Do you know what is the best moment to visit Madrid, the capital of passion? It is when it gets too warm for your body to stand the sun and you need to have a rest in the shadow of bricks and stonewall palaces built in the XVII; it is when you get lost in the narrow crowded cobblestones streets, which are cooled by the fresh wind.
Where to stay
You can breathe the spirit of Madrid in every barrio of this city, where a lively shouting fills up the squares until late at night. The metropolitan frenzy is counter posed to the static elegance of the architectonic paths. The neighbourhood, which concentrates all Madrid’s sides, is definitely the historic centre, while Huertas is the most suitable place to stay.
Huertas is a perfect starting point from that you can reach by foot, any tourist attractions in few minutes. At the sunset people usually go to Puerta del Sol and from that place they spread towards the majestic Gran Via and the most important square in Madrid, Plaza Major. Oscar&Vanessa&Paula are the best solution for your stay in Madrid. These three guys, whowork in collaboration with Airbnb and are characterised by a brilliant and an eclectic personality, make available to tourists different types of apartments in the centre of the city. All these apartments are well finished and well furnished. If you visit their blog at http://www.triptomadrid.wordpress.com, you will have the chance to choose where to stay during your holiday!
Where To Eat
The first inevitable stopover to start breathing the energy of this wonderful city is Plaza Major. You can inaugurate your holiday with a glass of Sangria under its arcade and from there, you will have the chance to enjoy the beautiful view of the monumental core of the capital and the spirit of its inhabitants, who definitely know how to cherish their own lives.
Tapas are one of the most well known culinary and social traditions in Madrid. West of PlazaMajor, there’s the most crowded market of San Miguel, which is known to be the paradise of tapas! You can taste different types of tapas, just for few euros!
Another tapas shop is Estado Puro: this shop offers you food following the traditional Spanish kitchen, connecting it to the latest news. Here, it’s definitely impossible not to taste the latest version of tortilla: you will get a salty mousse, which is served in a cup of glass. This type of tortilla is called Tortilla española siglo XXI.
Going back to the core of the city, if you are ready to make your way up to the counter of Señor Revuelta’s bar and shout to order, you will be rewarded by some delicious tapas of boneless bacalao, which was accurately boned by the owner of the this bar. Mr Revuelta, or Señor Revuelta in Spanish, who gives the name to his own bar, has surely become an institution in Madrid!
For a great dinner, you cannot miss Sobrino de Botin restaurant, the most ancient restaurant of the world (dated 1725). There, you can enjoy your meal under a very old arched ceiling. You can have the cuchillo and the cordero asado. The most famous dish of the Spanish culinary tradition is the Jamón Ibérico, served with slices of toasted bread and a glass of good red wine, coming from a Spanish region called La Rioja. You can directly enjoy this wine at the counter of Mercado de San Miguel or at the museum-shops spread in the city.
Finally, you cannot miss the most famous Spanish speciality: the paella! Although you can find the best paella in Valencia, the paella of the Reina gives you the chance not to regret the one you could enjoy in Valencia.
How to Enjoy Madrid’s atmosphere
The most prestigious gallery in Spain, certainly among the most famous in Europe, is El Prado that together with Centro de Arte Reina Sophia and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are the temples of the Spanish painting evolution and beyond.
Thanks to the pinturas negra, we can find the anguished style of Goya, whose artistic pick is represented by his two most famous paintings: La Maja Vestida and La Maja Desnuda. These two works are exhibited at El Prado together with the most famous work of Velazquez, Las Meninas, and many other works of art coming from all Europe.
The atrocity inflected to human beings by the war, is shaped in one of the most famous paintings in the world, Guernica by Pablo Picasso, which is exhibited in one of the room of Reina Sophia’s museum.
Human cruelty is also represented in another temple of the Spanish tradition, at Las Ventas, where you can find the most famous important arena of the corridas (show with bulls) in theworld. You can watch the show just for fun, but the talent of the bullfighters will make you having some doubts of consciousness. The brutality of the sacrifice of blood, seen by children and spectators in general, is the emblem of the contradictions of this country, which connects the red of passion to the red of blood.
After having admired the Palacio de Cristal or having rented a small oar boat at the artificiallake, walking barefoot on the grass of the Retiro Park will let you relieve your soul and rest a little bit after having visited a lot of museums.
From the Retiro Park, crossing Plaza de la Cibeles, which is very close, you can reach the most majestic crossroad in Madrid, which is a very good place for your shopping! From that point the Gran Via, will lead you to the Palacio Real, providing that you do not want to have a rest in the shade of the pedestrian Calle de Fuencarral, having a stop over in one of the many bars just for cooling you down with a cerveza, which best represents Madrid’s tradition.
A piece of advice for you: after having visited the Reina Sophia’s museum, have a break at El Brillante. There, you can taste its typical bocadillos with squids!
Nightlife in Madrid
The nights in Madrid are long and deafening and it is impossible to walk around through the barrios without being caught up by some guys of the PR business of the main clubs in the city.
You can choose among different suggestions, but you cannot start having fun without drinking a Mojito in the chaotic pub called El Imperfecto, which is characterised by its kaleidoscope of colours.
Just around the corner, you can take part to a jazz concert at Populart that, together with the Junco Jazz Club of Chueca, combines live jazz, funk, blues and innovative groove rhythms.
In Madrid, the most famous meeting point at night is Puerta del Sol, which offers the hugest selection of nightclubs. Not so far from there, you can recognize a cross section of the city society thanks to each of the seven floors of the most famous mega-club in Madrid, the Kapital, where each floor satisfies different tastes.
Almost every night, Madrid can leave you completely speechless watching a flamenco performance, where the rhythm of fingers snaps and footsteps is combined with the passionate singing accompanied by the guitar. The most prestigious flamenco stage in Madrid is Casa Patas, where the exemplary quality of its shows needs a reservation to make sure you will have the best sits.
On the way back, you should have a delightful break at one of the most famous emblematic symbol of Madrid: the Chocolatería de San Ginés, which is a bar that serves the typical churros to be dunked in the chocolate.
But, as Ernest Hemingway was used to say, one thing is certain: ‘Nobody goes to bed in Madrid until they have killed the night.’