Welcome travelers to Madrid, by plane, train or car .
Travelers arriving in the capital of Spain should know that its Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport, Atocha train station and Spanish highway A 4, have some interesting things to show.
We recommend to travelers who are looking for cool things to do in Madrid, to visit Barrio de las Letras, Salamanca and Chamartin.
Prado museum paintings, Reina Sofia museum famous paintings and Thyssen Bornemisza museum highlights are ”mandatory stops”. Either for art lovers or neophytes. We propose those fleeing from art, to book a private tour through any of these museums. We guarantee that their negative attitude towards painting art will change to the opposite.
In this blog we will review some Madrid parks that will captivate the traveler. In fact, the capital of Spain has the largest area in public parks and green areas in Europe.
Public transport is highly praised, both by visitors and citizens. EMT ( city buses ) and Metro (subway) cover a wide spectrum of Madrid downtown. Those who prefer to travel by a Madrid taxi should know that there are 16000 taxis at the service of the users. For those travelers who like Uber, we recommend to download the Cabify app. as well. This app has better fares than Uber.
Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas.
Terminal 4 of the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport is amazing. Iberia and associated airlines land at Terminal 4. Architect Richard Rodgers, who holds the Pritzker Architecture Award, designed it in conjunction with Spanish architect C. Lamela . The overall view of Terminal T4 is spectacular. Travelers are amazed to see the huge vaults that provide natural light at all levels of the building. Rodgers and Lamela created a modern concept for airports, respecting sustainable environment rules.
Passengers landing in Madrid on other airlines arrive at Terminal 1. Opened in 1933, to serve 30,000 passengers per year.
September 23 of 1953 was the date when the leaders of Spain and the USA signed an important pact.
As a result of it Spain experienced a rapid economic boom. The country rose quickly to a leading position among top tourist destinations. It got necessary to extend Terminal 1 and construct a 4.4 km long runway, the largest in Europe, for the giant Jumbo jets. Millions of tourists landed at Terminal 1 which served, 20 years after its opening, 1000 times more passengers than in 1933.
From the Adolfo Suarez Airport in Madrid-Barajas, travelers have a wide range of transport services that connects them to Madrid downtown: the taxi, which has a fixed tariff; Uber or Cabify ; the modern metro line number 8 or the express yellow bus, with a frequency of 15 minutes and stops close to hotels around Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen museums, Retiro Park and Atocha Train Station.
The Atocha train station in Madrid is a place that travelers should admire.
Atocha is the departures and arrivals train station of the AVE. Of eclectic interior style. Its central modernist nave of iron, glass and terracotta is considered an art work of railway station design. Another Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Rafael Moneo, turned the 20th century Central Marquee into a large public foyer with a breathtaking Tropical Garden that became one of the places in Madrid that travelers should visit.
Madrid Downtown is very accessible from Atocha train station. Madrid Taxis have one of the lowest fares in the European Community.
Line 1 of the subway stops in Atocha Renfe and other main stations in Madrid Downtown.
Do not forget the Express yellow bus that connects the airport with Atocha and vice versa.
The A4 Motorway
Many travelers entering Madrid by rental car from the Spanish region of Andalusia drive the A4 motorway…
When there last about 15 km to drive to Madrid, they will see an imposing 28-meters Christ of limestone that stands out from the motorway. It’s the Cerro de los Angeles , the true center of Iberian Peninsula. (KM 0 at the Puerta del Sol is a fake).
The route from the highway to the top of the Cerro has on both sides a mystical-looking pine forest. Actually, the entrance to this spot harmonizes with the spiritual surrounding atmosphere.
In Cerro de los Angeles there are 2 holy sites. The chapel of Nuestra Señora de los Angeles and the monument devoted to the Sacred Heart. The last, has a strong resemblance to Corcovado’s Christ in Rio de Janeiro.
For all these reasons we recommend travelers visit this spot. Everybody gets enthralled by its enchanting atmosphere.
Madrid. More or less well-known sites that can’t be missed
The capital of Spain has the largest number of museums and art galleries in the country. All the gastronomy of Spain’s 17 regions comes together in Madrid. Madrid’s restaurants offer, of all types and for all tastes and budgets, has no parallel in Europe.
You stroll in Madrid and soon will realize that each neighborhood has an own personality. There are neighborhoods with a picturesque bohemian atmosphere like Malasana. Or multicultural like Lavapies. La Latina has a vibrant nightlife. Las Letras, competes with La Latina and Malasana, although it surpasses them in art and cultural tradition. There is Chamberi, which has turned into the fashionable neighborhood for wealthy families. Salamanca looks as elegant as ever. Do not put aside Chamartin and its famous Bernabeu, Stadium. And enjoy Chamartin’s unsurpassed quality restaurants !
Although, tourists prefer Madrid downtown because of its proximity to hotels, flamenco tablaos and tapas bars.
All tourist books, without exception, write about a boulevard of leafy trees. The Paseo del Arte, with the Prado, the Thyssen Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia Modern Art Centre.
The Prado Museum
Inaugurated in 1819, it is the best museum in the world of the art of painting between 15th and 17th centuries. Its collection includes approximately 28,000 masterpieces, from the Renaissance to Romanticism. Among them, stand out impressive work of arts of two geniuses of universal painting – Velazquez and Goya. Our private tour of the Prado provides a perfect understanding of the evolution of painting art. Check out our 10 private Prado Museum guided Tour. You will enjoy an exciting artistic experience to remain indelible in your memory.
The Thyssen Bornemisza Museum in Madrid
It houses a collection of 775 paintings gathered by the Thyssen Bornemisza family. 1993, Spain acquired the collection for 350 million American dollars. Baroness Carmen Thyssen, mediated between the owners and the Spanish State. Thanks her, this fantastic collection establish its main delegation in Madrid.
Our private tour through the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum Highlights focuses on :
– Gothic, Quatrocentto to 17th century Flemish painting art.
– The 3 Schools of the German Expressionists
– 20th. Century main Artists and Movements.
Our Thyssen Bornemisza Museum Tour is a good complement to the Prado, since it covers periods that are not available in this last museum.
The Reina Sofia Modern Art Centre in Madrid
It’s a dynamic and modern Pinacotheque that permits to ‘soak up’ the avant-garde of the 20th century art. In all its manifestations, painting, sculpture, photography and cinema. Our 2 private Tours through Reina Sofia Museum famous Paintings reveal the most plausible interpretations of Picasso’s Guernica along with an entertaining itinerary through jewels of Spanish expressionist, cubist, surrealist and abstract art of painting.
The Royal Palace of Madrid
It was built in 17 years. Its 2800 rooms make of it the largest of all European palaces in building surface.
Inside, the impressive religious and mythological frescoes of Giaquinto, Tiepolo and Mengs that adorn the vaults.
It displays the XVII century diverse Royal Factories crafts. All promoted by Spain’s first Bourbon King, Phillip V.
Impressive candle holders and mirrors made in the Real Fábrica de Cristales de la Granja. Indestructible rugs of thick Castilian wool from the Real Fábrica de Santa Bárbara. Imaginative porcelain ornamentations from the Real Fábrica de Piedras Duras del Buen Retiro. Different pieces of royal cutlery manufactured in the Royal Factory of Platerías Martínez.
Flemish XVII century tapestries are the backdrop for the stories and adventures of all the Kings and one Queen who inhabited the Palace.
Only on the Private Tour of Madrid Museum Tours these histories recover its original breath.
Madrid is the capital of Europe with the largest number of public parks and green areas. Most famous is the Retiro Park, which was in the past the private hunting reserve of the Austria Kings.
Today, locals, travelers and tourists walk among the 19000 Retiro Park trees. People like to watch the squirrels or feed the Lake voracious carp fishes.
Retiro’s Park 4 attractive Exhibition Halls get many visitors.
The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid, opened in 1755, is a must for gardening lovers. They have to stroll as well in the Greenhouse of the ‘Palacio de Cristal’ at the Paseo de la Chopera. 9000 species of tropical and aquatic plants ! Close by, there is the Matadero Cultural Centre. A red brick building from the early 20th century that has become an architectural model of world reference in the segment of art and creative cultural centers.
Madrid and its Public Transport
Madrid’s city subway and EMT public bus services get good qualifications from the citizens.
A fleet of 16,000 taxis is ready to take passengers to any of the 21 downtown’s districts.
The narrow streets of Lavapies or Malasana are accessible. Thanks to Madrid’s electric minibus network. These small buses preserve the environment. A comfortable way to explore genuine, old Madrid spots that no traveler should miss.
Travelers who like to stroll in the city and use public transport should book a personalized ‘off the beaten path’ Madrid Tour with Madrid Museum Tours.
Madrid. Three little known urban gems that travelers must know.
Madrid offers lots of awesome things for travelers to enjoy. It would be a pity that some tourist attractions of great beauty and interest may go unnoticed. Madrid Museum Tours strolls make possible that everyone gets a full enjoyment of main Downtown Madrid attractions.
Madrid offers too many things for travelers to enjoy. It would be a pity that many details of great beauty and interest may go unnoticed. This is why Madrid Museum Tours offers many original private tours in order tourists do not miss any of those Madrid’s attractions that everyone should learn.
Urban Gem 1.) Neighborhood of Salamanca and surrounding areas.
About the Madrid City Council. It is a monumental, eclectic building with flamboyant ornaments. A short distance away, in Alcalá 54, we have the Casa Palazuelo. Its impressive tower, in the shape of a truncated pyramid, crowns a structure of 4 floors, each with 2 spacious flats per floor. In Marqués Villamejor Street, numbers 1 to 7, there are more modernist apartment buildings. Beautiful architectonic works of Antonio Palacios Ramilo and his partner, Joaquín Otamendi.
The walk through Salamanca neighborhood should not only consist in admiring its architecture. Countless, small boutiques of local fashion designers invite to do ‘window shopping’. Here, there and everywhere in Salamanca, art galleries, cozy bars, trendy restaurants and the dynamic Mercado de la Paz.
In this market the travelers will feel pleasant sensations. They will appreciate the high quality of the agricultural products. And the cleanliness of the fruit, meat, fish stalls. Visitors like to taste the delicious Tapas of Casa Dani, chosen as the best bar in Madrid. The iron beams on the ceiling testify the modernist style of the market building.
Urban Gem 2.) Neighborhood of Chamartín and surrounding areas :
Madrid began to grow northwards with Chamartín, in the mid-1960s.
Around a decade earlier, Real Madrid’s stadium had been built aside a vast wasteland. After the ‘Abrazo de Madrid’ a thriving middle class emerged, erecting exclusive housings that marked Chamartin’s elitist character for ever. Today, Chamartin faces Madrid’s ‘Business Center’ together with upper-middle class residences. A wide range of exquisite restaurants and, of course, intense tourist floods generated by Real Madrid Stadium. A short distance from this Football Field away is El Viso. Small houses of simple, rationalist architecture built around 1950’s for ‘blue collar workers’. Today El Viso has become one of the highest per capita income residents within Madrid.
Madrid Tourist Guides has an exclusive private tour through this area of Madrid. The participants will enjoy a detailed architectural explanation of some emblematic houses. Including the stunning mansion of the distinguished intellectual Ramon Menendez Pidal, the facilities of the Canal de Isabel II Water Deposit with its Cultural Center and placid adjacent park. End of the Tour, a taste of traditional Tapas and wines in cozy bars, quite far away from full of people Downtown Madrid….
Urban Gem 3.) The Barrio de las Letras
There are few neighborhoods in Madrid that bring back fond and easy-going memories of yesteryear and, simultaneously, stir up excitement and “joie de vivre”.
This is the case of the so-called “Barrio de las Letras” (District of Letters or Literary Quarter) in the heart of the city. Here, you can take a walk through the history of Spain’s Golden Century.
This is where the foremost authors of Spanish literature had their homes. We’re talking about Cervantes, Quevedo, Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina.
It can be said that Spanish theatre was born in these narrow streets. Plays were commissioned, actors hired, plays published and performed, heated literary squabbles carried out amongst followers of opposing factions. Ever since we can remember, we walked the streets of the Barrio de las Letras in search of peace of mind and inspiration.
As we said, the magic of literature comes alive as one strolls through these streets. Look down on the pavement and you know what we are talking about. Then you can step into the Ateneo, one of Madrid’s landmark cultural institutions, a haven of free speech and intellectual pursuits which has lasted through years of Spain’s many political turmoils.
Of course, there are the terraces at the Santa Ana Square, right in front of the Teatro Español.
Hemingway used to stop by at the “Cervecería Alemana” which still harbors lively encounters of local theatre professionals.
The entire district exudes an odd mixture of down to earth atmosphere and refinement.
Tourists, expats and locals mingle easily sharing a common state of mind, a longing for emotional well being that nurtures the spirit. Anywhere you go at the Barrio de las Letras you feel as if you belong. For me, it’s been like that ever since we can remember. We are sure you’ll feel like that, too.
Good vibes in the heart of Madrid.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you’re planning to come to Madrid please contact us through our website. We will be happy to help and talk with you.