lichenstein, Pollock and Rothko.
- Centro de Arte Reina Sofia- caters more on the younger crowd. This art museum showcases contemporary Spanish art. It is home to works of Picasso, Dali and Miro.