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Travel guide to flights & holidays in Madrid.

 


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Madrid Holidays Overview


Madrid might have become the capital of Spain due to its position that places it at the very centre of Iberia, but it has developed into one of the most vibrant and pulsating metropolises that would put most other capitals to shame. The city has a population of more than four million people and its streets are known to be full of surprises. Old world buildings, medieval era architecture and 18th century Bourbon squares lie side by side to fashionable boutiques, chic restaurants and luxurious hotels. The city also hosts some of the most beautiful art galleries and museums in Europe.

It is quite easy to fall in love with Madrid. You always have that nagging feeling as if anything could happen anytime. The Spanish are known to be extremely passionate people and this fact can be easily seen in Madrid there is a spring in each step, music around every corner and savvy people everywhere.

The city might not be as beautiful as Venice and might not boast of the same architectural brilliance as Paris, but it can definitely beat both these iconic cities in its own unique way. It might not have that one landmark that identifies it, but it does offer a glorious architectural history, grand mansions and brilliant palaces. And its nightlife is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. In fact, Madrid boasts of having more bars that any other city.

What ultimately makes Madrid so special are the Madrilenos. They boast of leading a unique lifestyle and are considered to be a key attraction in themselves. Hanging around beautiful cafes and terrazas, spending time in the Sunday flea markets, partying like crazy and hopping from one pub to the other are considered to be key elements of the Madrid culture. So bring your drinking glasses, leave your thinking caps behind and party like an animal in the Spanish capital.


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Madrid holidays - Top Places To Go

 
1. The Prado
Paseo del Prado
museoprado.mcu.es
What is it? Madrid's world-famous attraction is the 213-year-old Prado Museum, one of the world's greatest art galleries, with more than 7,000 paintings that include masterpieces by Fra Angelico, Botticelli, El Bosco, Titian, Rembrandt and Velazquez. The museum began as a Royal collection, which succeeding dynasties have added to. The collection naturally focuses on the Spanish masters, particularly Goya, whose exhibited works follow the development of his painting from the sun-soaked early scenes of joyful festivities to the grim madness characterising his 'black period'. The Prado has few equals - whether you are an art lover or not. Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 8pm Phone:91 330 2800

 

 

2. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Villahermosa Palace, Paseo del Prado 8
www.museothyssen.org
What is it? The second gallery in Madrid's 'golden triangle' of art museums is the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, housing the former private collection of the Thyssen family, which was bought by the city to enrich its fund of art treasures. The collection, in the restored 18th century Palacio de Villahermosa near the Prado, contains more than 800 paintings, sculptures, carvings and tapestries, ranging from primitive Flemish works to contemporary pieces. Among the highlights are works by Renoir, Durer and Van Eyck. The collection includes some major American works as well. Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 7pm Phone:91 369 0151

 

 

3. Reina Sofia National Art Centre Museum
Calle Santa Isabel 52
www.museoreinasofia.es
What is it? The third of Madrid's famed art galleries, the Reina Sofia, is dedicated to 20th century Spanish art, having been designed to give Spain a museum to equal France's Pompidou Centre and London's Tate Gallery. The museum was opened by Queen Sofia in 1986, and is housed in the former Hospital de San Carlos at Calle Santa Isabel 52. The artworks displayed here include those of Juan Gris, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso. The star attraction of the museum is Picasso's controversial Guernica, depicting the Nazi bombing of the Basque town in 1937 in support of Franco's cause in the Spanish Civil War. Until 1980 this painting hung in New York's Museum of Modern Art. Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday 10am and 9pm, and on Sundays between 10am and 2.30pm. Closed on Tuesdays Phone:91 774 1000

 

 


Madrid holidays - Top Events

 

1. Madrid Carnaval

From 2007-02-14

To 2007-02-21
 

What is it? Madrid's traditional medieval carnival was revived in 1976 after being squashed for 40 years under Franco's regime. Revellers now exult in this plethora of partying and parades every year, with the action centred around venues like the Casino and the Circulo de Bellas Artes. Carnaval opens with a huge parade along the Paseo de la Castellana, and there are fancy dress competitions and an evening concert in the Plaza Mayor. The end of Carnaval on Ash Wednesday brings on the bizarre traditional 'Burial of the Sardine' parade, with the participants all dressed in black carrying a cardboard sardine in a coffin to be mournfully buried at the Fuente de los Pajaritos. For more information contact the Madrid Tourist Office on 91 588 1636 or 91 366 5477. Where is it?

 

 

2. ARCO

From 2007-02-15

To 2007-02-19
 

What is it? Arco is Europe's largest contemporary art fair (drawing around 200,000 visitors) and turns Madrid into the centre of the international art world during its five-day run each year. About 200 contemporary art galleries are represented in the exhibition, along with a programme of lectures, social events and related activities. Where is it? The Crystal Pavilion of the Casa de Campo

 

 

3. Autumn Festival

From 2007-10-11

To 2007-11-09
 

What is it? Madrid becomes a perfect roost for culture vultures in autumn when more than 50 dance, theatre and musical groups from countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and America participate in a programme of opera, ballet, dance, music and theatre at about 40 venues throughout the city. The varied selection at this premier cultural festival spans everything from chamber music and classic plays to flamenco and hip-hop. For more information contact the Madrid Central Tourist Office on +34 (0)91 588 2900 or email infomadrid@munimadrid.es Where is it? Various

 

 

4. Fiesta de San Isidro

From 2007-05-15

To 2007-05-15
 

What is it? Madrid goes wild each May in honour of the city's patron saint, San Isidro, with a traditional round of partying, feasting and dancing in the streets that goes on for about 10 days around the designated saint's day, 15 May. The city's streets are dominated by music, and each neighbourhood (barrio) chimes in with their own street party or traditional celebration. The city's squares become centres of performances of everything from flamenco to rock 'n roll, while spectators feast on traditional ice cream and doughnuts. San Isidro's fiesta also signals the start of the city's bullfighting season at the Plaza de Toros Monumental de Las Ventas. For more information dial the Tourist Information line on 010 (Madrid) or +34 (0)91 540 4040\4010 (when calling outside of Madrid). Where is it? Plaza Mayor, Plaza de las Vistillas, Plaza de las Comendadoras, Plaza de Felipe II, Parque del Retiro and the Centro Cultural de la Villa in the Jardines del Descubrimiento

 

 

5. International Gourmet Fair

From 2007-05-01

To 2007-05-31
 

What is it? A paradise for food and wine lovers, the annual Madrid Gourmet Fair has improved every year since it was first held in 1987 to showcase Spain's fine food and beverages. Traditionally the fair opens with the entertaining 'Ham Carving Competition' (ham being a staple delicacy in Spain, and gourmets being particularly partial to ham from acorn fed pigs). There is also wine-tasting, a gourmet cook-off in which top chefs from Spain's autonomous regions compete, a 'Spanish cheese' contest and of course plenty of delights to sample at the stands of more than 700 national and international exhibitors. Where is it? Casa de Campo Exhibition Centre

 

 



 

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About This Page

Information on Madrid Holidays, Madrid Hotels, Holiday Packages in Madrid (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Madrid Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom wordtravels.com, copyright Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.