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Madrid

N 4025.015', W 342.211'
2014-09-17
http://www.turismomadrid.es
Our rating: 8.00
Overall rating:

Madrid is in the center of Spain, it stands away from the coast and therefore less popular with tourists than other Spanish cities. In the capital we were planning to visit the largest royal palace in Europe, but due to some events it was closed, so we just walked around.

Royal Palace of Madrid
Royal Palace of Madrid wikipedia.org

Actually, the palace is the main attraction. But there are many other nice places. We lived on the main street Gran Via, so started our route from there. The first interesting building is Metropolis. Its height is 45 meters and in 1910 it was the tallest building in Madrid.

Metropolis building
Metropolis building Yuriy Buriak


Metropolis building
Metropolis building Yuriy Buriak

Nearby is a building Círculo de Bellas Artes. If you are interested, there is an observation deck there ("mirador"), entrance 3 euro, open from 11-00 to 14-00 and from 17-00 to 21-00.

Next we went to the beautiful area of ​​Plaza de Cibeles, where stands luxurious palace Palacio de Cibeles. Before it was a post office and now it is the town hall. It also has an observation deck, which is open from 11-00 to 14-00 and 16-00 to 19-00, costs 2 euro.

Cibeles Palace
Cibeles Palace Yuriy Buriak


Cibeles Palace
Cibeles Palace Yuriy Buriak

In 2 minutes from the square there is gate of Alcala (La Puerta de Alcalá), which are located on Independence Square. The gate built in 1778 was one of the five main gates of the city.

Puerta de Alcalá
Puerta de Alcalá Yuriy Buriak

Near the gate is the entrance to the Retiro Park. If we do not take into account the wonderful park in Valencia, it is the best city park in Spain.

Monument to King Alfonso XII in Retiro Park
Monument to King Alfonso XII in Retiro Park Yuriy Buriak


Retiro Park
Retiro Park Yuriy Buriak


Retiro Park
Retiro Park Yuriy Buriak


Retiro Park
Retiro Park Yuriy Buriak

In 1887 two palaces for exhibitions were built in the park. Brick palace is not interesting, but the crystal palace is just gorgeous. There are even rocking chairs inside!

Brick Palace in Retiro Park
Brick Palace in Retiro Park Yuriy Buriak


Crystal Palace in Retiro Park
Crystal Palace in Retiro Park Yuriy Buriak


Crystal Palace in Retiro Park
Crystal Palace in Retiro Park Yuriy Buriak

From the park we went for a walk into the old town. Passed by the Prado Museum, where is always a lot of people. Nearby is the entrance to the Botanical Garden, where usually paly cats.

Cats near the botanical garden
Cats near the botanical garden Yuriy Buriak


Monument to Queen Maria Cristina
Monument to Queen Maria Cristina Yuriy Buriak


Madrid
Madrid Yuriy Buriak


Madrid
Madrid Yuriy Buriak


Madrid
Madrid Yuriy Buriak


Madrid
Madrid Yuriy Buriak

Madrid has two main squares. First, Puerta del Sol, is not particularly interesting during the day, but beautiful at night. It is primarily used as a central hub of public transport interchange. Also here stands the symbol of Madrid - bear and the strawberry tree.

Puerta del Sol square
Puerta del Sol square Yuriy Buriak


Puerta del Sol square
Puerta del Sol square Yuriy Buriak


Symbol of Madrid - the bear and the strawberry tree
Symbol of Madrid - the bear and the strawberry tree Yuriy Buriak

Second one Plaza Mayor is a typical Spanish square. Earlier it was used for bullfighting and now you can find here different interesting characters.

Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor Yuriy Buriak


Madrid
Madrid Yuriy Buriak


Madrid
Madrid Yuriy Buriak

Next we went to the royal palace to find out that it was closed for visiting today. Opposite the palace is the Almudena Cathedral. The observation deck on it is open from 10:00 until 14:30.

Next we went to the Temple of Debod. Along the way, visited the Plaza de España, where stands a few high-rise buildings. Madrid Tower (142 m) until 1967 was the tallest building in Europe.

Madrid tower
Madrid tower Yuriy Buriak

Temple of Debod was presented to Spain by the Egyptian authorities in 1968 in gratitude for their help in saving the temples of Abu Simbel from flooding during the construction of the Aswan Dam.

emple of Debod
emple of Debod wikipedia.org

Here is also an observation deck with views of the Royal Palace.

View of the Royal Palace
View of the Royal Palace Yuriy Buriak

This concludes our walking tour around Madrid.

Map of Madrid
Map of Madrid @

Useful links:
Maps on the city, metro, bus lines and others in PDF can be downloaded here.
http://ctm-madrid.es - public transport
http://www.metromadrid.es - metro
http://www.movelia.es - buses
https://www.museodelprado.es - Prado museum
http://www.rjb.csic.es/jardinbotanico/jardin/ - royal botanical garden
http://www.patrimonionacional.es/ - royal palace

Getting to Madrid

Madrid Airport is 13 km from the city center. Downtown is better to reach on the buses "24 horas expres", they run often, buy tickets from the driver, stops are the following: O'Donell, Cibeles and Atocha (central railway station). A taxi to the center costs 30 euros. Madrid is connected by high-speed railway lines to many cities: Barcelona (2:30), Valencia (1:30), Malaga (2:30), Seville (2:20) and so on. We drove from Barcelona by train, it is much more convenient then car or aircraft.

Tags, Spain: city, palace

Tags, all countries: city, palace
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